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Angel Investors Help Tech Ideas Take Flight

By Sara Bedal |

Tech entrepreneurs looking for capital and connections beyond friends and family have a new option. A group of "angel" investors recently launched Real Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in the Internet, software, mobile technology, digital media and social and casual gaming.

Real Ventures targets entrepreneurs across Canada who typically require seed money of between $50,000 to $300,000 to take their business idea from the concept stage to validation. This is the firm's "bread and butter" activity says Jean Sebastien Cournoyer, a partner and co-founder of Real Ventures.

Real Ventures also invests in — and tests — young entrepreneurs through its "Founderfuel" program in Montreal. Companies that are accepted into the program each receive $25,000 and three to four months of mentoring from seasoned pros in exchange for 10 per cent of their businesses.

"We create an ecosystem around them with mentors and a lot of opportunities for peer-to-peer learning," says Cournoyer. "At the end, we have a demo day. The entrepreneurs get on stage to show what they've built."

The value of the fund currently stands at about $45 million, with a target of $50 million. Real Ventures follows closely on the success of Montreal Start Up, a sister seed fund, which invested $5 million in 15 software-based companies between February 2008 and April 2010.

For more information about Real Ventures and to contact its partners go to

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