Mirroring ‘Silicon Valley’ & Moving innovation in Canada

Government of Canada supports Angel Investment & Angel groups  


Government of Canada supports Angel Investment & Angel groups  

Angel groups are still pretty young in Canada, with 50 % of the angel groups, only around six years old (2008).

It was a time when many took the world finance crisis challenge and turned it into an opportunity.  Around 2008, I organized a mission with the Federal government to take select female led companies from Atlantic Canada to receive investment readiness training and angel investment from New York City and Astia.



Astia was founded in Silicon Valley in 1999, a non-profit that propels women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high growth businesses.  Programs include: access to capital, ensure sustainable high-growth, and develop the executive leadership of the women on the founding team.


David Rose from gust.com was one of the people teaching Canadian based companies how to get investment readiness. David S. Rose is a serial entrepreneur who crossed the aisle and became one of the country’s leading angel investors and then founded Gust filling a major need in the rapidly growing world of early stage investing. David personally raised tens of millions of dollars of capital, names Inc 500 list CEO, country’s fastest growing private companies, and described as a ‘world conquering entrepreneur’ by BusinessWeek.


Since 2008, there’s been a recent hike in angel investment,  in part thanks to government programs that match dollars invested by angel investors.  

Angel investors and angel funds help propel innovation and Canadian businesses forward.  Small business owners are typically the ones looking for angel investment.  In Canada, reports state that small businesses result in the most job growth for Canada (small businesses defined as 100 employees or less).

These startups need angel investment to move forward and government agencies continue to put large amounts of effort into angel investments and angel groups in Canada and move innovation forward.

Angel investors and new angel funds continue to increase in Canada and fuel Canada’s innovation!

In general, the public is starting to understand angel investing a bit better – with the trend of angel investing on television many are beginning to understand the importance of angel investing.  There are shows like The Dragon’s Den, SharkTank and ThePitch.  This all helps create awareness for Canada’s angel investment industry.

There are many funds supported by the government of Canada for entrepreneurs.


The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides innovation and funding services customized to specific needs to accelerate Canadian business growth through innovation and technology.


The Business Innovation fund is a federal initiative that may match every $1 invested by an angel investor with  50 cents of federal funding.


MaRS Discovery District is an accelerator located in Toronto spurring on more VC and angel investment in startups. There’s Hyperdrive,  INcubes &  NACO, (representing 28 angel groups & 1,500 investors across Canada).  In Ontario, alone, there are 13 angel groups.


NACO reported the number of angel investments rose 50 per cent in 2011 from 2010.  The value of angel investments jumped 134 per cent in 2011 from 2010. The average angel investment deal was worth $614,000 in 2011, up from $442,000 in 2010.


Another example of the government of Canada providing investment,  in part, is Chip Care, a healthcare  Canadian company that closed phase II of financing with an investment of $2.05 M to support development & commercialization.

Venture Capital Action Plan

Boris Wertz is a general partner at Version One Ventures since 2013.  A micro fund focused on early stage consumer, Internet, e-commerce, SaaS & mobile companies with above target $19 million with the help of BDC Venture Capital and others.

It may be “one of the top 10 seed funds in North America,” & only celebrating its 1st birthday! 


‘”I continue to be surprised at the level of support for Canadian entrepreneurs with the government programs. There are conversations that need to be had about the efficacy of the direct versus indirect investing and services model. And it seems like this is happening at many levels from the Venture Capital Action Plan.”   said Boris Wertz.’


In Vancouver, there is GrowLab, a startup accelerator

Is Canada mirroring ‘Silicon Valleys’ answer for innovation? Angel investment and angel funds continue to grow & move innovation with the government of Canada’s blessings & support.  female angel investor with bags money


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