Ten years ago, a small group of business people who cared deeply about entrepreneurship and helping it grow got together to develop an incredible idea. They called it: Anges Québec.
The purpose? To offer angel investors the opportunity to invest their money and passion to help ensure the success of local businesses. This makes Anges Québec a member of a large family of venture capital organizations in the province, but it operates in a unique way.
The approach of Anges Québec calls for angel investors from a variety of backgrounds to provide funds and advice, allowing the organization to support high-potential, innovative start-ups in a wide range of industries in every region of Quebec. The group, which is also active in real estate, supports the development of new projects, looking for guidance and capital investments of $5 to $25M.
“Beyond money, the expertise we share is a critical factor at the start-up stage. With funds becoming increasingly available, the key is to make sure that the money is used in a way that guarantees business success (i.e. that the company will be able to deploy a profitable business model here and around the world)”, says François Gilbert, President of Anges Québec and Anges Québec Capital.
Anges Québec is now inspiring other groups of angels investors around the world.
The Anges Québec business model is based on monthly meetings at which entrepreneurs and their teams get 8 minutes to pitch their business ideas. Each angel investor then submits a form stating whether they are interested in moving on to the next stage, which involves a more detailed examination of the project. Each angel member makes his or her own investment decision, and only those projects that generate enough interest move forward.
There are some exceptions, of course. A la carte service is available to certain applicants, which allows them to solicit support from Anges Québec for personal projects. (Readers who are interested in more information and details about the selection process and membership at Anges Québec are welcome to visit the organization’s website.) “Our 200 members are all very familiar with the ups and downs of business. Their success ensures significant funds are available to support the projects of inspiring young entrepreneurs. Our approach is what gives meaning to our mission, which is to invest for the satisfaction of maximizing success, and minimizing failure. With our exclusive network, we offer essential advice and guidance, as well as a whole ecosystem of strategic contacts that make members more effective angel investors,” says Michel Brûlé, Chairman of the Anges Québec’s Board.
After investing and reinvesting in more than 130 projects, Anges Québec is now inspiring other groups of angel investors around the world. With that in mind, the organization is supporting NACO (National Angel Capital Organization) in preparation for the World Angel Investment Summit taking place in Montreal, October 3rd to 5th, 2017. Michel Brûlé, Mike Cegelski and Louis St-Jacques are among those committed to helping organize this event, which serves as a fine example of the many possibilities available through the network.
However, the 80 companies in the Anges Québec portfolio are still the most eloquent testament of the organization’s intention to remain a key figure in the larger ecosystem. Among this group are some well-kept secrets that are rising stars in their industries: Pivot 88, Hexoskin, Sportlogiq, Boreas Semiconducteur Inc, Wilder & Harrier; as well as several big names: Frank and Oak, Bon Look, PassWordBox and AmpMe.
Given its impact over the decade, we can certainly expect Anges Québec to be the wind beneath the wings of many more Quebec entrepreneurs to come!