Launch Academy Welcomes BDC Venture Capital To Its Newly-Expanded Office in Gastown

(Vancouver, BC) - October 29, 2013. Launch Academy is pleased to announce the arrival of Canada’s largest and most active institutional venture capital investor, BDC Venture Capital to its headquarters.

As part of their ongoing partnership, both organizations will now literally and figuratively work side-by-side with the growing community of innovative tech startups now operating from the Gastown facility. BDC Venture Capital has been one of the core supporters of tech startup success in Canada. They have given many promising tech startups a runway to grow their businesses.

Launch Academy’s executive director Ray Walia said, “This marks a significant milestone for Vancouver’s startup ecosystem. Our aim is to ignite Vancouver’s startup ecosystem by providing resources for entrepreneurs. Having BDC Venture Capital join us in our space marks a milestone in what we have been working towards." BDC Venture Capital’s team of investment professionals maintains key relationships in the global VC and technology industries. Their presence will let entrepreneurs at Launch Academy benefit from their extensive reach coast to coast – and from their global perspective.

Startup companies working from Launch Academy will have access to key individuals behind BDC Venture Capital’s investments, including Andrew Lugsdin, Partner with the BDC Venture Capital IT Fund, and Geoff Catherwood, Partner with the BDC Venture Capital Energy/Cleantech Fund – both established venture capitalists here in British Columbia. Dion  Madsen, Senior Managing Partner of the BDC Venture Capital Healthcare Fund, will also regularly work from the Launch Academy facility.

“We are delighted to see this partnership come to fruition. We look forward to working with Ray and his team to help build outstanding Canadian companies that generate growth, and create value and prosperity here in Vancouver,” stated Andrew Lugsdin of BDC Venture Capital. His colleague Geoff Catherwood added: “Great ideas don’t just turn into great companies. Entrepreneurs need feedback and a robust ecosystem of supporters. Above all, they need smart money – investors who understand the marketplace, who share the entrepreneur’s passion for innovation, who can identify the potential of a great idea and then help unlock commercial success.”

Launch Academy has expanded from 12 desks in a shared office to its own 12,000 square feet headquarters housing over 150 entrepreneurs. It is also the home base of top key players in British Columbia’s tech startup ecosystem: GrowLab, LX Ventures, Garibaldi Capital, Microsoft, Perch, Strutta, Recap Health Ventures and Lighthouse Labs. Social tech powerhouse facebook also hosts regular office hours in the space.

About Launch Academy

Launch Academy is a pre-accelerator program that helps entrepreneurs execute on their startups through education, mentorship, lean metrics and networking opportunities. Launch Academy has established an environment where ideas are vetted, business models are tested and successes are celebrated.

Founded on the values of innovation, opportunities and accountability, Launch Academy addresses the lack of startup education and resources affecting Vancouver entrepreneurs. Launch Academy aims to build a vibrant startup ecosystem and a prosperous economy where new jobs are created and new markets are discovered.

About BDC Venture Capital

With more than $1 billion under management and more than 25 years of industry experience, BDC Venture Capital is an investor of choice focusing on IT, health and energy/cleantech companies, as well as venture funds, with high growth potential. From seed through expansion to exit, our mandate is to help build outstanding Canadian companies, while working to create a sound financial ecosystem for Canadian technology ventures. Find out more at www.bdc.ca/vc or on Twitter @BDC_VC.

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Media contact:

Ray Walia Launch Academy +1 604 761 7776 Press kit ray@launchacademy.ca

Shawn Salewski BDC Venture Capital +1 514-283-1759 shawn.salewski@bdc.ca