From left: Ray Walia, Victory Square Ventures; Mike Volker, Vancouver Angel Technology Network; Michelle Scarborough, NACO; and Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance & MP for North Vancouver.

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Western Canada's Innovation System Gets $1.5M Boost

July 30, 2015
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Federal funding announced today promises to strengthen the Angel investor community in Western Canada, of which SFU has been a pioneer.

$1.5 million in funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will go to the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) to identify, recruit and educate potential Angel investors. NACO aims to triple the number of Angel investors in Western Canada over the three years of this initiative, benefiting local start-ups and leading to the creation of jobs and products.

The announcement was made by Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for WD.

Mike Volker, Director of SFU’s Innovation Office, says, “This funding will allow groups like the Vancouver Angel Technology Network (VANTEC) at SFU to expand its membership and attract new investors to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

VANTEC was founded at SFU in 1999 and is organized by independent volunteers. It is a member of NACO and the US-based Angel Capital Organization. To date, over 900 venture companies have presented to the group, with about half receiving investment from angels.

Ian Hand, Executive Director of the SFU Innovation Office, also lauds the initiative, adding: “Angel networks—like research universities, entrepreneurs, incubators and accelerators—are critical, interrelated components in the innovation sequence. This support from WD to NACO for Western Canada’s Angel groups will contribute to healthy conditions for entrepreneurs and early-stage companies in the West.”

To learn more about Angel investing and why it is important to Canada’s economy, watch this video from NACO.