Business

Canada’s top angel investment group lands in Okanagan

The VA Angels, one of the leading entrepreneur investment groups in Canada, is opening a chapter in Kelowna.

The group’s new chapter here opened this week and its first business forum is set for Nov. 15.

“Kelowna and the Okanagan is fast becoming one of the next big business centres in Western Canada with the addition of new universities, colleges and incubators and given this activity a centre for entrepreneurship,” said Randy Thompson, VA Angels founder and chief executive officer.

“In addition to the capital growth of the region, there is an above average number of angel investors, former business owners and retired professionals looking to continue to diversify their investments, which is why Kelowna is an ideal location for a VA Angels chapter.”

Kelowna Mayor Walter welcomed the arrival of the VA Angels chapter  as reflective of the technology industry growth in the city.

“The news of the expansion of VA Angels in the Kelowna market is welcome and timely as it will, no doubt, bring innovative technological ideas and investors together for mutual benefit,” he said.

VA Angels is one of the most active investor groups in the country, recently chosen by the Harvard Business School as one of only two angel groups in Canada to participate in a global study on angel investment activity worldwide.

The VA Angels Kelowna group will be run by Randy Lennon, the managing director and co-founder of Meridian Merchant Capital Ltd.

Lennon is a 30-year entrepreneur who has founded and built successful enterprises in the fields of newspaper publishing, television and radio, recording artist management, retail, advertising and marketing, and the Internet.

“We are looking forward to being part of the local tech and business community and helping to benefit a new generation of entrepreneurs,” Lennon said.

“By engaging with VA Angels Kelowna, participants in the Okanagan will now have access to other angel groups across the U.S. and Canada.”

The accounting firm of MNP LLP is a sponsor of the chapter being located in Kelowna.

“MNP is proud to sponsor this new Okanagan Chapter for Venture Angels,” said MNP LLP spokesperson Karen Christiansen.

“For over 65 years we have been committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed. We share a passion for excellence by providing services that entrepreneurs need to turn their vision into reality and a long-term success.”

To learn more and enquire about membership in the VA Angels Kelowna chapter, email Randy Lennon at rlennon@va-angels.com.

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