International Trade

B.C. launches $100M tech fund and announces first investment

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International Trade

B.C. launches $100M tech fund and announces first investment

Media Contacts
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
250 387-0172
General inquiries regarding the BC Tech Fund:
Kensington Capital Partners
http://www.kcpl.ca/contact/
Media Contacts
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
250 387-0172
General inquiries regarding the BC Tech Fund:
Kensington Capital Partners
http://www.kcpl.ca/contact/

Backgrounders

BC Tech Fund management

Kensington Capital Partners is the fund manager for the BC Tech Fund and a leading Canadian investment firm in alternative assets with over $1.1 billion invested to date in venture capital, private equity, hedge funds and infrastructure. Alongside the launch of the BC Tech Fund, Kensington is opening a new office in Vancouver to complement its current teams in Toronto and Calgary. Kensington’s new Vancouver office fulfills a longstanding strategic goal of the firm to expand upon a history of active investing in the province, with more than $100 million invested in B.C. over the past several years in companies like D-Wave and Bit Stew. For more information, visit www.kcpl.ca

Dr. Gerri Sinclair – Gerri Sinclair is a Kensington managing director and the leader of its Vancouver office, where she serves as a member of the firm’s investment team. Her career includes more than 25 years in the fields of Internet, mobile and digital media technologies, entrepreneurial business and government policy. She was the founder and CEO of NCompass Labs, the Internet digital content management company acquired by Microsoft in 2001. A former IBM consulting scholar as well as a visiting scientist at IBM Research in New York, she was also the first president of the Premier’s Technology Council in B.C. and the founding director of the ExCITE lab at Simon Fraser University, the first digital media technology research and development centre in Canada.

Sinclair has served on several government and corporate boards, and is the recipient of many awards in business, entrepreneurship, and technology innovation, including the Canadian Women in Communications Woman of the Year award, the Influential Woman in Business award, and the Sarah Kirke award for the Most Outstanding Canadian Woman in High Tech. Sinclair holds a Ph.D. in renaissance drama as well as an honorary doctor of science in computing science from the University of British Columbia.

Richard Nathan – Rick Nathan leads Kensington’s venture capital investment program as a managing director and member of the firm’s investment committee. His career spans many years across the private equity and venture market as an industry leader, investor and professional advisor. Nathan currently serves as an active board member of several companies within the Kensington venture portfolio and as a member of the investor advisory committee for several of Canada’s leading venture funds.

Nathan began his career as a corporate and securities lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP where he practiced law for 12 years, including as head of the firm’s Technology Business Group from 1995 to 1999. He entered the investment industry as a co-founding partner of Brightspark Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. Nathan served as president and chair of CVCA- Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association from 2005 to 2012 and was a founding co-chair of CIX-Canadian Innovation Exchange from 2008 to 2016. Nathan joined Kensington in 2005 and is a graduate of Dartmouth College (computer science) and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Major highlights from the #BCTECH Strategy progress report

In January, the Province launched the #BCTECH Strategy, a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen B.C.’s diverse and innovative economy. The multi-year strategy includes 50 initiatives to increase capital, talent development and market access for tech companies. The full progress report can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BC_Tech_Strategy_Update.pdf

Capital

  • $100-million BC Tech Fund manager secured, Kensington Capital Partners, which announced its first investment in Mojio.
  • More than $29.8 million awarded since January for new research, innovation and commercialization through the BC Knowledge Development Fund.
  • $5-million tax credit increase added to the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit Program for a total of $35 million, which leverages up to $116.6 million annually in investments for businesses.

Talent

  • Coding implemented this school year for grades 6-9, which will be mandatory by 2018/19.
  • $6 million invested in training and equipment for coding and the new K-12 curriculum.
  • $1.3 million invested in co-op education, helping to increase tech-talent in B.C.
  • $600,000 provided to the tech sector for customized labour-market information as part of the Sector Labour Market Partnership Program to ensure growth of the talent pool.
  • Streamlined an online application system introduced for the Provincial Nominee Program, B.C.’s only direct immigrant selection tool to attract global talent. Processing times for applications in the Skills Immigration stream are among the best in the country.

Markets

  • Export Navigator launched, a 12-month pilot in four B.C. communities to help companies find export markets.
  • Supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, the BC Innovation Council started an agri-tech accelerator. BioEnterprise is a contract partner in that collaboration. Together, they are working on the growth and expansion of businesses in B.C.’s emerging Agritech sector.
  • $6 million committed to the Okanagan Centre for Innovation.
  • Facilitated 228 business-to-business meetings at the inaugural #BCTECH Summit; the second #BCTECH Summit will be March 14-15, 2017.

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