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Your Guide to Raising Venture Capital 

for Your Own Business in Canada


Revised 2020-2021 Edition


By: Iain Williamson










This book is a GOLD MINE of information for anyone who is raising equity financing in Canada. It shows you how to do it yourself. It has been completely updated and revised for 2020/2021 to reflect the many changes that have taken place since the last edition was published in 2019.

This Guide discusses the structure of the venture capital industry; what venturists are looking for and how they evaluate deals. It tells you how to contact them and provides 441 addresses. Due to Covid-19, many upcoming venture capital and angel conferences have gone virtual or have been cancelled or postponed. It reviews 5 directories of venture capitalists and supplies you with the necessary contact information.

Find out what informal investors or “angels” can offer and how to find them. Learn about the characteristics of angels and angel clusters. See if corporate angels and intermediaries can be of assistance.

The chapter on equity crowdfunding has been completely revised to reflect recent developments. It shows how government regulations are stifling this exciting area and preventing it from offering you an inexpensive way of raising equity financing for your business.

You are given hints on negotiating with investors and some words of caution in dealing with angels and crowdfunding investors.

This book is essential reading if you are seeking equity financing for your business or start-up.





Author, Iain Williamson, is an entrepreneur, business consultant and seminar leader. His views have appeared in many newspaper articles. He has also been the guest speaker on a CBC Radio phone-in show on starting a business in a recession. In addition, he has appeared on television shows such as: CBC TV’s Venture; TVO’s MoneysWorth, and Canada Tonight of BCTV and CHCH Television.

Iain spent five years as a financial analyst and knows what makes business tick. For fourteen years he operated his own businesses in importing, high technology and manufacturing. He now operates Entrepreneurial Business Consultants of Canada and also owns a book publishing business. He holds degrees from Oxford University and from St. Andrew’s, Scotland. He has successfully raised venture capital and writes from firsthand experience, which he shares with you.



Your Guide to Raising Venture Capital for Your Own Business in Canada: 2020-2021 Edition;  226 pages; Softcover; ISBN 978-1-55270-836-1; published in November 2020; Canadian $84.95. 



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Productive Publications

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North York, ON  M5M 2L6





Chapter 1
Disruption Caused by Covid-19
The View of Covid from an International Accounting Firm
The Post-Covid Need for Capital
A Message from the Trenches

Chapter 2
Some Background on Venture Capital
What is Venture Capital?
How Did This Venture Capital Game Start?
Typical Structure of Canadian Venture Capital Companies
How Much Money is Being Invested?
What is the Money Being Invested In?
Where is the Money Being Invested?
Size of the Deals
Private Equity (PE)

Chapter 3
Labour Sponsored Venture Capital Corporations
Labour Sponsored Venture Capital Corporations (LSVCCs)
Nova Scotia Equity Tax Credit Act
New Brunswick - Labour Sponsored Venture Capital (LSVC) Tax Credit
Newfoundland & Labrador - Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Corporation Tax Credits
GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund
Québec Solidarity Fund (QFL)
Ontario: Labour Sponsored Investment Funds (LSIFs)
Manitoba: Labour-Sponsored Investment Funds
Golden Opportunities Fund Inc.
Saskatchewan Labour-sponsored Venture Capital Corporations Amendment Act, 2017
SaskWorks Venture Fund (SWVF)
British Columbia: Labour Sponsored Funds
(also known as Employee Venture Capital Corporations)

Chapter 4
The Fund of Funds Approach
The Concept
Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI)
Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC)
Teralys Capital
Anges Québec (AQ)
Alberta Enterprise Corporation
B.C. Renaissance Capital Fund Ltd. (BCRCF)

Chapter 5
Government Assistance to Facilitate Venture
Capital & Direct Investments
Provincial Assistance
Newfoundland and Labrador: Direct Equity Tax Credit Program (DETC)
Nova Scotia Tax Credits
New Brunswick Small Business Investor Tax Credit
Ontario: Community Small Business Investment Funds (CSBIF)
Manitoba: Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit
Manitoba Innovation Growth Sidecar Fund
Manitoba Business Investor Stream (BIS)
BC Investment Capital Programs
BC Immigrant Investment Fund (BCIIF)
Yukon Small Business Investment Tax Credit (YSBITC)

Chapter 6
Government Direct Participation
in Providing Venture Capital
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF)
New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF)
Investissement Québec Venture Capital
Immigrants Investor Program
Desjardins Venture Capital
Réal Ventures
MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
Manitoba: Métis Economic Development Fund
First Peoples Economic Growth Fund Inc. (FPEGF)
Saskatchewan Entrepreneurial Fund (SEF)
Prairie Ventures Fund Limited Partnership (PVLP)
APEX Investment Fund
N.W.T. Business Development & Investment Corporation (BDIC)
Nunavut Development Corporation (NDC)
Baffin Business Development Corporation (BBDC)

Chapter 7
Venturist's Preferences
What are the Preferred Forms of Investment?
What’s in it for the Venture Capitalist?

Chapter 8
How to Meet Canadian Venture Capitalists
How to Contact Them
A Word of Caution
Canadian Venture Capital Conferences
List of Some Canadian Venture Capital Companies

Chapter 9
How to Meet American Venture Capitalists
Listings of U.S. Venture Capitalists
American Venture Capital Conferences

Chapter 10
Overseas Venture Capitalist Conferences
How to Meet Overseas Venture Capitalists

Chapter 11
Courting the Venture Capitalist
Five Methods of Approach

Length of Time Required to Close a Deal
A View From the Venture Capitalist’s Side of the Desk
Criteria Used by Venture Capitalists in Evaluating Deals
Scepticism of Venturists
Management Participation
Product Positioning in the Market
Accountability to Investors
A Big Cut of the Pie
What the Venturist Needs

Chapter 12
Chances of Concluding a Deal
Deal Flow
Harsh Reality
Some Advice for “Venturists”

Chapter 13
Informal Investors or "Angels"
The Funding Gap
What is Meant by the Term "Angel?"
The American Experience
Characteristics of Angels
Angels as Risk Takers
Angels in Canada
The Importance of Angels
Profiles of Canadian Angels
How Many Angels Are There in Canada?

Chapter 14
The Preferences of Angels
Size of Investments
Where do Angels Like to Invest?
What do Angels Like to Invest In?
What Form Does their Investment Take?
How Long Does the Average Angel Stay on Board?
How Successful Are the Marriages?
Why Don’t Some Marriages Make it to the Alter?
How Do Small Business Owners Use the Money?

Chapter 15
The Corporate Angel
Another Business as an Angel
Joint Venturing
Other Methods of Corporate Angel Financing
Potential Conflicts with Corporate Angels
Clusters of Angels
Syndication in Clusters
Incubators and Accelerators
The “Seedcamp” Model

Chapter 16
How to Meet Angels in Canada
How to Meet Angels in Canada
Investment Clubs
Deal Makers and Middlemen
How to Meet Middlemen

Chapter 17
How to Meet American Angels
American Angel Networks
American Angel Organizations
Internet Sites to Locate Venture Capitalists and Angels

Chapter 18
Equity Crowdfunding from "Micro Angels"
What is Crowdfunding?
Size of the Crowdfunding Market
The American Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act)
Where Equity Crowdfunding Fits into the Big Picture
Establish Presence on the Internet: Set up a Website and Add a Video
Crowdfunding by “Micro-Angels”
The Basic Concept Behind the Rewards Model or Perks-Based Crowdfunding
A KickIn Crowd
Accredited Investors in Canada
Accredited Investor Exemption
Non-Accredited Investor Exemption
Offering Memorandum Exemption
Saskatchewan was the First Province to Adopt an Equity Crowdfunding Exemption
Six Provinces Agreed to Start-up Crowdfunding Exemption Rules
Alberta and Nunavut Go Their Own Ways
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and Crowdfunding Exemptions
Exempt Market Dealer (EMD)
Funding Portals
TSX Private Markets (TSX PM)
Lending Loop
National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada
Canada’s Draconian Anti-Spam Laws Could be a Crowdfunding Killer
The Desperate Need for Access to Equity Crowdfunding in Canada
Tax Credits Could Boost Interest in Crowdfunding
Caveat: Small Business Failure Rates
Crowdfunding Investors Are at Risk
Crowdfunding is Being Suffocated to Death by Overzealous Regulators

Chapter 19
Hints on Negotiating
The Degree of Sophistication Varies
The Goal of Negotiations
The “Due Diligence” Process
Who Conducts Due Diligence for Equity Crowdfunders and Who Pays For It?
Expected Return on Investment
Points Likely to Be Negotiated
Total Financing Required
How Much Money Has The Small Business Owner Invested?
Timing of the Investment
Management and Other Fees
Restrictive Covenants
Affirmative Covenants
Management From the Venture Capitalist's Viewpoint
The Term Sheet
The Legal Agreement

Director's Liability
Advisory Board

Chapter 20
A Word of Caution!
Rules of the Angel and Angel Investor Games
Check Out That Angel!
Rules of the Crowdfunding Game

Chapter 21
Planning and Financing
From the Public & Private Sectors
Self-Financing and Preparations

You Have to Prepare Yourself
Ways to Raise Debt Financing for Your Business
Ways to Finance Your Business By Giving Up Some of Your Ownership
Government Financing
Export Financing
Further Information
Final Observations on the Impact of Covid-19









Copyright: 2020 Productive Publications