12+ places in Vancouver where a good pitch can take your startup to the next level

It is not a secret that Vancouver could do a better job when it comes to tech investment and venture capital availability. For the time being, it is important to know that there are a few places where a good pitch can take your startup to the next level.

1. VANTEC Angel Network

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors

VANTEC is a community of BC Angel investors. Since 1999 they have presented more than 1,600 entrepreneurs to angel investors.

VANTEC announces investor pitches in their angel investing newsletter, on their website and on the Gust equity funding platform for start-ups and accredited angel investors. They get together every first Tuesday of the month in Vancouver to watch more than a dozen startups pitch. Based on your pitch and their interest in your investment opportunity, investors will decide if they want to learn more and approach you at the end of the session with questions or to make an appointment for a follow-up meeting.

We recommend you use your time at VANTEC Angel Network Meeting to connect with investors, build relationships, get feedback, and ask for referrals. Other people in the room include experienced business advisors and representatives from organizations that support early stage businesses. They are also able to provide advice and referrals to help your startup.

2. Angel Forum

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors

Founded in 1997, Angel Forum is one of the longest serving angel networks in Canada.  Presenting companies have raised over $35 million directly through the forum and a multiple of that through Angel Forum network. At the same time, Angel Forum offers workshops to both entrepreneurs and investors.

Angel Forum has access to and works closely with angels from all over British Columbia and the USA, collaborates with local organizations and is a part of Canada's National Angel Capital Organization and US's Angel Capital Association. Their private meetings are exclusive for pre-registered investors, a select group of companies and event sponsors.

3. Valhalla Angels (Vancouver Chapter)

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors

Valhalla Angels is one of Canada’s most active angel investment group with their Founder, R. Stewart Thompson, named Angel of The Year for 2018. The forum was established in 2003 with members having biotech, real-estate, oil & gas, health & life sciences, hospitality & transportation and, information & communication technologies backgrounds.

Today, Valhalla Angels membership continues to grow, bringing a diverse group of investors together, from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who are looking to diversify their investment portfolio while supporting he start-up ecosystem.

In August 2017, Valhalla Private Capital was launched as a result of the organic growth from Valhalla Angels, to meet the needs of the entire lifecycle for both businesses and investors.

As of December 31st, 2018 Valhalla Angels have invested $61.2 million in 214+ deals.

4. Canadian Financing Forum

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors

The Canadian Financing Forum features presentations from approximately 35 of Canada’s most promising technology companies, as they showcase in front of top tier investors from across Canada and the United States. Focusing on both Information Technology and Sustainable Technology companies, the Forum matches North American corporate and venture capital investors with entrepreneurs on their way to building world-class technology companies.

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5. New Ventures BC Competition

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors, Practice Pitching

The Innovate BC-New Ventures Competition drives the growth of early-stage technology companies by providing mentorship, business seminars, networking events and recognition.

A total of $275,000 in capital and in-kind business services are awarded to the most promising startups in one of North America’s largest business technology competitions.

Past winners have raised over $302 million in financing, $200 million in revenues, and have created thousands of jobs in British Columbia. Over 150 of BC’s top business leaders volunteer as mentors and jurors. Since its inception, more than 1,500 entrepreneurs have participated in the program.

6. Fundica Roadshow

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors, Practice Pitching

A select group of entrepreneurs will get a chance to pitch their businesses to a panel of angels, VCs, banks, and government organizations. All Fundica Roadshow participants will be exposed to inspirational and educational speakers, and will have time to network with investors and entrepreneurs.

More reasons to attend?

·        Learn about important funding trends and opportunities

·        Discover available resources to start and grow your business

·        Connect with entrepreneurs, funding experts, and advisors

7. Pitch for the Purse

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors, Practice Pitching

You might need $1M to grow your business, or $150,000. What matters is that you want to grow your business, and need help to craft your pitch. That’s where Pitch for the Purse comes in. Forum for Women Entrepreneurs has designed Pitch for the Purse to address a key concern facing women entrepreneurs…access to capital. The program is divided into four sections designed to educate and mentor every step of the way: Pitch Training, Semi-Finals, Mentorship + Pitch Finale. FWE is excited to bring Pitch for the Purse back following an incredibly successful debut year. This program is open to women entrepreneurs in Canada.

8. Vancouver Startup Week Investment Showcase

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors, Practice Pitching

Investment Showcase at Vancouver Startup Week is designed to give local and international investors the opportunity to meet with BC’s pre-selected fastest growing startups.

Both investors and founders/CEO’s get the opportunity to meet one-on-one for 15-20 minutes. The meetings are conducted in speed-dating style to give both parties enough time to get to know another and hopefully, book a follow up meeting.

Companies are only matched with investors that are investing in the right stage and vertical.

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9. #BCTECHSummit Investment Showcase

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors, Practice Pitching

The #BCTECHSummit Investment Showcase connects B.C.’s most promising startups with leading investors from around the world.

Why and How to Participate:

·        Seed Funding Roundtable Series: Startups seeking seed capital of under $3 million are invited to participate in the Seed Funding Roundtable Series. The Series will give founders direct access to investors, where they will have the opportunity to gain critical feedback and expertise, and of course, pitch their product.

·        Series A Funding Pitches: Startups seeking capital of $3 million or more are invited to participate in the Series A Funding Pitches, 5-minute investment pitches, which are followed by a 5-minute Q&A session and extended networking.

·        Leverage Media Attention: The #BCTECHSummit attracts local, national and international media. In 2018, 125 accredited media showed up to break news and tell the stories of the technologies and industries of the future. This is your opportunity to leverage the attention that the #BCTECHSummit commands and position your company for growth.

10. Volition Pitch Nights & Competitions

Why attend: Practice Pitching & Get Your Idea Out There

Volition Pitch Nights are designed to provide a comfortable space for entrepreneurs to gain practical experience and constructive feedback on their 90-second pitch, in front of a live audience and industry panel. The audience votes on the top three companies to receive valuable prizes from local sponsors.

Volition original Pitch Nights launched in 2016 in Vancouver and have expanded to include the extremely popular Women's Pitch Night, Industry Pitch Night, and Startup Showdown events. In 2018 Volition Pitch Nights have scaled to Calgary, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Seattle.

Volition Pitch Nights in numbers:

·        60-100 audience members per event

·        10 to 15 companies pitching per event

·        300+ pitches and over 1700 attendees since launch

11. Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum

Why attend: Get Funded, Meet Investors, Practice Pitching

The Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum kicks off each event with a series of 'Lightning Pitches', from entrepreneurs leading early-stage companies, high potential innovators and non- profit organizations supporting entrepreneurs. Up to five presenters are given 100 seconds to promote their venture, funding initiative or collaboration goals. Priority will be given to early-stage companies seeking funding.

12. Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize

Why attend: Practice Pitching, Win a Prize & Get Your Idea Out There (open to SFU community)

Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize recognizes entrepreneurial excellence from the Simon Fraser University community.

Judged by a panel of industry experts, winning Venture Prize teams are selected based upon the quality of their business concept, current progress and future plans, as well as presentation skills. Business ventures of any level, from idea to operating companies, involving students from undergraduate, graduate and professional programs (e.g MBA), staff, faculty, and recent alumni are invited to compete.

What else?

Past events for founders looking to get funded that are likely to be back soon include BDO VC Pitch Day, Innovation OnBoard, ProtoHack, events by Launch Academy, Vancouver Economic Commission, Spring Activator, Founders Live and more. Sign up for their updates to be in the loop!

If you are looking to practice pitching, check out local hackathons such as VanHacks, nwHacks, LumoHacks and other tech events.