Fund launched to boost Victoria’s emerging tech industry

A new fund dedicated to helping local startup companies is expected to boost Victoria’s reputation as a major tech hub in the country.

A new fund dedicated to helping local startup companies is expected to boost Victoria’s reputation as a major tech hub in the country.

Tectoria Venture Partners, a new Victoria-based investment management initiative, is launching the first angel fund in the city. The $20 to $30-million fund, supported by angel investors such as Rasool Rayani, Hannes Blum, Todd Dunlop and Elton Pereira, who have experience in the industry, will be used to fund local startup companies that otherwise might have trouble finding funding to get the company off the ground.

“An angel fund is the key missing puzzle piece in Victoria and taking the tech sector to the next level,” said Joelle Blaikie, associate at Tectoria Venture Partners. “It will be a catalyst for the tech industry in Victoria. It will attract more investors and more talent to Victoria and just overall build Victoria’s reputation and brand as being a major tech hub in Canada and put us on the map down south.”

Startup companies will present their pitch to investors (in a Dragon’s Den-style presentation, minus the competitive aspect), how much money they need and how much ownership they’re prepared to give in exchange for funding. The fund will decide if they want to invest in that company and investors will provide mentorship.

Investors will be looking for startups companies that have passionate founding teams, good ideas with high potential market size (something available to a large market), if the market is ready to accept the idea, and a solid business model.

The fund emerged as a result of a report by Tectoria Venture Partners, where 41 key stakeholders in the tech community were interviewed. According to the report, 75 per cent of entrepreneurs reported  raising capital in Victoria was challenging, while 70 per cent of angel investors reported they lacked the time to do proper due diligence on potential companies, proving to be a major deterrent from investing more.

According to Blaikie, the fund will help bridge the gap between high potential startup companies and the lack of early stage funding available.

“For investors, it’s beneficial because they don’t have to do all the work of researching the company and finding out if it’s a good opportunity. The fund does all of that,” she said, adding many other cities such as Vancouver also have angel funds.

“From the perspective of startup companies, it gives them a centralized access point. A lot of CEOs are having a hard time tracking down who are the people willing to invest in a company. It will be a go-to place.”

Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC, a non-profit society representing the local advanced technology community, said Victoria has seen a significant increase in startup activity in recent years and noted a fund is necessary to help companies participating in the local tech industry.

“We have been swamped with over 300 applications. While many of these companies have done well it is obvious that now, more than ever, the next key piece of the puzzle is an organized, local investment fund, led by experienced entrepreneurs and tech leaders that are dedicated to recommitting some of their returns back into the community,” he said.

The fund is expected to be launched later this year. If the fund is successful, Tectoria Venture Partners will look into establishing a second, larger fund in the future.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps despite court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

Old Town hotel developer says full retention of historic buildings ‘impossible’

UVic development partner says past renovations, seismic instability are barriers

Battling bullying covers a lot of ground, says Safe Schools manager for Sooke School District

Jamie Adair’s background is tailor-made for the work he does with the… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Most Read