Volta this week celebrated its public launch, giving a crowd of 120 people a glimpse inside its 10,000-square-foot facility in Halifax. The orgnaization has Build Ventures, a $50 million in-house venture capital fund.
Volta, cofounded by GoInstant CEO Jevon MacDonald, emphasizes a founder-first, quality-over-quantity approach to building startups. “It’s all about the founders," says MacDonald. “We want to create world-class founders, who in turn will create world-class companies, right here in Halifax."
Although it sounds like an accelerator, Volta insists otherwise: "We are a place of mentorship and community and we are not an accelerator," the site reads. Their goal is to provide mentorship, encourage new startups, develop growth in existing startups, develop support frameworks, and create a brand seen as "a beacon of the Atlantic startup community."
Currently, Volta has 13 companies involved in its system, either as tenants or common space members. Those companies include TitanFile, FundMetric, and IntroHive. The non-accelerator is backed by big names including Omers and Deloitte.
Build Ventures aims to provide early stage capital to emerging, game-changing Atlantic Canadian technology companies, focusing on Series A investments. " The startup journey can be challenging," the fund says, "but we know what it takes and we are here to help."
The funds founding partners are Rob Barbara and Patrick Keefe.
“We feel fortunate to have a close relationship with so many great companies in the region, and with venture fund managers from around Canada and the US,” says Barbara. “Whether on our own or with investment partners, we’re certain we have superb opportunities for investment in Atlantic Canada.”
“We’re really encouraged by the start-up activity we’ve been seeing in Atlantic Canada over the last few years,” says Keefe. “We look forward to backing—and then working closely with—the most promising entrepreneurs as they build strong, game-changing companies that can compete globally.
Build Ventures investors to date include BDC Venture Capital and the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.