Vancouver Enterprise Forum

Unicorn or Bust - Trends in Angel Investing, September 22nd

  • 22 Sep 2015
  • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • The Imperial, 319 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 2S9


  • VEF members registration gives access to the Front/Middle seating sections for the speaker presentation. Following the speaker presentation, enjoy access to all areas (except Sponsor VIP area).
Register through Picatic HERE. Limited ticket availability.

Angel investing has evolved significantly over the past decade; as has Vancouver's startup ecosystem. In partnership with Vancouver Startup Week, join the VEF community to hear from a panel of experts on the changing trends around early stage investing, the internationalization of capital, what angels are now looking for and how to best engage with the angel community. Boris Wertz, Version One Ventures will moderate the panel:

Fraser Hall, Co-Founder at Recon Instruments, & Vancouver Founder Fund
Jonathan Bixby, General Partner, Stanley Park Ventures
Ethan Sun, President & Founder at Istuary Innovation Group
Kim Kaplan, VP Revenue Optimization at Plenty of Fish Media

Our contributing partner, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) will be presenting 'Startup Alley' at the event - more details to come.

Speaker Bio's

Boris Wertz is one of the top early-stage tech investors in North-America and the founding partner of version one ventures. His portfolio encompasses over 60 early-stage consumer internet and enterprise companies. Boris is also a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz.

Before becoming an investor, Boris was the Chief Operating Officer of, the world’s largest marketplace for new, used and rare and out-of print books which got sold to Amazon in 2008. Boris joined the company in 2002 after JustBooks, the German company he co-founded in 1999, was acquired by AbeBooks. At AbeBooks, Boris was primarily responsible for marketing, business development, product, customer service and international operations and lead a team of about 60 people. This deep operational experience helps Boris to help other entrepreneurs start, build and scale companies passing on some of the lessons he learned the hard way over 8 start-up years.

He successfully finished his PhD as well as his graduate studies at the Graduate School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics / Business Management. In 2005, Boris was named the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.

Fraser Hall co-founded and chaired the Vancouver based, smart eyewear company, Recon Instruments, launched in 2008. Earlier this year Intel acquired Recon Instruments for an undisclosed sum, marking one of the most important exits of 2015. A graduate of UBC’s Sauder School of Business and Western University computer engineering, Fraser is a prolific entrepreneur.  He is co-founder and director of Bryght, a rapidly growing online furniture brand, and has recently launched Vancouver Founder Fund an entrepreneur friendly, Vancouver focussed, seed fund. In his spare time Fraser is an accomplished sailor, aviator and animal activist.

Jonathan invests out of both Stanley Park Ventures and Oak Mason Investments.   He is investing in people that are changing the world in Canada and abroad.

Jonathan was previously an entrepreneur-in-residence at Vanvouver-based startup accelerator GrowLab.
Prior to GrowLab, he was the CEO and cofounder of Strangeloop Networks, creator of the first network appliance and cloud service for accelerating dynamic web applications. Under Jonathan’s leadership, Strangeloop raised $21 million in financing.

Strangeloop was selected the Best Employer in British Columbia for a record five straight years (2008 to 2013). In February 2013 Strangeloop was acquired by Radware (RDWR).
Prior to forming Strangeloop, Jonathan cofounded IronPoint Technology, the largest content management company in the country. As chairman of the board, Jonathan led IronPoint from start-up to successful acquisition by The Active Network (ACTV) in 30 months.

Jonathan also sat on the board of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum, the final jury for the New Ventures BC competition and the board of Energy Aware. He is a Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 award recipient.

Mr. Sun oversees long-term company strategies, day-to-day operations and developing key partnerships with stakeholders. He brings more than 15 years of executive experience, having led innovative teams of software infrastructure developers, managers and software architects for companies such as Nortel and Cisco in North America. Mr. Sun worked on successful, innovative projects that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for their respective companies. 

Kimberly Kaplan was one of the initial employees of Plentyoffish, having been a part of the company for over 6 years. Throughout her time at POF Kimberly's role adapted to the changing environment, originally being responsible for business development and monetization and more recently growth and product development. Being in on the ground floor, Kimberly gained immense insight into startup life as well as what it takes to grow and emerge as a leader. It's this knowledge combined with her passion and drive that propelled Kimberly into founding a number of different companies under the POF umbrella. This experience serves Kimberly well as she continues to advise startups in the Vancouver community.

The Vancouver Enterprise Forum (VEF) is the premier networking forum for technology entrepreneurs. The VEF holds eight events each year - usually on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Participation at a VEF event provides attendees with personal connections, assistance with the identification of industry partnerships, academic faculty, management talent, financial agencies/investors and educational resources for developing and growing enterprises in British Columbia.

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