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Your Guide to Raising Venture Capital 

for Your Own Business in Canada


Revised 2018-2019 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 2018/2019 to reflect the many changes that have taken place since the last edition was published in 2017.

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 438 addresses. It reviews 74 upcoming venture capital and angel conferences as well as 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, immigrant investors and intermediaries can be of assistance.

The chapter on equity crowdfunding has been completely revised to reflect the most recent developments. You will find that this is a very exciting new area and could offer 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.




Iain Williamson is an entrepreneur, business consultant and seminar leader. His views have appeared in many newspaper articles. He has also been a guest on radio and 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: 2018-2019 Edition; by Iain Williamson: 228 pages; Softcover; ISBN 978-1-55270-798-2; ISSN 1191-0534; published in August 2018; Canadian $84.95.   


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CHAPTER 1 Introduction
The 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
Who Are the Players in Canada?
Fund of Funds
Private Equity

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
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
Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC)
Québec's FIER Partners
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 Equity Tax Credits (ETC)
New Brunswick Small Business Investor Tax Credit
Ontario: Community Small Business Investment Funds (CSBIF)
Manitoba: Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit
BC Investment Capital Programs
Yukon Small Business Investment Tax Credit (YSBITC)

CHAPTER 6 Government Direct Participation in 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
MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
Manitoba: Metis 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

How Much Money is Being Raised?
Where is the Money Being Invested?
What is the Money Being Invested In?
Harsh Reality
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
Realism of the Venture Capital Market From the Perspective of Small Business Financing
Deal Flow
Show Persistence!
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

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?
The American Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act)
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)
It's Not Clear Whether the Secondary Marketplace is Working in Canada
SeedUps Canada
National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada)
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Position With Respect to Crowdfunding
Canada's Draconian Anti-Spam Laws Could be a Crowdfunding Killer
The UK's Regulatory Framework Crowdfunding in the UK is Already Providing
Badly-Needed Capital for Start-ups and Small Businesses
UK Investment Enterprise Scheme
Tax Credits Could Boost Interest in Crowdfunding
Caveat: Small Business Failure Rates
Crowdfunding Investors Are at Risk

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

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









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