International Infant Development Center

IIDC – CEO to raise finance; drive growth in preparation for business sale


The IIDC was a small Vancouver based company specializing in providing educational material to health professionals on the early social, emotional and intellectual development of infants under the age of five.

The business was small and underfunded which limited it in a number of ways:

  • It lacked resources to develop more and better quality content.
  • Without a greater depth of content sales costs were prohibitively high.
  • The content lacked scientific credibility, which while the content was accurate that was difficult to communicate to potential customers.
  • The lack of scale made a business sale impractical


The goal was to build the company for a trade sale, through increasing the quality and quantity of content, which is the key value driver of media organizations in this market.


Firstly sufficient investment was procured to allow the business to grow, and to allow the new professional investors to be able to exercise business control, to ensure the business moved towards their business goals.

The training content of the business was the key area of investment, and focused on a number of areas:

  • Recruiting the renowned Professor David Elkind a world leader in child development as our Chief Scientific Officer, to give the content scientific credibility.
  • Building content to cover all the key parts of a child’s social and emotional development.
  • Moving to primarily video material using “Talking Babies” under the brand name “Just Ask Baby”
  • Filming using an external film company who had the required experience.

As the portfolio of content we had to sell grew, sales costs as a percentage fell and allowed us to invest in a North American telephone sales operation. As with Hcareers,, the market varies greatly dependent on where you are selling, so a regionally focused flexibly structured sales operation was developed.

As the business matured we commenced selling the material online direct to parents. The concept of how a child develops socially, emotionally and intelectually is new to parents, but in the longer term this should have provided IIDC with a second market stream.


IIDC had a considerable library of high quality content, which was the basis for the sale of the business to a US based medical training organization.


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"Mark proved to be the most successful appointment to the company’s executive team at a demanding time, when the business was growing rapidly. His recommendations dramatically improved the business model. He showed himself to be market orientated, with great strengths of being able to focus both at strategic and tactical levels. He is intelligent, analytical, able to lead effectively, and financially aware. There is no doubt Mark deserved considerable credit for his contribution to the outcomes achieved for the shareholders and team members during his period with the company. September 13, 2009."

Howard Field, Director, Hospitality Careers Online Inc

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