12 Months of Reflection

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“Beez Reel” 2nd Edition

Keeping It Real With the Occasional Glimpse Behind The Scenes

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We have just hit our first anniversary.

Summer of 2015 we launched our angel fund…and an inspired twelve months has followed.

Right out of the gate we made our first investment in GymTrack. Then the stars aligned in such a way that we had three closings on one day – October 15th – right in the midst of Techtoberfest, which was just cruel! 

Techtoberfest

While navigating a little polka and pretzels, cheques were cut and deals were closed.  The autumn 2015 portfolio additions were ePACT, Vanhawks and Wiivv.

Then rounding out year one of our fund was an investment in Social Nature.

Every investment decision was catalyzed with the following question:

Will this company contribute to healthy living outcomes, participation in sport or the promotion of activity?

Sometimes the answer was direct and measurable (GymTrack, Vanhawks, Wiivv), other times the impact on a healthy lifestyle was experienced via communication and marketing strategies (ePACT and Social Nature). Knowing that our investment choices, our alliances, and our influence on the health and wellness of individuals of all ages inspires us daily.

We focus on those aspects and our companies have built campaigns and social strategies around them, including the following hashtags (which are inspirations to ourselves and collaborators):

#KeepGoing

#TryNatural

#RideConnected

Special Events – A Few Highlights

In addition to building our portfolio, we’ve worked with some stellar organizations over the past year delivering keynotes, judging startup pitches and participating in groundbreaking announcements in health and sport.

Autumn 2015

It was a magical intersection of technology, education and sport when I mentored and judged at the second annual SportsHack.

For the November 2015 event, hackers and innovators gathered simultaneously in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax to compete for the coveted top prize of having their solution brought to market by the CFL. Very cool. Locally the host was SFU’s VentureLabs. Fortunately for a few of the hackers, I am an avid football fan and was able to share a few rules along the way to up their game.

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Also in November Simon and I had a quick mission to MaRS.

While the total journey time from Earth to Mars can vary between 150-300 days, fortunately for us, BC base station to Toronto MaRS Discovery District was a 2-day adventure.

Day one we met with MaRS corporate partners CIBC, Globe & Mail and Revera to gain insights into their digital tech strategies. Day two, Simon delivered a keynote for the MaRS Innovation Centre’s “Corporate Partner Day”, on the theme of ‘Moonshots’. Below is a stunning graphic recording of Simon’s key messages captured by Visual Talks artists.

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Winter & Spring 2016

Representative keynotes and panels from 2016 to date include speaking at the Female Funders breakfast series, Simon’s keynotes at both the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine conference, and a return to my alma mater (University of Guelph) as a speaker at the Small Business and Entrepreneurship conference.

There has also been a series of health and sport announcements that Simon has been privileged to lead as Master of Ceremony:

MC of landmark collaboration among the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, viaSport (strategic partner of ePACT) and Own the Podium http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/generic/canadian-olympic-committee-live-stream-1.3434183;

MC of Canada’s first wellness rewards program launch (Carrot Rewards) – co-hosted by BC Ministry of Health and federal Ministry of Health; and

MC for BC Ministry of Health and Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) announcement kicking off “Canadian Men’s Health” week. Simon is a founding champion of CMHF and the “Don’t Change Much” campaign creating awareness and advocacy for men’s health.

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It has been a brilliant year of building new partnerships with the Canadian tech, health and finance communities. There has been a healthy dose of learning, challenges and progress with our evolving portfolio. 

Reflecting on the challenges prompts me to close with a few insider tips on Communicating with Your Investors:

  • Transparency trumps all
  • Frequency is preferred over perfection
  • Deliver the update before being asked for one
  • Share the small wins – they could catalyze unexpected paths to bigger ones!

 

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