Federal Liberal government announces $50M VCCI investment focused on gender and diversity

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By CPE News

CPE Media News – pcJournal (11/5/2018) – The Government of Canada has announced $50 million investment under the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) into seven venture capital managers, AmorChem, Brightspark, Build Ventures, Garage Capital, Highline BETA, Pique Ventures, and TandemLaunch.

With a strong focus on gender balance and diversity, these VCCI investments will help promote gender parity in the industry, said the federal Liberal government.

photo credit: RonnyK via pixabay

News Release

Minister Ng announces federal venture capital investments focused on gender and diversity

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Minister also participated in Fortune MPW International Summit Montréal and celebrated launch of women’s youth chamber of commerce

November 5, 2018 – Montréal, Quebec

The Government of Canada is committed to creating a vibrant and sustainable venture capital industry in Canada. The result will be improved access to capital for innovative early-stage companies that create well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Today in Montréal, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, joined by Richard Hébert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced further investments under the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).

With a strong focus on gender balance and diversity, these VCCI investments will help promote gender parity in the industry, ensuring more firms owned by women and under-represented groups can access the capital they need to scale and grow—and strengthen the Canadian economy.

The $50-million investment will also support venture capital (VC) funds featuring new and innovative models, provide capital to under-served regions and sectors, and support emerging managers and diverse management teams. These investments will have a direct impact on our communities, help in transforming new ideas into market-ready products and services, and unlock economic opportunities for Canadians.The seven fund managers to receive investments in this round of VCCI are:

Build Ventures
Garage Capital
Highline BETA
Pique Ventures

Following the announcement, the Minister moderated a panel discussion on the importance of venture capital funding featuring Gilles Duruflé, VCCI Selection Committee Co-chair; Sophie Gupta, Principal at Yaletown; Dave D’Oyen, Inclusion and Innovation Builder at Shopify; Michelle Scarborough, Managing Director, Strategic Investments and Women in Tech at BDC Capital; Roula Zaarour, Chief Operating Officer at Real Ventures; and Frantz Saintellemy, Co-founder of Groupe 3737.

While in Montréal, the Minister also led a discussion on export promotion hosted by BlackRock . She later delivered introductory remarks at one of Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit plenaries.

In the evening, Minister Ng joined young women entrepreneurs in celebrating the launch of the Jeune Chambre de Commerce des Femmes du Québec (French).


“Our government is helping small and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up and access new markets. We’re doing this by investing in venture capital, which helps transform good ideas into game-changing innovations and create good middle-class jobs for Canadians. Canada’s venture capital industry is critical to our economy and is steadily growing. Today’s investments will ensure that that growth is inclusive by improving gender balance and access to VC financing in under-served regions and sectors across Canada.”

– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

“This second round of investments is an important and necessary complement. The seven selected funds represent a broad spectrum of technology sectors, investment models and geographies. They also include a substantial focus on accelerating gender parity in the industry. We look forward to working with fund managers to help them succeed and bring more prosperity to Canada over the long term.”

– Michael Denham, President and CEO, BDC

Quick facts

By investing alongside the private sector, VCCI is expected to inject around $1.5 billion into Canada’s innovation capital market.

The recipients announced today were chosen as a result of a rigorous selection process informed by a private sector selection committee of highly qualified industry experts, as well as experts at BDC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

In 2017, Canada’s venture capital industry invested $3.5 billion over 592 deals, marking the eighth straight year of continued growth and the most capital invested in a year since 2001.

Canada is now ranked third for venture capital investment according to the OECD.

Associated links

Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative
Innovation Canada
Innovation and Skills Plan
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service
Accelerated Growth Service
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
Innovative Solutions Canada
Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)


Mallory Clyne
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada