I posted an article about Calgary Technologies Inc. a little while ago… CTI is a public sector initiative helping to kick start the high-tech sector in the Calgary region.
One of the interesting ventures at CTI is the Alberta Deal Generator. I had coffee with Henry Kutarna, who just started at ADG at the beginning of January. Well, actually, I was the only one sipping coffee… Henry doesn’t drink the stuff.
Henry’s resume is impressive, from managing private investment funds focusing on manufacturing and real estate, to running “The Executive Advisor” which consults with corporations and non-for-profit organizations, to being Deputy Minister of Economic Development in Saskatchewan.
“Joining the Alberta Deal Generator is a great tactile way to continue the work I had started as Minister of Economic Development,” Henry said. “There is a big gap… I saw many businesses that were in need of financing with no opportunity/skills to find investors. At Alberta Deal Generator, I get to help on both sides.”
And, that’s what Alberta Deal Generator is about. While Henry mentions that ‘Friends and Family’ are still the best investment sources for start-ups, he says Alberta Deal Generator is about helping companies at growth-stage spread their wings. Henry helps them prepare their stories to pitch to investors who meet on a regular basis. Companies love it because it helps them really hone their story. Investors love it because they can more quickly separate the wheat from the chafe.
From an annual total of about 150 technology firms, 20 end up making their pitches at the investor forums. $10 million in financing has been facilitated, with an additional $30 million in follow-up investments. One notable recipient is $2M of investment for Calgary based Zymeta Corporation who make music video jukeboxes for restaurants and bars.