Kelowna, BC – April 12, 2019: Kelowna-based startup Trellis Social Enterprise won $130,000 in investment from the OKGN Angel Summit. The investor-led competition connecting entrepreneurs and new angel investors was the first of its kind to take place in the Okanagan.
44 local startups participated in an exhaustive 11-week series of structured meetings consisting of founder pitches, company reviews, and due diligence. Last night provided a final opportunity for the five remaining companies to compete for the Summit’s grand prize before a sold-out audience of investors and tech leaders.
Founded in 2018, the Trellis platform makes charity fundraising easy, powering events like the Kelowna Jaycees’ Rene Bourgault Legacy Golf Tournament. The mission of Trellis is to bring philanthropy into the modern age, growing events and community initiatives into a greater force for social good.
The funding Trellis received will be used for new team hires, product development and scalable market growth to meet both long and short term company goals.
27 investors from across the Okanagan came together, individually investing $5,000 and creating a venture capital fund worth upwards of $125,000. Richard Takai, Lead Investor at OKGN Angel Summit, is delighted by this increasing awareness about angel investing saying, “There is just an incredible level of enthusiasm for this whole process.”
As Trellis CEO Justin Goodhew puts it, “Working with the angels who are promoting growth has been a humbling and exhilarating experience. As the Okanagan’s leading investors and fund groups support us with their wealth of knowledge, expertise and networks, it’s phenomenal having our community champion us and believe in the work we are doing to promote events for good across Canada and beyond.”
“We knew this Summit would be an amazing opportunity to connect local investors with local startups,” says Thuy Tran, Summit Director and Programs Manager at Accelerate Okanagan.
The OKGN Angel Summit is an experiential program to help new Angel Investors learn about how to be effective and successful investors. Modelled after what John Sechrest started in the Seattle Angel Conference, Sechrest sees this as an opportunity where “Some people want to do it because it makes them look good. Some people want to do it because their friends are doing it. Some people want to do it because they want to see a difference in the world. Some people do it because they want their kids to have jobs.”
As investment opportunities like the OKGN Angel Summit provide new openings for Trellis and other local companies, only good things will come for the communities of the Okanagan. When equipped with the right tools, people can be profound forces for change.