Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Investing in Business Innovation Funding Announcement for York Angel Investors Inc.

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Speaking Points

Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vaughan

Vaughan, Ontario

February 10, 2015

Check against delivery

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests. 

Thank you, Minister Goodyear, for the kind introduction.

It is a pleasure to be here today to deliver some great news on behalf of the Government of Canada.

As you know, Vaughan is a vibrant, bustling city, with one of the largest populations in the GTA. We are a diverse community with a strong work ethic and a strong drive for success. Nothing reminds us of that more than being surrounded by great companies like the ones gathered here today.  

The York Angels Investors is a fine example of an organization that is doing its part to help entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses in this region reach their full potential.

Since the organization was established in 2008, it has already invested more than $4.9 million in 31 companies. This is a great indication that there is a strong appetite to support the innovators and early-stage companies in our region.

As Minister Goodyear noted, our Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, understands that we need to strengthen our innovation ecosystem here in the York region and across southern Ontario.

Taking a business idea and turning it into something that does well in commercial markets is what we need to see happen more and more in Canada. It is something that is necessary to keep our fast-growing community of Vaughan thriving.

Jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity remain the top priority for our Government. We are taking the right steps to support the growth of new businesses, which will lead to a healthy and prosperous economy

Our Government, through FedDev Ontario, has funded approximately 2,000 projects in southern Ontario. This includes more than $40.5 million for 91 projects, which are leveraging more than $52 million in investments for the York Region.

Funding through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative helps southern Ontario-based angel investor networks acquire the necessary tools to expand their services and membership base.

Angel investors, in particular, are playing a larger role in not only financing, but also in mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs. They invest their time and money in smaller deals with earlier stage companies, which really helps these firms grow.

We have seen these kinds of successes with Oliberté and Videogami.com. I look forward to seeing shoe samples from Oliberté, the world's first fair trade certified footwear. I also look forward to seeing the demo of videogame.com's ‘Share the moment' ground breaking video platform which allows sports fans and concert goers to clip and remix live feeds in real time and share the content.

Our Government knows that investing in angel networks is crucial to the success of early-stage businesses.

To date, the York Angels network has built a solid membership with 71 investors. Our Government would like to see the York Angels continue to do their part in building a larger and more diverse investment community here in the York Region.

With this in mind, we are pleased to announce an important investment.

The federal investment is not only about supporting York Angel's ability to attract new members. It will also lead to improved mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs and it will allow them to develop higher-quality investment prospects for their members.

Our Government believes that it is support like this that can help put our southern Ontario innovations and companies on the map.

Through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, to expand its angel investor membership, through FedDev Ontario, the Government of Canada is providing the York Angels with up to $500,000.

(pause for applause)

This funding is projected to increase York Angels' membership base to 106 members within five years. The network also anticipates making 28 investments worth a total of $7 million over the course of the project period.

Congratulations again. I'm looking forward to seeing the York Angels reach a new level of success and build an even stronger support system for businesses in southern Ontario.

Thank you.

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