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Subject: SBS

OCIF invests in Platform Calgary's National Bank Investor Hub to unlock capital for underrepresented Calgary-based founders


CALGARY, AB, June 20, 2024 /CNW/ - The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund ("OCIF") will provide up to $400,000 over 28 months to Platform Calgary for the National Bank Investor Hub to unlock capital for underrepresented Calgary-based founders. The National Bank Investor Hub helps broaden the city's investor pool and creates more opportunities for Calgarians to build their companies.

This investment will be used to engage and educate up to 40 investors and connect them to Calgary startups. The Investor Hub will provide targeted support to microfunds that focus on investing in early-stage, Calgary-based startups led by underrepresented founders and/or with missions centred on equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA).

"Calgary is a thriving tech and innovation hub, with momentum continuing to build thanks to our welcoming and inclusive startup and business community. Together, we are creating a city where every Calgarian's dream can find the support it needs to become a reality," said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

The National Bank Investor Hub is a point of entry to Calgary's early-stage tech sector for investors and a place for startups to connect with these investors. Located at the Platform Calgary Innovation Centre, the Investor Hub will engage investors through education and connection opportunities, including pitch and networking events, educational programming, coaching and more.

"OCIF is one of the most effective tools Calgary has to help ensure our economy is diversified and resilient," said Brad Parry, CEO, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund and President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. "This investment will help Calgary startups access capital sooner, reduce barriers for new investors to enter Calgary's innovation scene and create more opportunities for Calgarians to achieve their biggest ambitions."

The Government of Canada, through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), is also investing $450,000 to attract new investors for Calgary's technology companies and facilitate new connections between tech entrepreneurs and investors in the community. Over the next three years, the National Bank Investor Hub is expected to help support about 100 small and medium-sized technology companies.

"Our government is proud to support Alberta's technology sector in attracting new investors," said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. "This investment in Platform Calgary's Investor Hub will help Alberta's tech entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to market while working to build a sustainable economy for Albertans."

"Platform Calgary has established itself as a leading-edge hub of expertise and resources for supporting entrepreneurship and innovation?located in the heart of downtown Calgary," said George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview. "I'm proud to see our government's investment in this new Investor Hub to make it even easier for innovators in our community to connect with new investment opportunities and take their startups to the next level of growth."

With a combined funding commitment of $1,230,000 to date, partners in this project include National Bank of Canada, PrairiesCan, Platform Calgary and the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.

"Calgary's tech sector is emerging as one of the fastest growing in the world," said Terry Rock, President and CEO, Platform Calgary. "By creating better linkages between startups and investors, we can continue our momentum to establish Calgary as the best place in the world for anyone to start and grow a tech business."

The OCIF funds will also be used to create a playbook on how to launch early-stage funds, which will educate investors, increase awareness about the unexpected possibilities in Calgary's tech and innovation community and unlock more capital.

To date, OCIF has allocated more than $84 million to 29 projects, which has created or retained almost 3,000 jobs, created or scaled over 800 companies, attracted $34 million in additional funding from government partners and generated almost $900 million in economic activity ? a 10 times return on funds committed. For more information, please visit our website.

ABOUT OPPORTUNITY CALGARY INVESTMENT FUND 

Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund ("OCIF") was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary in 2018 to support catalytic investments within the city to help diversify and transform the economy. The fund is administered by Calgary Economic Development and has a volunteer Board of Directors. It is vital tool to achieve the goals of the economic strategy and diversify Calgary's economic future.

For more information, contact:

Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund: 
Evynn Anderson
Specialist, Communications
Media line: 403-880-7040
Email: [email protected]

ABOUT PRAIRIESCAN

PrairiesCan is the federal department that supports economic growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Its programs and services help businesses, not-for-profits, and communities grow stronger. Its mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Prairie provinces and advance the interests of the region in national economic policy, programs, and projects. Learn more at prairiescan.gc.ca.

For more information, contact: 
Rohit Sandhu
Communications Manager
Telephone: 587-337-3141
Email: [email protected]

ABOUT PLATFORM CALGARY

Platform Calgary is an impact organization whose members are tech companies, large and small, united in a vision of inclusive, innovation-driven prosperity for Calgary. Platform Calgary connects entrepreneurs to a network of partners focused on helping startups launch and grow at every step of their journey, from ideation through to scale. The Platform Innovation Centre is the front door to this community ? a single point of access for people as they navigate Calgary's innovation ecosystem.

For more information, contact:
Jordan Pinkster
External Relations & Communications Officer
Telephone: 403-651-9126
Email: [email protected]

SOURCE Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund Limited


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