SWO Angel Group

Angel Investors Ontario and Young Professionals Organization – Joint Investment Event

May 24, 2018

Author: Dennis Ensing

Yesterday, I participated in the second annual AIO/YPO Joint Investment Event. Angel Investors Ontario (AIO) and the Young Professionals Organization (YPO) co-hosted this year’s event at One King West, downtown in Toronto.

The highlight for me, typical of events like this, was the opportunity to meet people face-to-face that otherwise I might only be able to connect with virtually – to learn from each other, and to network and invest together.

In addition to these networking opportunities, panel discussions were held on “Leveraging Technology in the World of Finance” and “Canada’s Cleantech Renaissance”. The panels were well stocked with representative ventures, investors and consultants in these key investment sectors.

A gourmet lunch was accompanied by a report on the key Venture Capital investment trends from Mike Wollatt, CEO of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

AIO & YPO had also selected 9 presenting companies to participate in 2 pitch showcases scheduled into the agenda. These included presentations from Expertfile and Genecis, both of whom had recently presented to SWO Angels. Morphio, a London-based company spun out of Arcane, was also in the roster. I look forward to seeing the response from the attendees to these presentations.

The formal agenda concluded with a keynote speech from well-known Canadian finance journalist, Diane Francis, on her observations of the opportunities for early-stage investors to participate in the exponential advancement being driven by technology fuelled innovation. Ms. Francis is currently affiliated with Silicon Valley’s Singularity University and is on the faculty of the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University.

At this point as part of a cocktail reception we conversed and debriefed with the rest of the people we did not yet have a chance to see during the day.

Before the VIA Rail train ride home to London, my day ended at a local establishment meeting with recent SWO Angels presenter Peter Evans (Expertfile). We mapped out the key attributes he should cover in his upcoming deeper dive and ensuing due diligence with interested investors from both his tour of our Southwest Angel Alliance meetings and presentation today.

All in all, a pretty productive and rewarding day!