Canada’s first all-female angel fund is expanding across North America.
The Vancouver chapter was launched in 2020 followed by the Okanagan in early 2021 and new groups are currently setting-up in Toronto, Winnipeg and Silicon Valley.
WEL is comprised of groups of diverse, successful women who share expertise, insights and perspectives to make smart investments in new businesses. Their approach is a fun and accessible way to learn from the experience of early angel investing, activate capital to advance our economy and further gender equality.
Across regions WEL teams closely collaborate, network and share deal flow, education, expertise and resources to support their investees and communities and syndicate deals with other angel groups and government funding agencies.
Toronto, Winnipeg, and Silicon Valley and the second Vancouver fund are actively recruiting 25-30 investors each, who commit $5,500. Partners meet monthly and collectively develop an investment thesis, assess deal flow and make investment decisions. Each fund invests in from three to five deals over a one-year period.
Vancouver’s WEL fund was co-founded in 2020 by Irene Dorsman who is also CEO of Vancouver’s Angel Forum. “There are important initiatives to support women entrepreneurs, but it is equally important to create more female investors. Not only is this key to growing financial assets owned by women, it also ensures early stage companies benefit from a female perspective as they grow their business,” Dorsman shared with Techcouver.
The Okanagan WEL fund was launched this year and is the largest to date with 30 investors. The group, also known as Okanagan Women’s Mentoring and Angel Fund (WMAN), is focused on BC Interior ventures with one or more women on the management team and with women holding a significant equity interest.