Blogs

  • 20 Feb 2018 by Info Vantec

     VANTEC’s mission is to grow the Angel investor community in BC and to help investors find more investment opportunities they want to invest in. Entrepreneurial programs, incubators and accelerators provide valuable support to budding entrepreneurs and their companies and help them on their journey to become a thriving business.

    The February 7th VANTEC meeting focused on Investing in Food & Ag Tech has brought 4 great organizations together that each provide unique and valuable services to entrepreneurs by supporting them in the journey to become investment ready.

     

     

    What is your organizations’s mission?  

    Bioenterprise’s official mission statement is to become the leading commercialization organization in Canada for companies engaged in agri-technology, but there’s more to it than that. We want to see the agri-technology and food sectors grow and increase in both level of innovation and competitiveness on a global scale. Bioenterprise aims to empower entrepreneurs and provide the resources to create sustainable, profitable businesses.

     

    What excites you about the investment opportunities in Food and Ag Tech today and looking ahead.

    There is a global push towards innovation and adaptations in the Food and Ag Tech industries. The global population is growing, our arable land is decreasing, fresh water is becoming scarcer, climate change is impacting crop yields, and the population is becoming more educated about their food sources and looking for sustainable, nutritious options. All of these factors are contributing to a growing food and agri tech sector and causing larger organizations, not traditionally focused on agriculture, to look for sustainable alternatives to traditional materials, such as plastics.  

     

    What do you see as some of the biggest challenges that new entrepreneurs have to overcome on their journey to become investment ready? How does your organization help them with that?

    Many of the entrepreneurs that we see entering the market understand their niche and technology, but often haven’t spent enough time analyzing their market and understanding their customer and that customer’s needs. These entrepreneurs need to learn how to identify their target market and how to ask the questions required to refine their product for commercial success. Another big challenge for the entrepreneurs we meet is understanding how to grow their business strategically. Bioenterprise can help companies identify their target market, facilitate strategic connections/partnerships, and coach entrepreneurs through customer discovery. We also work with the entrepreneurs to develop and implement a strategic growth plan including a review of their investment materials, creation of an appropriate strategy and introductions to investors when the time is right.

     

    What proof are you seeing that entrepreneurs benefit from working with you and from being part of your community?

    Over the last 10 years, the companies we have worked with have successfully launched more than 1,000 new products, services and technologies; created thousands of new jobs; and generated over $268 million in revenues. Bioenterprise has also worked closely with 30 companies in helping them secure more than $120 million in investment.

     

    What is the best way for an entrepreneur to learn more about what you can do for them?

    Talk to us! (And check out our website: www.bioenterprise.ca) Fill out our short online application or drop us a line and we’d be happy to walk you through our process. The more background information you can provide the better. This allows us to make sure we have the right experts at the table during our conversation and can customize a project for your unique needs. 

     

    We are seeing rapid changes in how people can invest in Food and Ag. What opportunities do you see for seed stage investors to benefit from these opportunities? How can they add value to the local eco-system?

    British Columbia has no shortage of promising agri-tech ideas, technologies and products.  Seed stage investors play a critical role in a growing venture, helping them grow their market, competitive advantage or scale operations.  This growth helps position ventures for follow-on investment and successful exits for the seed investors. 

     

    A great example of this is from DeeBee’s Organics, with certified organic TeaPops, which are free of chemicals, refined sugar and artificial flavours and are made from all-natural fruit purées and juices.  DeeBee’s secured a $1.5 million investment round and their products can be found in more than 2,000 stores across North America, including heavyweights like Loblaw’s, Sobeys, Whole Foods, Safeway and Costco.  DeeBee’s also recently landed an agreement with Walmart USA, and sales are expected to at least double in 2018 to more than $4 million.

  • 02 Feb 2018 by Info Vantec

    VANTEC’s mission is to grow the Angel investor community in BC and to help investors find more investment opportunities they want to invest in. Entrepreneurial programs, incubators and accelerators provide valuable support to budding entrepreneurs and their companies and help them on their journey to become a thriving business.

    The February 7th VANTEC meeting focused on Investing in Food & Ag Tech has brought 4 great organizations together that each provide unique and valuable services to entrepreneurs by supporting them in the journey to become investment ready.

     

     

    Interview with Keith Ippel of Spring

     

    What is your organization's mission?
    Spring is THE global community for purpose-driven leaders. We provide the tools, knowledge, mentorship, and support network to help entrepreneurs to launch, grow and change the world. Through our Leaders Roundtables, Impact Startup Visa Program, workshops and advisory services, we support early stage and growth entrepreneurs leveraging technology to make the world a better place. Spring is making impact mainstream by being action-oriented, connected, open and fiercely entrepreneurial. We believe in changing the world through entrepreneurship.


    What excites you about the investment opportunities in Food and Ag Tech today and looking ahead.

    This is one of the hottest markets right now as we tackle big issues in food sustainability from local to global markets. This need is creating amazing opportunities for solid businesses with effective technology and business models to win big in the coming decade.

    With startups working on exciting new projects like irrigation innovations to beat draught, nut and citrus orchard management software using satellite data, a new oxygen management technique that extends the shelf life of fresh protein and so many more, people are starting to put money into ventures that are actually going to change the world.

    What do you see as some of the biggest challenges that new entrepreneurs have to overcome on their journey to become investment ready? How does your organization help them with that?

    There are a few. First, entrepreneurs need to focus on ideal investments and ignore geography when seeking and engaging investors. Second, Canadian entrepreneurs need to think global from day one in their sizing and pursuit of the market. Lastly, entrepreneurs need to get on their due diligence early to be ready to move quickly when investors start to show interest.

    Spring supports entrepreneurs through the most complete training workshops and programs (in person or online with New Ventures BC), and with funding Roundtables which provide ongoing mentorship, advisory, and introductions all the way to the end of the round.


    What proof are you seeing that entrepreneurs benefit from working with you and from being part of your community?

    Spring has helped companies raise more than $12M in early stage equity in the last three years. Since 2015, we have worked with over 650 alumni, created over 280 companies and 300+ jobs across 13 different industries.


    What is the best way for an entrepreneur to learn more about what you can do for them?
    Check us out online at spring.is or reach out to help@spring.is and set up a time to chat!

    We also have an upcoming Meet and Greet info session on March 6 for those who would like an introduction to Spring and our Leaders Roundtables. At the Meet and Greet, they will get to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs, chat with current members and alumni and meet the Spring team to ask any questions they may have on our programs. We also hold a short panel discussion and Q&A with select members to shed some light on how the whole thing works.

    We are seeing rapid changes in how people can invest in Food and Ag. What opportunities do you see for seed stage investors to benefit from these opportunities? How can they add value to the local eco-system?

    The global food system needs to increase productivity by more than 70% just to feed the population within 20 years.  There is huge pressure on the desire for local and ethically sourced nutrition from both millennials and baby boomers and the economic opportunity of responding to these trends is huge.

    Investors can bring industry and business model experience, along with their network, to help these entrepreneurs to launch and grow well.

    Is there an other organization that you’d like investors and entrepreneurs to know about?
    A number of the best food & ag startups will be at the pitch event on the 7th, and we can’t wait to hear from each of them. Feeding Growth is a great community of progressive food entrepreneurs, led by UBC Farm, Fluid Creative, and Vancity.

     

    Keith Ippel, CEO & Cofounder

    With over 15 years experience as a leader in technology centric businesses, Keith has accelerated the growth of both small and large companies, launched new products, and raised over $20m in angel investment and venture capital. He has an unparalleled ability to collaborate with entrepreneurs, employees, and investors to deliver amazing products to the market. Keith is passionate about creating opportunities that previously did not exist for people and co-founded Spring to bring that into the social venture space.