Thursday, February 21, 2019

InvestmentSpace 2019 on Friday, February 22nd in Toronto, Ontario

          By Henry Stewart

It's not going to make an immediate difference, if only because the room will contain far to many of the "usual suspects" of the Canadian space industry. They'd mostly prefer to pine over a quieter past when space was properly managed and fully funded by the appropriate government agency working through a trustworthy prime contractor.

It's also a little late to the party, given all the other events around the world over the last five years which have been focused around much the same topic.

Be that as it may, the 2019 InvestmentSpace Conference, sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Toronto ON based Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) and the Ontario Center of Excellence (OCE), is gearing up for a full day of presentations at the St-Regis Hotel in Toronto, Ontario on Friday, February 22nd.

As outlined on the February 18th, 2019 CSA website devoted to the event:
InvestmentSpace 2019 will bring together venture capital investors, aspiring Canadian space entrepreneurs and start-up companies looking for pre-seed (under $500,000) or seed funding (under $5 million), as well as business accelerators and incubators focused on space start-ups. 
The event will feature panel discussions by successful space entrepreneurs and investors as well as a session for start-up companies to showcase and pitch their business ideas.
According to the program, a variety of usual suspects are expected to present during the event. They include:
  • Mike Greenley, the group president of Brampton ON based MDA Corporation, now a subsidiary of Westminister CO based Maxar Technologies.

But there will also be some interesting new presenters, potential funders and curious attendees at the event. They include:
  • Ozan Isinak, the president of the Keiretsu Forum Canada, which is part of a global angel investor network with more than 2500 accredited investor members throughout 47 chapters on three continents.
  • Michelle Killoran, a principal at  Toronto ON based OMERS Ventures, a venture capital firm focused around technology, media and telecommunications companies.
  • Ana Misra, a co-founder & director of the Markham ON based York Angels, "a supportive linkage between local entrepreneurs, seeking early and mid-stage capital, and investors with a commitment to the economic development of the Region and to the entrepreneurial spirit of their community," according to their website.
A complete listing of the speakers and attendees is included online with the InvestmentSpace program

Even with dozens of companies participating and at least a few opportunities to talk with actual private sector venture capitalists and investors, the true worth of the forum won't be known for months, or perhaps years and will become apparent only after one or two of the start-ups gain either fiscal traction, public recognition or international notoriety.

There's also the question of whether this new investment event will be able to properly compete with the great many other US and European based investment conferences in the financial, resource, aerospace and manufacturing sectors which frankly, have been going on for a long-time and attracted a great deal of international capital.

If InvestmentSpace 2019 wants to be any more than a minor stop on a far larger international investment circuit, they'd better put on a great show this Friday.

In space, no one can see your national boundaries. 

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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