Investing in Growing our Canadian Risk Capital Ecosystem

August 22, 2016

Angel investment is a critical ingredient for supporting early stage startups and scaling them into fast growing, globally focused businesses. We rely on it to fund entrepreneurs after they’ve tapped their friends and family, the incubators and accelerators, and the government programs that provide initial support to nascent entrepreneurs. It acts to ramp up these companies to the point where larger Canadian and international VCs will invest in their rapid expansion.

Angels, Accelerators and VCs are all expected to add value not only through their financial capital, but also through their networks and knowledge.  However, there are few focused opportunities for investors to develop their skills, access market intelligence, learn best practices, or expand their networks. Without these opportunities, we can hardly expect the Canadian risk capital ecosystem to be the coordinated and impactful force that early-stage Canadian companies will need.

That’s why we’ve chosen “Scaling Up Angel Capital To Drive Canadian Innovation” as the theme for this year’s National Angel Summit – to highlight the importance of investing in developing the knowledge and infrastructure that supports the investors, so that they can support our entrepreneurs.

Developing our risk-capital infrastructure will ensure that investors have better access to knowledge and networks. They will make better investment decisions and be more effective at helping companies grow. Together, we will generate the success stories that will create the culture of innovation and risk taking we will require to compete in the new global era of entrepreneurship being shaped today.

Our event will bring together more than 400 of the world’s leading investors, accelerators, entrepreneurs, policy makers and other ecosystem supporters to network, share ideas, share best practices and build lasting partnerships that will support the growth and professionalization of our Angel investing community. That’s what the Summit is about – exploring the issues that will drive success and failure through insightful presentations, inspiring keynotes, engaging dialogue and network building. It’s NACO’s most meaningful contribution to helping Canada address the innovation and productivity gap that has dogged us for decades.

We need to come together like this if we are going to be effective at supporting companies as they grow. We need to make sure that those companies that succeed and break from the pack have the funding, and the resources in place to help them move from seed capital to larger-scale success.

Anyone that is interested in helping to support the growth and development of our early-stage companies and entrepreneurs should be blocking off October 4-6 in their calendars and rolling up their sleeves with us in Vancouver.  We could use your contribution in solving the defining challenge of our time.