A group of businesswomen have launched the first all-female investment network in Canada see more
Group of investors aims to boost influence of women in business
In a bid to empower female investors and to improve the gender diversity around boardroom tables and executive offices, a group of businesswomen has launched what is believed to be the first all-female investment network in Canada.
The Women’s Equity Lab, a collaboration of 18 female investors from Victoria and Vancouver, has launched in Victoria with a goal of increasing the number of women investing in early-stage Canadian companies.
“It’s been an issue for a while now,” said co-founder Stephanie Andrew.
“I’ve been evaluating investment opportunities for seven years and it’s always the same thing — [boardrooms and executive offices] that are either predominantly or exclusively men at the cap table.”
Andrew, an active angel investor and executive director of non-profit group Capital Investment Network, said when men dominate the investment rounds, it’s reflected in the companies.
She said the companies that tend to get funding are those that appeal to men, simply because men represent the bulk of the angel investors available.
More often than not, she said, that translates into a board of directors or advisory board dominated by men, and often the executives tend to be men, even in firms founded by women.
The Women’s Equity Lab intends to change that. The 18 women involved — the lab is looking for two more — have each put up at least $5,000 to establish an investment pool of $100,000.
The group will look for investments that offer growth, show market potential and have an exit strategy that will provide a strong return.
Andrew said the initiative could play a big role in addressing the gender inequality inherent in the investment game, as well as taking on broader issues of the glass ceiling women executives often face.
“When we get more women at the shareholder level, I think we are going to see different kinds of companies and a different composition of executives and boards,” she said.
While the pool of money they have established is relatively modest, Andrew said they have no set approach for how it will be invested.
“It will depend ... it is a collaborative approach and the women will decide where the money goes. If there’s one great opportunity, then all of the money could go there, but if we see more than one we could diversify across several companies,” Andrew said, though she noted they are likely to avoid investments that are capital intensive.
The group of 18 is diverse and includes small business owners, lawyers, doctors, scientists and start-up founders, among others.
Women’s Equity Lab “is made up of an extraordinary group of accomplished women who are excited to learn from one another, do deals together and to make an impact,” said co-founder Elizabeth Dutton. “We’re proud to be adding to the momentum of female-funding led initiatives as Canada’s first female angel investing lab, which really empowers women to understand and get involved in the investment process.”
The group kickstarts its efforts today with a pitching lunch that will see 12 companies from Victoria, around B.C. and one from Toronto taking a few minutes each to sell themselves to the investors.
The lab intends to meet monthly with the gatherings focused on evaluating deal flow, due diligence, and hearing from established angel investors about investing approaches and trends.
NACO will hold its Regional Summit in Victoria in February of 2018 as a direct result. see more
Capital Mission Nets Big Results
VICTORIA, BC (April 21, 2017) – The City of Victoria’s 2017 Capital Mission has already started producing significant returns on investment for the region’s technology sector.
The Capital Mission is an opportunity for angel and venture capital investors with an interest in early stage innovative technology companies to visit Victoria. The event was held in February for the second consecutive year hosted by the City of Victoria, VIATEC and the Capital Investment Network (CIN).
As a direct result of the mission, the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) will hold its Regional Summit in Victoria in February of 2018. The Summit is expected to attract 100 Angel investors and NACO members to the city exposing those investors to Victoria’s thriving and dynamic tech industry.
“It is thrilling to see that in only two years our Capital Mission has attracted national and international attention”, said Mayor Helps. “We look forward to a large mission next year with the 100 investors at the NACO Summit kicking it off.”
"Through our accelerator and building on three decades of developing strong investor relations and awareness of Victoria’s tech sector, VIATEC was well positioned to expose hundreds of startups applying to the program with investors from far and wide,” noted Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “In recent years VIATEC, now 552 members strong, has benefitted greatly from the added support of our city. We are pleased that these efforts have culminated in a vital organization like NACO recognizing the vibrancy and potential of our region," added Gunn.
NACO is excited to join the Capital Mission in Victoria with the 2018 Western Regional Angel Summit. “This is an opportunity to continue our work to improve access to risk capital for early-stage Canadian companies. At the Summit, Angel investors meet face-to-face to share experiences and best practices,” says Yuri Navarro, NACO’s CEO. “Those conversations lead to meaningful connections that are imperative for building community and fueling the local and regional startup economies.”
"Angel investing is increasingly common and more accessible through education and connecting investors,” said Peter Elkins, Co-Founder of CIN. “Adding NACO as a partner for Capital Mission 2018 is an honour for Victoria."
Invitees for the 2017 Capital Mission experienced first-hand the city’s highly sought after quality of life, including how easy it is to travel to and from Victoria, the vibrancy of our innovative business community and the depth of our local deal flow. This year was fully subscribed once again, and 100% of attendees said they would refer the mission to someone in their network.
For more information on the Capital Mission visit www.victoria.ca/capitalmission
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The first investor workshop of its kind on the island, CIN has partnered with Canada’s NACO. see more
Capital Investment Network brings nationally recognized investor training to Victoria...
to help boost investments in local start-up companies
Victoria, BC (October 26, 2016) - Victoria is seeing a huge increase in startup and related entrepreneurial activity. The Capital Investment Network (CIN) recognizes that far more angel investments are needed to truly support these early-stage companies and move the needle for our region. Growth requires angel investors to buy into good companies but it is easy to lose money in these deals, especially when investors don’t know what they are doing. Angel investing requires an understanding of how deals work and risks are mitigated. CIN wants to educate investors so they can make smarter deals and invest in more solid companies.
The first investor workshop of its kind on the island, CIN has partnered with Canada’s National Angel Capital Organization (NACO, Toronto), offering a specialized curriculum on Structuring Deals and Term Sheets, created and facilitated by Pieter Dorsman. Dorsman, President & CEO of Redpeaks Management Inc., will be sharing 15 years of experience in this area and will summarize best practices to mitigate losses and position deals for healthy returns.
“Upon completion of this session you will have a very solid understanding of how to structure and make angel investments, ensure your investment is protected and get you to a healthy return in what is considered to be a high-risk asset class.” Pieter says.
This half day workshop, which has been presented all around the world, is essential for anyone making investments in private companies. This is not limited to IT, Biotech, Cleantech or Media. If you want to put money into your cousin's shoe business you need to apply the same deal structuring principles.
Capital Investment Network (CIN) is a Victoria-based, non-profit organization dedicated to connecting, growing, and strengthening the local angel investor community. CIN’s mission is to offer investor-focused education, resources, and events to increase the level of sophistication and deal flow among local angel investors, explore different investment approaches, facilitate collaboration, and grow the local investment community.
NACO Academy Workshop: Structured Deals and Term Sheets
Monday, November 7, 2016. 8:00am-12:00pm
Fort Tectoria (VIATeC)
777 Fort Street, Victoria
Cost: $150.00. Coffee will be available. Seats are limited.
To register, go to:
For more information on CIN, including other private investor events, go to http://capitalinvestmentnetwork.ca or contact Chrystal Phan at firstname.lastname@example.org.