Episode 100! Leaping from 30k Feet as a Special Forces Leader into Venture Capital with Founder of ONE9, Glenn Cowan
This episode is a milestone, Episode 100! And for that special occasion, we have a very special guest filled with unique insights from his time in the Canadian Special Forces. On today’s show, we welcome Glenn Cowan, Founder of ONE9. ONE9’s Special Mission Fund is Canada’s first and only national security and critical infrastructure security fund. The fund focuses on dual-use technologies validated in the military / special operations and intelligence community while scaling commercially. He is also the founder of ONE9 Capability Labs, Canada’s first defence and security focussed technology accelerator.
About Glenn Cowan:
Glenn Cowan is the Founder of ONE9, an ecosystem for national security and critical infrastructure technology innovation and integration. Anchored by Canada’s first security focussed venture capital fund, One 9 provides unparalleled access to proprietary deal flow emanating from compartmentalized programs in the Five-Eyes defence, security and intelligence communities. Harnessing years of operational military experience at the forefront of special operations and national security operations, One 9 has developed, implemented, and deployed cutting-edge technologies while working with industry leaders to deliver high-impact capabilities. With a deep understanding of end-user requirements, One 9 knows what is needed and what works. Leveraging a unique and agile ‘Task Force’ of subject matter experts (SMEs) One 9 provides clients and partners the requisite knowledge and advisory skills to navigate bringing products to market for defence and security end-users.
Prior to ONE9, Glenn was an officer in Canadian Special Forces for over 18 years.
A word from our sponsor:
At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves.
The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.
Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us up to 3% cash back on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook or AWS every month. The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in 24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.
Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.
Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.
In this episode we discuss:
02:53 Glenn’s journey from Special Forces officer to Venture Investor
07:49 Moments from Glenn’s military career that have stuck with him as an investor
11:24 How special forces helped train Glenn’s decision-making in venture
16:02 What pushed Glenn to commit to investing fulltime
22:28 The impact of Glenn’s grandfather on him as a business operator
24:18 Disspelling the notion that Special Forces is a boys club
25:37 What Glenn means when he says Venture Capital is a special force
30:20 How ONE9 supports founders and helps with decision making to deploy resources
35:26 What risk-assesment is like when viewed through a Special Forces lens
42:50 How Glenn’s perspective can help grow the tech eco-system
47:14 How Glenn met his co-founder Daniel Weinand, Co-Founder of Shopify
51:16 What it was like raising their $50M Fund I led by Kensington Capital
56:10 What is Capability Labs and how it works
🎙- Favorite Podcast: The Everyday Warrior
📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: Whoop
📈- Favorite New Trend: Cold plunge
📚- Favorite Book: Gates of Fire, Tribe, The Alamanc Naval Ravikant, Daring Greatly
🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: The power of vulnerability
Follow Matt Cohen and Tank Talks here!