So where are the Canadian super-angels?

Everybody talks about the emergence of super-angels and micro VC’s and how they fill an important role in a startup world that has smaller and smaller funding requirements. So when I check Angellist, the most important directory of angels in North-America and Europe, I only find 3 Canadian angels (of a total of 350 registered on the site), two in Vancouver (Danny Robinson and myself) and one in Edmonton (Kevin Swan). So where are all of the other Canadian (super-)angels? Would love to get a complete list together so please leave their names and some of the investments they did down in the comment section. I will then make sure to pull together and publish the complete list and point the AngelList guys to this as well so we get a better representation on the Canada side.


In addition to the comments below I received quite some feed-back via email and the situation in Canada can probably be best described by “many people with money but not many professional angels that can help a startup to a proper Series A round or to profitability”. This is something that will hurt our startup ecosystem a lot over time (even worse than not having enough VC’s as angel investing is even more local business than VC investing is) and needs to be addressed – thoughts on that to follow in a separate post!

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  • Guest

    Jim Estill

  • Hkutarna

    They are alive and well. I have several dozen of them in Alberta Deal Generator that Ken Gordon (Edmonton) and I run (Calgary). But they don’t register with public lists (why would they) and they like to stay under the radar because the prefer to screen out most of the fluff that comes their way. Contact me and we can talk about your interests.
    Thank you.

    Henry Kutarna
    Alberta Deal Generator — Calgary

  • Anonymous

    That is great news! But I wished they came out and promoted angel investing a bit more broadly – being part of the conversation not only helps deal flow but also get encourages other to become angels

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous


    I would have to respectfully disagree with your observation. Although there are many angels in Alberta, participating in the forums you mentioned, none in my opinion would be considered “super angels” nor running a micro-VC fund. They seldom network outside of Alberta and are definitely not aware of what is going on in the larger angel / VC space. This I have experienced first hand.

    Super Angels and micro-VC managers have an investment strategy, market themselves to both entrepreneurs and VC funds and provide much more hands-on support and guidance than a traditional angel. They are also normally former entrepreneurs themselves with significant knowledge in a specific domain.

    Quora has a few good descriptions of these investors:

    In my opinion, this is a class of investors that is desperately lacking in the Alberta start-up eco-system. Please note that I do have the utmost appreciation for traditional angels as they are also an important piece to the puzzle.

    Quick note: AngelList is not a public list. You have to be approved, active and recognized by others to be on it.

  • Yaron Bazaz

    Hi Boris thanks for the link to Angellist and good luck with the initiative.

    Another great list of top (25 this time) super angels, their profiles and transactions you can find at Bloomberg BusinessWeek. notice that click on each name leads to an investor’s profile article

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for pointing out the Business Week list – unfortunately no Canadian on there…

  • dannyrobinson

    Looking forward to hearing you talk on the subject at VEF on the 22nd of Sept.

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  • Guest

    he’s invested in over 150 companies

  • Pooya Kazerouni

    Super Angels are absolutely necessary for today’s market and ecosystem. It’s important to look for current Super Angels but I think it’d be as important (if not more) to start educating/training more Angels to become Super Angels. To create a new category of investors in Canada which at the moment is none-existent yet desperately needed (it’s easier to raise 20 million dollars than to raise $700K!). The first step would be to start thinking like one (e.g. Mike Maples, Ron Conway, Dave McClure, etc.) and develop that kind of mindset. After all, “Silicone Valley is a state of mind” and you definitely can’t get there by staying below the radar or being afraid of facing failures along the way.

  • Anonymous

    Some more names of active angels in Canada to complete the picture: Jordan Banks (at least before he joined Facebook), Robert Montgomery and Hannes Blum (my former partner at AbeBooks who has done quite some co-investments with me)

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