December / 2020
Author: Glenn Cowan – CANSOF, Venture Capitalist

I’m standing on the edge of the ramp fully confident in my actions that got me here, but still a bit nervous.  I’ve walked through and visualised all the scenarios in my head as we climbed to altitude, mimicking my emergency procedures and contingency plans for what to do when and if I cut away my primary canopy. 

One thing is for sure.  I will hit the ground, but what happens from the time I dive head first from the back of the C-130J until my feet hit the ground (preferably land feet first) is a dance of too many unknowns to track; rapid decisions, unexpected wind gusts, thermals, mid-flight collision, NVG failure, close calls, missed drop zones.  Despite all the uncertainty I take one final deep breath and jump. 

Taking a leap with a company is a very similar process, and the risk is very real.  I’m currently in the process of anchoring an important and game-changing partnership.  I’m confident in my actions and preparation to date.  The parties have had deep discussions surrounding the structure, governance and rules of the road, but it still feels like we’re building an airplane mid-flight, and there is no doubt, like the parachute jump, unknowns will pop up that will force an immediate action to deal with.  Signing the legal documents is the leap from the ramp.   We will hit the ground, where, when and in what physical state will all depend.

Glenn founded One 9 Investments while serving as an Assaulter Officer in Canadian Special Operations Forces; Joint Task Force 2. As a Squadron Commander, Glenn specialized in leadership, command, and strategic planning and successfully translated these skills with the creation of a venture capital fund that invests utilizing the principles of special operations planning, risk mitigation, and execution.