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April 10, 2024 31 mins

In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with Sam Naylor.

Sam is the Chief of Staff for Deloitte Canada’s Consulting Technology Executive, as well as the firm’s National Pride ERG Co-Chair. On the side, Sam is a Venture Partner for Chasing Rainbows and provides operations/strategy advice to a handful of start-ups and scale-ups. Outside of work he is the Director of Gradient Spaces - a 2SLGBTQIA+ Startup Founders Program - plus serves on the Board of Directors for QueerTech.

His vision and mission is to unlock Canadian Venture capital for 2SLGBTQIA+ founders.

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Links mentioned in this episode:


Key Takeaways for quick navigation:

  • [01:00] Gradient Spaces' acquisition by QueerTech aims to scale LGBTQIA+ support in Canada through entrepreneurship programs.
  • [02:34] Integration of Gradient Spaces into QueerTech expands resources for LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs in Canada.
  • [04:09] Pilot initiatives like pitch competitions engage potential participants and investors.
  • [06:38] Gradient Spaces considers options of equity-donation based participation.
  • [10:10] Lack of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship data delayed focused venture capital and accelerator programs.
  • [18:45] Networking and persistence are vital for entering venture capital.
  • [21:02] Sam Naylor discusses key roles in venture capital: deal sourcing, support, and platform provision.
  • [22:23] VC funds pool resources to support startups with thorough due diligence.
  • [24:16] Angel syndicates differ from VC funds in investment processes.
  • [25:39] QueerTech, Gradient Spaces, and Chasing Rainbows VC align missions to support LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship.
  • [26:59] Websites provide networking and resources for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.
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