Bonnie Foley-Wong (BMath ’97, MAcc ’97) is a finance and investment executive, entrepreneur and author. She currently focuses on sustainable and impact investment, helps leaders plan strategically for the future and turns sustainability strategies into results.
My parents are not entrepreneurs. They don’t have university degrees and they couldn’t have imagined what would become of their youngest daughter thanks to their sacrifice and investment in post-secondary education.
At times my dad was filled with worry and anxiety about an uncertain future and seemingly insurmountable problems that lay ahead, especially when I left lucrative jobs with large institutions for a more precarious pursuit as an entrepreneur.
In 2012, I founded Pique Ventures, a boutique consulting firm, and Pique Fund, an impact venture fund. I met investors who wanted to invest in impact startups but didn’t have the time, resources or experience to form their own venture portfolios, and women who faced challenges in accessing capital. I sought to bridge this gap with Pique Fund. There are 42 individual investors in Pique Fund, 32 of which identify as women. We invested in eight women-founded technology ventures and have had two exits so far — enough to return the fund.
But the impact of Pique extends beyond that. At least a handful of Pique investors went on to invest in other startups, one investor started her own fund, and another now leads an institutional investment fund.
It wasn’t easy by any means, but I can proudly say I built a community investing with leadership diversity in mind. I also gained lifelong business skills such as identifying needs and gaps in a market and meeting those needs while educating and serving others. Along this journey, I also authored my first book, Integrated Investing. I now apply the entrepreneurial skills I gained in a different context and scale. I joined a large institution to lead a team focused on sustainable investment.
“It wasn’t easy by any means, but I can proudly say I built a community investing with leadership diversity in mind.”
Bonnie Foley-Wong (BMath ’97, MAcc ’97)
I’ve reassured my dad that I now have the skills and experience to navigate uncertainty and that gathering information and taking informed risks is part of my job. I’m a relentless optimist and believe there is a solution for everything. I was an unexpected and somewhat reluctant entrepreneur but now that I’ve developed the skills, the world looks different.
Black and gold fest
Join us for Black and Gold Fest running from September 23 to September 30, 2023. Celebrate the Waterloo alumni community with a line-up of international and on-campus events. Visit the Black and Gold Fest website to learn more.