NACO has worked as a not-for-profit organization since 2002 to ensure that Canadian entrepreneurs can access the resources they need to develop and commercialize their innovative companies locally. As the only national industry association for Angel investors in Canada, we represent 41 networks comprised of more than 2800 Angel investors across Canada, who since 2010 have provided Canadian companies with over $400M of direct financing across 995 investments.
We support Angels as they help entrepreneurs turn good ideas into great businesses. Our members assist Canadian entrepreneurs in every region and industry to execute their vision and compete on the global stage by providing them with patient risk capital, expert advice and professional networks when traditional financial and other institutions cannot.
To professionalize Angel investment in Canada and evolve it into a new asset class of investment.
To establish a national, broad based, community of Angel investors in Canada and connect them into their peers and the greater early-stage funding ecosystem so they can support the growth and development of innovative Canadian entrepreneurs and companies, and supporting the ongoing evolution of that community through research, education and public policy.
Angels are often experienced, well-educated, high-net-worth professionals who invest their own funds in the businesses of unrelated individuals.
Watch our video below to learn more about Angel investing and why it’s important to the Canadian economy.
NACO’s Role in Supporting Angel Investors
About Angel Investing in Canada
Angel investors play a fundamental role in the Canadian entrepreneurship ecosystem. Angels are often experienced, well-educated, high-net-worth professionals who invest their own funds in the businesses of unrelated individuals.
Angels play a critical role in the funding hierarchy, filling the gap between seed capital available from “friends and family” and the larger investments made by venture capital firms in more developed companies. They invest in sectors they know and play an active role – often mentoring the investee company CEO and assuming a position on the company’s board. Typically, they invest at the seed stage and often provide follow-on funding to startups that need capital and advice to continue to grow. Angel investors primarily invest into companies operating in high growth, knowledge based, industries including information and communications technology (ICT), life sciences, and clean tech.
Angel investing is a relatively new phenomenon in Canada and one that is making a significant contribution to supporting the Canadian startup ecosystem. Some Angels invest alone, but are increasingly joining Angel networks to leverage the knowledge and experience of other like-minded professionals. In Canada, there are more than 30 Angel groups/networks, most of which are currently NACO members. Angel investor organizations facilitate networking and co-investment between investors in a region and the development of standards. These are lean organizations typically run by volunteers and member investors, with financial support from government and corporate partners.
Canadian securities regulation requires that Angel investors be accredited investors. The Ontario Securities Commission estimates there are up to 500,000 accredited investors in Canada, but only a fraction actively invest in early-stage companies. The OECD has estimated that Canadian Angels invest approximately $500 million annually into Canada’s growth-oriented companies.
Our Mission to Grow the Canadian Startup Funding Eco-system
NACO believes that the success of innovative, early-stage Canadian companies is significantly dependent on the availability of support infrastructure including professional resources, mentorship and an ample supply of risk capital throughout a company’s funding lifecycle.
Some of Canada’s most promising startups cannot raise the necessary growth capital at this critical stage in their evolution, and either do not succeed as a result, or seek funding south of the border or in other jurisdictions, often resulting in ownership and job creation leaving the country.
It is imperative for Canada’s future growth and competitiveness that we do more to support and nurture our exceptional entrepreneurial talent. NACO seeks to support the economic prosperity of Canada by ensuring Canadian entrepreneurs have the resources they need to grow innovative, globally competitive companies in Canada.