TORONTO, - Ideal Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital and private equity company that specializes in investing in companies founded by women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) and that create impactful technology solutions, has appointed Michelle Beyo and Lianne Hannaway to its Board of Directors.
The appointments of Beyo and Hannaway as directors of Ideal Ventures reflect the company's commitment to empowering entrepreneurs of colour, women and systemically excluded founders, and adds to the diversity of its Board. It also strengthens the company's ability to identify and invest in start-ups that are developing leading-edge disruptive technologies, particularly those founded by women and BIPOC entrepreneurs, many of whom are overlooked by traditional investment and venture capital firms.
"We firmly believe that women and BIPOC entrepreneurs have the power to create innovative, sustainable and profitable businesses that can compete on a global scale," said Christos Cox, Chief Growth & Innovation Officer for Ideal Ventures. "Yet fewer than 10 per cent of all venture capital deals in Canada go to women and people of colour. The addition of Lianne and Michelle to our Board is a signal that we want to amplify our investment reach, grow our portfolio, and lead by example in diverse board representation and governance."
Michelle Beyo is the CEO and Founder of Finavator, an award winning FinTech and Payments consultancy. With two decades of extensive industry expertise driving innovation across both the retail and payments industry, her background in Payments, Blockchain, Digital Identity, and Open Banking has helped support the growth of industry leaders across North America. Michelle is a Women in Payments Global Council Member, a Payment Advisor at The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, and a Board Member at Open Banking Initiative Canada.
Lianne Hannaway is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and an experienced financial and accounting executive. She is the founder of Wealthnuvo, a pre-seed financial platform designed to help traditional savers build generational wealth through investing. She is also a Board Member and Treasurer at The Equality Fund, a groundbreaking collaboration that supports women's rights organizations and feminist movements globally with a backing of $300 million from the Canadian government. Previously, Lianne served as an advisory partner at KPMG, and held a variety of senior finance roles at the TMX Group.
"I am pleased to join the Board of a company with such exceptional vision, talent, and experience in tapping into the value of under-represented tech founders, and helping to grow their market value," said Lianne Hannaway, CPA, and Ideal Ventures' CFO-in-residence. "Ideal Ventures has an impressive track record to date, and they are poised to expand their impact by bringing additional capital and support to women and BIPOC entrepreneurs."
Michelle Beyo, Founder and CEO of Finavator Inc., said: "Ideal Ventures' commitment to diversity is important in driving a more inclusive business and investment ecosystem. In an era where governments, foundations and blue-chip corporations have realized the value of financially supporting the development of women and BIPOC-led companies, Ideal Ventures is ideally positioned to help with this critically important mission."
Since 2015 Ideal Ventures has been investing in and empowering companies founded by women and BIPOC entrepreneurs that are developing disruptive and problem-solving technology, as well as entrepreneurs who founded successful companies but were subsequently excluded from them. Today, the company has 15 investee and co-founded companies in a balanced portfolio of EdTech, HealthTech, Software as a Service, and FinTech.
"In the last year more than $2.5 billion has been pledged by federal and provincial governments as well as by Fortune 500 companies in loans or investments to BIPOC businesses, yet the roll out of these funds has been very slow," said Hasani Brissett, Chief Financial Architect at Ideal Ventures. "Our success to date at Ideal Ventures shows that we can help in finding exceptional start-ups led by women and BIPOC entrepreneurs with the potential to become outstanding success stories. The addition of Michelle and Lianne to the Board will further strengthen our ability and success."