Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund supports Endeavor
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF), Western Economic Diversification Canada, and a founding Board comprised of successful entrepreneurs and private-sector leaders from across Canada will support the launch of Endeavor Canada, with the head office in Calgary.
Endeavor is a global organization with a mission to unlock the transformational power of entrepreneurship by selecting, supporting, and investing in the world’s top founders and providing them a platform to pay-it-forward.
Endeavor defines high-impact entrepreneurs as those with the biggest ideas; the greatest potential to achieve meaningful scale; and the ability to inspire, mentor, and reinvest in the next generation. Successful high-impact entrepreneurs not only create jobs and wealth at scale, but by paying it forward generate a multiplier effect, paving the way for future generations of founders and facilitating ecosystem growth.
“Endeavor brings a global network and proven track record of working with some of the leading scale-up technology firms and we are thrilled that they have selected Calgary to be its Canadian headquarters,” said Mark Blackwell, Chair of the Board of Directors, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. “We are excited to work and engage with Endeavor to support our growing number of scale-ups in Calgary and taking their years of learnings in helping grow innovation ecosystems as they have done in cities like Miami, Detroit and Atlanta.”
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) and Western Economic Diversification Canada will each provide up to $1 million to support Endeavor’s launch and operations in Calgary’s growing entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, which continues to garner global attention.
“When I speak with entrepreneurs in Alberta and across Canada, I’m always reminded of the importance of fostering a supportive business environment that promotes Canadian ingenuity on a global level,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “This is why I’m proud we’re enabling Endeavor to establish its first ever Canadian office here in Calgary and ensuring that our leading entrepreneurs can benefit from an international network of mentors, supports, and resources.”
In addition to leveraging support from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, federal funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada, and members of the founding Board of Directors, Endeavor Canada will provide avenues for founders to dream big, scale up and pay it forward.
“Canada does not have a start up problem but rather a global scale up challenge. Endeavor has an amazing network and track record of helping high-impact entrepreneurs scale their enterprises which in turn will benefit the Canadian tech ecosystem and contribute to our long-term economic growth,” said Susan Anderson, CEO of Cannonball Capital, Inc. of Calgary, founding Board Member and Board Chair of Endeavor Canada. “I am excited that Endeavor has chosen Calgary as its headquarters in Canada and look forward to helping founders grow and scale their companies.”
Endeavor Canada also announced its national Board of Directors, which is comprised of three Calgary-based industry leaders:
- Susan Anderson, CEO, Cannonball Capital Inc., Board Chair Endeavor Canada
- Brad Zumwalt, Partner, Zinc Ventures
- Dr. Chen Fong, Co-founder, Pureweb Inc.
- Paul Desmarais III, Chairman and CEO, Sagard
- Chris Huskilson, Former CEO, Emera Inc.
- Jim Estill, President and CEO, Danby Appliances
- Joanna Harries, SVP of Global Expansion, Endeavor
- Dr. Lindsay Machan, Co-founder, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals
- Paul Parisi, Head of Canada, Silicon Valley Bank
Endeavor’s local offices identify founders with the potential to participate in the organization’s competitive International Selection Panels. If selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs benefit from a global network, a peer-to-peer community, and open-door access to talent, markets, and capital. The program is open to entrepreneurs across Canada.
Endeavor’s network spans nearly 40 countries and supports more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, whose companies generate combined revenues of over $26 billion US, have created more than 4 million jobs, and, in 2019, raised over $3.6 billion US in capital.
Endeavor Canada will be headquartered in downtown Calgary and be led by a locally based Managing Director and Portfolio Manager.
“Endeavor’s decision to launch in Calgary reflects our city’s growing reputation as the destination of choice for the world’s best entrepreneurs who embrace innovation to solve the world’s biggest challenges,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a member of the OCIF Board. “We have the business environment, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation-focused economy that provides a strong case for international investment.”
Endeavor Canada will hold Local Selection Panels in Calgary and select Canadian cities and collaborate with others in Calgary and on a national basis on events and the delivery of programming to connect to national and international networks of entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors and talent.
In addition to tailored support for local entrepreneurs, Endeavor also invests in them through its rules-based co-investment fund, Endeavor Catalyst, which has hundreds of millions of dollars under management. It also provides its community of entrepreneurs with avenues to invest, mentor, and inspire others.
"The mission of our firm is to connect opportunities with talent, capital, and network in order to build market defining companies,” said Paul Desmarais III, Chairman and CEO, Sagard. “Endeavor is an organization that is perfectly aligned with these objectives. I am proud to be on the founding board of Endeavor Canada and am excited to help build Canadian champions that will create prosperity for our communities."
Endeavor Canada will on a continuous cycle, identify, select and support entrepreneurs from across Canada. Working with a minimum of eight entrepreneurs a year in the pipeline, of which at least two will be from Calgary.
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund was launched by The City of Calgary in April 2018 to support investments that spur growth and create jobs in strategic sectors identified in the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy. Endeavor is the 15th organization to be approved for funding.