World Angel Investment Summit being held in Calgary

‘There’s a moral and economic imperative to ensuring that the benefits of innovation are shared’

Mario ToneguzziNACO, Canada’s only national angel capital organization, is hosting its World Angel Investment Summit in Calgary this week in partnership with Alberta Innovations and Inventure$.

“NACO continues to focus on the catalysts that led to the emergence of Silicon Valley – angel investors, growth mentors and world-class founders,” said Claudio Rojas, CEO at NACO, in a news release.

“There is both a moral and economic imperative to ensuring that the benefits of innovation are shared across regions and local communities. Economic prosperity continues to concentrate in a handful of cities. Overcoming this challenge is core to building a thriving national ecosystem in which rapid growth Canadian companies can rise to the global stage.”

The summit is taking place from June 5 to 7. It will gather together investors from across Canada, the United States, Latin America and Europe, with the aim of helping Canadian entrepreneurs to startup, scale-up and grow into global markets.

“Calgary 2019 is a vision-setting conference as NACO’s membership of 4,000 angel investors, incubators and accelerators bids farewell to Yuri Navarro after his six years of service, and welcomes its new CEO, Claudio Rojas,” said Sandi Gilbert, chair at NACO.

“The timing of this event provides our members with the opportunity to shape the future of NACO as we prepare to shine a brighter light on Canada’s extraordinary founders from coast to coast to coast. This year, in my hometown of Calgary, attendees will hear from a Calgary unicorn valued at $1.1 billion, a highly successful woman entrepreneur from the Prairies, a recovering dragon, and an angel investor turned venture capitalist.”

At the summit, NACO will also unveil the 2018 Angel Activity Report, the organization’s flagship annual research initiative. The report identifies key statistics and trends in early-stage capital funding. NACO’s annual gala awards dinner, sponsored by Alberta Innovates, will include recognition for Canada’s Angel of the Year, Exit of the Year and Startup of the Year. The nominees of this year’s Most Promising Startup Award are:

  • G2V Optics, based in Edmonton, manufactures the most advanced LED solar simulators and commercial lighting automation products for scientific, vertical farming and industrial use.
  • The Raw Office, based in Toronto, brings high quality, reliable, eco-forward office supplies to your business or home.
  • Open Ocean Robotics, based in Victoria, is a clean-tech solution to collecting ocean data.

“NACO’s annual awards gala is an opportunity to celebrate ‘made in Canada’ success stories,” said Rojas. “Angels are known for contributing to the prosperity of their local communities. As a result, the activities of NACO members are fundamental to the sustainability of Canada’s innovation ecosystem. Inspiring the founders of tomorrow includes celebrating the successes of today. We are excited to unveil the winners of these prestigious awards and share some of Canada’s most inspiring stories with the world.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

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