Four cleantech innovation leaders have teamed up to tackle cleantech’s access to capital problem. The Quebec Cleantech Investment Challenge, powered by HSBC Bank Canada, aims to increase the flow of capital investment into Quebec-based cleantech ventures, while preparing up-and-coming investors to invest.
The Challenge, delivered by SI Canada, Foresight Canada, Cycle Momentum, and Spring Activator, supports 15 cleantech ventures through investor readiness to address funding needs, while simultaneously developing 20+ early-stage climate solutions investors from Quebec and across Canada. By the end of the program in June 2023, at least one cleantech venture will raise $100,000 in investments from the investor stream to further develop their climate solution.
Canada has an ample supply of promising cleantech startups, and Quebec is no exception. However, there are several factors that are hampering the growth of Canadian cleantech ventures, and high among these is a lack of capital investment. In a survey taken in 2020 by Foresight, cleantech companies identified accessing private sources of investment as their number one barrier to growth.
The collaborative, cohort-based model of this Challenge works to address this issue by simultaneously developing more qualified investors through cleantech investor training, and developing more qualified deal flow by providing investor readiness training to ventures.
Canadian cleantech startups have the potential to generate significant jobs, economic impact, and export growth for Quebec and the country — this Challenge seeks to ensure these ventures have the support and capital they need to see their critical solutions come to fruition.
This model has been proven to drive cleantech investment in other Canadian markets. A goal of this Challenge is to ensure a diverse group of investors and cleantech startups, including at least half of participants identifying as women and/or members of the BIPOC community.
“On a per capita basis, Canadian cleantech venture capital investments represent half of what is seen in the United States. The amazing cleantech startups emerging across Canada, and in Quebec in particular, need capital to bring their solutions to market — solutions that can help Quebec, Canada and the world get to net zero. We’re pleased to be working alongside our partners to catalyze greater investment into promising cleantech ventures.” – Barnabe Geis, Senior Director of Cleantech, SI Canada
“Canada has no shortage of inspiring innovators developing ground-breaking solutions to global climate issues. But what we’re seeing is a lack of capital investment to support these ventures. That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with this forward-thinking group of cleantech leaders to address this issue and drive capital investment into Quebec to help us move the needle to net zero.” – Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada
“HSBC Bank Canada is proud to support the Quebec Cleantech Investment Challenge as part of our commitment to advance the adoption and scaling of climate innovation from coast-to-coast,” said Valerie Lemieux, Managing Director, Global Banking at HSBC Bank Canada. “This challenge will provide early-stage climate ventures with the capital and expertise they need to generate job, economic and export growth for Quebec.”
“The cleantech investment challenge is a unique opportunity for startups to build relationships and collaborate with impact investors in developing their solutions to address climate change. There is a growing demand to adopt cleantech solutions and partnering with the right investors and exchanging ideas with a thriving ecosystem will facilitate startups and entrepreneur to gain a competitive edge in Canada” – Patrick Gagné, CEO at Cycle Momentum
We are seeing an abundance of exciting Cleantech innovation from companies across the country, yet many lack early stage capital and support to grow. The program allows founders and investors to work alongside each other to foster trust, collaboration and investment. We look forward to working with our partners to support new technology across Quebec. – Graham Day, Investment Director at Spring Activator
HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (‘HSBC Group’), is the leading international bank in the country. We help companies and individuals across Canada to do business and manage their finances here and internationally through four businesses: Commercial Banking, Global Banking, Markets and Securities Services, and Wealth and Personal Banking.
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC Bank Canada, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 63 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,992bn as at 30 September 2022, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations.
For more information visit www.hsbc.ca or follow us on Twitter: @HSBC_CA or Facebook: @HSBCCanada
About the SI Canada
SI Canada is a pan-Canadian network of social innovators: people and organizations with a focus on social and environmental change. We work to connect innovators with the resources and opportunities they need to solve complex problems and create transformative change.
About Foresight Canada
Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator. Foresight supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia, investors, and innovators to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy. Find out more at www.foresightcac.com. Follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.
About Cycle Momentum
Cycle Momentum is an accelerator and open innovation platform that brings together an international collective of entrepreneurs, investors and innovators. Our mission is to find innovative solutions to the major ecological challenges facing humanity. Member of the Cycle Capital Platform, Cycle Momentum provides entrepreneurs with training workshops, networking sessions and mentoring, and works with leading companies to stimulate technology acquisition and integration. In order to increase the impact of its programs, Cycle Momentum has brought together several local and international investment funds as part of its Circle of Partner Funds, whose members are involved with participating startups.
Cycle Momentum can count on the financial support of the Gouvernement du Quebec, the Fonds Vert, Cycle Capital, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Investissement Québec, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, Scale AI, Fasken and the City of Montreal. Cycle Momenum also benefits from the collaboration of Écotech Québec and the Zone Agtech.
For more info: https://cyclemomentum.com/
About Spring Activator
Spring Activator is a global incubator, accelerator, and advisory firm that empowers entrepreneurs, investors, and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders to change the world through innovation. Its impact investing development work includes the Impact Investor Challenge, a program that has trained 130+ impact investors since 2019, with participating companies raising over $5M.
Learn more: https://spring.is/