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.
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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 Life Lesson: The power of vulnerability