BDC Venture Capital to invest $1.5 million in 10 recent accelerator graduates and expands investment program to the Maritimes

MONTREAL, July 15, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - BDC Venture Capital, one of Canada's largest and most active venture investors, is announcing today that it is committing $1.5 million to 10 recent graduates of three Canadian technology accelerators, including, for the first time, two graduates of Launch36, a New Brunswick-based accelerator for Atlantic Canadian startups. This brings to 49 the number of accelerator graduates supported since BDC Venture Capital launched this program in mid-2011, totalling investments of $7.35 million.

"Making first-time investments in such promising startups is part of our strategy to build a healthy Canadian ecosystem," says Senia Rapisarda, the vice-president at BDC Venture Capital in charge of these initiatives. "We'll also be looking at connecting these entrepreneurs with angel and venture capital as well as providing them with other forms of non-financial support." BDC Venture Capital undertakes several other strategic ecosystem-building activities and intends to amplify the support it has been providing within the Canadian early-stage venture ecosystem. "We continue to explore additional ways we can support Canadian graduates of top accelerators both within the country and abroad," says Ms. Rapisarda.

ATLANTIC STARTUPS TO BENEFIT FROM ADDITIONAL FUNDS

BDC Venture Capital is investing $150,000 in RUMAnalytics and AnalyzeRE respectively, two of the companies that completed Atlantic Canada's Launch36 accelerator program this past March. Members of future cohorts will also be eligible for $150,000 seed investments. A joint BDC Venture Capital and Launch36 committee will identify the most promising investment candidates among the companies judged to be "venture-ready" upon completion of the program.

INVESTMENTS IN GRADUATES OF ONTARIO ACCELERATORS

BDC Venture Capital is also investing $150,000 in five graduates of Kitchener-Waterloo-based Communitech HYPERDRIVE's April cohort (BeanEvo, ViewsIQ, Groupnotes, Dandy and Cream.hr) and three companies who recently completed Toronto's Extreme Startups accelerator program (BRIKA, Instaradio and Koge).

Investments in these companies are in the form of convertible notes, which are short-term loans that are usually converted into shares later on in the company's life. The seed investments are intended to help these very early-stage startups weather a period that can be very tough for them, as they continue working to generate revenues and position themselves for more substantial rounds of financing.

STRENGTHENING CANADA'S VC ECOSYSTEM

BDC Venture Capital is also a major investor in the FounderFuel, GrowLab, Extreme Startups and Execution Labs private-sector accelerators, as well as a strategic funding partner of HYPERDRIVE and of Montreal's Notman House. It is an investor in a number of seed and early-stage VC funds, such as Version One Ventures, Real Ventures, and Atlantic Canada's Build Ventures fund. It is working with NACO on Canadian angel group development, and is a strategic partner of DFAIT's Canadian Technology Accelerators (CTAs) in the United States. In addition, it is Startup Weekend Canada's national partner, a sponsor of hackathons and other entrepreneur-matching and development activities across Canada, as well as a premier partner of the C100.

ABOUT THE COMPANIES

From Launch36

Analyze Re is using its industry experience to provide pricing and risk management software which helps reinsurers to minimize their risk and maximize their profits. Using their innovative high performance computing solution which is delivered via the cloud, they unlock a holistic view of the data which enables reinsurers to make smarter decisions.

The number one factor in website conversions is speed. RUMAnalytics helps ecommerce websites become fast and efficient, like Amazon.com, loading faster and leading to greater conversions and increased sales.

From HyperDrive

BeanEvo is the driving force behind BeanWorks; a revolutionary SaaS platform that provides any sized company with an easy-to-use, cost-saving and customizable accounts payable workflow automation solution.

ViewsIQ is a medical imaging company, focused on providing slide digitization solutions to clinical laboratories and academic institutions. Designed to integrate seamlessly into the laboratory's existing microscopy workflow, ViewsIQ's innovative Panoptiq product platform provides maximum control over the digitization process of patient samples at the highest quality possible. Panoptiq enables clinicians to provide high quality of care virtually to patients anywhere around the world.

Groupnotes builds link and content sharing right into your browser.

Dandy is a launchpad for great app ideas, and a graveyard for bad ones. Users dream up app ideas and our community decides which ideas should be considered for development. The community helps in every stage of the design process from feature suggestions, UI feedback, name and tagline. The community also helps beta test the idea, distribute the app and profits are then divided amongst the community based on the each user's level of contribution.

Cream.hr scientifically screens large pools of applicants and rapidly shortlists the right people for job fit and company culture, and easily identifies high potential candidates before anyone reads a resume.

From Extreme Startups

BRIKA is the destination for only the most beautiful, unique and well-crafted goods. We celebrate and elevate modern craft and believe in the power and network effects of storytelling.

Instaradio is a mobile platform for creating and discovering high quality live audio that can be listened to on any phone, tablet, or computer.

Koge is a vertically integrated online retailer that provides premium vitamins personalized for your unique lifestyle.

ABOUT BDC VENTURE CAPITAL

With more than $1 billion under management and more than 25 years of industry experience, BDC Venture Capital is an investor of choice focusing on IT, health, and energy/clean technology companies, as well as venture funds, with high growth potential. From seed through expansion to exit, our mandate is to help build outstanding Canadian companies, while working to create a sound financial ecosystem for Canadian technology ventures. Find out more at www.bdc.ca/vc or on Twitter @BDC_VC.

SOURCE: BDC Venture Capital

For further information:


Shawn Salewski
BDC Venture Capital
514-283-1759
shawn.salewski@bdc.ca