Our Work with the Laurier Startup Fund

The Waterloo Region is home to some of the finest academic institutions and centres of learning available in the world today. From the University of Waterloo to Conestoga College, these post-secondary schools make a concerted effort to provide students with high-quality education, while also offering unique opportunities for them to develop professional skills. Take, for example, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Startup Fund.

The Laurier Startup Fund engages senior business students at Laurier to evaluate and make recommendations regarding investments in budding young businesses. This hands-on opportunity to assist the Laurier Startup Fund invest real money in real companies is invaluable for those with sharp, discerning and entrepreneurial minds.

From due diligence to reports, recommendations and, ultimately, funding if agreed upon, each week sees students working through all the steps of the investment process. It’s a rare opportunity to explore the world of startup finance with seasoned angel investors. Deals are pre-screened by GTAN and the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund. Students work with experienced angel investors who approve final decisions.

Here is the Laurier Startup Fund’s current list of investee companies:
Statflo (2015)
Aterlo (2015)
SeamlessMD (2015)
RENOMii (2015)
Nicoya Lifesciences (2015)
Nix Sensor Limited (2015)
Proteocyte Diagnostics (2014)
Tacit Innovations (2014)

“Laurier and GTAN have a partnership together that is quite unique. Through this partnership GTAN does something that I’ve never seen done within the angel community before and that is substantially supporting and engaging the next generation of entrepreneurs,” says Steve Farlow (Interim Executive Director, Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises). “One way is through GTAN|START, where it encourages the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs, and secondly through the Laurier Startup Fund. In direct partnership with GTAN, students for course credit provide due diligence to potential GTAN investees. It’s a wonderful way to engage these young people in the GTAN process.”

GTAN is proud to be partnered with the Laurier Startup Fund — educating, coaching and mentoring students of the Lazaridis School of Business. This passionate and forward-thinking group exemplifies the power of young minds and the Region’s impressive talent pool.

As mentioned in our Accelerator Centre partner blog, it’s our firm belief that Waterloo Region innovation is at its strongest when its key resources work together. GTAN and the Laurier Startup Fund are jointly committed to developing and mentoring the University’s students. This relationship will continue to focus on fostering the next generation of our country’s leading angel investors and unlocking their full potential.

GTAN is very appreciative for the opportunity to work with the Laurier Startup Fund and is looking forward to future co-investments.

“The partnership between GTAN and the Laurier Startup Fund has direct benefits to the economy. Funding early-stage companies that have the best prospects ensures that we are allocating capital in a way that will lead to sustainable growth in employment and long-term wealth creation,” says Brian Smith (Professor & BMO Financial Group Professorship of Entrepreneurial Finance). “Structured as a university course, the fund’s work with GTAN provides invaluable training alongside seasoned angel investors. We are very fortunate as a school to have GTAN in our community as it allows us to offer this extremely rich practicum.”


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