David Laycock admits it. Venture capitalists have a rep for being greedy, money-hungry vultures. So why is this venture capitalist, a Mormon church-goer and young father of four, holding back tears as he relates a recent story?
Laycock tells about how he and his wife, Amanda, wanted to teach their kids about helping
others. So last year his family took part in EvenStart, a United Way sponsored agency that helps 160 underprivileged kids in Calgary. Laycock’s children, Noah, 10, and Eliza, 7, put together a presentation to raise money to buy backpacks stuffed with clothing, toiletries and toys. The kids did the first presentation at their
school; then they hit up their father’s business contacts. In the end, more than $65,000 had been raised, enough to supply backpacks for every EvenStart child.
No doubt, Laycock’s kids learned a trick or two about deal making from their Type A personality dad, who likes adrenaline sports. “I’m always the crash test dummy when it comes to trying new things,” he says.
Born and bred in Calgary, with a MBA from the Harvard School of Business, Laycock has played a part in the growth of 12 different businesses. At his current gig, as a partner with North West Capital Partners, he focuses on developing startups in the oil and gas sector. Among its many projects, North West is raising $500 million for Enhance Energy Inc., which plans to be one of the first carbon capture and
storage systems in Alberta.
Such a project requires a cutthroat approach to cajoling money, which suites Laycock just fine. On nearly every wall in North West’s unusual Riverfront Avenue office are African
spears and axes. “The weapons really help out in the negotiations,” he jokes.
EvenStart for Children’s
Volunteer, Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter
Business School Club
EXIT Youth Shelter
and hockey teams