Bruce Lazenby

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Vice President
Prior to rejoining Corum, Bruce was the Founding President and CEO of Invest Ottawa for 5 years. During that time he worked with over 1000 technology start-ups, raising over $300m in venture capital and debt, and created over 4,700 jobs. Prior to joining Invest Ottawa, he was Chairman of the Ottawa Software Cluster for six years and Vice President in Canada for Corum Group.   Before that he held senior technology executive positions including six years as CEO with FreeBalance Inc. an enterprise software company where he raised millions of dollars in venture capital and debt financing, and helped grow the company by 300 per cent while moving into new international markets.   Bruce also had an extensive military career spanning 20 years’ service in the Royal Canadian Navy and Air Force. He graduated from the Royal Military College and the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College. During his service Bruce managed the financial management and accounting systems for the Department of National Defense worldwide. Before that, he was a Navy Diver and underwent jet pilot training before retiring as a Commander in the Logistics Corp. Amongst other locations, he served at sea, in United Nations peacekeeping missions and the Canadian Arctic.   In 2005, he was voted Canada’s Private Sector Technology Leader by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and in 2016 he received Canadian Community Innovation Leadership Award by the same organization.

Recent Blog Posts:

Why Canadian Companies Might Have an Edge in Software Quality
I have been in the Canadian software business for over 40 years. Yes, I wrote Cobol and Fortran (some of the oldest programming languages) – but Assembler was before even my time.   During that period, especially in the last 10 years when I have been incubating and selling companies, I have always... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 21 March 2018
Really - check out your buyer early
We were approached by a seller who had the basis of an offer already in hand from a privately-held buyer. The sellers Board wanted independent confirmation that the offer was a good one, so they engaged Corum to do a limited search. We told them up front that the offer they had was VERY good (... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 9 September 2011
Deferred Revenue treatment in Software M&A deals
Many software companies have a lot of recurring revenue from the 20 percent (or so) annual maintenance tail that they have from their previous perpetual license sales.   This can be very valuable revenue that requires special treatment with buyers.   Sellers must assess the liability associated... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 13 July 2011
Maybe you are Bill Gates
My colleague Jon Scott recently commented on how CEOs need to grow up with their companies.  The same unbounded enthusiasm and Wild West approach that got them this far, might not get them to the next level.  Very true but what happens if you have never been part of a bigger company, or never got... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 6 July 2011
An end to the Canadian VC funding drought?
The last great round of investments into Canadian VCs happened about 10 years ago. Since then, Canadian VCs have returned a negative IRR to their LPs. Not surprisingly, LPs were reluctant to re-up for a second gig.   Until recently.   At the CVCA conference in Vancouver, there were some green... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 22 June 2011
New life for software patents?
On his first day on the job Googles new CEO announced that he will bid up to $900m for the patent portfolio of now defunct Nortel.   Years ago when I was running a software company, we discussed patents and whether they were value for money. Back then they were more expensive to get (it seemed) and... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 8 April 2011
Nokia moves in Canada
Several really senior Nokia guys did a 4-city tour of Canada recently, meeting hundreds of software developers and ISVs saying that Nokia was serious about mobile apps and was looking to set up relationships. When I asked them about their OS they were vague.   Guess I know why.
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 16 February 2011
Some thoughts for small software companies
Google recently acquired Zetawire, a Toronto-based company that facilitates mobile payments. I thought this acquisition raised some interesting considerations for small software companies.   Pre-revenue companies are once again/still saleable by all accounts Zetawire was effectively pre-revenue.... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 7 January 2011
Choice of Platforms
Many of my prospects ask about what development platform will give them the best exit potential.  A few years ago, everyone was on the .Net platform.  Who wants to bet against MSFT was the refrain.  One of my clients had picked .Net and a potential buyer, a MSFT competitor, just said  .Net platform... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 15 December 2010
Do Earnouts work for Buyers, Sellers, both or neither?
Earnouts are popular but complicated. In fact, people cant seem to decide if it is one word, two words or hyphenated. Lets keep it simple one word and simple is also the key to good earnouts. An earnout is an amount that the seller of a company can earn, in addition to cash at close, by making... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 8 October 2010
Software M&A to be way up in Canada
Last week I spoke to 100 software execs (mostly CEOs and CFOs) at the PricewaterhouseCoopers Vision to Reality session in Toronto. This annual event highlights the results of the excellent survey that PwC sends every year to software execs in Canada. The most striking result was that 80% of the... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 2 June 2010
Canadian M&A Forecast for 2010
We predict that 2010 will likely be one of the most active years for Canadian Software M&A in many years for a number of reasons. On the Supply Side - Firstly, many companies that might have sought suitors in 2009 have held off for better valuations. Those valuations have arrived. Secondly,... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 26 April 2010
Mobile land grab
Over the last number of months I have been increasingly excited about the uptake in the smartphone market. I usually look to my early-20s / late-teen's kids to see what they and their friends are doing. They all have a BlackBerru or iPhone a year ago it was all cheap Nokias. While Google Android... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 10 February 2010
Today's cash source affects tomorrow's payday
I wrote a chapter in the recently released book The Entrepreneurial Effect (available at www.commonerspublishing.com ). The book is a collection of experiences from successful entrepreneurs and the intent is to provide a road map for the next generation. In my chapter I cautioned software... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 28 October 2009
The recession is over! (in Canada)
The Governor of the Bank of Canada recently announced that the recession in Canada is over. While Government has a major stimulus package creating a significant deficit, it is not even as bad as it was in the 1980s in our last Canadian made recession. No Canadian Banks have been bailed out or... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 17 August 2009
Summers are changing
I seem to recall the days when we used to say that if we can't get the transaction done by mid to end June, we would have to wait till September.   With every passing  year the summer period seems to be more active and this year will probably take the cake. I am receiving Letters of Interest from... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 24 June 2009
Companies need to get ahead of the curve
I recently had the pleasure of addressing 80 software CEOs and CFOs in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.  There seems to be a feeling that most are going to hunker down and wait out the markets.  I really fear that many good companies are going to be surprised by how bad it is going to get.  In Canada... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 30 March 2009
M&A is active
The Canadian dollar is on sale at a 30% discount from the US dollar over the last few months and the Euro trades at a 70% premium to the C$ which means that Canadian sellers are in a good position to get value.  A benefit to foreign buyers may be access to credit. The Canadian banking system has... Click here to read more
Posted by Bruce Lazenby, Vice President on 6 January 2009

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