Author Archives: Darby Sieben


About Darby Sieben

biz dev @ ypg canada, start-up investor, driven by innovation, connector of ideas and people, known for thinking outside the box and all around pretty good guy, #yyc, #yul, #sfo

Collision 2019 – Toronto Inaugural Event – Comments and Pics

This past week I had the opportunity to check out the Inaugural Event of Collision in 2019. It’s always a risk when you first start a conference in a location, even for one that had as much excitement and anticipation as Collision. To say that this event delivered would be an understatement, they knocked it out of the park, in my opinion.

A few highlights of the event:

  • Opening night and seeing Justin Trudeau and Seth Rogan live
  • My team doing its first public presentation of Ampli on the RBC stage. If you are interested, signup for our Waitlist.
  • “We don’t date assets, we marry them” my favourite quote by Satish Rai from Omers
  • $20 for 2 pieces of pizza 😮
  • Lots of meetings, I mean lots of meeting with some many great start-ups

Here are some of my photos from the event.

The epic Collision Toronto sign.
My Partner Pass for Collision Toronto 2019
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My Latest Read – Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

I probably should have started this years ago, snapping pictures of the books I have read. No time like the present to start as they say. I have been meaning to read this one for some time. It was sent to me by the kind folks at Simon & Schuster Canada – so thanks to them.

In summary, this book is a solid read for any entrepreneur. Reason – it shows the amount of perseverance, focus and a little luck that is required to build a successful business.

If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend.

You can purchase Shoe Dog at Amazon.

How I Use Data to Make Decisions

I love data. What I love even more is using data to drive decisions. Over the years I have shared my enthusiasm for data with anyone who would listen. This has included employers, employees, project teams, friends, family, budding entrepreneurs and even strangers while sitting at a hotel bar.

Now, I can summarize those thoughts into three guiding principals.

Guiding Principal #1 — Daily Disciple

I have been using Quicken to track my personal finances since 1995. For people who know me, they would call my love affair with Quicken an obsession. I have, on average, spent about 10-mins a day entering data, reviewing data and making data driven decisions with my Quicken file. This adds up to the equivalent of 60-days on my personal financial plan in the past 24-years.

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Joining RBC Ventures

I have decided to join RBC Ventures on a contract basis to help them launch Ampli. You can read about what the media has to say about this program below.

My journey to RBC Ventures stated at the end of 2017 while having some discussions with Derek Szeto and why he joined Ventures. In February of this year I had the opportunity to speak with Gabriel Woo and then spend a day with the Ventures executive team in Toronto including a fruitful discussion with Mike Dobbins.

I was impressed with what RBC is attempting to do with Ventures, why it was created and why they believe they can win.

I look forward to helping RBC Ventures in the coming months.

‘A very big deal’: WestJet, RBC team up for new loyalty program, BNN

RBC and WestJet partner on new Ampli loyalty platform, Globe and Mail

RBC And WestJet Team Up To Launch Ampli Loyalty Program, Huffington Post

My Top 4 Pieces of Advice for Building Impactful Partnerships

Originally posted on LinkedIn. If you want to read and/or comment there, please click here.

Over the years I have been asked for advice on what a person should consider if they want to excel at building impactful partnerships. I get this question most from entrepreneurs and people interested in a career in partnerships/business development. For me, a great partnership is about finding the intersection of wants between two or more entities to create value for the supply chain of stakeholders.  I would argue that everybody is in the partnership business. Whether you are an entrepreneur, sales reps, work in customer service or formally have the title of partnerships, if you are dealing with internal or external stakeholders then you in the partnership business.


After 20 years in the partnership business, (running my own start-up, running a national agency and leading commercial and M&A partnerships for Yellow Pages), my first piece of advice is that partnerships are like icebergs. What people see on the surface are the press releases, the conferences or what I call the external “fun stuff”. What most people don’t realize about successful partnerships is that there is a lot of work done on the back-end. Partnerships can be extremely rewarding, but you have to realize that some partnerships can take weeks, months or even years to build. (You can read my partnership stats during my career with Yellow Pages Canada, here)


What I am sharing below are some things that have made me successful in my career. They are in no particular order of importance because they all play a role when I am thinking about forming a partnership. In some cases, such as a minor commercial agreement these will be quickly thought though, whereas, in other cases some of these make take days, weeks or even months to work through.


If you have comments on what works for you or questions, please add them or ask in the comments. My intention for this article is to stimulate thought.



Plan the Divorce before the Marriage

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