Press about Basil Peters

Crains New York Business

Dr. Basil Peters is Canada’s Exit Expert

NACO Staff, April 30, 2015

"upcoming educational event with Angel investment expert, merger and acquisition advisor, distinguished author and entrepreneur, Dr. Basil Peters. Internationally recognized for creating optimal exit transactions for entrepreneurs and Angel investors, Dr. Peters believes we’d all have more fun, and higher returns, if we focused more on our exits.'"

Crains New York Business

This founder wants to help you find the perfect exit strategy

Bo Burlingham, January 7, 2015

"Over the past five years, Peters has emerged as a leading figure in the world of business exits; he is known as a champion of what he calls “early exits.” By that, he means exits that happen much earlier in the life of a business than has been the practice in the past. Peters has written a book on the subject, and when he isn't working with clients of his boutique M&A firm, Strategic Exits, he can be found spreading the word about early exits."

Crains New York Business

More founders reject VC money

Crain's New York Business, Matthew Flamm February 27, 2013

" long as investors stop shooting for the billion-dollar exit and can make money from the $12 million to $15 million exit, which is the median range for a U.S. private company, according to Basil Peters, author of Early Exits: Exit Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Angel Investors (But Maybe Not Venture Capitalists). 'There are some smart people who are building a new generation of VC funds that are the right size to work with today's startups,' Mr. Peters said. 'Those funds will be much smaller.'"

Times Colonist

Plenty of money available for new companies: Tectoria panel

Times Colonist, Andrew A. Duffy September 14, 2012

"'The good news for entrepreneurs is there's too much money out there, and often companies are getting more than they need,' said veteran angel investor Basil Peters. Peters added because the cost of borrowing money is so low it has pushed capital out of its usual holding places and into less traditional areas, meaning early stage companies are getting a crack at money that didn’t exist years ago."

"'Is venture capital broken? It's not a question anymore. It's not broken, it's dead,' said Peters."

Angel Resource Institute

Negotiating Exits with the Big Dogs: What Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Angel Resource Institute, ARI Team September 12, 2012

"Peters says that large firms want to buy companies for $20 to $30 million, primarily for the people and the technology."

"'It used to be that the best and brightest went to work for big companies,' he says. 'Now the best and brightest are going to work in the startups. They are the ones doing the innovating. The big companies are figuring out that the combination of entrepreneurs growing companies from small to medium and big companies knowing how to grow from medium to large is what works.'"

"But before trying to dance with the so-called 'Big Dogs,' it pays to prepare.

"'In every situation that I've been close to, the buyers ended up knowing more about the company's financial performance than the management and board did,' Peters says. 'It's important to have a team; no one person can embody all the things you need. If the CEO tries to do it alone, he or she won't realize how much work it is, and the company suffers well before the transaction is complete. You have to task the right resources if you want to get it done.'"

Business in Vancouver

Ask the Experts: How should I approach an angel investor?

Business in Vancouver, Mike Volker May 15, 2012

"Many entrepreneurs think the predominant source of financing for young companies is venture capital funds. A few years ago, the data showed that angel investors financed 27 times more seed and startup companies than VCs. With the global collapse of the venture capital industry, the number is probably now closer to 50 times more."

Canadian Capital Magazine

Sailing Away

Canadian Capital Magazine, Stuart Foxman April 2012

"Owners can agonize over selling," says Basil Peters of Strategic Exits Corp. in Vancouver who quarter-backed Swanson's transition. "Their fear is letting go of something that's so much a part of their identity."

"Allegretto is a virtual company, with no physical office and a roster of programmers and support staff on contract."

"For Swanson, hiring a dispassionate party like Peters to spearhead the search for a buyer was essential. Many owners sabotage their own transitions by getting too involved in the mechanics, he suggests, often because deep down they're not ready to leave."

"The best time [to sell] is when everything is great - when it sold, Allegretto was growing by more than 30% a year. But, says Swanson, that's also the time you can second-guess yourself.

Peters agrees it's important to re-assess or re-confirm your desire to leave. Some hesitancy is normal. But in his experience, the indecision evaporates the day after a sale. Very few have regrets, he says, "Most say, 'I should have done it sooner.'"

Bill Payne

Investment Strategy for Angels

Bill Payne & Associates, Bill Payne February 23, 2012

" additional way to increase your return on investment is working with portfolio companies to exit earlier, rather than later. Early exits is an angel investment best practice that is too extensive to detail in this blog.

However, the world's expert is Basil Peters."


Waiting for Google, Frank Peters August 19, 2011

"The whole concept of determining the exit before making the investment is a relatively new concept. Basil Peters, no relation, and his ground breaking book 'Early Exits was like a slap in the face. Or was it more like the kiss that broke the spell? Either way, angel investors had to wake up to the fact that most deals exit for relatively small amounts, like $15 to $20million."

Canadian Capital Magazine

Exit Strategy

Canadian Capital Magazine, Barry Carlson Summer 2011

"But you sell when the selling is good..."

"First we decided who was going to sell it for us. We chose Basil Peters, founder of Strategic Exits Corp. ..."

"We made sure that his compensation package was heavily weighted in favour of a sale, specifically in the form of stock options that vested 100% if the business was sold."

"Executing a sale comes down to three things. The first is finding the right buyer. The second is having management ready - and compensated... The third is having the company cleaned up."

BC Business

Exit Strategies for Entrepreneurs

BC Business online, Tony Wanless June 23, 2011

"The sale of Vancouver, B.C.-based software company Subserveo Inc., announced June 21, 2011, is a perfect example of a quick build-and-sell strategy that is gaining much traction in the technology community."

"...founders activated an 'early exits' strategy developed by Vancouver technology investor Basil Peters, who, in a book of the same name espouses the concept that many entrepreneurs are better off selling their companies after a few years than try to become a larger operation that fights it out with much better funded competitors."

Huffington Post

The Best Exits Start Early

Huffington Post, Angela Haines March 21, 2011

"Exit coach Basil Peters, author of Early Exits often says that exiting can be 'the most fun part of being an entrepreneur.'"

Huffington Post

Peters, Payne and Skaist: the Elephant in the Room | PDF

The Frank Peters Show, Frank Peters January 24, 2011

"It started as a book, Basil Peters’ Early Exits, now he’s collaborating with Bill Payne to create Early Exits, the workshop; it’s a training class for angel investors and entrepreneurs on the key concepts, perhaps the most important issues in early-stage investing today."

BC Business

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

BC Business, Andrew Findlay July 2010

"Basil Peters believes that if the VC sector is to survive, it must emerge from the current melt-down leaner and more tightly focused, ruled by smaller funds whose managers' renumeration is more closely tied to the success of their investments."

"These days Peters believes angel investors will play a more prominent role in fostering B.C. startups and growth firms, and statistics from the B.C. government seemingly support this thesis: while VC investment in B.C. fell by almost 40 per cent between 2005 and 2009, angel investment over the same time frame grew by 80 per cent.

The stats aren't surprising to Peters, but what happened to venture capital? The thinking goes that, starting in the 1980s and continuing throught the 2000s, venture funds exploded into multi-hundred-million-dollar beasts optimized around staggeringly huge exits, few of which actually materialized. According to one VC critic, 97 per cent of exits happen below $50 million, but the industry was structured around exits of greater than $200 million - one per cent of all VC deals."

Wall Street Journal Online

Friend or Foe? Angels, VCs Debate Who Has The Upper Hand

WSJ Blogs, Russell Garland May 7, 2010

"'It's The Angels' Time,' was the title of the speech by angel investor and blogger Basil Peters, who asserted that VCs are essentially dinosaurs saddled with too-big funds at a time when entrepreneurs can create companies cheaply and quickly, sometimes over a weekend."

"What these start-ups need is a limited amount of outside capital provided by angel investors who know when to exit by selling to corporations hungry for dynamic young companies whose revenue they can scale from $10 million to $100 million or more."

"Peters said he believes data will show that organized angel groups make better decisions."

"The big opportunity, Peters said, “is to connect more angels together.”

BC Tech Magazine

Capital Building

BC Tech Magazine, Andrew Findlay 2010

"'Economic Darwinism is having an impact on venture capital, but that's not necessarily a bad thing,' says Basil Peters...'Those huge VC funds worth $500 million or more will no longer exist, and instead you'll see funds in the $50 [million] to $75 million range.'"

SFU Research Matters

SFU's Venture Adventure

SFU Research Matters Volume 6, Number 1, Winter 2009 (page 4)

"SFU faculty, graduate students and staff, keen to set up companies to commercialize their innovations, can turn to SFU Venture Connection’s new Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program for expert help."

"‘I volunteered as soon as the program was announced,’ says Dr. Basil Peters of Fundamental Technologies II. He's helped start dozens of technology companies, including the Nexus Group".

Globe Investor

Exit planning: Reap the rewards of entrepreneurship

The Globe and Mail, Thane Stenner August 24, 2009

"‘For most owners, selling the company is the biggest transaction of their lifetimes,’ Dr. Peters says. ‘Unfortunately, most owners get less than they could - often many millions less. The biggest reason is that they didn’t have a good exit strategy. A well-designed and executed exit transaction often adds 50 per cent to the final selling price.’

As he explains, owners are often too busy building their business to think much about leaving it. ‘Exits are the least understood part of being a business owner,’ he notes. ‘Managers will often develop and execute dozens of product strategies, financings or sales plans during their careers. But even veteran managers will only be involved with a few exits.’

The solution is to think of the end right from the beginning. ‘In many cases - possibly the majority - owners wait too long to exit,’ he says. ‘Ideally, companies should have a written exit strategy before the company structure is complete, and certainly before the first financing. A clear exit strategy will literally affect business decisions made almost every day.’"

Globe Investor

March of Club Penguin: Onward and upward

Business in Vancouver, Curt Cherewayko June 24, 2009

"Analysts and angel investors like Basil Peters frequently cite Club Penguin, which was founded using little capital and sold in a short timeframe, as the exemplary social media company.

‘[These days] you can build a company for almost no capital,’ Vancouver-based Peters said last April."

Basil Peters

Exit strategy essential for entrepreneurs

The Okanagan Saturday, Steve MacNaull June 20, 2009

"Some companies should be started with the ending in mind.

‘Yes, entrepreneurs should definitely think exit as they start a company,’ said Early Exits author Basil Peters during a stop in the Okanagan this week.

‘If an entrepreneur and a company has an exit strategy right from the beginning, then they tend to be more successful and reach their goals sooner.’

The key with exits is to sell when times are good."

Basil Peters

How I Nearly Blew the Biggest Deal of My Life

EO Octane, Basil Peters June, 2009

"As an entrepreneur, fund manager and veteran of business sales, there is one thing I know to be infallible: Exits are the least understood part of being an entrepreneur. I know this because I almost blew it when I sold the first company I co-founded. It wasn't until I had completed another five or 10 business exits that I understood all of the things I did wrong."


Early Exits

Vegas Valley Angels advisor, Bill Payne May, 2009

"Basil is suggesting that angels think very carefully before funding deals that will require more money than angels can provide in multiple rounds... He warns that the consequence of investing in deals that will eventually require more than $5 million is a long time to exit and increased risk of failure."

"Basil also points out that the sweet spot for M&A deals in now about $30 million. Most of M&A deals are being done in the $15 to $40 million range."

Basil concludes that we angels should focus more energy on 'angel-only' deals requiring $500K to $3 million to get to point where the business model is proven and then begin to look for an attractive exit."

Angel Capital Education Foundation

Ask an Angel: Early Exit Options

Angel Capital Education Foundation March 9, 2009

"Exit opportunities have changed dramatically over the last few years. Basil Peters, fund manager for Fundamental Technologies II (an angel fund) and member of angel groups in Canada and the US, encourages angel investors to recognize that the opportunity for earlier exits exists and to build strategies to capitalize on it."

Finacial Post

Early Stage Investing

National Post, Paul Brent January 06, 2009

"It will take a few months to see if the new interest will translate into increased investment, but Peters predicts the angel phenomenon will grow as other sources of capital dry up, and given that more Boomers are hitting their 50s and 60s, the typical age of angels. ‘All the trends are moving towards more,’ he says."

Business Vancouver

International credit crisis trims the industry fat

Business in Vancouver, Curt Cherewayko October 21-27, 2008; issue 991

"Peters keeps a list of mergers and acquisitions in the technology sector that occur for less than $30 million.

'You can create a company worth $10 million, $20 million or $30 million in a few years without a lot of capital, and can find lots of people wanting to buy you for cash,' said Peters."

Finacial Post

No longer taboo to ’build to flip’

Financial Post, Tony Wanless September 29, 2008

"Built to flip is not a dirty phrase or unnatural act," [Peters] says. "To succeed today, entrepreneurs must not only aspire to early exits, but design that objective into their corporate structures. It’s just not possible any more to take decades to build a company. Entrepreneurs, employees and investors just don't have the patience. Even if they did, their competitors don't."

UBC Engineering

Basil Peters invests in people: Passion for mentoring began at UBC

ingenuity - UBC Faculty of Applied Science Engineering News Spring/Summer 2007 (page 11)

"With the belief that our province's greatest resource is the intelligence of our people, I encourage today's engineering students to consider opportunities to create and build companies from the knowledge and relationships they are building at UBC - it worked for me!"

Business Edge

West sets pace as kings of venture capital

Business Edge, Monte Stewart November 24, 2005

"[Hellman's] UBC study also points to a ‘funding gap’ or ‘capital gap’ in venture capital markets... U.S. venture capitalists are managing much larger funds than they were a decade ago, but they only invest in firms that require $10 million or more, hampering companies that are too small for a $10-million investment but too big for angels and family and friends. ‘That funding gap should be called a funding opportunity,’ says Peters, adding smaller companies generate bigger returns on investment nine times out of 10."


Two local men will be honoured at BCIT awards night

The Now Saturday, September 6, 2003

"Entrepreneurial innovator and Coquitlam resident Basil Peters will be in the spotlight Sept. 18, [2003] at the BC Institute of Technology's first annual Distinguished Alumni Awards evening."

BC Business

Entrepreneurs of the Year

BC Business May 1991

"Peters and van der Gracht share the belief that entrepreneurship can be taught. After all, they learned a lot of what they know by reading the lessons of other companies and from Tom Holgate and Marc Phillips. 'The knowledge you need to run a business is transferrable. Marc and Tom were our business angels. They didn't just add money. It was more hands-on,' says Peters. 'As Mark and Tom helped us, we're trying to do that with some of the junior companies. We believe you can take all of the new business and management tools and make them work the same way as McDonald's makes a hamburger. Replication is an important part of our philosophy.'"

Top Company

Nexus Named Top Company

The Vancouver Sun Saturday, November 8, 1986

"In an interview Friday, Peters said Nexus Engineering will have sales revenues of between $11 million and $12 million this year [1986]. About two-thirds of the sales will be generated in export markets."


The Successors: Canada's Emerging Business Leaders

Canadian Business August 1986

"...when Peters and van der Gracht were classmates at the University of British Columbia's department of electrical engineering, it was all the two men could do to stop competing for grades and start working together on an electric-vehicle project that was displayed at Vancouver's 1976 UN Conference on Human Settlement. They agree the project taught them a lot. 'It was almost like a minibusiness,' says van der Gracht, 'and it was tough, because a lot of the employees were paid in beer in pizza.'