OCIF invests in Platform Calgary’s National Bank Investor Hub to unlock capital

June 20, 2024
Innovation Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund Technology
PlatformOCIF announcement1920

From left to right: Colleen Pound, Proxure; Deana Haley, Calgary Economic Development; Vanessa Stockbrugger, National Bank; Dr. Terry Rock, Platform Calgary; and Oladipupo (Dipo) Alli, Migr8.

The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (“OCIF”) will provide up to $400,000 over 28 months to Platform Calgary for the National Bank Investor Hub to unlock capital for underrepresented Calgary-based founders.

The National Bank Investor Hub helps broaden the city’s investor pool and creates more opportunities for Calgarians to build their companies.

“Calgary is a thriving tech and innovation hub, with momentum continuing to build thanks to our welcoming and inclusive startup and business community. Together, we are creating a city where every Calgarian’s dream can find the support it needs to become a reality,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. 

Calgary is building an environment where companies start, accelerate and scale to the global stage, a priority in the city’s economic strategy.

Fostering inclusive growth in Calgary's tech and innovation ecosystem 

This investment will be used to engage and educate up to 40 investors and connect them to Calgary startups.

The Investor Hub will provide targeted support to microfunds that focus on investing in early-stage, Calgary-based startups led by underrepresented founders and/or with missions centred on equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA). 

“OCIF is one of the most effective tools Calgary has to help ensure our economy is diversified and resilient,” said Brad Parry, CEO, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund and President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. 

“This investment will help Calgary startups access capital sooner, reduce barriers for new investors to enter Calgary’s innovation scene and create more opportunities for Calgarians to achieve their biggest ambitions.” 

Located at the Platform Calgary Innovation Centre, the Investor Hub will engage investors through education and connection opportunities, including pitch and networking events, educational programming, coaching and more.

Industry funding partners accelerate impact 

The Government of Canada, through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), is also investing $450,000 to attract new investors for Calgary’s technology companies and facilitate new connections between tech entrepreneurs and investors in the community.

Over the next three years, the National Bank Investor Hub is expected to help support about 100 small and medium-sized technology companies.

“Our government is proud to support Alberta’s technology sector in attracting new investors,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. “This investment in Platform Calgary’s Investor Hub will help Alberta’s tech entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to market while working to build a sustainable economy for Albertans.” 

“Platform Calgary has established itself as a leading-edge hub of expertise and resources for supporting entrepreneurship and innovation—located in the heart of downtown Calgary,” said George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview. 

“I’m proud to see our government’s investment in this new Investor Hub to make it even easier for innovators in our community to connect with new investment opportunities and take their startups to the next level of growth.”

With a combined funding commitment of $1,230,000 to date, partners in this project include the National Bank of Canada, PrairiesCan, Platform Calgary and the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.

National Bank Investor Hub connects investors and startups 

“Calgary’s tech sector is emerging as one of the fastest growing in the world,” said Terry Rock, President and CEO, Platform Calgary. 

“By creating better linkages between startups and investors, we can continue our momentum to establish Calgary as the best place in the world for anyone to start and grow a tech business.” 

The National Bank Investor Hub is a point of entry to Calgary’s early-stage tech sector for investors and a place for startups to connect with these investors. The Investor Hub works to improve and build connections between investors, founders, ideas and capital in the city. 

The OCIF funds will also be used to create a playbook on how to launch early-stage funds, which will educate investors, increase awareness about the unexpected possibilities in Calgary’s tech and innovation community and unlock more capital. 

To date, OCIF has allocated more than $84 million to 29 projects, which has created or retained almost 3,000 jobs, created or scaled over 800 companies, attracted $34 million in additional funding from government partners and generated almost $900 million in economic activity – a 10 times return on funds committed. 

Learn how the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund is helping diversify Calgary’s economic future. 

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