Alberta Enterprise Corp. invests $10M into Evok Innovation Fund II

The fund's first investment was USD$50 million into Calgary-based Summit Nanotech.

Kristina Williams, president and CEO, Alberta Enterprise Corporation

The Alberta Enterprise Corporation is investing USD$10 million in the Evok Innovation Fund II to continue developing and deploying clean technologies with a focus on carbon capture, electrification, and hydrogen.

Venture capital firm Evok established its first fund in 2016 as a partnership between Calgary-headquartered energy companies Suncor and Cenovus, along with BC’s Cleantech CEO Alliance.

Evok is targeting USD$300 million for its second fund, and has attracted investment from oil and gas leaders, financial institutions, Crown corporations, and pension funds, in addition to this latest investment from Alberta Enterprise.

Recently, Evok announced its first Fund II investments, which included participation in a USD$50 million round into Calgary-based Summit Nanotech, a direct lithium extraction technology to unlock lithium resources efficiently and sustainably.

“Energy and industrial technology companies make up a substantial part of Alberta's tech sector, and attracting capital to grow those businesses will help to deliver the energy innovation the world needs," said Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation, in a news release. "It is great to see the Evok team doubling down on its investments in Alberta and attracting capital from some of Canada's most influential investors.”

Alberta Enterprise’s mission is to foster a thriving venture capital industry in the province, one that provides access to venture capital and other resources to create successful local companies.

Since it was created by the provincial government in 2008, it has connected Alberta inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to money, markets, and mentors.

The Evok fund has made 15 investments in decarbonization technologies, ranging from clean hydrogen and carbon-to-value, to long-duration energy storage.

Evok, which has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Seattle, and Silicon Valley, is led by partners Marty Reed, Mike Biddle, Naynika Chaubey, and Jane Kearns. The Canadian team is led by Reed, who was a serial entrepreneur before moving into early-stage venture capital for cleantech and helping to launch Evok. Erin Madro, principal at Evok, is the team's frontline in Alberta.

“Alberta is home to some incredible entrepreneurs that have come out of world-leading energy companies, including CEO Amanda Hall who founded Summit Nanotech," said Reed in a statement. "There's talent here that understands the energy sector, sees new opportunities, and recognizes the path to deploy cleantech at scale."

Marty Reed, partner at Evok Innovations

The company said Fund II will provide money to early-stage companies based in North America that are commercializing transformative technologies in carbon capture use and storage, low-carbon fuels, clean energy and grid, mobility, industrial innovation, and material and circularity.

“While forecasts show that oil and gas demand will continue for decades, Alberta has the opportunity and industrial know-how to develop clean technology that will reduce emissions and integrate other lower carbon sources into the global energy supply," said Nate Glubish, Alberta’s minister of technology and innovation, in a news release.

“Hydrogen alone is expected to be a $2.5 trillion to $11 trillion market by 2050. Alberta is one of the largest hydrogen producers in Canada and has the expertise to become a major global supplier, creating jobs and generating new economic prosperity for Alberta."