Toronto’s Business Environment

My international experience has just begun here in Toronto and I cannot wait to see all the city has to offer! I arrived on Wednesday, May 29th and settled in to my accommodation, which is located in an amazing location right next to Trinity Bellwoods Park. I had orientation the next day and was given a brief tour of a few of the unique areas and neighborhoods that make up this bustling city. The most important information I learned was how to use the “TTC” or Toronto Transit Commission, which is the public transportation system in Toronto. I say this was the most important because I needed to get to work the next day and I would be using this confusing system of subways, street cars, and buses to get there. I worked my first day on Friday, successfully navigating to and from work, which brings me into the prompt: Assessing the Business Environment.

My internship for the summer is with Pycap Corporation, as a Research Associate. Pycap Corp. is a firm located in downtown Toronto that works in three main sectors, Private Equity and Debt, Venture Capital, and Real Estate. “Pycap provides Corporate Finance support for early to mid stage enterprises to ensure they have a solid foundation in order to sustain growth in the most efficient manner possible. These advisory services can include Capital restructuring, valuations, interim management, strategies for fundraising, and investment from Pycap’s venture capital fund” (www.pycap.ca). Venture Capital is a form of private equity and involves providing capital, legal support, management guidance, and other services to startup companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential.

The Venture Capital industry is a high risk field and requires numerous different areas of expertise and experience. Arguably the biggest skill necessary for work in Venture Capital is qualitative and quantitative research skills. Research skills are imperative for success because you must know every detail of potential clients prior to bringing them on board and providing them funding. Due diligence is required to screen prospective clients in order to know if the company possibly has what it takes to be successful, whether its new technologies, patents or trademarks, a strong management team, etc. The more research conducted decreases the chance that the company receiving the firm’s funding is set up to be successful and will not fail upon expansion. Another skill set that’s vital in this industry is strong interpersonal or people skills. Nearly every day a Venture Capital firm is engaging with current and potential clients. Interpersonal skills are crucial in order to maintain good relationships and constant communication between the firm and clients, providing updates on projects and the current activities of both companies. Additionally, in order to attract and sign new clients, partners at a venture capital firm need to develop strong positive relationships with the CEOs and other top officials of the prospective clients in order to be able to offer and provide the best and most individualized services to each specific client.

Furthermore, having a strong background within corporate finance, investment banking, legal knowledge, and asset management would also be beneficial to having success within this industry. Also, staying up to date on current market trends, financial news, and legal developments are crucial to provide the most up to date and relevant services.

The Venture Capital industry in Canada varies from the United States in some areas. Currently, one of the clients that Pycap is working with is a Cryptocurrency exchange company. In the United States, cryptocurrencies are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC. This government organization creates the rules and regulations in this sector for the entire nation. However, in Canada, there is not one single government entity that is in charge of the cryptocurrency sector. Instead, Canada regulates this industry at the provincial level. This means that each individual provincial government has their own standards and regulations, causing differences between each jurisdiction.  It would be extremely beneficial to have a strong knowledge of the different legal requirements in each province when working in this sector, in order to properly follow laws and adhere to the specific regulations of each province.

As I become more familiar with the industry and get further into my work, I will develop a better understanding of the skills and strengths required to be successful in this industry. I look forward to learning as much as I can each and every day on the job and strengthen my own professional skills. This is an amazing learning opportunity and I cannot wait for this week to start!