Angel Investing Taking Off in BC

Basil Peters is a Techvibes Guest Contributor.

All of a sudden, it seems like angel investing – and startups – are exploding in Vancouver. I remember going to the first Vantec and Vancouver Angel Forum meetings in the late 1990’s, and I’ve been to most of them since. The number of attendees, and number of presenting companies, has stayed pretty constant over the past decade. But in the last few months something seems to have changed. I received an email from Mike Volker, the founder of Vantec, yesterday.

I was expecting his regular monthly meeting announcement, but was surprised to read that instead of the regular 3 or 4 presenting companies, there would be 15. So many startups want to present that Mike decided to let them pitch twice, once at the regular time in the morning of July 8 (from 8 to 11 AM) and once the afternoon before (July 7 from 2 to 5 PM). He is running the meeting twice so there will be enough seats for all the angels he expects to attend. Instead of our regular 90 minute meeting, it’s now almost a half day. And this is for the meeting in July – when you’d expect attendance to have started to drop off for the summer.

The last Vancouver Angel Forum meeting was also the largest I can remember. I’ve been presenting one of the seminars for New Ventures BC for several years and this year the attendance of aspiring entrepreneurs was about double what it had been in any previous year. This dramatic increase in startup and angel activity is a fascinating development at a time when VCs in Canada very rarely fund startups and when most VCs are having trouble raising new money for their funds. If you are an angel investor, or accredited investor interested in angel investing, this is the link to Vantec where you can get more information on the July 7 & 8 meetings. I’ve also started a new group on Facebook called Angel Investors in Vancouver. Its open to anyone and I encourage you to join here.