The second annual Atlantic Venture Forum, taking place in Halifax on June 17 and 18, will emphasize the development of relationships between Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States.
Critical Path Group, the Calgary operation that organizes the event, announced recently that the keynote address at the forum will be delivered by Dan Park, a vice-president at Azure Capital Partners in Silicon Valley. The Canadian native is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities across Canada.
The inaugural Atlantic Venture Forum last year focused on developing ties between Atlantic Canadian startups and investors from outside the region. It included pitches from 20 startups, including Oris4 and the Rounds.
It also featured the launch of Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England, a resource group for Canadian startups in the Boston area. The launch served to highlight the traditional relationship between Atlantic Canada and New England—a feature the organizers hope to emphasize even more this year.
“One of the key goals is to build strong ties between Atlantic Canada and the US eastern seaboard, particularly Boston and New York,” Marc Elrick, principal and founder of Critical Path Group, said in an interview. “We’re going to bring up more investors from those geographies.”
Elrick said there will be an increased presence of venture capital investors at this year’s event, which will be held at the Westin Nova Scotian. Several US venture capital firms have been making investments in the major centres of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, he said. They are growing comfortable with the Canadian environment for investment and are interested in learning more about opportunities in smaller provinces.
Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England will once again play a role in the forum, and Elrick said there will be announcements soon outlining the specifics.
The two other goals of the forum will be entrepreneurship education and developing links with blue-chip corporations, he said. The educational segments will feature discussions led by venture capitalists and experienced entrepreneurs. A strong theme will be to help develop early- and growth-stage companies so they can attract their first round of venture capital funding.
“It’s a pretty young entrepreneur community that we’re seeing in Atlantic Canada, so the key thing is how to get that Series A round,” he said.
This article first appeared on Entrevestor.