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CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast

On our #CIBCInnovationEconomy podcast series, hear from leaders, entrepreneurs, experts and venture capitalists about the changing dynamics of the North American innovation economy

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A Powerful Mindset for Business Growth with Canalyst CEO Damir Hot

Photo-Damir Hot
Damir Hot

Episode Summary

Professional investors need an efficient way to compare their universe of companies, which is where firms like Canalyst come in. Canalyst’s database of thousands of enterprises helps give the pros the edge they need to uncover more investment ideas, generate better returns and bring in more assets. In this episode, Michael sits down with Canalyst’s CEO and Co-Founder, Damir Hot. During their discussion, Damir shares how co-founding a tech startup has been a lifelong dream of his since he was a child. He offers his perspective on the state of startups today, and what the future may hold for the startup ecosystem. Finally, Damir shares some of the key strategies Canalyst implemented to grow its customer base to over 400 in a relatively short period of time. 

Episode Notes

Partner up
Now that he’s on the other side of success with Canalyst, Damir says he highly recommends partnering with a co-founder from the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. If you can find a business partner with similar goals, values and interests as Damir did, it can double the power, purpose and passion fuelling the enterprise. The entrepreneurial journey can be a lonely one, so having a like-minded co-founder to share the ups, downs, wins and losses with can make it all the more rewarding. 

Sales experience is key
Damir mentioned that one of his must-haves when it comes to launching a business is ensuring that you have at least one person on the team who can bring a strong sales background to the table. At the end of the day, launching a successful business is all about selling—whether you’re selling investors, prospective hires or prospective clients. Sales or “storytelling” skills, as Damir calls them, are essential and highly valuable when it comes to the early growth stages of a business and beyond.

Just do the work
Overall, Damir says there’s no magic formula for finding success as an entrepreneur. At its core, entrepreneurial success isn’t necessarily about launching the perfect marketing campaign, uncovering a secret strategy, or cutting corners to get ahead: it’s about staying committed to doing the work day after day, hour after hour. He mentioned that at Canalyst, about 40 per cent of their new bookings now come from word of mouth, which isn’t something that happened overnight—it came as a result of consistently driving relationships forward, delivering a high-quality product to customers and spreading the word organically.

CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

Show Contributors: 

Damir Hot


Michael Hainsworth


CIBC Innovation Banking