Founders are the bedrock upon which companies are built.

We devote unparalleled resources to develop thriving, energized, resilient founders.  We offer a five-pillar Founder Development Platform to accelerate founders’ development and help them perform at their best.  In addition, we provide ongoing advice and support by taking a seat on every company’s board and working actively with teams to set their businesses on a path for long-term growth.

Founder Growth Platform
Executive CEO

CEOs are paired with coaches, who specialize in working with start-up leaders, to set them up for continual growth and success.

Receive 6 to 12 months of one-on-one confidential coaching.

Support Groups

Founders are matched with other leaders across North America with similar opportunities and challenges.

Join confidential, facilitated peer groups with other founders.

Health & Wellness Programs

Founders receive access to a dedicated Cleveland Clinic Canada health coach who works to enhance their health and wellbeing.

Benefit from a dedicated health coach to optimize physical & mental health.

Personal Financial Advisor

Founders benefit from a personal financial advisor who specializes in supporting tech founders.

Access a financial advisor specialized in early-stage founders.

Family Support Stipend

Founders receive cash stipend as a reflection of our values and respect for founders as “whole people”.

Receive a cash stipend for child/elder support or other family needs.


We Believe

We believe that professional, results-focused, one-on-one coaching can dramatically improve a CEO’s leadership abilities and results. We have observed that regardless of a CEO’s background and experience, an effective coach can lead to improved performance in critical areas such as objective setting, having difficult conversations, effective listening, and team alignment.

We Offer

We offer all CEOs the opportunity to work with a coach that is a fit for them and their development objectives. The CEO and coach work together to develop a confidential, structured, and targeted approach with clear goals and regular one-on-one meetings. All coaches have significant operating experience and years of experience in professional development, including coaching tech start-up founders and leaders.


We Believe

We believe that having a confidential, empathetic, group of peers that are going through – or have gone through – a similar founder journey is one of the most effective ways for founders to thrive amidst the pressure and challenges of scaling a rapidly growing business. We have seen that the most effective leaders surround themselves with others from whom they can relate, share experiences, and exchange learnings.

We Offer

We offer all founders 12 months of confidential, facilitated, stage- and function- appropriate groups for mutual learning and support. This is provided via Upteaming which specializes in creating and fostering confidential peer support groups for founders and senior executives at venture-backed, rapidly scaling tech companies across North America. They have worked with over 2k founders from over 1k companies in the past two years.


We Believe

We believe that having a healthy mind and body is essential for founders to effectively navigate the mental, physical, and emotional demands of leading a dynamic tech start-up. We have seen too many founders neglect their personal health as the demands on their time increase. To perform their best, founders often benefit from tailored health and wellness advice.

We Offer

We offer all founders a dedicated Cleveland Clinic Canada expert-trained health coach to optimize their physical and mental health. Each founder is matched with a personal clinician based on their personal health goals. These professionals work one-on-one with each founder to develop a customized health and wellness plan. This could include help with regular exercise, mindful eating, restorative sleep, stress mastery, and other relevant needs.


We Believe

We believe in looking out for founders’ best interest, including their personal financial plan. Too many early-stage founders neglect their personal finances as they focus on launching, building, and scaling their companies. This often results in sub-optimal outcomes in the future.

We Offer

We offer all founders the services of a dedicated financial advisor who specializes in supporting early-stage tech founders. We have partnered with Italo Voso who has over 20 years of experience supporting entrepreneurs and providing them with independent and unbiased advice. He works one-on-one with founders to help them in areas such as personal budgeting and investing, retirement and estate planning, tax optimization, and exit strategies.


We Believe

We believe in caring about founders as “whole people” and recognize that they have priorities and demands outside their companies. We recognize these varied commitments and strive to help founders balance their multiple responsibilities.

We Offer

We offer an unrestricted cash stipend to all founders in the first year post initial investment. This is intended to be spent by founders on family support, whether that be childcare, elder support, or even recognition for the dedication of one’s own significant other.

Unparalleled advice and support

Staircase Ventures Managing Partner, Janet Bannister, takes a seat on every company’s board and works actively with founders and their teams to set the business on a path for long-term growth.
Staircase Ventures Advisors are experienced operators who have scaled companies from zero to billion-dollar organizations. These Advisors work closely with founders and their teams, bringing their years of experience to bear.

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Staircase Values

Give-First Mentality

We help others without the expectation of getting anything in return. We believe that a “rising tide lifts all boats” and care deeply about the success of all players in the ecosystem. We go out of our way to support others.

Positive, High Energy

We have a “can do” attitude and believe that dreams can become reality. We love our work and approach challenges with an open mindset, determined to find the best outcome for all. We bring enthusiasm to all we do.

Drive & Hard Work

We are driven, passionate, and embrace hustle and hard work. We are ready to invest the time and energy needed to achieve ambitious goals. We do the work that is needed.

“I was the CEO of Communitech for 17 years and worked with over 4,000 start-ups and scale-ups. I have worked with hundreds of VCs from around the world – and Janet is the best I’ve ever worked with. She brings experience as a founder, understanding as an operator, and sophistication as an investor. I believe she is the best venture capital person in Canada; she gives her heart and time to any founder, she’s “all-in” to support founders, she’s involved coast-to-coast in supporting start-ups and growth firms.”
– Iain Klugman, Former CEO, Communitech

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