"You gotta believe in the entrepreneur!" - Greg Smith
Greg Smith was a Canadian entrepreneur and SaaS investor who was the spark that ignited the SAAS NORTH flame. It was Greg’s characteristically collaborative and open nature that resulted in the introduction and ultimate marriage between Cube Business Media Inc. and L-Spark Corporation who collaboratively founded SAAS NORTH in 2016.
On October 9th, 2021, Greg Smith lost his battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) leaving a partner, 3 sons and tech community that will miss his laugh and his loyalty.
In his career, Greg combined his profound understanding of founder needs and his investor experience to give tech entrepreneurs advice and savvy ways to finance growth. He was, in many ways, a quiet cornerstone of the burgeoning SaaS tech ecosystem - known for his boundless support and energy for the entrepreneur.
As a pioneer in both entrepreneurship and venture debt, Greg founded and bootstrapped AIS Technologies in 1994 before making a successful exit seven years later, after which he turned his attention to SaaS financing with BDC and ultimately co-founded Espresso Capital in 2009. Espresso was sold to a Toronto investor group in 2015, by which time it had placed more than $100 million in loans to over 200 Canadian tech ventures. Greg then Co-Founded Timia Capital with Mike Walkinshaw in 2015 and acted as the “voice of the entrepreneur” as that company grew and ultimately reached $100m in loans the September before his passing.
The SAAS NORTH STAR AWARD was launched on November 12, 2021. It is inspired by Greg; celebrating much of what he offered to our community: Bold and unwavering support for Founders. This award will be bestowed annually to one individual that has had a lasting impact on the Canadian tech and innovation ecosystem.
SAAS NORTH is committed to supporting two of Greg’s most heartfelt causes: Celebrating the continued growth of the Canadian tech ecosystem and fighting ALS. We would like to thank our SAAS NORTH community - a portion of conference ticket sales are given to ALS Canada each year in addition, our speakers have generously donated their speaker fees in lieu of this charitable initiative.