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Q&A: How can your business attract a venture capitalist?

What does a venture capitalist look for in a start-up? Do Canadian companies have what it takes? What are emerging trends in the mobile arena?

As part of our Canada Competes series, Kevin Talbot, co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures, an early-stage venture fund focused on mobile computing, joined us for a chat.

Mr. Talbot has been an entrepreneur, operator and investor in North America for more than 20 years. He was vice-president of venture capital with Royal Bank of Canada and managing director of RBC Venture Partners. He was focused on investments in financial services, Software as a service and enterprise software.

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He presently sits on the boards of Kiip, Xobni, Payfone, WorldMate, and Appia. Previously, he served on the boards of Thor Technologies (acquired by Oracle), iPhrase Technologies (acquired by IBM), Inea Corp. (acquired by Cartesis/Business Objects), Infobright Inc., Tacit Software (acquired by Oracle), CashEdge (acquired by SIG), Brickstream, Igloo and Jana.

Mr. Talbot holds an MBA from York University and has been an adjunct professor of entrepreneurial studies at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. He is based in Relay Ventures's Menlo Park, Calif., office.

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