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Subordinated debt is not the sexiest way to finance a business’s growth. And while it may lack the allure of venture capital, crowdfunding or angel investing, it can transform a company’s prospects—especially when that company lacks tangible assets.

That’s certainly been the experience of Paul Vallée, who has used sub debt twice to help his company, Pythian, progress. (The firm ranked No. 151 on the 2016 PROFIT 500 Ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, with five-year revenue growth of 437%.) At the 2016 PROFIT 500 CEO Summit in Toronto in October, Vallée and Susan Rohac, vice-president, growth & transition capital at BDC, discussed ways to get the absolute most out of this financing tool.

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