What went down at CB’s Virtual Fireside Chat with Adam Froman, Founder and CEO of Delvinia

TMI Newsdesk
4 Min Read

This month, CB Insider welcomed Adam Froman, the founder and CEO of Delvinia, for a virtual fireside chat. In conversation with Jason Maghanoy, head of business development at SJC Media and publisher of Canadian Business, the two chatted about how Delvinia has evolved alongside digital technology and what the future of digital business in Canada looks like.

The chat kicked off with Froman sharing his career journey: first earning a degree in engineering with an emphasis on human factors before earning an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship. It was then that he discovered his passion for digital—or as it was called back then, multi-media. From there, Froman  worked at Deloitte in their strategy consultant group where he learned a lot about telecommunications in Canada. When he left Deloitte in 1998, he started his own firm. “I wanted to take this discipline Deloitte had taught me to help people think strategically about this emerging technology called the internet, especially from a user point-of-view” he said, recalling his goals when starting up what would become Delvinia. Froman also talked about the amount of time and funds that went into R&D in those early days as he, and everyone else, explored the internet’s capabilities.

The conversation then shifted to talking about Delvinia and Froman’s role in Canada’s economy. Froman said that, from his vantage point at the highest point of policymaking, he’s concerned about Canada’s long-term economic prosperity and wants to be a part of future-proofing Canada’s tech economy. Maghanoy then brought up that Froman has said that conservative policies are “critical to a strong business ecosystem,” and asked what he meant. “Conservatism is about fiscal responsibility,” Froman responded. 

The two then delved into a discussion about the importance of cash flow, which Froman learned when his company struggled during the dot com crash. Following up, Maghanoy asked Froman about how this conservative take has helped his business weather so many storms—and what three things entrepreneurs should do to give their business staying power. Froman explained that the three most important traits for entrepreneurs to develop are cash flow discipline, a strong mental state and company culture. On that last point, Froman said the pandemic’s erosion of company loyalty was one of the hardest things he’s experienced during his long career.

Finally, the two ended the conversation with a discussion about how to make Canada better for business—and what the government can do. Froman said that he was lucky to receive government assistance during his time as an entrepreneur which helped him reinvest in himself and his company—so the most important thing the government can do is support entrepreneurs and provide opportunities to scale globally from Canada. Another important point is the importance of protecting Canadian IP and keeping it in the country. “If we can make IP in Canada, keep it in Canada and turn it into a global standard, that will bring revenue back to Canada without having to work at it,” he said. “That will have a huge impact on the long-term economic prosperity of Canada.”

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