VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 6, 2014) - Industry Canada
Industry Minister James Moore
today hosted a round-table discussion with business leaders in Vancouver
on key elements of a new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital
(IIVC) pilot program. They discussed angel investors, seed-stage venture funds and business accelerators to determine where the real need is in the small business and entrepreneurial ecosystem and to ensure that the pilot program will truly drive entrepreneur success in Canada
The Government of Canada
is working with the IIVC pilot program expert panel to help build an entrepreneurial culture in Canada
, complement public funds that support the development of early-stage companies and showcase Canada
as an attractive destination for risk capital investment.
The expert panel members include Dr. Ajay Agrawal
, Mr. Barry Gekiere
, Mr. Grant J. Kook
, Ms. Senia Rapisarda
and Mr. John Stokes
, who serves as chair.
This meeting concludes a series of consultations that were led by the expert panel and took place in cities across the country. The IIVC pilot program is led by the Minister of Industry in collaboration with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
-- In Economic Action Plan 2014, the government announced that it will
replace the ineffective Immigrant Investor Program and Federal
Entrepreneur Program and eliminate their long-standing application
backlogs in order to ensure that immigrant investors have opportunities
to contribute to job creation and economic growth in Canada.
-- The new IIVC pilot program will test the feasibility of attracting
immigrants who will contribute to Canada's growth and long-term
prosperity by placing an at-risk investment in a new Canadian venture
-- Canada has great benefits to offer investors: ambitious entrepreneurs, a
skilled labour force, a strong economy and a sound banking system.
-- A key objective of the government is to ensure that capital is available
to help finance the creation and growth of Canada's most promising
"One of Canada's
greatest assets is our creative and hard-working entrepreneurs, and we want to make sure that they have the capital they need to build our nation's innovative enterprises. Leveraging investments from immigrant investors will help support the continued growth of the Canadian economy, a priority for our government."
- James Moore
, Minister of Industry
"Our government values the feedback received by Canadian business leaders who will provide insight on a new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital
pilot program. Our government looks forward to the launch of the pilot program, which will attract real investments and will benefit the Canadian economy and labour market."
- Chris Alexander
, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
- Backgrounder: Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program Expert Panel
- Encouraging Long-Term Prosperity and Economic Growth: Government working with Canadian business leaders on a new immigrant investment pilot
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BackgrounderImmigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program Expert PanelAjay Agrawal
is the Peter Munk Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto'sRotman School of Management
, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research
in Cambridge, Massachusetts
, co-founder of The Next 36 and founder of the Creative Destruction Lab
. He teaches courses on business strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship. He was recognized as Professor of the Year by the Rotman School's
graduating MBA class seven times. Professor Agrawal conducts research on the economics of innovation and creativity.Barry Gekiere
has over 25 years of experience in senior management positions in venture capital, private equity and operating companies. Prior to joining MaRS Discovery District
, he was a partner at Ventures West Capital Ltd.
, one of Canada's
largest and longest-standing venture capital firms. During his 13 years at Ventures West, Mr. Gekiere
worked closely with entrepreneurs while making early-stage technology investments in IT, communications, cleantech and medical device companies. Prior to Ventures West, he had experience as a partner in two private equity firms specializing in expansion-stage financing and leveraged buyouts.Grant J. Kook
., S.O.M., is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westcap Mgt. Ltd., Saskatchewan's
largest private venture capital fund manager, with over $540 million
under management. He has been an advocate for designing, developing, capitalizing and managing a specialized family of funds that fill capital gaps in the western Canadian economy. The funds under management are individually focused on early-stage innovation, venture capital or growth, management buyouts, infrastructure, and First Nations sectors of the economy. Mr. Kook
is also the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cheung On Investments Group Ltd.
, an international investor syndicate fund that was founded in 1989 and rated as one of the top 100 companies in Saskatchewan
is an experienced institutional investor who is presently consulting for HarbourVest
in order to establish and lead its Canadian efforts. She was Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives and Investments at the Business Development Bank of Canada
(BDC) from 2010 to 2013. In this role, Ms. Rapisarda led BDC's efforts to develop a healthy venture capital ecosystem in Canada
through several key strategic initiatives and investments, investing over $40 million
in first-time funds and start-ups. Ms. Rapisarda has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and technology sectors, including as senior advisor at NUR Energie, a London
-based investment fund specialized in renewable energy, and as Managing Director of the Technology Private Equity Team at Nomura International
, managing over US$300 million
of investments in 42 companies across Europe
and the United States
is a founding partner at Real Ventures
largest and most active seed venture fund, and is also the co-founder of FounderFuel, one of the country's top tech accelerators. He co-founded or established regional operations for a number of software, Internet and media companies in New Zealand
), South Africa
/ MTN PAYG), Malaysia
(Aethos Asia Pacific) and Japan
(Livedoor and Vogue Planet). Mr. Stokes
also founded Piermont Ventures Ltd.
, a Hong Kong
-based boutique investment and advisory business that advised entrepreneurs and invested in their start-ups.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Office of the Minister of Industry
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Source: Industry Canada