CVCA 2021 Recap: Laser Focused on Our Mission

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Over the last year, the CVCA and our members have successfully delivered on several of the organization’s goal areas. Throughout all the curveballs and challenges, we have faced the pandemic head-on and continued to grow and evolve.

A Win-Win: VCCI Continuation

After months of dialogue with Ottawa, the CVCA was pleased to see a favourable step towards the continuation of the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) this year. In March, the federal government announced the CAD $450M follow-on investment into the program, supporting Canada’s innovation ecosystem, underrepresented entrepreneurs, critical life science companies, and our economic recovery. The team is now focusing on supporting the program’s implementation. The federal election was one of these 2021 curveballs delaying the program. CVCA is currently engaged with Minister Ng’s office and we expect the wheels to be set in motion as soon as parliament returns after the break to assist in the post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Read CVCA’s reaction to the announcement of the renewed VCCI here.

Actionable Insights: CVCA Research in 2021

This year, CVCA introduced a completely refreshed quarterly report. Unveiled with our Q42020 report, the new report featured several new data sets including:

  • Regional Spotlight (Atlantic Canada for VC and Western Canada for PE) with written commentary from CVCA’s data partners
  • CVCA member portfolio’s helping to combat the COVID-19 pandemic
  • VC-backed employment data
  • Foreign investors in Canada
  • Showcasing Canadian Narwhals”

You can check out our quarterly reports here.

2022 will be a banner year for CVCA Research. We are excited to share details of what we have planned next year as soon as we are able. Keep an eye on our website for announcements.

Pandemic Era Events: Together at Home

This year, in-person events remained on-hold, but CVCA maintained our commitment to provide exciting and insightful webinars, virtual events, and information sessions to connect with the industry and our members. 

Invest Canada 21 was delivered as a virtual experience once again, and building on our learnings from 2020, the program was condensed into two days with more sessions each day. In an effort to provide as many opportunities as possible to connect, we introduced a full week of networking for attendees. 

We look forward to welcoming delegates in-person again in 2022. Save the date and join us in Ottawa May 25 – 27 for Invest Canada 22.

Read CVCA’s Invest Canada 21 post-conference report here.

CVCA welcomed over 2000 attendees to our events in 2021, and covered a range of topics including:

  • COVID-19
  • SPACs
  • Continuation Funds and Secondary Vehicles
  • Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
  • Geopolitical Trends and Trade
  • Life Sciences
  • Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG)
  • Next Generation of VC & PE
  • IPOs

There will be a number of opportunities for you to connect and engage in 2022! Keep an eye on our events calendar – there will be new events added shortly!

A Diverse Pipeline of Talent

As part of CVCA’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee’s goal to expand the pipeline for underrepresented groups working in VC and PE firms, the committee has formed a subcommittee to launch the pilot CVCA co-op/internship for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) students in partnership with ICON Talent Partners – a grassroots non-profit with experience helping CVCA member organization in sourcing BIPOC talent for both full-time and interns. 

The pilot program has placed 10 BIPOC students (nominated by Canadian universities from across the country) into 10 CVCA member firms for the Fall 2021 term and will continue to support the cohort with biweekly Lunch & Learn events and networking. At least 50% of candidates put forward by ICON were women from racialized communities – the most underrepresented group in private capital. 

While learnings of the pilot are currently being reviewed, many CVCA members have expressed interest in participating in future cohorts of this program. Look for an announcement about how to apply in Q1!

The Role of Data in Industry Diversity

CVCA’s D&I committee is putting the finishing touches on our latest Human Capital Benchmark report- a refresh of CVCA’s 2019 Human Capital Benchmark Study on the state of diversity and inclusion in VC and PE. Working alongside Diversio, CVCA sent surveys to its membership to collect anonymized data from employees of VC and PE firms based on demographic information. The report will analyze employee experiences and benchmark performance against other industries.

The report is made possible by sponsorship from BDC, CIBC, and The51, and will be published in Q1-2022 with industry-wide recommendations. 

See you in 2022!

We have so much to be proud of this year. Thank you to our members, partners, and industry friends for making 2021 another great year. We can’t wait to continue this momentum in 2022 and we look forward to meeting in person with you again soon!