Scale Up Ventures to Help Local Start-Ups Expand
Ontario is investing in a new $50-million venture capital fund that will provide successful early- stage start-ups with both mentorship and capital to foster the next generation of global companies. The fund includes both provincial and private-sector investment and is an important next step for Ontario's innovation ecosystem.
To qualify for investment, start-ups will have to go through the same pitch and due diligence process as they would with a regular venture capital fund. Scale Up Ventures' initial investments in promising start-ups are expected to begin this summer and will range from $500,000 to roughly $3 million, with the potential for follow-on investment.
The fund will also match start-ups with mentors from the ranks of Ontario's most successful business leaders. Members of the Scale Up Leadership Council will be paired with a start-up based on industry fit. For example, a promising financial technology company may be paired with a former bank CEO.
The more than 30 council members include representatives from key areas of Ontario's economy -- financial services, advanced manufacturing, retail and consumer products, telecommunications and media, and hardware and electronics. It also includes successful Ontario entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
All members of the Council have agreed to donate their time and will not be paid for participating on the Council or for mentoring.
Scale Up Ventures will operate on private-sector investment principles and expects to eventually return the original capital plus any investment gains to its investors, including the province.
It will be managed by a professional fund manager, who will be chosen by a team that includes former Rogers Communications CEO Nadir Mohamed, former Scotiabank COO Sabi Marwah, former OMERS CEO Michael Nobrega and Scott Bonham, Partner at GGV Capital.