Vancouver is building the next generation of climatetech leaders

The Vancouver Economic Commission has launched another year of its Angels for Climate Solutions program to support pre-seed climate ventures and aspiring angel investors.

green suspension bridge

Photo: Jeffrey Eisen/Unsplash

It’s a tough time to raise money as an entrepreneur, unless you’re in climatetech. And if you’re a budding investor looking to invest in a better planet, climatetech is a great place to start. While world leaders gather in Egypt this week at COP27 to discuss climate policy, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) is on the ground supporting local technologies that can bring us closer to a liveable future through Angels for Climate Solutions.

Why it matters: Local climatetech startups struggle with funding at the pre-seed level, said Hashir Safi, manager of economic transformation at VEC. For investors, “there's a lack of understanding of what it means to invest in climate solutions,” he added. The two streams of the program empower angel investors to fund climate solutions and increase the flow of early-stage capital for local pre-seed climatetech startups.

Climate solutions? Technologies that either mitigate or adapt to climate change across a variety of sectors — such as supply chain, transportation, or energy — are eligible for funding. “We're not only educating the startups on how to invest, but also educating [new investors] on what it means to invest in a climate solution and what that looks like,” said Safi.

New investors welcomed: “Last year, we had about nine accredited investors and 12 non-accredited investors, which was amazing,” said Safi. “These 12 knew nothing about angel investing [prior to the program] [...] and then they made their first investment.” Through reducing barriers to investment and funding, VEC hopes to encourage participation from under-represented gender and ethnic groups.

More money, less problems: 15 startups will be selected from the application pool and undertake training before investors narrow the field to five. These five companies will then pitch for an investment of at least CAD $100k: last year, it closed at CAD $172k thanks to additional participation from program alumni. Safi adds that the top five startups usually get a follow-up investment from the cohort investors.

Angels for Climate Solutions is accepting applications until December 16 for investors and November 28 for startups. The program is supported by TD Friends of the Environment, as well as partners Spring Activator, Foresight, and Volition.

Join the conversation

or to participate.