Crown corporation leading BC’s $500 million investment fund appoints board of directors

Vancouver

InBC Investment Corp, the crown corporation spearheading British Columbia’s new $500 million CAD strategic investment fund, is set to reveal the nine members joining its board of directors.

The board includes members of BC’s private sector, research community, and government.

The board members are tasked with providing strategic guidance and accountability as the fund looks to support BC’s startups and scale-ups. The appointments are set to be announced today and, in a statement to BetaKit, the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation said InBC Investment Corp now has a full board.
 

The Government of British Columbia unveiled the InBC fund as part of its 2021 budget, released in April. Through InBC, the province aims to provide capital to local startups and attract high-growth businesses, talent, and jobs to the province.

In an interview with BetaKit last week, Ravi Kahlon, British Columbia’s minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, said he aims for the new fund to open in the fall. The provincial government is supporting the fund with $500 million over three years. Although the fund is not specifically geared towards tech startups, Kahlon said he expects “a lot” of its capital will go to tech companies.

Speaking with BetaKit about today’s board announcement, Kahlon said InBC has already seen a great deal of inbound interest from organizations around the world looking to partner with InBC and potentially invest in companies alongside the new fund.

“Not only do we see the half a billion dollars that BC’s putting in, but now we have the potential to make that into $1 billion [or] $1.5 billion with other partners and other funds that have the triple bottom line values from all over the world,” Kahlon said.

InBC is also in talks with the federal government about potentially involving programs like the Strategic Innovation Fund as it looks to begin deploying capital later this year.

The board includes figures from BC’s private sector, research community, and provincial government. The board is chaired by Christine Bergeron, president and CEO of Vancity, a BC-based credit union.

Prior to joining Vancity, Bergeron’s career involved working with entrepreneurs, and in early-stage venture capital and public markets. She has helped finance companies with a focus on cleantech, sustainability, and impact investing sectors.

RELATED: BC minister of jobs says new $500 million fund will support startups, scale-ups in province

The board also includes Glen Lougheed, a serial tech entrepreneur and angel investor. There are three board members from the government, including Carole James, former minister of finance and deputy premier for the BC government. Bobbi Plecas, deputy minister of BC’s Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, and Heather Wood, deputy minister of BC’s Ministry of Finance, are also on the board.

Other board members include Suzanne Trottier, vice president of Indigenous trust services at First Nations Bank Trust, and Kevin Campbell, managing director of investment banking, board of directors of Haywood Securities.

Ingrid Leong, vice president of finance for JH Investments and chief investment officer of Houssian has also joined the board, as has Iglika Ivanova, senior economist and public interest researcher at the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Last week, Kahlon told BetaKit once the board search was complete, InBC would begin the search for a CEO and CIO for the crown corporation. Kahlon recently told BetaKit he expects new board chair Bergeron will start working with staff to set up a first meeting and start the search for the fund’s executive-level hires.

“We think InBC is going to play an important role in BC’s economic recovery,” Kahlon said. “We know that we have so many companies in this space, whether they’re startups or whether they’re ready to fully scale up, especially companies in the cleantech and agrotech space. And we see huge opportunities with this fund to provide patient capital for some of these firms, but also to ensure that the public sees some benefit in the success of these companies.”

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.