TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/23/13 -- Eric Apps, a senior lawyer in the technology practice group at Wildeboer Dellelce LLP, one of Canada's most innovative and entrepreneurial law firms, has called on the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to adopt new exempt market financing requirements to simplify regulatory requirements that would ultimately enable Ontario-based start-up companies to raise capital from a broader range of investors. Under the proposed exemption, early stage growth companies in the tech, clean tech and life sciences sectors would be able to raise up to $1 million a year for up to 5 years without having to use a prospectus or rely exclusively on high net worth investors and unrealistically high minimum investment thresholds. Under the exemption, issuers would be required to provide a basic term sheet with certain required information and investors would be limited to investing $5,000 in any one start-up.
"It's not every day that you see a law firm recommending less paperwork and simplified regulation but we think it's a fundamental change that is long overdue and will make the first levels of the investment ladder work better in Ontario," said Apps. "Ontario start-up companies are absolutely starving for financing. An alternative approach to regulating early stage financing is necessary if we want to see improved growth in this sector."
The changes being proposed are in response to an OSC consultation process that is reviewing proposed options and regulatory changes for prospectus exempt financing in Ontario. In his work with Wildeboer Dellelce, Apps and his firm know well the challenges for the technology market from the perspective of both issuers and investors. He believes it is important to recognize that the realities for start-up investment are distinct and unique when compared with standard investment scenarios. He believes that many investors are willing to accept the investment risks related to start-up companies and should be able to do so while making use of the most advanced cloud-based monitoring tools available that will maximize transparency and make regulation a better and more cost effective experience for investors, issuers and regulators alike. This view is shared by others within the investment community.
"The start-up community in Ontario is vibrant and dynamic but the capital investment required to help start-up ventures grow beyond their initial base is often lacking," said Josie Graham, CEO, Canadian Innovation Centre. "Changes that simplify and broaden the ability of companies to attract investment is a key component of what is required to make Ontario a stronger player on the global stage for IT business development."
The announcement comes as Wildeboer Dellelce launches an outreach campaign to further expand its presence in the tech sector by highlighting the firm's entrepreneurial approach to legal practice. Including its role in acting for Research in Motion when it went public in the 1990s, the firm has acted for many of Canada's premier technology issuers and the investment bankers serving them. The campaign highlights the way in which Wildeboer Dellelce seeks to provide focused, practical legal counsel and services suited to the everyday business realities their clients face. With extensive depth in securities and corporate finance law, Wildeboer Dellelce feels it is well suited to helping clients address the critical need for capital investment.
"We are supportive of a change in regulatory practice in this area because we believe we need to do everything we can to help this strategically critical sector," said Perry Dellelce, Managing Partner of Wildeboer Dellelce. "Access to capital is the number one challenge for tech businesses in Canada and Wildeboer Dellelce has already established itself as a strong advocate for capital market innovation in Canada through a number of targeted initiatives."
In 2012, the firm acted for Canada's newest equities exchange, The Alpha Exchange, and was a co-sponsor of research the Alpha Group commissioned into the need for capital market innovation in the technology sector. Wildeboer Dellelce is also itself a pioneer in the Canadian venture and early stage capital markets space, creating in 2010 Wildlaw Capital Markets, a registered Exempt Market Dealer designed to operate independently from the firm but to help facilitate investment opportunities for emerging companies. Wildeboer Dellelce LLP is an active member of the start-up community and is a sponsor of the start-up program at MeSH 2013, Backbone Magazine's Start Me Up Innovation Campaign and the Communitech Accelerator Hub in Waterloo, Ontario.
"Some business partners talk about perspective in abstract terms but at Wildeboer Dellelce, we take action," said Dellelce. "Our actions flow from having a culture that is driven to make a practical difference for our clients and provide them with real solutions to everyday business challenges."
About Wildeboer Dellelce
Wildeboer Dellelce LLP changes the definition of what it means to be a partner and trusted adviser to business. One of Canada's largest standalone securities and corporate finance law firms, the firm is innovative and entrepreneurial, investing in the success of its clients and serving as the go-to partner for leaders driven to grow or transform their businesses. Follow Wildeboer Dellece on LinkedIn & Twitter.
For more information on the firm or to find out more about the services of Wildeboer Dellelce, please visit www.wildlaw.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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