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VA Angels Announces Gender Diversity Initiative

February 29, 2016

VA Angels is pleased to announce a new initiative to increase the number of women angel investors and women entrepreneurs served by the group.

“VA Angels is a place where female entrepreneurs can expect to be taken seriously and funded accordingly,” says Randy Thompson, CEO of VA Angels. “We are working hard to ensure that when women-led companies do present at the form, they encounter an aware and diverse group of investors.”

Kristina Milke, President of VA Angels, leads the Deal Screening committee. “We are looking for great scalable business to present to our members. We would love to see more female-led ventures applying.”

Currently only four percent of venture capital goes to women in North America. If women were financed to the same degree as male-led companies, it would create six million jobs in the next five years in North America.(1) Venture capital firms with women partners are more than three times as likely to invest in companies with female CEOs.(2)

“The research is very clear that diverse groups make better decisions and out-perform non-diverse groups”, says Rosalee Gordon, Director of Diversity for VA Angels. “In VA Angels, individual angels make their own decisions on whether to invest each company and for how much. Yet we discuss each deal together and we do influence each other’s decisions. It’s very important to have female investors at the table.”

“The time is right for a focused effort on improving gender diversity in the angel community,” says Rosalee Gordon. “As we roll out this initiative at each of our chapters, I am encountering a groundswell of support from both our male and female members. Many of our angels are already working this issue in their own spheres of influence – in academia, in business, in professional organizations. We don’t like the statistics we are seeing. We don’t like the pace of change. We have daughters, we have sisters, we have strong female role models in our lives. For many of us we care, and we care at a very personal level.

For more information about the Diversity initiative at VA Angels, please contact:

Rosalee Gordon
Director of Diversity
VA Angles

1 SheEO Fact Sheet: Radical Generosity
2 Babson College Study 2014 “Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gap in Venture Capital”

Angel funding hits 100

April 8, 2015

By the end of the week, a group of Kelowna “angel investors” will have invested in 100 Canadian companies. Randy Thomson, founder of VA Angels, and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran will make the announcement at a press conference Friday. The group has been injecting capital into start-up companies since 2002.

“We are excited to officially make this announcement in Kelowna, the first city outside Alberta to welcome a VA Angels chapter,” Randy Lennon, president of the Kelowna and Phoenix chapters, says.

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Angel Investor graces Prince George for seminar

March 21, 2015

An angel investor is flapping his business wings in Prince George this weekend.

Randy Thompson is CEO of VA Angels and he is Start Up Canada’s Prairie Angel of the Year. He arrived on Friday for a seminar on how to grow a business through sales and methods of expanding a business sustainably.

Today he is having one-on-one meetings with local entrepreneurs. From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. he will hear Dragon’s Den-style presentations from local product and service providers as a friendly ear to hone these entrepreneurs’ boardroom or elevator pitches. This happens at the Community Futures Development Corporation’s training room (1566 7th Avenue).

After this event, Thompson will hold a coffee talk at Coach’s Corner Pub at the Ramada Hotel hosted by the Innovation Central Society.

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Phoenix welcomes Canadian investment firm to the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation

March 18, 2015

City officials held a press conference Tuesday morning to welcome the VA Angels, a Canadian angel investment firm, to its new location in Phoenix.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation at Gateway Community College will house the VA Angels, said Jeff Saville, executive director of CEI. Saville said the firm will hold its monthly meetings at CEI and will also retain offices there.

Randy Lennon, co-founder and managing director of the firm, said it recently celebrated its 100th investment company and currently has 120 investors.

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