Angel of the Year Award 2019: Women’s Equity Lab

Women’s Equity Lab (WEL) is on a mission to create new women leaders and increase equal gender opportunity in the area of early stage investing. To date, WEL has 23 women from Victoria and Vancouver as founding partners and has made 4 investments into local BC-based companies.

Members range from their 20s into their 70s representing a broad range of backgrounds from business owners, retired executives, scientists, elected officials, realtors, and stay-at-home-moms. All have a shared interest in getting capital working in startups, and learning more about early stage investing.

This initiate to empower women to actively engage in early stage investing is the first of its kind in Canada, where they offer a collaborative pooled approach where women learn through pooling minimal risk capital and collaborating to source, qualify, evaluate, make investment decisions and monitor investments together. The goal is to inspire women across Canada by providing a proven and effective platform that can be used.

WEL2 closed in Spring of 2019 and they will be looking to invest primarily in companies with early traction, in-line valuations, good growth, and strong market opportunity. WEL does not only invest in women led companies but receives and evaluates a disproportionate volume of investment opportunities from women founders.

“I think it’s fabulous that the Women’s Equity Lab originated in Victoria and is now spreading to the Mainland. The collaborative approach of a large group of women with diversified backgrounds and experience provides a much easier entry point into early stage investing and also enables the companies to tap into a fabulous network through Women’s Equity Lab participants. Every startup in BC should try to get Women’s Equity Lab on board as an investor!”

– Hannes Blum, 2018’s Angel of the Year recipient

How is the Angel of the Year Recipient selected?

The Angel of the Year award was established as a joint VIATEC and CIN initiative in 2017. Each year the Capital Investment Network with the support of the local angel investment community selects the recipient of the Angel of the Year award. The winners of the award are investors who raise the profile of local angel investing, demonstrating a high level of investor acumen, serving as mentors to other angels and entrepreneurs and setting a positive example within the angel and business community with a high level of expertise and ethics. The recipient receives their award at the annual VIATEC awards ceremony.

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