History of NAN

Where:

The Niagara area is comprised of twelve municipalities St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara Falls, Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne, Fort Erie, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Wainfleet, Pelham and Grimsby. The Niagara economy has been going through a fundamental transition as the traditional drivers of manufacturing, agriculture and tourism decline. To aid in its recovery and adjust to the new economic realities, business and community leaders called for an effective eco-system for existing and new businesses to take root, grow and thrive.

A key component of this eco-system is developing access to capital where Angel investors provide equity capital to early stage companies primed for growth.

Why:

Start-up companies and SMEs will be the engines of job creation in Niagara. An integrated and networked business and financing ecosystem are beginning to take form and supported by a number of key partners. Innovate Niagara, BioLinc, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, South Niagara Community Futures Development Corporation, Niagara Industrial Association and others are working to support growth engines and young innovative companies.

Taking advantage of innovation and growth, however, requires timely finance at various stages of development, including the ever important early stage.  These companies require capital and expertise to expand, create jobs and produce the economic spin offs that is needed for regional growth. In order for Niagara and other southern Ontario communities to thrive, early stage companies require private investors, “Angels” whom invest money, time, knowledge and expertise into growing upwardly mobile companies.

Historically, the funding needs of early-stage companies in Niagara were served by a number of organizations, such as the Niagara Growth Fund, the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), the Business Development Bank of Canada and the chartered banks.

Even with these lenders, a significant funding gap remained.

Angel groups, like the Niagara Angel Network (NAN), not only tackle this funding gap, they also increase investor access to companies (deal flow) both within Niagara and in other areas and sectors. As well, the Niagara Angels provide a supportive environment that develops best practices for due diligence, investing and on-going mentoring of investee companies.