Excuse us, but 500 Startups is expanding into Canada in a BIG way! We are launching a $30M regional fund for Canadian based startups.
Canada is huge, and not just in geography; it has many thriving entrepreneurial communities across its 3,000 miles of mostly-populated tundra, as well as some of the most talented engineers and lowest operating costs of any developed country.
With the creation of 500 Canada (#500CAN), startups across the country will be able to leverage the 500 Startups brand and extensive network of mentors, founders, and partners that come from over 1,500 portfolio companies around the world. 500 Startups has already made 37 Canadian investments out of its Silicon Valley main funds including Breather, Lagoa, Unbounce, Cleanify and more. 500 Canada plans to make 150+ investments into early-stage startups in the region over the next few years.
500 Canada will focus investments on capital-efficient businesses that can achieve profitability with less than $1M in total investment. The fund will be truly national in scope, with partners or associates in each major innovation centre, including Vancouver, Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Fredericton.
The weather is cold, but the market is hot* with Canada already producing several impressive heavy-hitters like Shopify, Hootsuite, Kik, and Justin Bieber.
Historically, Canada’s largest challenges have been in access to later-stage capital as well as liquidity opportunities, both of which 500 Startups will be assisting with through a global outlook from day one. The Canadian government also provides great support to the entrepreneurial community through an extensive network of grants and tax credits. Coupled with a thriving angel investor ecosystem, Canada’s national sport is rapidly becoming entrepreneurship, as early-stage ventures are scoring more often than the country’s collection of non-playoff-bound hockey teams.
What’s 500 Startups role going to be?
500 will bring Silicon Valley’s best practices to the region through our massive network, resources and growth marketing programs. Our main focus will be helping these companies internationalize faster and get access to venture capital and mentorship from Silicon Valley.
In June, we are starting with our growth marketing program dubbed “500 Distro Dojo”, which is a 3-month growth intensive program for Pre-Series A companies. This will be followed by additional events and programs for founder and investor education. Follow our updates @500Canada
Are you as excited about Canada as we are?
Then now is your moment to be the gravy in our poutine. Reach out here if you’re interested in getting involved!
About Sanjay Singhal
Sanjay Singhal is the Canadian Venture Partner for 500 Startups. Sanjay has personally started five businesses, and has been an angel investor in over 30 others. Joining the world of early-stage venture capital, he hopes to help other Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their own dreams of success.
Sanjay’s largest entrepreneurial win has been as founder of Simply Audiobooks, aka Audiobooks.com. Sanjay is a founding board member of Angel One, one of Canada’s most prolific Angel investment groups, and also serves on the boards of a number of companies in which he is an investor. Sanjay has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from UNB and UBC respectively, and an MBA from Cornell University. Follow Sanjay on Twitter @ssinghal
Canadian artwork by Yiying Lu
* plagiarized from better writing by Sean Percival