A great introduction to some Venture Capitalists and what they are looking to invest in. The ten panellists were from across the IT, Energy and Life Sciences sectors, so here's quick introduction to the investors TechVibes readers would be interested in:
Marc Faucher, JLA Ventures and the BlackBerry Partners Fund Focus is the mobile ecosystem, He positions it as they are looking to fund breakthrough innovation that will drive the future of mobile - not limited to BlackBerry. $2-$5 million Series. In the first twelve months of the BlackBerry Partners Fund, they've closed seven transactions. Faucher commented on what he thinks is hot - they think the smart phone has very significant implications in the market as well as play a huge role in both commerce and how we consume media. The mobile advertising and marketing community, mobile analytics are of specific interest to him.
Enrique Godreau, Voyager capital - looking to partner with other funds on early stage and late stage opportunities. Voyager Capital started in Menlo Park, Seattle, has moved to British Columbia and are looking to move into Alberta. Their areas of focus are Digital Media, Wireless and Software. Enrique believes the opportunity landscape is quite strong. What's hot? They don't believe the wireless industry is going to converge to one single standard, so Enrique thinks software for wireless management is going to become important to the industry. Also very interested in the creation, storage and manipulation of video.
Steve Hnatiuk, Yaletown Venture Partners - current fund actively seeking new investments in Clean Tech and IT (pretty much across the board). Yaletown Venture Partner's entire business is dedicated to the area of Western Canada/US as they believe there is a lot of entrepreneurial talent that is under-represented. At the Banff Venture Forum looking for the next leaders in the industry.
Charles Lax, GrandBanks Captial - Out of Boston, very active in Canada and on pace of doing about one new deal a month. Invest in companies across the IT sector. He is out at BVF to fish and to make new acquaintances. He says investing in the Canadian market is difficult and expensive, so they really look for the perfect fit.
Mark Usher, Wellington Financial - providing growth capital in mid to late stage companies. Most of their success to date is in the Tech sector and have done investments in Canada coast to coast. They are starting to focus in the US market this year. This is his third year out at Banff and feels it is a great investment of his time.