We are looking for one Associate and one Summer Associate:
Venture Grower Inc. is a Canadian firm bringing new and exciting projects to market:
• Helping large firms decide how to build, buy, or partner in order to change and adapt
• Guiding small companies and growing them to lead change and to disrupt the status quo.
We are working in the intersections of the traditional and the new. We are leaders in mobile, web innovation with a particular focus on “new retail”, mobile commerce and digital ID and authentication.
We are looking for a self-motivated, results-driven individual to help research projects, create strategic plans and ultimately, drive execution. The work will be challenging and varied and will provide a unique opportunity to hone skills useful as an entrepreneur or strategy consultant.
The position is located in Toronto and offers a unique role within a challenging and fast paced environment. The successful candidate will work well in an entrepreneurial team environment that is informal, yet demanding and challenging. They will be rewarded with a fun environment, continual learning, personal development, competitive compensation,and an opportunity to work on two very interesting and important projects:
1) Advising the Canadian arm of a major global CPG firm on a domestic e-commerce and mobile commerce strategy.
2) Working with, and on behalf of, leading Canadians to build a new not-for-profit to foster a Canadian leadership position in the emerging global digital economy.
A successful associate at Venture Grower, Inc. must possess:
• Exceptional project management experience
• Outstanding skills conducting, solving problems and addressing critical business issues
• Solid knowledge of, and passion for new technology – especially mobile experiences
• Advanced skills in online research, Excel and PowerPoint
• An ability to compel, to sell ideas in verbal and written communication
This position requires a highly organized, strong, self-sufficient individual with an inquiring mind, good instincts and desire to prove themself. Candidates must be highly detail oriented, and possess strong analytical, modeling, and interpretive skills and be client-presentable.
Qualified candidates will hold a minimum of an undergraduate degree in business, technology, engineering or equivalent; or possess comparable work experience. An MBA or MSc would be considered an asset. Applicants with solid startup experience gained through a role in a web-based or mobile-focused industry would be preferred. We would love to find people with senior experience analyzing the retail industry, working in retail management (head office, not in-store) or working in predictive analytics.
Please send c.v. and writing sample: must be your own work, not team work. It should be approx. 4-10 pages long and include an analysis of a business concept. The sample should reflect your ability to think strategically.
Perhaps it would be to much of a pun to say that the Canadian government is being penny wise and pound foolish. We have faced reality and are now phasing out the penny (or “one cent piece” as it is officially known).
In late 2010, finance committee members of the Canadian Senate estimated that the average Canadian had as many as 600 pennies hoarded away, taken out of circulation.
Bank notes are hoarded (or collected) too. In the territory now known as Canada, our provinces and private banks issued money for a number of years before Canada was formed and the Bank of Canada banned anyone else from creating money. Those bank notes are great collectors items as they harken back to a very interesting time before standardization of our currency.
The following table shows the currency taken out of circulation by collectors (or at least the liability that the Bank of Canada has on it’s books for said notes - according to Statistics Canada and Cdnpapermoney.com).
As of 2011, that liability had remained stable for two decades at $12.9million - this is recorded as a liability because, traditionally, Canadian currency does not ever cease to be legal tender after it is issued. So if you had a rare $500 bill, you could spend it as $500 or take it to the bank and get $500, ( but more likely you would sell it off - and in 2008 one fetched $322,000 at auction!). These banknotes are truly a minor footnote liability in the balance sheet with $54billion in notes in circulation.
There is one type of bank note that is no longer issued that is not a minor footnote in the Bank of Canada’s balance sheet. The $1,000 note was removed at the request of the Solicitor General of Canada and the RCMP because of evidence that the notes were an important tool in money laundering and organized crime.
At the time there were 2.8million $1000 bills in circulation (worth $2.8billion). Today, 13 years later, there are still almost a million notes out there worth $1billion.
Certainly some are in the hands of collectors and savers (on eBay, you will find them going for between $1300 and $1500), but money laundering experts tell us that these bills are still a mainstay in organized crime.
So - why hasn’t the Canadian Government and the Bank of Canada moved to make $1000 bills no longer legal tender - a process known as “demonetization”. It might be unprecedented here in Canada but around the world it’s not unheard of. When the Euro countries adopted that currency, all the legacy currencies and their notes and coins became useless. The British shilling was demonetized in 1991, 25 years after it ceased to be produced.
There are two arguments against demonetization of the $1000 bank note that I know of: 1) ceasing to accept the note as legal tender without a change to the laws around trademark of counterfeiting could interfere with control of the design of the notes 2) the federal government doesn’t want to.
The Bank of Canada has a policy of maintaining a zero bookvalue on its balance sheet (they match total assets to total liabilities and transfer any equity above this amount to the Federal Government). Wiping $1billion dollars off the liabilities of the Bank would require that the Bank sell $1billion in Government of Canada debt.
But surely to hobble organized crime and the criminal elites, it would be worth accelerating the retiring of the $1000 bill? Here’s an idea: announce tomorrow that on January 1, 2014 the $1000 Canadian bank note will cease to be legal tender. Set up redemption centres for honest Canadians that want to exchange their notes. Track the volume and velocity of the redemption and setup a crackerjack law enforcement team to investigate unusual patterns.
The Canadian Government should stop supporting organized crime and drug trafficking. Retire “the pinkie”.
(Off topic post)
A good friend’s son is graduating soon from school in the UK and he wants to come to North America to do an internship. I checked out his demo reel and I am blown away by what “they” can do these days!
I have no expertise in the area, but his demo reel seems to demonstrate that he’s got some decent talent in Visual FX. If you can spare 2 minutes check out his (1.5min) reel - I was amazed at what he had done.
Let me know if you have any suggestions for internships that I can pass on.
My response to a recent email entitled “Request for Insight Re: The Future of Payments”
Describe how you see the future of payments evolving from a technological delivery standpoint.
This is a complex and fairly broad question, as it could touch upon such topics as financial systems and infrastructure delivery, card technology evolution, channel evolution, the roles of acquirers and processors and merchants vis-à-vis technology, and any number of technology shifts taking place at the consumer level, both in the United States and around the world.
Generally, I see several trends guiding overall payments evolution in the coming years:
· Increasing globalization of payment solutions and technology
· Increasing shift away from cash towards electronic payments
· A movement away from batch processing and towards real-time transactions
· An increase in transaction aggregation models to counter costs of processing
· A democratization of the last mile technologies (extension of the bring your own device (BYOD) wave that has swept, and continues to sweep, wireless services delivery)
· Expansion of the technological options for “wallets”, either secure element-based, cloud-based, or stored value
· A diversification of the types of payments products that we use, and the technological relationships through which they are delivered
· A shift in payment and financial products of products based on the shift in channel; and
· An increase in solutions that satisfy the demands for social, local, and contextually relevant transactions