We’ve been getting calls and emails from people across the Canadian tech community about a speech at the Canadian Venture Capital Awards Gala Dinner on May 23rd in Banff.
The talk was from RuggedCom founder Marzio Pozzuoli, who, in accepting the CVCA’s 2013 ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award, talked about the “Canadian Dream”.
“Every entrepreneur has one person that they owe so much to for their success,” begins Pozzuoli. “The person who encouraged them to take the leap and quit their good paying job at GE. The person who said don’t worry about the money and remortgage the house, we’ll find a way to get by.”
Pozzuoli’s heartfelt thank-you to his wife kicked off his prepared words and set the personal tone of his acceptance speech.
Pozzuoli talked about how, after his family emigrated from Italy, his father died in a tragic construction accident a year after arriving. He soldiered on and eventually started RuggedCom in the basement of his house. Within a decade he had, with the support of his wife, grown it into the market leader in the space and sold it for $440-million.
“Man you are living the American dream,” Pozzuoli recalled a friend said recently. “Because Joe is a dear friend, and because his sentiments were heartfelt and true I didn’t correct him,” he told the crowd. “What I didn’t tell him was, what I lived is not the American dream, it’s very much a Canadian dream.”
Pozzuoli says the Canadian Dream exists because Canada embraces immigrants and multiculturalism. He says there is a strong correlation between immigration and entrepreneurialism, noting that 52% of the startups in Silicon Valley have immigrant founders.
Pozzuoli says Canada is a model for the world because we have a health care system doesn’t make a single mother choose “between a child’s health and putting food on the table”. He praised Canada’s social assistance programs for helping his family after his father’s death.
In January of last year RuggedCom, which as its name suggests, made communications and networking equipment used in hostile or demanding environments, announced it had entered into an agreement with Siemens Canada to purchase all outstanding common shares of the Vaughn, Ontario based company by way of a takeover bid at $33 per share in cash.
Click here for Pozzuoli’s entire, amazing speech: