James Sbrolla, Chairman, Environmental Business Consultants and CEO, Cleantech Capital Inc. was featured as an Expert in today’s Globe and Mail “The Challenge” article, Entrepreneur bets the farm on that other black gold (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/the-challenge/entrepreneur-bets-the-farm-on-that-other-black-gold/article20854910/). James provided some great advice that we thought was worth sharing with the CleanTech North community.
Look for the capital and that C-level executive at the same time. Find a private equity fund or a venture capitalist who has a relationship with a bunch of guys, one of which may be appropriate to go into your shop. Or find an angel investor who has become an angel having exited another business that’s got synergy or that’s from a similar industry.
I don’t think Mr. Overton needs to add a CFO and a CEO and a COO all at the same time. But he should probably find a CEO who has some financial acumen and can act as a part-time CFO, or a CFO who has good business acumen and can be a quasi-business leader.
I would give him great caution on going to Saudi Arabia. Why do I want to go to Saudi Arabia when I can go to Ontario or Minnesota or Alberta? There are so many better markets that aren’t an ocean away. In fact, I wouldn’t take on a contract anywhere outside North America. It’s not as sexy, but it makes more sense to do business locally and build a domestic footprint before you start going overseas. And when it is time to go overseas, I would want to do it in partnership with a local party that becomes either an agent or you have a distribution or licensing agreement.