Access to Capital
Social Entrepreneurship Enclave
Identify, connect with, gather data from and build relationships with ecosystem actors, and create the underlying entrepreneurial infrastructure necessary to attract, retain, startup, scale and grow plant-based protein ventures and supply chain actors across Canada, and specifically in Western Canada.
Social Entrepreneurship Enclave (SEE), Spring Activator and Whisk Labs are creating a new ecosystem map that will help better connect Western Canada’s plant-based companies. This ecosystem map will not only allow other companies to better understand their competitors and possible business partners, but also allow investors to better understand the companies they may wish to connect with.
Following the creation of the map, the partners will host a series of workshops focused on addressing challenges and opportunities related to capital, scale-up and supply chains, followed by a second series focused on meeting the needs of investors.
This dual focus will help close the gap between the two sides of the capital coin, leading to an increase in investment in Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredients sector.
Results and Impact
- Through the project, the partners identified the need for both incubation and acceleration in Western Canada to attract pre-Series A agrifood companies, build homegrown companies, and increase Indigenous and newcomer entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Participation in the project has given these organizations critical insights into the plant-based protein ecosystem, providing them with a sustainable competitive advantage and enabling them to focus their efforts and fine-tune their strategy to address the top challenges identified. They have also gained attention from like-minded food organizations, startups, and investors interested in learning more about the project and collaborating with them.
- Moreover, the project provided greater visibility and credibility in the industry, positioning the consortia members as socially responsible companies working towards creating positive change in the ecosystem. This is a key aspect of their brand identity and can help attract customers and investors who share their values and vision for a better future.
- Additionally, the project enabled participants to increase their capacity and attention given to the plant-based protein industry. The gathering of a strong group of food industry professionals and investors at the event was catalytic and has sparked interest in follow-up events and conversations, as well as a keen interest in the final interactive map created during the project.
- Overall, there is an opportunity for continued support in the plant-protein space and for execution partners for organizations looking to lead an Investment Readiness Program or Impact Investor Challenge with a focus on innovative plant-protein startups specifically.