As business booms across the Windsor-Essex County region, the Windsor Essex Capital Angel Network (WECAN) is working behind the scenes to build a healthy entrepreneurial framework for local start-up businesses to grow and succeed in. With the help of WECAN’s Angel Investors, over the past several years, 24 early-stage companies have received investments in excess of $5.8 million. As a result, many of these young ventures raised additional follow-on capital and experienced business growth.
On Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, the group of over 40 WECAN members and interested investors met at the Ciociaro Club in Oldcastle for an evening of information, testimonials, and networking on the merits of angel investing.
“To build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, our region needs investors who are not afraid to put their private capital into innovative young businesses,” explains WECAN executive director Deborah Livneh. “Angel investors mentor, fund, and connect innovative startups.”
The event was conducted to provide information on angel investing and about the critical role those private investors play in growing innovative start-ups.
Speakers included Equation Angels CEO Neil Wilkinson, who gave detailed information about angel investing for private investors, investor and WECAN member Cam Crowder spoke of opportunities for investment in early-stage companies through a venture fund, and Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of Invest Windsor-Essex, explained that angel investment is an essential part of sustainable economic development, as private investors provide startups with more exposure and resources to take their business to the next level.
MacKenzie’s explanation is exactly how it worked for Foresight Analytics founder Nima Ashtari after he had pitched to WECAN investors in 2021. Ashtari and angel investor Brian Lazarus addressed the crowd about the success and growth they have been able to achieve with Ashtari’s automotive insurance analytics platform. Finally, WECAN co-chairman Shawn Bustin made a major announcement about the success of AgMedica Bioscience Inc., one of his start-up investments, and that Atlas Global Brands, Inc. has completed RTO and is set to commence trading on the Canadian Security Exchange this month.
With another successful networking event in the books, WECAN continues to work to expand its reach and impact in the region. “I was so excited to host so many angels, aspiring investors and local businesspeople who are interested to learn about angel investing and about the benefits and limitations of venture funds,” says Livneh. ” We are thankful to our engaging speakers. Together, we build a community of entrepreneurs and investors.”
Devan Mighton grew up north in Grey County but has called Windsor home for almost two decades. A dedicated father and sports coach, he has worked as a writer and sports photographer for over five years. Currently a freelance writer with WEtech Alliance and The Drive Magazine, he has worked as a regular contributor with TorStar Local online publications, the LaSalle Post, Tecumseh Shoreline Week, and the Lakeshore News, among a number of other publications.
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