While falling oil prices highlight the need for diversification in the Canadian economy, sectors that have long lived in the shadows of the oil and gas sector are starting to emerge.
New technologies are revolutionizing the energy sector and Alberta could become a global leader, leveraging its position as a major oil and gas market. The industry’s transformation is being driven by technologies that will help to diversify the economy while driving down costs and increasing environmental stewardship.
This is why Kensington Capital Partners is opening a Calgary office and signaling to entrepreneurs, private investors, and technology companies that the time is right to expand and capitalize on new tech sector opportunities in Western Canada.
Launched in November 2014, the Kensington Venture Fund (Fund) received a lead investment from the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP), a $400 million strategy designed to increase private sector investments in emerging Canadian technology companies. Kensington says that it is increasing its presence in Western Canada to capitalize on the particular opportunities arising in its underserved venture capital markets in energy technologies and clean tech, including digital oilfield, smart grid, and alternative energies.
“Our government’s Venture Capital Action Plan is delivering important risk capital to help Canada’s innovative firms and start-ups access the resources they need to bring new ideas to market, increase our productivity, and diversify our economy,” said Industry Minister James Moore. “When we invest in innovation, we invest in home-grown talent, high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth and prosperity.”
Kensington’s new Calgary office will be headed by Michelle Scarborough, a Canadian venture capitalist with a track record in the energy technology sector. Scarborough is the Chair of the National Angel Capital Organization and the founder of the Women’s Angel Network in Canada.
“I look forward to helping investors uncover the many untapped opportunities that can be supported by Kensington and help Canadian companies build strong new businesses, putting Alberta and Western Canada on the map as a global leader in energy technology,” said Scarborough.
Prior to joining Kensington, Scarborough was a Founder and Managing Partner of Fronterra Ventures, an oil and gas technology venture fund.
“Michelle’s experience and vision will allow Kensington to play a pivotal role in the emergence of Alberta’s technology sector,” said Rick Nathan, Managing Director, Kensington Capital Partners, former Chair and President of the CVCA (Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association) and a Founding Co-Chair of CIX (Canadian Innovation Exchange).