Retooled Capital Mentorship Program provides valuable training opportunity for startups

Brought to you by the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) and Spring, Discovery Foundation’s Capital Mentorship Program returns in 2019, featuring robust new content and a better startup experience than ever.

The first cohort of our Capital Mentorship Program kicked off in 2017, and we have revised and iterated the content each year. We’re now confident that the 2019 program is the most valuable yet. Here’s why:

  • Streamlined Classes: The capital mentorship program will help startups sharpen their pitch for raising the investment capital needed to scale their businesses after just 20 hours of class time
  • New & Up-to-date Content: Seven of the 10 sessions in the program feature new content that provides additional value to startups by grounding pitch preparation in the shared context of a startup’s life cycle
  • Added Mentorship: Startups enrolled in the program may be matched with investors for additional mentorship opportunities.

Applications are now open

Interested startups may learn more on this page (application deadline has passed) and fill out a quick application before midnight on September 2.


Program History

Studies by leading research groups agree that Vancouver’s innovative startups generally do well once they’ve raised their first round of seed-to-series A capital, and require the most support during this stage. As part of the startup support ecosystem, VEC wants to assist Vancouver companies as they continue to leverage the recent trend of increased venture capital deployment in larger Canadian cities. For the last few years, we have done so by by helping them position themselves more competitively on the capital-raising landscape.

In 2017, VEC worked with Spring to design and deliver a course to help entrepreneurs get pitch ready. Since then, four cohorts have graduated, including sector-specific cohorts devoted to women in tech, digital entertainment, and cleantech, with some startups pitching in various VEC-facilitated technology showcases and participating in reverse pitch sessions. Thanks to the ongoing support of the Discovery Foundation, each one of the Discovery Foundation’s Capital Mentorship Programs have been free for startups.

Past Tech Showcases: Cleantech Investment Showcase // Innovation Challenges // Vancouver Tech Showcase


Program Updates

In response to valuable feedback from past participants, VEC and Spring worked together to restructure and enhance their support to local startups. The new Discovery Foundation’s Capital Mentorship Program content, a longer timeline and a greater focus on contextualizing pitch preparation in the broader life cycle of a startup — including finding the ideal investor, metrics and exit strategies — will provide a more multifaceted and comprehensive experience for founders and CEOs raising capital.

Here are three reasons we’re excited by the updated 2019 program:

Startups have more time to prepare

Previous years’ participants benefited from expanding their networks and skill base. However, busy entrepreneurs occasionally struggled to fit an accelerated four-week program into their schedules. VEC and Spring revamped the course from a four-week intensive to a 10-week program, giving startups more time to absorb and prepare between session while enhancing the content of the program itself. This also gives participants more time to connect with their peers and follow up with instructors and mentors.

Return to multi-sector collaboration

Collaboration and networking are integral to the startup experience. The most recent Capital Mentorship Program cohorts were sector-specific, with content tailored to experiences for cleantech startups, women in tech, and digital entertainment. Class sizes were kept smaller to maximize startup engagement, dialogue and instructor attention.

While participants found this valuable, networking and forging connections outside one’s primary sector is integral to startups. This new cohort will benefit from sharing diverse experiences, goals and objectives in their startup journeys.

New content grounded in overall startup experience

The course material is grounded in revisiting milestones common to all startups, including how to identify and measure alternative returns, visualizing the ideal investor, and preparing exit strategies. Sessions are two hours long and run once a week on Wednesdays from September 11, 2019 to November 13, 2019.

Session1: Funding Fundamentals
Session 2: Positioning Workshop *new*
Session 3: Speaker Panel of Angel Investors, VCs, and Entrepreneurs *new*
Session 4: Finding the Ideal Investor and Building an Investor Funnel *new*
Session 5: Metrics and Alternative Returns *new*
Session 6: Exit Strategies *new*
Session 7: Pitch Workshop
Session 8: Pitch Practice Event with External Partners Providing Feedback *new*
Session 9: Speaker Panel for Legal and Accounting *new*
Session 10: Due Diligence, Investor Relations, and Negotiating to a Close

How to Apply

Applications for the 2019 Capital Mentorship Program are now closed. This program is offered free of charge to successful applicants.
Learn More About the Program


Brought to you by

The Discovery Foundation Capital Mentorship Program is brought to you by the Vancouver Economic Commission in Partnership with the Discovery Foundation.

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash