Four women who are changing the face of Canadian VC

Meet some of the dealmakers who are blazing a trail for the next generation of women VCs

 

In her feature published today about the disproportionately small numbers of women in Canada’s venture capital industry, Jessica McDiarmid runs down the stats:

In Canada, numbers on how many women work in venture capital are scarce, but a forthcoming analysis to be published in May by MaRS, a non-profit startup accelerator, found 32 women in a total of 257 investment roles—or about 12.5%. A previous study found about two-thirds of Canadian firms had no women at all on their investment teams. (Both examined firms that made at least one seed or early-stage investment between 2010 and 2013.)

Though they’re outnumbered by their male counterparts, there are investors in Canadian VC bucking the stats. Here are four to keep on your radar:


Kerri GoldenKerri Golden

Volunteer general partner, JOLT

Golden worked in finance at various telecom and media companies, including Bell and Alliance Atlantis, before becoming a partner at Primaxis Technology Ventures in Ontario in 2000. In addition to her role at JOLT in Toronto, Golden is the CFO at Information Venture Partners.

Notable deals: At Primaxis, Golden oversaw a US$2.3 million investment in Chantry Networks, a wireless switch company later acquired by Siemens. More recently, Golden invested $30,000 through JOLT in Nudge Rewards, a woman-led startup working in enterprise software.


Janelle AndersonJanelle Anderson

Managing partner, CTI Life Sciences

After graduating from Harvard with a PhD in chemistry, Anderson worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group before joining VC firm Carrot Capital Healthcare Ventures in 2005. She later served as managing director for the MRL Venture Fund, an investment arm of pharmaceutical company Merck.

Notable deal: She co-led the $30-million Series B investment round in Visterra, a biotechnology company targeting treatment for infectious diseases.


Geneviève MorinGeneviève Morin

Chief investment officer, Fondaction

Morin began her venture capital career in 1996, when she began working at the Montreal-based labour-sponsored fund Fondaction. She started out as an administration and financing co-ordinator, and now oversees a $700-million portfolio, including direct investments in nearly 200 businesses and commitments in more than 40 investment funds.

Notable deals: The Fondaction team invested $6.4-million into Enerkem, a company that converts non-recyclable material into fuel. She was also part of a $4-million deal for Orckestra, an enterprise software firm.


Shermaine TilleyShermaine Tilley

Managing partner, CTI Life Sciences

Tilley earned a PhD in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and became an associate professor at New York University’s medical school. She later completed an MBA at Rotman School of Management and worked as a senior vice-president at a health-care investment firm.

Notable deals: Tilley led a $10-million investment in Xagenic, a company developing lab-free molecular diagnostic testing, in 2012. She also spearheaded funding rounds worth $14.8 million in Zymeworks, a biologics company developing treatments for cancer and other diseases.

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