Three teams of Western alumni entrepreneurs have attracted up to $3.25 million collectively from private investors as a result of the first Western Angels’ Demo Day.
The December event put budding entrepreneurs in front of investors from the Western Alumni Angels Network (WAAN), to form partnerships to help scale their businesses. Launched last year, WAAN is an alumni-driven initiative engaging a diverse network of angel investors from the Western community.
These three start-ups drew a collective investment of up to $3.25 million:
- AssetDirect (Adam Rice, BA’08)
AssetDirect is a search engine for personal loans, allowing customers to search multiple lenders to get financial assistance that best suits their needs.
- Kabo (Vino Jeyapalan)
Kabo delivers fresh dog food to their customers’ doorsteps offering contactless delivery throughout Canada.
- Marlow (HBA’20 graduates Simone Godbout, Kiara Botha, Nadia Ladak and Harit Sohal)
Marlow takes the uncomfortable – conversations and products surrounding menstrual and sexual health – and makes them comfortable. They’re starting with the first lubricant designed for tampons, delivered straight to customers on a subscription basis.
The companies were among five teams who advanced through Amplify, a pre-qualifying competition where 20 selected ventures from across Western pitched to more than 12 judges from various industries.
During Demo Day, the Western- and Ivey-founded ventures were given 10 minutes to pitch their companies and answer questions from potential investors. The teams were rated on their growth potential as well as problem identification/opportunity; viability; innovation and talent.
Eric Morse, executive director of the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Ivey Business School said he was delighted with the outcomes of the inaugural Demo Day event.
“Not only did the teams raise an impressive amount of money, but we saw the strength and dedication of the Western and Ivey alumni networks. To have over two hundred angel investors from our network show up for the event was a tremendous success.”
The 2021 Western Angels’ Demo Day will be held April 30. Twenty companies have been selected out of 50 applications to move into the first round qualifying pitch competition, Amplify, taking place April 16. Five finalists will then advance to Demo Day to pitch investors, who are asked to register in advance.