We are headquartered in Montreal at the Notman House (51 Sherbrooke Street West, H2X 1X2 Montreal, QC) and we also have offices in Toronto at the MaRS Discovery District (101 College St, Suite 140, M5G 1L7, Toronto, ON).
It’s always a good time to get in touch with us. We love meeting founders and hearing their ideas — the earlier the better!
This is usually a great timing — it shows that you’ve been able to test your product in market and that you have some validation from early backers.
Yes! We’re proud to participate in the Startup Visa Program when an exceptional company has strategic reasons for the founders to come to Canada. Given many individuals’ attempts to use this program primarily as a way to immigrate to Canada, we do have to warn you that we’re extremely selective in the number and quality of startups we finance.
There is no standard answer, but there are three main things that we look for: a great team with unique insight on a market opening that has massive scaling potential. We like to hear bold ideas that have the potential to disrupt unconventional industries.
Founders we work with usually have a clear industry insight. We also look for strong cohesion in the founding team with complementary personalities, skillsets and growth mindsets. Founders we fund are typically open, willing to learn from others, and passionate about what they do.
It takes an incredibly strong team to build a great company, but there are always exceptions to the rule. We do have some solo founders in the Real community, but they’re rare.
Real Ventures invests in high potential companies using the latest technologies. We’re industry agnostic: when an idea is great, it doesn’t matter to us if it’s in Enterprise Security, Blockchain or Fintech (to name just a few). That said, our main focus is on companies that leverage data, artificial intelligence and connectivity to disrupt business models and industries.
Yes, but these companies need to have a compelling reason as to why we are the ideal fit for them. We do prefer to work with companies that have a close proximity to our team, given our hands-on approach to helping our portfolio companies grow.
We meet with companies each week and if we think there’s a fit, we introduce the founders to another member of the team. The next step is a pitch at the investment meeting with all of the partners. If we decide to invest, timing will vary based on further discussions and investment proceedings.
At Real, we work as a team, leveraging our talents and experiences so that we can support our founders in the best ways we can. You’ll often spend more time with one of our partners than the others, but when it comes down to it, we’re all here for you.
We love connecting with new people in the community! Please reach out to us via our contact form so we can best understand who to connect you with — or better yet, if you know someone we already work with, ask them to make an introduction.
We see hundreds, if not thousands, of business opportunities every year, all of which have some sort of crossover with another opportunity we will have seen. We do not share ideas between companies but we also don’t want to be drawn into litigation when we fund a business that might have some resemblance to another business we were pitched. We can also assure you that if we have already invested in business in direct competition with yours, we will tell you before you provide us with too much information. We hope that you understand our position and are still willing to talk with us.
We do, but not always. We love to be involved as much as we can. Being on the board is a way for us to bring significant value to our companies.
We work hard with other investors to have ‘founder-friendly’ terms that make sense in the long run. That means we need to be flexible on our ownership but want to have a large enough stake in your company to make sure you feel we are fully committed to each other.
We love co-investing and have done so on multiple occasions. We’re very open to working with other investors who share our values.
Real invests throughout the life-cycle of early stage companies, and provides stage-appropriate capital and support for the founders it backs. We believe that VCs should play a role in accelerating the creation of world-class tech ecosystems by providing support beyond the companies for whom we write cheques. It’s this collaborative mindset that inspires us to launch initiatives that lay, or build upon, the foundations of rapidly growing tech hubs in Canada, and wherever else we may go.
Pitching is hard. That’s why we run our FounderCamp where our founders learn everything they need to know about narrative and how to communicate what’s most important, plus we coach them one-on-one. We also make intros to the right people so that your chances of getting the investment you need are exponentially higher.
Real has spent the past decade building a strong network across Canada. When you work with us, we’ll connect you with others who can help make your startup the greatest success it can be.
Now that you understand how we work, if you want to send us your pitch deck or get in touch for any other reason, please fill out this form so we can understand with whom to connect you.