NACO Celebrates 'Made in Calgary' Success Stories at World Angel Investment Summit 2019
Partnership with Alberta Innovates brings national platform for entrepreneurial capital to Western Canada
By: NACO Canada
"NACO continues to focus on the catalysts that led to the emergence of Silicon Valley – angel investors, growth mentors, and world-class founders," said Claudio Rojas, CEO at NACO. "There is both a moral and economic imperative to ensuring that the benefits of innovation are shared across regions and local communities. Economic prosperity continues to concentrate in a handful of cities. Overcoming this challenge is core to building a thriving national ecosystem in which rapid growth Canadian companies can rise to the global stage."
Rojas joins NACO as the organization looks to build greater levels of national connectivity with local communities and regions across the country. Beyond capital, NACO's membership of angel investors, incubators, and accelerators, brings the mentorship, experience, and the connections to industry that Canadian entrepreneurs need to scale their companies.
Held at Calgary's Telus Convention Centre, the NACO World Summit, hosted with the support of BDC, RBC, and BDO, organizations with a strong commitment to the continued vibrancy of Canada's entrepreneurial ecosystem, is celebrating headline success stories from across Western Canada, including:
● Marcos Lopez – CEO of Calgary-based Solium Capital and its recently announced acquisition by Morgan Stanley for $1.1B
● Rachel Mielke – Founder of luxury jewelry company Hillberg & Berk, based in Regina, one of Canada's fastest growing businesses
● Hans Knapp – Seasoned investor, based in Vancouver, with multiple $200M+ exits.
"Calgary 2019 is a vision-setting conference as NACO's membership of 4,000 angel investors, incubators, and accelerators bids farewell to Yuri Navarro after his six years of service, and welcomes its new CEO, Claudio Rojas," said Sandi Gilbert, Chair at NACO. "The timing of this event provides our members with the opportunity to shape the future of NACO as we prepare to shine a brighter light on Canada's extraordinary founders from coast to coast to coast. This year, in my hometown of Calgary, attendees will hear from a Calgary unicorn valued at $1.1B, a highly successful woman entrepreneur from the prairies, a recovering dragon, and an angel investor turned venture capitalist".
Attendees of the NACO World Summit will experience three days of keynotes, panels, and networking events. The event also provides access to a variety of workshops and presentations involving some of Western Canada's leading voices in tech and innovation. Keynote speakers and highlights include:
● Bruce Croxon – Co-founder of wildly successful dating site Lavalife, former "Dragon" on CBC TV's Dragons' Den, and prominent venture capitalist at Round13 Capital
● 'Leading Women In The Investor Landscape' panel – Rhiannon Davies, Atlantic Women's Investment Fund; Shelley Kuiper, Adventure Capital; Jill Earthy, Female Funders; Stephanie Andrew, Women's Equity Lab and Capital Investment Network; Sandra Foster, Capstone Ridge Group; Sandi Gilbert, InterGen
● Remarks by Naheed K. Nenshi, Mayor of The City of Calgary; Mary Moran, President & CEO at Calgary Economic Development.
NACO will also be unveiling the 2018 Angel Activity Report, the organization's flagship annual research initiative. The report identifies key statistics and trends in early-stage capital funding. NACO's Annual Gala Awards Dinner, sponsored by Alberta Innovates, will include recognition for Canada's Angel of the Year, Exit of the Year, and Startup of the Year. The nominees of this year's Most Promising Startup Award are:
● G2V Optics, based in Edmonton, manufactures the most advanced LED solar simulators and commercial lighting automation products for scientific, vertical farming & industrial use
● The Raw Office, based in Toronto, brings high quality, reliable, eco forward office supplies to your business or home
● Open Ocean Robotics, based in Victoria, is a cleantech solution to collecting ocean data.
"NACO's Annual Awards Gala is an opportunity to celebrate 'Made in Canada' success stories," said Rojas. "Angels are known for contributing to the prosperity of their local communities. As a result, the activities of NACO members are fundamental to the sustainability of Canada's innovation ecosystem. Inspiring the founders of tomorrow includes celebrating the successes of today. We are excited to unveil the winners of these prestigious awards and share some of Canada's most inspiring stories with the world".
For more information, please visit NACO's event website at www.naco.global.
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For more detailed analytics on early-stage funding in Canada and to arrange an interview, please contact:
1 (403) 399-2514
The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) is committed to advancing a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Canada. NACO provides intelligence, best practices, tools and resources to its members to unlock the angel capital funding and mentorship that is critical to helping Canadian founders to grow and scale their companies globally.
Inventure$ is presented by Alberta Innovates. Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. The organization provides technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships, and funding to advance the best ideas.