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Category Archives: News

Guayacan Demo Days

December 13, 2016

VA Angels, Vario Ventures, and the Angel Resource Institute (ARI) joined 40 other location and international
investors at the largest investor event ever held for tech companies in Puerto Rico. As partners in Demo Day, the three groups were asked to look at investing beside the $50,000 cash prize that was awarded by local organizer Grupo Guayacán (Guayacán).

“For Guayacán, Demo Day is always a special occasion that allows us to connect the graduated companies of our business development programs with a diverse group of investors and other capital providers,” said Grupo Guayacán Executive Director Laura Cantero. Early stage companies were showcased from the SPRINGBOARD program, which focuses on provided knowledge, tools and resources to build investable ventures. Growth stage companies were showcased from the Guayacán Venture Accelerator (GVA) program, which focuses on established companies, evaluating their business models, and developing strategies for accelerating their growth.

Through entrepreneurship, important innovations find their way to market, leading to new products, services and processes. Randy Thompson, President of VA Angels, says “Groupo Guayacán has been instrumental when it comes to supporting its entrepreneurs in respect to business formation, expansion, and growth which has a net positive effect, stabilizing and growing economic activity.”

Doc file here

OKR Financial

September 24, 2016

Old Kent Road Financial provides investors and start-ups with opportunities through a new Canadian fund

Building on the past success of an investment by the VA Angels, Old Kent Road Financial (OKR) is a new technology and digital fund providing opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. OKR Financial lends capital to companies that need growth capital long before their public sector commitments will be available to them.

In its first few months of operation, Old Kent Road Financial has raised $6 million in a first close of a targeted $20 million fund. The technology and media debt fund is a lending vehicle for Canadian startups that have access to federal government programs such as Scientific Research and Experimental Development Credits, the Digital Media Tax Credit, and others.

“We saw a need and we are happy how the fund has created a win for both investors who are getting quarterly yield, and the companies who get early access to capital they can’t get anywhere else,” said one of OKR’s Managing Partners,R. Stewart Thompson, who also runs one of the largest formal Angel Groups in Canada. “For our portfolio companies in VA Angels as well as other early stage ventures, we have been successful by adding a debt product so these entrepreneurs have the option of giving up equity or taking on high interest debt.”

The fund is set up as an RRSP/TFSA eligible investor vehicle, and will be seeking additional capital between now and December 31, 2016 to get to the targeted
$20 million of capital under management.

Former EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and Managing Partner of OKR Financial, Jason Neale explains, “Old Kent Road is a mature version of what was initially a smaller fund, specifically Acheson Mobile Investments, where we did 26 loans like this with 100 percent debt return and an audited 41 percent IRR. We firmly believe we can get close to this with the OKR fund structure.”

Old Kent Road Financial has already provided capital to six companies since July 2016, with an additional 32 companies currently being reviewed.

“What makes us unique is that the fund is run by former entrepreneurs who understand the balance between risk for the investor and achievable milestones by the entrepreneur,” said Mr. Neale. “Our track record to date over nearly 40 investments proves we have the expertise for another successful venture.”

For more information on Old Kent Road Financial visit the website at

  1. 30 –

For an interview contact:

R. Stewart Thompson

Chairman and CEO

VA Angels

SMS 403 383 0106

The founders of OKR Financial believe that investors deserve low risk, high return opportunities. OKR is focused on financing companies that are applying for, or have been approved by the Canadian Government’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development Credits tax credit and/or grant program.

VA Angels is an investor only membership group committed to building Western Canadian industry through early stage angel investing.


LAUNCH Summit 2016

August 19, 2016


LAUNCH Summit 2016:

● Thursday, September 22, 2016, 9am5pm
● Host Location: Ecole Superior des Affairs (ESA), Clemenceau, Beirut
● CoOrganizers: Techstars, AltCity, Smart ESA, Torch, BootcampLB
● Target Audience: 500+ people selected by application, from across the innovation landscape in Lebanon and MENA

The Lebanese and MENA startup ecosystem has come together to create the first forum that
focuses on the early-stage innovation and startup process. Our goal is to create a simple and yet
holistic roadmap that will guide entrepreneurs in their journey from coming up with an
innovative idea to finding their first customer or first investor. Successful entrepreneurs and
mentors will guide participants through different tracks and sectors, facilitating meetings with
investors, accelerators,support institutions and industry experts. This ensures that every
participant will get maximum benefit from the event to launch them on their way to a strong and
growing startup. All community partners are tapping into their extensive networks of
professionals from all sectors to ensure a powerful day-long conference, and ongoing engaging
and impact long after Sep 22nd. Join us!

    The LAUNCH Summit 2016 key dates:

  • September 20: Techstars Community Leaders MENA Summit, 2016
  • September 21: Startup Campus: Innovate Your Campus 1-Day Academy
  • LAUNCH Summit 2016: September 22, 9am-6pm


Event website:
Event facebook page:
AltCity Bootcamp program,: Website

Video link: AltCity & Bootcamp celebrated the Lebanese ecosystem with this video

A few interesting links about the country…
… third most expensive, 10th according to quality of life in MENA, 180th globally … interesting ironies here.

If you would like to know more about the trip and the program, please let us know. We are planning a google hangout with the local representatives to talk about the program and answer any questions you may have. Even if you are unable to travel with us, but are still interested in the types of things The Seed is doing internationally this is a perfect opportunity to get engaged. Contact Luke Krueger:

VA Calgary Stampede Breakfast & Poker

July 8, 2016

VA Angels Calgary monthly July forum is preempted for a very special VA Angels Stampede Party! We will kick it off with breakfast at Grey Eagle Casino, followed by poker then afterwards members are invited to attend the Collins Barrow Stampede Party!


  • Networking: 9:30 am
  • Breakfast starts at 10:00am
  • Poker starts at 11am:
    • per AGLC 5% of each final winning hand will go to the Casino
    • Poker games will be $2/$4 limit game, buy-in is included in the ticket price.

$10 from each ticket goes to CMNGD – COMMONGOOD a social enterprise employing homeless people through a linen laundry service customized for the hospitality industry and is being headed up by our very own VA Angels Team Member: Hannah (& Dave) Cree. Help them meet their $10k goal by Monday on their Alberta BoostR Campaign!

Ticket sales ends Tuesday at 9 am.

Location: Grey Eagle Casino, 3777 Grey Eagle Dr, Calgary, AB