Ontario angel groups receive funding to attract more investors

The Southwestern Ontario Angel Group (SWOAG) and the Angel One Investor Network each received $500,000 from the federal government last week to help expand their membership, increase their pools of investment funds, and provide mentoring support for early-stage companies in Southern Ontario.

Both organizations will receive funding in the form of non-repayable contributions from FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation Initiative.

Based in Burlington, the Angel One Investor Network will use the funding to double its membership. Over the next five years, the Network’s members are expected to invest $15 million in private capital to about 50 companies. The funding will also be used to help companies prepare for investments, complete due diligence, and to develop tools and strategies that improve the process of angel investing.

Angel One Investor Network has previously received an additional $150,000 grant from FedDev, which allowed it to grow its membership from 12 to 110 registered accredited investors. To date, these members have invested more than $12 million in 43 companies. This increased activity has propelled the Angel One Investor Network to the position of leading angel group in terms of number of investments in 2013, according to the National Angel Capital Organization’s (NACO) Report on Angel Investing Activity in Canada.

Based in London, SWOAG also received funding to increase its membership from 65 to 115 members. This is expected to help an additional 40 companies secure more than $10 million in angel investment over the next five years. To date, SWOAG has made 28 investments in 13 companies for a total of $9.3 million invested.

The organization will also use the grant to support its outreach activities, develop educational tools and seminars, and improve reporting and monitoring systems.

According to NACO’s 2013 Report on Angel Investing Activity in Canada, 29 angel groups representing more than 2,100 accredited investors made 199 investments in 2013, resulting in a total investment of $89 million. The top three sectors to receive funding were information and communication technology ($28.8 million), life sciences ($20.5 million), and cleantech ($7.5 million).

In spring 2014, The Funding Portal became registered by Ontario, Alberta and other provincial securities commissions as Canada’s first exempt market dealer (EMD) portal able to assist companies to secure both government funding and private capital. At the heart of this new EMD enabling platform is the portal’s MyFundCard™, which allows businesses seeking financing to connect with dealers, accredited investors, government funders, and commercialization partners.

More than 20,700 have now registered on the portal. Create your profile today to qualify for matches among Canada’s premiere online funding network.

FundingAwards – Who got Funded – Week of Oct. 13

Overall Disbursements: Funding from federal and provincial governments grows to $196.4M this week, compared to $13.1M last week.

Top Sector: Academic & Research is the top sector this week, attracting $140.7M, 72% of the total amount disbursed.

Top Region: Ontario is the top province this week, attracting 30% of the total amount disbursed.

Top Recipients in Ontario: 

  • Industry: Voices.com receives $900,000 from the federal Investing in Business Growth and Productivity initiative to expand its capacity to grow on the global stage. The company offers an online marketplace that connects businesses with voice talent.
  • Hospitals, Universities, Research Centres & Industry Associations: The University of Toronto receives $29.6 million from the federal Canada Research Chair Program to promote innovation and support top-tier talent.
  • Charities, Non-Profits & Public Sector: The Angel One Investor Network receives $500,000 from the federal Business Innovation initiative to expand its angel investor membership and to increase its pool of angel investment funds and mentoring support for early-stage companies in southern Ontario.

Funding Disbursed by Industry Sector:


Funding Disbursed by Province:


Active Funding Programs this Week:

  • Aboriginal Women’s Programming Elements
  • AgriInnovation Program
  • AgriMarketing Program
  • Building Communities Through Arts & Heritage
  • Business Growth & Productivity
  • Canada Accelerator & Incubator Program (CAIP)
  • Canada Arts Presentation Fund
  • Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
  • Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program
  • Canadian Initiative for the Economic Diversification of Communities Reliant on Chrysotile
  • Development of Official-Language Communities Program
  • Economic Recovery Initiative for Lac-Mégantic (ERILM)
  • Hosting Program
  • Investing in Business Innovation
  • Museums Assistance Program
  • New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP)
  • Quebec Economic Development Program
  • Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program
  • Small Craft Harbours Program

To receive daily reports on which organizations received funding in Canada, subscribe to The Funding Portal’s FundingAwards™ service.

Canadian Private Financing and M&A News Roundup – Week of Oct. 13

  • Healthtech
    • Toronto-based Newtopia raised an undisclosed amount in venture capital from Argo Group. Newtopia is a personalized health company – leveraging personal genetics and the latest engagement science – to solve a big problem: our unhealthy lifestyles are killing us, and costing corporations a fortune.
    • Toronto-based Highland Therapeutics raised $25M in private equity. It is a specialty pharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary technologies to optimize the delivery of previously approved drug products.
    • Toronto-based MedAvail raised $30M through a Series C financing round. The Series C financing was led by Pura Vida Investments LLC and was joined by Deerfield Management Company and Adage Capital Management, all new investors in MedAvail. Existing investors Redmile Group, Walgreens Inc., and Alliance Boots GmbH also participated in the Series C financing.
  • Tech and e-commerce
    • Toronto-based Fypio raised $550K in angel investment. Fypio is the smart and fun way to discover, collect and share your perfect home.
    • Toronto-based Wirkn raised $400K in seed financing from Kinetic. Wirkn is the world’s first end-to-end mobile employment solution designed to help youth join the workplace and to help employers better connect with the mobile generation.

FundingSources – Must Reads

This week’s Must Reads from Funding Agencies and Industry Associations

  • BDC: The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) released a new research report that looks at how Canada’s entrepreneurs can stay at the top of their game by mastering five fundamentals of business success and steering clear of five common pitfalls. The research was published in the context of the 35th annual BDC Small Business Week TM.
  • Finance Canada:
    • Finance Minister Joe Oliver met with Canada’s leading private sector economists to gather their views on economic prospects for the country. The consensus was that the average forecast in the September survey of private sector economists is a reasonable basis for fiscal planning.
    • Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson and Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament (Prince Albert), met with members of the Prince Albert & District Chamber of Commerce to discuss ways the Government and businesses can work together to build a stronger economy.
    • Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson and Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament (Brandon–Souris), met with business and community leaders in Brandon.
  • GE Capital Canada: Two-thirds of mid-sized Canadian businesses surveyed by GE Capital have seen improved company performance, revenue and job growth. These companies expect this upward trend to continue over the next 12 months, predicting mean revenue growth of 7.2 percent — about twice the nominal Canadian GDP growth rate projected by the Bank of Canada.
  • Industry Canada: Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, James Moore, Minister of Industry, and Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture), marked the beginning of the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Small Business Week, which runs from October 19 to 25.
  • University of Waterloo: The University of Waterloo is Research University of the Year among Canadian comprehensive universities for the seventh year in a row, according to recently released rankings from Research Infosource.

QP Briefing: Hattin: Nuclear refurb will ensure low prices and boost Ontario economy

The following is an op-ed by Robert Hattin, chairman of the board of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Hattin discusses the proposed $25 billion 20-year upgrade of Ontario’s main nuclear power plants at Bruce Power and Darlington, which is part of the Liberal government’s long-term energy plan announced last December.

It’s no secret Ontario’s manufacturing sector has been impacted by the turmoil of the global economy.

Rising input costs, not the least of which is the rising cost of electricity, and the volatility of the Canadian dollar, have made competition vastly more intense. Despite the myth that manufacturing is a sector in decline, it is still one of the largest contributors to Canada’s economy.For Ontario to create jobs and economic growth, we need to sustain and expand our manufacturing base, which is critical to communities in every region of the province.Last week, two of Ontario’s power agencies released a joint report looking at the opportunities for co-operation with Manitoba and Quebec. This was an issue that received plenty of media attention when Canada’s premiers met at the Council of Federation this past summer, and some special interest groups stated imports from Quebec could meet a large portion of Ontario’s energy needs.

As the report outlines, it’s not quite that simple.

There is a focused opportunity, as outlined in the report, for a strengthened strategic relationship with Quebec and Ontario using existing infrastructure to balance the system needs, as both provinces have supply shortfalls during different times of the year.

The premiers of Quebec and Ontario should be commended for advancing this opportunity, which is also a signal of greater interprovincial co-operation on energy issues. Currently, there is a strong linkage between the two provinces where electricity is moved between both jurisdictions on an annual basis.

These targeted opportunities should be advanced, but they also need to be put in perspective so we can build on what is working in our electricity system and not lose some of the advantages we have developed, which are important to jobs and the strength of our overall economy.

Stemming from the review of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan in 2013, we believe there are a wide range of opportunities to manage the cost of electricity, including reducing bureaucracy, better integrating the system by looking to further consolidation in areas like the distribution system and focusing on proven, low-cost, stable sources such as nuclear.

Like any complex issue, there are no simple answers. We need a thoughtful, comprehensive approach that looks at the realities of our electricity system.

Progressing with nuclear refurbishment programs at Bruce Power and Darlington will secure our nuclear base-load for decades. With rates paid for nuclear power today at 30 per cent below the average price of electricity in Ontario, nuclear refurbishment will ensure this price stability for decades to come from sites with existing transmission infrastructure.

The investments required to support this program will also provide a boost to our economy and create good jobs, particularly in the area of manufacturing. Based on a study we released last year, its estimated, this program will secure 25,000 jobs annually during the renewal period.

By taking a comprehensive look at our energy challenges, we can ensure we pursue the balance of options to meet the needs of system reliability, price stability, affordable pricing, energy security and economic spinoffs from our electricity sector.

To maintain system reliability and the stability of electricity pricing now and in the future, Ontario will continue to rely on our existing hydro assets and base-load nuclear, which, combined, will meet over 70 per cent of the province’s energy needs.

These sources are the most affordable sources of electricity in Ontario today, and will continue to be for decades to come. Let’s get on with the job at hand. Our jobs depend on it.

Robert Hattin is chair of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, a trade and industry association with 10,000 members across the country. He was past owner and president of Edson Packaging, a packaging machinery designer and manufacturer,  from 1998 to 2009. He is also CEO of ProVantage Automation, a technology integrator specializing in industrial automation systems.

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The Funding Portal is Hiring: Inside Sales Associate – Government Grants and Incentives

Location: Downtown Toronto
Role: Inside Sales Associate – Government Incentives Market
Website: thefundingportal.com
Apply to: communications@thefundingportal.com 

Opportunity Overview
The Funding Portal is an online portal for companies seeking R&D and growth financing through government incentives, private investment and bank and other business financing. The portal’s customers are large and small companies in leading industry sectors, including manufacturing, agri-food, biotech, digital media and cleantech, which tend to attract R&D tax credits and government grants. Current partners include Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), BIOTECanada, Rx&D and others.

Product Suite
The products for this opportunity are data reports and related services associated with government grants and incentive programs through direct sales and establishing channels into industry, manufacturers and R&D companies.

Candidates will have a college diploma or, perhaps, a university degree, ideally including courses in business or business communications and will have a minimum of 2 years of selling experience, ideally grant products and services into industry. You may have worked in a SR&ED firm such as Alma, BeneFact or RDP where you have been responsible for direct or channel sales into industry, manufacturers, and R&D companies. You know how to close sales and use Salesforce as your daily tracking tool.

Competitive leveraged compensation package rewarding sales outcomes.

Reason for Opening
The company is growing its sales team, adding 2 sales staff in fall 2014.

Top three requirements of the Role

  1. Subject-matter expertise in grants, incentives, and R&D tax credits
  2. Proven track record closing data sales into industry.
  3. Rigorous mining, outreach and tracking using SalesForce