RIC Centre’s First Look Angel Investor Meeting, in partnership with the City of Mississauga and the Angel One Investor Network, is one of Southern Ontario’s biggest investor events of the year. A handpicked group of high-potential and innovative startups get a chance to present their businesses to a group of over 100 accredited investors.
TJ Machado, a member of the Angel One network, said, “The First Look events provide me with three core benefits – networking with Angels beyond my immediate network, speaking first hand with early-stage entrepreneurs to identify promising candidates to nurture towards an Angel financing, and finally emerging start-ups are a window into interesting new solutions making their way into the marketplace.”
Events like this are important to innovation communities across Canada.
Even for early-stage companies, being able to network with investors provides a lot of value by preparing them for investment.
Machado went on to give some advice to startups looking for investment, saying, “Keep it honest, let us know what you have achieved but also share your challenges. Find investors who have an affinity for your space and ask to engage for their assistance and network to get you to a finance-able stage.”
In 2016, AOMS Technologies, a RIC Centre Incubator graduate was able to secure close to $1 million from introductions at First Look.
Hamid Alemohammad, CEO of AOMS, said, “Participation in the First Look Angel Investor Meeting provided AOMS Technologies with an unprecedented opportunity to meet with Tier I investors. As a result of participation in this event and meeting with investors, we were able to close our first round of capital financing in 2016 which lead to a significant growth of our business.”
This year, over 150 people were in attendance to see 15 startups from Haltech, Innovate Guelph, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory and RIC Centre in one of the most successful iterations of First Look.
“I committed to hosting this event annually in my 2014 Mayoral platform because I heard how difficult it was for start-up companies to attract financing and take their ideas from concept to commercialization,” said Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga. “A great idea remains just that unless properly resourced. To make an idea into reality requires funding, mentorship, and a bit of luck.”
vGIS, also known as Meemim Inc., were one of the 15 startups present at First Look and featured their mixed reality solution for utilities companies. The RIC Centre startup has recently been gaining a lot traction. For example, earlier this year, they started a partnership with Toronto Water earlier in the year to pilot their product in the field.
Alec Pestov, CEO and Founder of Meemim vGIS, said, “The First Look event gives startups not just an opportunity to practice pitching in a friendly atmosphere, but also to establish actual relationships leading to funding. It is a ‘must-attend’ event for any startup contemplating raising funds.”