Financing Solutions for Startups: Part 8 – Venture Capitalists

7 mins read

This article is a great source for venture capital financing for your business.

In Part 7 we discussed the Shark Tank approach to financing but there are still other alternatives. Venture capitalists are a person or firm who invest in a small company using pooled money from investment companies, large corporations or pension funds. Essentially venture capitalists are employees of firms that invest other people’s money, which is held in a fund, into other companies. This can be extremely valuable because many ventures will create a board, which can help direct your business to find success. This guidance can be invaluable when navigating some of the growing pains of a business. Especially when the investors have experience that they can share which can help point out forthcoming red flags to avoid. Where an angel investor may be one shark, a venture capitalist comes with many sharks.

Now that you have a general understanding of what venture capitalists are, here are 4 venture capitalists that your company may be able to receive funding for in Saskatchewan.

Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA)

CVCA represents more than 270 member firms and 1,800 individuals from venture capital and private equity firms, debt and equity providers, international investors, institutional funds, government entities, angel and family offices, and industry service providers.

    • Private Capital Investments Across Canada:
      $185 Billion with over 4000 Canadian Companies since 2013
    • In Saskatchewan:
      74 companies have received over $1.2 Billion since 2013

Conexus Venture Capital Fund

Fueling Saskatchewan’s start-up community, The Conexus Venture Capital Fund was founded by Conexus Credit Union. Investing time, knowledge and capital in Saskatchewan and Canadian high-growth start-ups, helping to fuel growth in the local innovation economy.

Conexus Venture Capital currently has two venture capital funds:

    • The Conexus Venture Capital Fund

This Fund aims to bring together a variety of partners and investors eager to build Saskatchewan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, focused on investing in high growth Saskatchewan-based technology start-ups. The Limited Partner base, all entirely from Saskatchewan, represent a strong mix of credit unions, individual business leaders, and a Saskatchewan-based retail venture fund with approximately 28,000 Saskatchewan-based shareholders.

The Fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of approximately 15 Saskatchewan-based high-growth start-ups and other investments as permitted within the Fund’s investment policy over the next four to five years.

    • The Ag Tech Venture Capital Fund

Investing in high-growth companies that are focused on Canadian Ag-Tech, Food Tech and Agri-Business innovation.

The Fund is led by a collaboration of Conexus Venture Capital along with an investment committee of individual investors that are leaders in Canadian agriculture, technology and finance.

For general inquiries, contact the Conexus Venture Capital Team: vc@conexus.ca

Venture Capital – BDC

More than $1 billion under management and almost 30 years’ experience, BDC Venture Capital investment professionals help Canadian entrepreneurs realize the full potential of their ideas—for themselves and for their backers.

They are the largest and most active early-stage technology venture investor in Canada, working with promising entrepreneurs and private sector investors to build outstanding Canadian companies.

BDC invests in Canadian tech companies to help them commercialize new ideas through three highly-focused funds in the IT, energy/cleantech and healthcare sectors.

Their Fund of Funds group is helping develop and attract a pool of top-tier private sector fund managers, who are in turn investing in Canadian technology.

Their Strategic Investments and Partnerships group is supporting start-ups and helping fill a gap in seed funding with an accelerator strategy and convertible note program. This group is also investing in non-traditional, emerging venture models, often with first-time teams who may not yet have a proven track record working together. This support provides these new teams and start-ups with much needed institutional validation.

They are working closely with the Government of Canada to deploy $400 million of capital through the Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP), working closely with their partners in the private sector.

PIC Investment Group

PIC Group is a family office that owns operating companies as well as many minority equity positions in businesses complimentary to their operating companies in the Ag industry, the health care industry and other long term strategic relationships.  Ownership is exercised through a Board Governance strategy where they support the leader of the company that they have invested in by participating on a Board of Directors constructed around a competency model.  The competency compliments the company by providing expertise that assists the leaders in achieving the aspirations of the company.

PIC Group also provides a tremendous amount of back-office support to the companies that it controls.  Everything from payroll and benefits administration, to training facilitation, Controller seconding, financing, M&A expertise, and strategic planning facilitation.

Now that you have learned about Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists, there is one final category left for now which is a mix of several financing sources known as Capital Investors. Join us for Part 9 in our series to learn about how Capital Investors can help your business and what some of your options are here in Saskatchewan.

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