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The Highs and Lows of Venture Capital

“I bonked my head” – falling into Venture Capital

Maria Pacella, Senior Vice President of Private Equity at Pender, is joined by Michelle Scarborough, Managing Director of Strategic Investments and the Women in Technology Venture Fund at the Business Development Bank of Canada. They discuss the challenges and rewards of investing in venture capital enterprises, building bridges, talent spotting, hitting target markets and managing stakeholder expectations. They also discuss what Michelle has been reading lately.

Key Takeaways:

01:42 – Michelle discusses how she “fell into Venture Capital”, working initially as an entrepreneur and being given a chance to sit on “the other side of the table”.

04:33 – Maria asks Michelle about running the largest women-focused fund in the country, the Women in Technology Fund.

08:32 – Michelle shares the three-pronged approach to the Women in Technology Fund, and the two overarching goals of the fund.

10:29 – Michelle explains the fundamental need for good quality data when developing new technologies.

16:33 – Maria asks Michelle what she sees as the biggest challenge in scaling a start-up today.

20:04 – Michelle tells Maria about the toughest part of her job as a Venture Capitalist.

23:00 – Maria asks Michelle to share the leadership lessons that she has learned throughout her career.

29:13 – Michelle shares what she’s currently reading and one of her favourite books.

Mentioned in this episode

Pender Technology Inflection Fund

Michelle Scarborough

Business Development Bank of Canada

Women in Technology Fund

Texas A&M University

CNRL – Canadian Natural Resources



Little Black Stretchy Pants By Chip Wilson

The Tao of Pooh By Benjamin Hoff


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