$250K up for grabs for Western Canadian startups at OKGN Angel Summit

The three-month competition sees the region’s top startups compete for investment and mentorship.

The deadline for startups and investors to enter the fifth-annual OKGN Angel Summit is fast approaching. Applications for the Accelerate Okanagan-hosted event close on December 16, 2022.

This pitch program guides Okanagan-based investors and startups from across Western Canada – including Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, and Northwest Territories – through the capital-raising process as part of a Dragons’ Den-style selection process, culminating in a public grand finale.

On March 16, 2023, the last company standing will be awarded an investment of up to $250,000.

Applications to pitch and invest are available on the OKGN Angel Summit website.

“The incredible momentum generated by the four previous Summits is enabling us to attract a wider range of investors and a roster of leading capital experts,” said Scott MacFarlane, fund manager for the 2023 OKGN Angel Summit. “This innovative program is a prime example of Accelerate Okanagan’s commitment to creating positive change across Canada and around the world by supporting entrepreneurs, fostering business connections, and strengthening the capital ecosystem.”

Through the 10-week program, Accelerate Okanagan has helped hundreds of participating companies learn about the capital raising process and how to effectively build relationships with prospective investors. Meanwhile, more than 70 Okanagan-based investors have received training to proactively learn how to vet companies, provide feedback, and perform due diligence in supporting early-stage companies. 

“The Summit’s home-run idea is to pool angel talent and have them mentor and perform due diligence with the competing companies,” said Mike Boudreau, president of 2021 Summit winner TechBrew Robotics. “The knock-on effect has been great as well. There are so many of the Summit’s angels that continue to reach out about opportunities for us and stop in to see the robots. We even have one as our director helping to open doors with VCs. It’s been great to maintain those relationships and have them in our network.”

Since winning the 2022 Summit, Nelson-based CertiCraft has increased its overall annual recurring revenue by $200,000, added four new team members, and is making huge improvements to its sales and marketing processes. “The Summit provided the mentorship and investment capital needed for us to enter the mid-sized market segment and launch a pilot project,” said CEO Sami Majadla, adding that the company “has also received incredible support from Accelerate Okanagan's RevUP accelerator program.” 

As game-changing as it has been for past winners, “the OKGN Angel Summit is about much more than choosing who will receive the big investment,” said Accelerate Okanagan CEO Brea Lake. “It’s about training entrepreneurs and investors in the capital-raising process, making it easier to invest successfully, and sourcing the investment early-stage companies need to take their businesses to the next level.”