Manitoba Technology Accelerator (MTA) has taken a pivotal step towards realizing its ambitious vision for the region’s start-ups. With two clear goals:
- Molding Manitoba into a hub of $100M companies
- Establishing Winnipeg as the start-up capital of Western Canada
The entity has identified and set out to tackle a significant barrier – A dearth of capital, both Angel and Venture.
The Capital Conundrum
Many of Manitoba’s developing businesses encounter a critical hurdle during the beginning stages – Lack of adequate capital. It’s not uncommon for start-ups, in their pursuit of funding, to look beyond provincial borders. While some have managed to secure out-of-province funds, the capital void within Manitoba continues. Addressing this concern, MTA has forged a path to ensure that promising entrepreneurs have the support and financial backing they need.
MTA’s wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, InvestCo, has been founded with a goal of making Angel investments. This initiative seeks to fill the capital void that has been stalling Manitoba’s promising start-ups. By doing so, it not only ensures their growth but also fosters an environment conducive for more businesses to grow and thrive locally.
A Dual-Pronged Approach
To provide flexible financial support catering to varying needs, InvestCo has devised two distinct streams of investment:
- Feasibility Level Investments: Designed for businesses testing the waters, this stream offers a maximum of $25,000. The recipient needs to present matching cash, which can be sourced from governmental programs. This model guarantees the entrepreneur’s commitment and a collaborative effort to launch the idea.
- Development Level Investments: Tailored for more mature projects that are shifting gears from conception to execution. MTA’s InvestCo can pitch in up to $400,000. With that said, InvestCo’s investment can’t exceed 50% of the total capital for that round. So, if InvestCo is contributing $400,000, private Angels need to match or exceed that amount. This shared responsibility ensures diversified support and reduces risks.
InvestCo’s introduction to Manitoba’s start-up scene is already making waves. More than 10 feasibility investments and 5 development investments have been achieved. This has successfully channeled over $5M of additional capital into MTA’s client companies. While it’s premature to measure the full impact of these investments, the portfolio companies are displaying promising trajectories.
MTA’s InvestCo is not just an investment subsidiary, it’s a light of opportunity for many entrepreneurs in Manitoba. By addressing the longstanding capital gap, InvestCo is paving the way for a brighter, more prosperous start-up ecosystem in Manitoba. With such robust support systems in place, Winnipeg’s dream of becoming the start-up capital of Western Canada seems closer than ever.