CVCA Member Profiles

CVCA New Member Profile: Northside Ventures

Alex Mc Isaac Landscape

Welcome back to our CVCA Central series, where we spotlight our members, offering insights into the organizations that play a critical role in our community. This time, we’re featuring Northside Ventures.

Discover the impact they’re aiming to make in the startup ecosystem and the opportunities they see on the horizon.

Tell us about Northside Ventures.

Northside Ventures is a pre-seed and seed stage venture capital firm backing exceptional Canadian founders in the US and Canada with initial investments ranging from US$100k to $500k. We invest in a founder’s first round of capital at the point of company inception and ideation. We leverage our deep network to support founders through customer introductions, acting as a sounding board for advice and providing access to follow on capital. Our LPs include firms like Intact Insurance Ventures, iNovia Discovery Fund and Bain Capital Ventures in addition to 40+ successful founders and growth operators from companies like Google, Uber, Affirm, Rippling, Deel, PointClickCare and Wave representing a vast network of people and expertise.

What is Northside Ventures’s Focus?

We see an increasing number of world-class founders emerging from the Canadian ecosystem who gained experience building startups or working at scaled ventures over the last decade and are now directing that experience and energy towards starting something new with the ambition to build the next Shopify. At Northside we believe there is a massive opportunity to build world-leading outlier companies by backing these exceptional Canadian founders at the earliest stage and supporting them with capital, customers and an international network to scale.

Northside focuses on investing in categories with multi-decade tailwinds that hold the potential to greatly transform our world’s future. Our core focus areas include artificial intelligence, B2B SaaS, fintech and cleantech.

Tell us about the key people at Northside Ventures.

Alex is the sole General Partner with over 13 years’ experience as both an operator and investor. Alex was previously the sole Canadian Partner at GFC, an international venture fund managing over $3B AUM and 20+ unicorns including many great companies like Canva, HelloFresh, Delivery Hero, Slack, Deel and Brex. Alex joined GFC in March 2020 where he built the Canadian practice from the ground up. Prior, he was a Principal at BDC Capital helping to manage both the seed fund and Women in Tech fund investing in entrepreneurs across Canada. Alex gained operational experience as a co-founding employee at NRStor, a Canadian cleantech start-up company that raised C$170m in equity and debt; Blackstone Energy acquired its commercial business in 2018. Alex holds a BScH from Queen’s University and an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. Alex lives in Toronto with his wife Monika and his sons Max and Finnley.

What is Northside Ventures Excited About?

On the immediate horizon Northside is excited to help fill a gap in the Canadian pre-seed venture market, the quality of Canadian founders starting new businesses, and the expansive number of new opportunities unlocked by generative AI. In the long run I’m excited to help contribute to the growth of more Canadian unicorns who are successful on a global scale.