A man and a woman on a farm look at a digital agriculture climate technology solution on an iPad to manage crop

Vancouver ecosystem doubles down on B.C. climate technology startups

Angels for Climate Solutions returns to nurture early-stage investment in climate solutions

October 12, 2022 – (Vancouver, B.C.) – The Vancouver Economic Commission have announced the return of the popular Angels for Climate Solutions, a program aiming to increase the flow of capital investment into B.C.-based, early-stage climate technology startups.

“Vancouver’s long-established environmental ethos and talent-packed tech and startup ecosystem makes our city a hub for world-leading climate tech innovation,” says VEC CEO Eleena Marley. “Angels for Climate Solutions provides the innovation ecosystem’s support of technology-based climate action and services that safeguard, restore and otherwise future-proof the environment for future generations.”

Funded by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) and delivered in partnership with Spring Activator, Volition and Foresight Canada, the program takes a cohort-based approach to education and training with two intersecting streams. The first is geared towards angel investors looking to make early-stage investments into climate technologies, and the second designed for climate-focused startups looking to fundraise.

“TD is proud to support Angels for Climate Solutions,” says Mandip Kharod, Pacific Regional Manager for TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. “This program harnesses the power of technology to create the climate solutions of tomorrow, which aligns with our commitment to elevate the quality of the environment so that people and economies can thrive.”

The education and training are interspersed with a series of pitch events, which culminate in the angel cohort awarding one startup an investment of at least $150,000 (Update: tickets are now available for the Angels for Climate Solutions: Pitch Finale happening April 25, 2023). By connecting angel investors in Vancouver with startups seeking funds to scale their climate-oriented solutions, Angels for Climate Solutions helps address the urgency of the Decade of Action while leveraging the market opportunity it presents.

Facilitating early-stage investment in climate solutions is essential to progress the innovation required to meet necessary climate goals. Climate solutions include applications in transitioning the energy supply to renewable sources; moving toward zero-emissions transportation; reducing the impact of buildings and other infrastructure; cultivating sustainable food and agriculture, forestry, and land use; and decarbonizing industrial processes. However, the success of climate solutions is dependent on more than an attitude of safeguarding the environment.

This is a program designed by the innovation ecosystem for the innovation ecosystem

“Angels for Climate Solutions was a great program,” says Maartje van der Sande, CEO of Circular Rubber Technologies, whose company was awarded $122,000 from the angel investor cohort at the conclusion of the 2022 program. “As an innovator, you were taken by the hand and walked through the different steps to set you up for success. Our previous fundraising was more organic… there was less of a structured process. The insights we gained from the program are helping us make our case to institutional investors, who are expecting that structure.”

“The Vancouver Economic Commission’s 2022 Angels for Climate Solutions challenge was a well-grounded step-by-step tour of the key elements of impact investing,” said Ted Sheldon, an investor who participated in the angel stream. “The guidance from Spring, the networking opportunity with peers, and the dynamics that combined research, collaboration and decision making made for an invigorating, informative and fulfilling exercise.”

The Vancouver Economic Commission and program delivery partners have leveraged participants’ feedback to further finetune the program: investors will have more time to conduct due diligence checks on the top 20 startups before selecting the top 10. The top five finalists will undergo a tailored program that suits their specific needs as a cohort.

Applications for startups close on November 28; investors may apply until January 27. Together, these cohorts can make a notable contribution in addressing the climate emergency. For more information, visit www.vancouvereconomic.com/climate-angels.

What program delivery partners are saying

Graham Day, Investment Director at Spring:
“It is critical to support both new founders and angel investors to work together to bring forward new innovations to combat climate change. Spring aims to foster rich conversations within the cohort which build relationships that far outlast the program. We look forward to seeing this year’s inspiring applicants.”

Melanie Ewan, Managing Partner at Volition:
“Volition is proud to once again collaborate with our ecosystem partners to bring together local innovators, creators, and funders to support and advance climate solutions for the region and beyond. It has been such a pleasure to get to know and work with founders across BC who are working to solve some of today’s biggest questions, and we look forward to meeting the 2023 cohort! ”

Jeanette Jackson, CEO at Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre:
“Programs like this boost engagement within the angel investment community while encouraging impact investing in critical climate solutions. Foresight is proud to be a program delivery partner and looks forward to seeing how the impacts of this program continue to support Canada’s transition to net zero.”

About the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)

The Vancouver Economic Commission is proud to serve one of the world’s fastest-growing, low-carbon economies. As the economic development agency of the City of Vancouver, VEC strengthens Vancouver’s economic future by building a prosperous, inclusive, zero-carbon and resilient local economy, competitively positioned in the global market. It does so by developing programs, supporting local companies, attracting targeted high-impact investment, and conducting and publishing thoughtful leading-edge industry research.

VEC respectfully acknowledges that it is located on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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Ingrid Valou
Manager, Communications & Media Relations, Vancouver Economic Commission
+1 (604) 868-1990 | ivalou@vancouvereconomic.com