Anthony Lee and Chris Albinson are hoping that C100 does for Canadian tech entrepreneurs, execs and investors in Silicon Valley what TiE has done for entrepreneurs, executives and others with roots in the Indus region.
Lee, general partner of Altos Ventures, and Albinson, managing director of Panorama Capital, launched C100 in the same week in late February that the Canadian national hockey team won the gold medal match over the U.S. squad. But their effort isn’t about jingoism.
“We want to bring together the Canadian technology leaders in Silicon Valley with other Canadians to help foster support and provide mentoring,” says Lee, who estimates that there are about 250,000 Canadians in Northern California.
“We Canadians are good at hiding in plain sight,” says Lee. However, the C100 has up to 100 dues-paying, high-level charter members (thus, the name) in addition to several hundred general members already on board. Lee says the organization is full of tech execs from the top ranks of most companies, such as Apple, Facebook, eBay, many of who have agreed to help mentor rising tech entrepreneurs with Canadian roots.
Albinson, whose firm is an active investor in Canada, says that the recent change by the Canadian government to scrap its tax law, called Section 116, just happened to coincide with the formation of the C100.
“Definitely, the taxes in Canada was an inhibitor when it came to drawing in outside investors, but it might take a while before we see the change have a broad impact,” says Albinson, who adds that he’s more concerned about stimulating the angel investment community throughout the country.
“It’s hard to raise angel capital in Canada; that’s what’s missing,” he says.
By the way, I wouldn’t be much of a hockey fan if I wrote a story about Canada and didn’t at least try to squeeze in a plug for my hometown San Jose Sharks to win the Stanley Cup. Lee says he’s rooting for the Vancouver Canucks, while Albinson is cheering for the Ottawa Senators. “But I’m hoping Ottawa faces the Sharks in the final,” Albinson adds.