The Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa Announce New Investment-Ready Boot Camp Designed by Womxn Investors for Womxn Founders
Ottawa, Ontario – March 3, 2020: Capital Angel Network, a group of angel investors in the Ottawa-Gatineau Region, and Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, today announced new boot camp and investment opportunity that will fuel the growth and success of womxn founders in Ottawa.
Set in the backdrop of the Womxn Angel Investor Breakfast hosted at Bayview Yards, the organizations unveiled SheBoot, a new womxn-designed and led program under development to help womxn-identifying entrepreneurs become investment-ready. Created by womxn investors for womxn founders, the four-week intensive program will help catalyze the growth and success of womxn-led scalable startups. It will culminate in a pitch competition with up to $100,000 of investment from Ottawa womxn angels, with several already confirmed.
This program will harness the collective power of the Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa and bring the strengths of top Ottawa womxn business and tech mentors, investors and supporters to bear on womxn-owned and led firms. It will equip innovative, scalable technology and technology-enabled companies with fundamental business skills, with a focus on investment and market-readiness. It will also facilitate high-quality peer-to-peer networking amongst womxn founders, and introductions to investors and investor networks at the right time. The collaborators aim to complete program development this spring and launch the first SheBoot cohort this fall as part of Invest Ottawa’s venture acceleration suite.
Building directly on the shared goals of the Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa, SheBoot aims to address the investment challenges facing womxn founders. For example:
- Crunchbase reported that only 3 percent of venture capital went to companies led by a female founder in 2019
- In 2019, Highline Beta reported that only 13.5% of partners at North American venture capital firms are women, and 8.9% of managing partners (with the greatest decision-making authority) at Venture firms are women.
The Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa strive to help change the investment landscape. Pitchbook and All Raise report that womxn are twice as likely to invest in womxn founders as their male counterparts. SheBoot is designed to help increase the number of womxn making and receiving investment to fuel the growth and success of more womxn-owned and led firms in the Capital.
“The Capital Angel Network aims to help make Ottawa the best place for entrepreneurs to launch and scale a global business, and for qualified investors to access top investment opportunities,” said Jennifer Francis, Chair of the Capital Angel Network and Co-Founder of SheBoot. “It will take more women investors to help us achieve this objective, and create the next generation of investment-ready women-led and owned firms in Ottawa. SheBoot will help to address this goal, and open up new investment opportunities for female founders in our region, and prepare them for capital-intensive global markets.”
“As the Co-Founder and former President of Chipworks and a mentor with Invest Ottawa, I have the opportunity to work directly with many women founders leading scalable, technology-enabled businesses,” said Julia Elvidge, Investor, Advisor and Co-founder of SheBoot. “I am excited to architect this program with the Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa, and help women founders across our region put it to work in their business. It will help to address some of the key investment gaps in our ecosystem and serve as a model for others around the world.”
“SheBoot directly supports our Female Founder and Womxn-Owned Business Strategy,” said Sonya Shorey, Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards. “We strive to make Ottawa the best region in the world for women-identifying founders from every walk of life to launch and scale successful firms and help create Ottawa’s first $100 million women-owned company. I am delighted that our Venture Development team will build on the success of our existing programs, and help develop and deliver this investment-ready boot camp with the Capital Angels.”
“I am very excited about the creation of SheBoot, and the opportunity it will create for women founders across our region” said Ellie Ardakani, PGeo, Co-Founder and CEO at Meta Innovation Technologies, the recipient of Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur award (2019) and Ottawa Bootstrap Founder of the Year award( 2020). “This investment-ready boot camp will provide actionable insight, access to business and market experts, and investor linkages that help scaling companies such as Meta take on the world. This is invaluable for women founders who are pursuing global markets and customers.”
SheBoot builds on the increasing collaboration between the Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa over the last 18 months. The organizations developed and implemented a joint series of womxn angel workshops and founder training sessions, helping to attract five new womxn funders to the Capital Angel Network. These new members represent 33 percent of all new angel investors recruited in 2019.
The name “SheBoot” is inspired by the term “reboot.” Urban Dictionary defines this word as “The opportunity to start anew with fresh ideas in a way that is consistent with the principals of the original, but not unnecessarily constrained by what has taken place before.” Applications for this new program will open the coming months.
About the Capital Angel Network
Founded in 2009, the Capital Angel Network (CAN) has been investing in startups in the National Capital Region over the last decade. Since its inception, CAN members have invested over $30M into almost 100 early-stage companies 90% of which are based in the National Capital Region. This funding has also leveraged over $250M in additional investment through government grants, syndication with other angel groups and venture capital funds. The portfolio has now seen nine exits that provided a positive return for investors. The membership base now consists of over 50 Angels, 20% of which are womxn. Our group made ten new and nine follow-on investments totalling $5M in investment. For additional information, please visit: www.capitalangels.ca/
About Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in the City of Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally-recognized, innovative and future-ready city, and the best place to learn, work, live, and play. Invest Ottawa delivers venture development and global expansion programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs and companies; helped firms attract more than $602 million in capital; contributed to the creation of more than 8,450 jobs; and attracted $575M in domestic and foreign investment: www.investottawa.ca
Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications
Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards