Below is our recent interview with Canadian entrepreneur Aaron Wolfe, Co-Founder of SagePoint Capital Partners:
Q: You’ve successfully carved out a unique space in Canada’s entrepreneurial landscape. Can you describe this for us?
Aaron Wolfe: Yes, I would be happy to. I am not a traditional consultant or investor. Instead, I align myself with companies without requiring a board seat or needing a formal management role. My role is much broader: inspiring and empowering owners of small and mid-cap private companies to achieve higher levels of success. I provide guidance based on proven strategies, solutions and frameworks that promote strategic growth initiatives and business plan execution. I am always looking for new opportunities to back credible entrepreneurs who seek to unlock outsized returns.
Q: Are you a generalist in your approach?
Aaron Wolfe: I do take a broad view of industries, companies and trends. I view opportunities through a wide lens. But I also know that it’s vital to pay attention to what the numbers and data are telling you about the financial health and future prospects of a company.
In my experience, CEOs and founders are often looking for a partner who understands the realities of business inside and out. Not a partner according to the formal legal definition, but rather a coach, a guide, a partner in the truest sense. Someone who has an intuitive feel for opportunities, and the right temperament to balance risks and rewards. This is my skill set. I’m a strategic partner who adds real value to smaller, emerging companies, helping them capture market share and grow into major players in their sectors.
Q: You’ve talked about your concept of “entrepreneurial empowerment.” What is the genesis of this idea?
Aaron Wolfe: For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a inventor; to develop and launch the next product that everyone needed or wanted. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found that one unique idea that I incubate, launch and change the world. So, while I wait for that inspiration to land, I have built a career around helping others make their ideas a successful reality. That is what I mean by “entrepreneurial empowerment:” assisting and empowering other entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams and potential.
Q: What are your first steps when you partner with a new company?
Aaron Wolfe: Sometimes the most effective steps are the simplest. Listening is one. To help guide a company, you need to first listen to its people. More than listen — you need to really hear what is being said.
In the initial stages, I listen closely and ask a lot of questions. My role, whether as an investor or as an advisor, is to empower the entrepreneur to realize his or her dreams, and so I need to understand those dreams. I need to have a strong grasp of the goals, the mission and the resources available to achieve these goals. With this background and insight, I am in a strong position to help entrepreneurs unlock their ideas.