Prince Edward Island is known as the home of Anne of Green Gables, beautiful red sand beaches, and now with a new announcement, more than a dozen new and burgeoning startups.
According a report from Entrevestor, Island Capital Partners is a new $4 million investment fund launched to bolster startups and add some firepower to the startup ecosystem in PEI. The early-stage investment fund is managed by four business professionals and has received commitments of $2 million from the province’s government and the same amount spread out amongst roughly 20 angel investors based on the island.
Depending on the total amounts pledged and the overall enthusiasm of the angels, the total fund could swell to $5 million. Some of those 20 investors may also invest privately in any startup selected by the fund.
The fund comes at a great time for PEI as its startup scene is growing in depth and diversity. An area for startups to pitch and access residency opened recently in the capital of Charlottetown and the island’s strongest sector, life sciences, is continually being developed.
“There has been a perceptible buzz around Charlottetown [startups] in the last little while,” said Island Capital managing investment director Alex MacBeath in a statement.
The other investment managers for the fund include Ron Keefe, Steve Nicolle and Paul Lypaczewski. The fund will aim to invest $200,000 to $400,000 in each company, which means there is funding room for about 10 to 20 companies. Targeted companies will be ones with high-growth potential, and the fund managers will help to mentor any company that they invest in.
The launch of the Island Capital fund is important as all four Atlantic provinces now have government-funded early-stage financing support. New Brunswick has their Innovation Foundation, Nova Scotia has Innovacorp and Newfoundland and Labrador have a fund managed by Pelorus Venture Capital.