BCF BUSINESS LAW LAUNCHES BCF VENTURES, A SUPER ANGEL FUND INSPIRED BY THE BEST PRACTICES FROM SILICON VALLEY

May 17th, 2018

Montréal, May 17, 2018 - The BCF Business Law’s partners are pooling their resources to establish BCF Ventures, Québec's very first Super Angel Fund, which could potentially invest $5 million over a ten-year period. This investment fund is led by Sergio A. Escobar, a recognized technology entrepreneur in the international community of startups, recipient of several awards recognizing his entrepreneurial and mentoring skills, who is also a business mentor for startup accelerators in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. BCF Ventures aims to drive the growth of technology startups and will invest $500,000 by the end of 2018, a sum that can be renewed annually by the BCF Business Law’s partners.

As of June 1st, BCF Ventures will act as an investor in the pre-seed and seed stages of technology-based companies, which it will have previously selected by means of an advisory committee comprising some of Canada's best angel investors, venture capitalists, and business leaders. BCF Ventures will also benefit from the expertise, resources and insights from Panache Venture Capital fund.

"By pooling their individual desire to make a difference in this environment, and by investing very early in the development of promising young businesses, our partners, via BCF Ventures, will invest in around ten startups per year with the means to speed up their growth," said Mario Charpentier, Managing Partner at BCF Business Law.

Great need in the startups environment

"Whereas the growth in business incubators and accelerators has led to the number of startups in Québec almost doubling in recent years, the number of investors has not grown at the same pace. There currently is a gap in private funding at the pre-seed stage, which lies ahead of funding gusts of between $500,000 and over one million dollars, " said Mr. Escobar, CEO of BCF ventures and Managing Director of the Silicon Valley accelerator The Founder Institute in Montréal. "In the US, there are more than 500 micro venture capital funds. Capitalizing on the innovations of such companies at their very start constitutes a great business opportunity for us, for them, and for the fund's partners. BCF Ventures draws its inspiration from the Silicon Valley's best business practices and has at its disposal an elite network of venture capitalists, both in Canada and the US, as well as a business network in over 60 countries. We are a true business accelerator. All this added value makes us one of the first Canadian Super Angel Funds, just like the ones you can find in Silicon Valley,’ he added.

"There is a great need for private capital in Québec's pre-seed funding segment and BCF Ventures is responding to a need that has long been underscored by stakeholders. We are keen on highlighting the leadership provided by the BCF partners, who have been diligently seizing this market opportunity, endorsed by an independent committee to invest in the most promising startups. Community involvement is necessary in order to support startups and, by its action, BCF is asserting considerable leadership,’ said Mike Cegelski, member of BCF Ventures' advisory committee and Managing Partner at Panache Ventures.

"There are very few firms like BCF that demonstrate leadership with such structuring qualities, and which share risks with entrepreneurs in order to allow them to grow. The blueprint that BCF Ventures is proposing will enable young businesses to benefit from BCF's network and clout. Such boldness truly speaks to me, and I am pleased to be on the organization's advisory committee,’ indicated Anne-Marie Boucher, Lawyer and president of the board the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation.

"Supporting young businesses at the beginning of the process is one of the conditions for the success they will enjoy later. Investing early in the life of a startup is both a risk and a sign of confidence. One has to deeply love entrepreneurs to invest in the pre-seed stage, and the BCF partners are demonstrating their commitment towards upcoming businesses,’ said Louis Carbonneau, founder and CEO of Tangible IP and Venture Partner at Cycle Capital Management.

"Canada is one of the world's most favourable environments for investments. The startup market in Canada is buzzing, and we need to send a clear message to entrepreneurs all over the world that local investors here are prepared to support them right from the early stages of their development. The establishment of the BCF Ventures Super Angel Fund sends out a very positive message,’ added Mitch Garber, Chairperson of Invest in Canada.

About BCF Ventures

Led by Sergio A. Escobar, the BCF Ventures Super Angel Fund works alongside the other investors in the industry in order to multiply the fundraising capacity of the companies that are selected. By means of investments of a maximum of $50,000 per company, the actions initiated by BCF Ventures complement the strategies deployed based on grants and soft loans already offered by government programs operating in pre-seed and seed stages.

The advisory committee of BCF Ventures is constituted by the angel investor and venture capitalist Mike Cegelski, Managing Director of Panache Ventures, Lawyer and businesswoman Anne-Marie Boucher, lawyer Jocelyn Auger, businessman Nicolas Bélanger and angel investor and businessman Louis Carbonneau. The Chairperson of Invest in Canada Mitch Garber also acts as special advisor on a volunteer basis. This committee works in close coordination with Mr. Escobar in order to select the businesses with the most promising viability and growth potential.

To know more about BCF Ventures:

Sergio A. Escobar, CEO of BCF Ventures T: 514 402-2159 E: sergio.escobar@bcfventures.vc