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Celebrating 10 Years for SWO Angels!

December 17, 2018

By: Dennis Ensing

As we approach the holidays and end of the year, I have been reflecting on this anniversary year in preparation for an upcoming AGM that precedes a members-only Holiday Party. Here are the notable achievements from the past 12 months:
  • Alliance with GTAN in Waterloo and Angel One in Burlington (more on this below)
  • 2018 Deloitte Canadian Technology Fast 50 list included two invested companies: VanRX - Canada's #1 fastest growing company - and Race Roster
  • Other local invested companies also had milestone performances:
    • Sensory Technologies – easing hospital congestion
    • Freepoint Technologies – new customers
    • LoanConnect – now have more than 1200 people being approved for loans each week!
    • Triage Technologies – announced major partnerships
  • 3 new members on our Board of Directors
  • Extension of our FedDev funding for 2 1/2 more years ($225,000)
Earlier in the year we ran a pilot collaboration with two other major Angel Groups in our broader region - Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN) in Waterloo and Angel One in Burlington. With the success of the pilot, we have moved to an even deeper Alliance with them to develop a financially self-sustainable platform to strengthen our underlying local Groups and undertake common goals. In other posts I have highlighted the benefits of this for both our investing members and the ventures seeking that investment. Ultimately, we expect the Alliance to drive better overall returns in our members' angel investment portfolios.
 
Other updates this year included going live with a new website and new member management platform (Membee).
 
Membership fees for 2018/19 have been aligned with our fellow Alliance groups and will be $1,500 + HST for new members. The benefits to membership which offer a considerable ROI against the fees, include the following:
  • All social & educational events included
  • Combined due diligence
  • Legal work coordinated and expenses usually covered by investee company
  • Portfolio monitoring and resource recruiting
  • SWO Angels member collateral
  • Less than comparable public company portfolio banking or management fees
Investment Activity: In the past 10 years SWO Angels members have made 60 investments into 31 ventures, totally more than $20 million, which was leveraged into an additional funding of almost $34 million into the same ventures. This year, to July, $1.3 million was invested by members into 7 companies and we are expecting more than $2 million still to close before the end of the year, including 3 new ventures and a follow on to an existing investee.
 
In closing, a big shout out to our Sponsors - London Economic Development, MIller Thomson, and Deloitte - together with our funding partners, FedDev and Angel Investors Ontario.
 
Best wishes to you and your families for the holidays!