Government Investment into Venture Capital to back Entrepreneurs, Address Inequality, Increase Employment, Support Life Science Companies and Propel Canada’s Economic Recovery

April 19, 2021 | By: Jon Jackson

Renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) program will invest CAD $450 Million over five years increasing VC dollars to entrepreneurs.

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) applauds the federal government’s CAD $450 million renewed investment supporting Canada’s innovation ecosystem, underrepresented entrepreneurs, critical life science companies, and economic recovery through the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).

“Today’s investment announcement is great news for all of Canada’s entrepreneurs and Canadian innovation,” says Kim Furlong, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. “The renewed VCCI will continue to deliver results through a strong partnership with industry: funding promising Canadian businesses, tackling inequality, creating high-quality jobs, boosting research and development, nurturing sales and growth, and attracting international investment.”

The follow-on program announced today builds on seven years of success and experience garnered through the Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) and then VCCI. The programs leverage government funds with private sector investment and expertise and generate a significant and sustainable impact on the Canadian innovation ecosystem. And now was the perfect time to triple down on this successful program.

The effects of the initial VCAP program are still being felt across Canada. At the end of 2019, the matching funds had been invested into 347 high potential Canadian firms that have raised CAD $2.3B from all sources. 178 companies involved in the program reported supporting 23,500 Canadian jobs, experienced an average annual growth rate of 36%, and derived an average of 57% of their annual revenues from export markets.

CVCA applauds the government’s commitment to removing barriers and helping to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in Canadian businesses. Startups led by underrepresented entrepreneurs produce some of the highest viable segments for growth. This new program will continue to build a pipeline of diverse entrepreneurs through VC investment with the greatest potential to create and deliver returns with impact.

CVCA supports the dedicated investment into Canadian life science companies through the renewed VCCI. The dedicated life sciences stream is part of a $2.2B government investment in the life sciences sector, which is a recognition of the sector’s strategic position and to help fuel our economic recovery while offering the potential to deliver solutions for future healthcare challenges. Canada has a demonstrated history of scientific discovery, innovation, and development which has led to the creation of a robust, diverse biotech ecosystem that extends across the country and includes world-class research institutions and hospitals; proven biotech entrepreneurs and enterprises; a highly educated workforce; and scientific, regulatory, and legal expertise.

“VCAP and VCCI are highly successful programs that attract private sector capital and build a strong technology-led innovation ecosystem, supporting the continued evolution of the Canadian venture capital industry, said Furlong. “Unlike other government programs, these fund-to-fund mechanisms are not a grant or subsidy but rather an investment by the government in Canadian entrepreneurs. Not only does the government get all their initial investment back, but it also gets a return. It is a win-win that will further enable an innovation-led recovery and transform Canada’s future economy.”


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