During my year-long graduate studies at the Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, I was exposed to the raw talent, creativity and motivation University of Waterloo students possess in developing innovative and cutting edge ideas for research and businesses.
While watching my peers, working with undergraduate startups and creating a startup of my own, I quickly realized that the Waterloo entrepreneurial community was in dire need of alternative sources of funding to turn their visions into reality, and possibly the next $1B company. After I graduated in July, I have established an investment fund called CyberNorth Ventures Inc. that solely focuses on investing in Waterloo born and bred startups. Over the past 6 months, I have been developing the messaging and branding, legally restructuring and registering the fund, developing marketing materials on “Why to Invest in Waterloo” and have been showcasing Waterloo around the world while raising money and handling internal operations for investment in the new year.
I am also working on collaborating and developing partnerships with other venture capital firms to bring more exposure and funding to our bright students and entrepreneurs in the community.
I get to meet with a new startup from the Waterloo region almost everyday sourcing new potential deals. Some of the exciting startups that I am interested in investing in are either current students or students who have just graduated with exciting and innovative technologies that will push industry boundaries beyond their current limits.
Within the 2015 year, we are aiming to close our fund and will be looking to invest in 4-6 companies initially in the region. If successful, I will be one of the youngest female venture capitalists in Canada. The students of Waterloo inspire me everyday to be a better businesswoman and push me to come up with innovative ways of reinventing traditional venture capital.
I hope to bring more exposure to the Waterloo community in the financial sector and want to inspire more young professionals and women to take on roles in venture capital and technology investing. If we have more young investors who can relate and speak the language of our technology entrepreneurs, we can change the face of venture capital and start a new breed of young, tech savvy investors.