The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and seed-stage investor MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) announced today the first closing of StandUp Ventures Fund I.
Managed by MaRS IAF and started in November 2016, the StandUp Ventures Fund I invests in Canadian pre-seed and seed-stage high growth ventures in Health, IT and Cleantech.
Investments must have at least one female founder in a “C” level role with a significant ownership position and StandUp Ventures has pledged to make 12 to 20 investments over the next three to five years, ranging from $250,000 to $1 million in size.
Today they also announced their first investment in tealbook.
Tealbook is a platform that helps to make enterprise sourcing of suppliers faster and more efficient through peer-driven supplier knowledge and aggregated supplier intelligence that is easy for users.
“The reality is that women entrepreneurs still face additional hurdles when seeking venture capital. This investment will allow tealbook to continue developing its AI/machine learning capacity and go-to-market strategy, giving us a crucial competitive advantage as we grow our market share. We’re thrilled to be StandUp Venture Fund’s first investee,” says Stephany Lapierre, Founder and CEO of tealbook.
“I am delighted to see this new fund take flight and I am optimistic that other corporate investors will follow BDC’s lead in this regard,” says Jérôme Nycz, Executive Vice President of BDC Capital. “Women-entrepreneurs can count on BDC to be a trusted partner and financier as they seek the advice and capital required to grow their ventures.”
The StandUp Ventures program complements a 2015 BDC commitment to increase its term lending to majority women-owned businesses to at least $700 million over three years.