Here’s Mike:

Michael Volker is an Entrepreneur active in the development of new high technology ventures. A University of Waterloo Engineering grad, Mike started his own company (Volker-Craig Ltd) in 1973. After selling his company in 1981 he decided to work with entrepreneurs in building new companies. Recently he directed Simon Fraser University's Innovation Office. Presently, he is chairman of TIMIA Capital, [TCA.V] a public company that invests in young growth companies. He is CEO of WUTIF - the Western Universities Technology Innovation Fund - an "angel" fund for start-ups. Mike is President of the Vancouver Angel Network, VANTEC and the Vancouver chapter of Keiretsu Forum. He's chairman of New Ventures BC - an annual business competition. Mike was chairman of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum for several years.

Business Basics for Engineers is a series of notes prepared by Mike on business matters relating to technology companies. A guide for writing a Business Plan is featured.

Two other websites that Mike created are: and

Why use a SAFE?

A SAFE – Simple Agreement for Future Equity – was created by Y-Combinator in Silicon Valley as a way for companies to raise a small amount of capital as a first step towards raising a larger venture capital round. While it makes sense if a VC round is assured, there may be a better way using a “SAFETY”.

Bitcoin and Blockchain Demystified

Bitcoin is all the rage these days. And, so is Blockchain. What’s it all about?

Tax Proposals will Shrink Capital Available for Startups

Business begets business. Successful entrepreneurs invest profits from their business in new ventures. These “angel investors”, and the critical role they play in the innovation landscape, are not well understood by policy makers. Instead of amplifying their nascent contributions, the new tax proposals may keep them at bay. This is because the proposals will make it unattractive for angels to use business income to invest in new startup ventures.

Small Business Tax Proposals

The Liberal Government is proposing several changes to the small business tax regime in Canada. Their stated reason is “tax fairness” – to keep the rich from using corporations to shelter tax that they would otherwise pay at a personal level. Unfortunately, unless done properly, this will make it tougher for entrepreneurs to raise capital and less attractive for investors – not good for the same Government’s “Innovation Agenda”.

More Red Tape for Entrepreneur and Angels – Accredited Investor rules

Effective May 5,2015 Canadian Securities Regulators have added another burden on companies raising capital from Accredited (i.e. Angel) Investors. Instead of just relying on the honesty of the investor, companies must “take steps” to ensure that the investor is not lying.

Crowdfunding Updates

This blog contains the latest developments in Equity Crowdfunding.

Better Terms = Better Outcomes

Many exits happen at much lower than expected values. Even a three or four fold increase in company valuation may not produce positive returns for the early risk-taking investors. Angel investors and first-round investors are taking it on the chin all too often. Here’s how to stop it.

BCSC Considering Crowdfunding Exemption

Just a day after I wrote about Crowdfunding becoming the new VSE, the BC Securities Commission issued a notice requesting comment on the idea of a new crowdfunding exemption that would allow companies to raise a small amount of capital (max $150K) from investors in small amounts (max $1500).

Crowdfunding = Going Public

The more I think about equity crowdfunding the more I believe that this is going to be the new VSE (Vancouver Stock Exchange). It’s almost inevitable when you stop and think about it. Doesn’t “crowd” mean “public”? So why is crowdfunding any different?

Equity Crowdfunding – Doing it Right (for discussion)

Equity Crowfunding – the selling of shares in new ventures to the general public – can give entrepreneurs access to a vast resource of new capital. While this will stimulate the creation of more companies and jobs, not everyone thinks that this is a good idea. Securities regulators are worried about investors losing out due to fraud or flaky deals – not to mention the high risk associated even with the best deals.  This article puts forward some suggestions – for discussion purposes – on how we can make it work – right here in Canada.