Up­ping the ante for Cana­dian clean­tech com­pa­nies

Policy - - Opinion -

In­no­va­tive Cana­dian clean tech­nol­ogy firms have the po­ten­tial to not only advance Canada’s sus­tain­able econ­omy, but also to drive clean growth across the globe. De­spite Cana­dian clean­tech en­trepreneurs be­ing best in class, they con­tinue to face dif­fi­cul­ties scal­ing their busi­ness. With its man­date to sup­port these com­pa­nies an­nounced in Bud­get 2017, BDC is poised to help Cana­dian clean­tech com­pa­nies over­come this hur­dle.

BDC has a long his­tory of in­vest­ing in clean­tech both di­rectly and in­di­rectly, par­tic­u­larly in ven­ture capital. Through our In­dus­trial, Clean and En­ergy Tech­nol­ogy Ven­ture Capital Fund with $287M capital un­der man­age­ment, we have been in­vest­ing in clean­tech start-ups with global po­ten­tial for 16 years. We also in­vest in­di­rectly through lead­ing clean­tech VC funds and pro­vide term debt and other fi­nanc­ing to clean­tech firms.

Build­ing on this ex­pe­ri­ence, Bud­get 2017 an­nounced BDC’s $700-mil­lion, five-year com­mit­ment to the clean­tech in­dus­try to help Cana­dian clean­tech firms grow. This new capital al­lows BDC to take on more risk and pro­vide debt and equity fi­nanc­ing to help clean­tech com­pa­nies over­come bar­ri­ers to scale and bet­ter com­pete glob­ally.

Se­lec­tion cri­te­ria in­clude com­mer­cially demon­strated or mar­ket-ready tech­nol­ogy gen­er­at­ing pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, sub­stan­tial rev­enue growth po­ten­tial, and man­age­ment am­bi­tion and ca­pac­ity to scale up.

While ac­cess to capital is key, we also know that it is not the only piece of the Cana­dian clean­tech puz­zle. These firms re­quire more than just money to suc­ceed. Get­ting the proper ad­vice can be a game changer. Given this, our clean­tech prac­tice is also lever­ag­ing our net­work of highly sea­soned ex­ec­u­tive ad­vi­sors to pro­vide tai­lored ad­vi­sory ser­vices.

We also know that nav­i­gat­ing the vast num­ber of pro­grams and ini­tia­tives avail­able can be over­whelm­ing for com­pa­nies. This is why partnerships and col­lab­o­ra­tion across the ecosys­tem are of vi­tal im­por­tance for pro­vid­ing co­or­di­nated sup­port. We are work­ing closely with Ex­port De­vel­op­ment Canada, Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Tech­nol­ogy Canada, the Clean Growth Hub and oth­ers in order to take a team ap­proach to grow­ing Cana­dian clean­tech cham­pi­ons.

Spear­head­ing this en­tire ini­tia­tive, we have cre­ated a new na­tional mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team fully ded­i­cated to clean­tech. We were proud to re­cently an­nounce the team’s first four in­vest­ments, to­talling $40 mil­lion. These are in­vest­ments are in lead­ing scale-ups cov­er­ing a di­verse range of tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing biofu-

Our in­tent is to back the best in Cana­dian clean­tech and our endgame is a com­mer­cially self­sus­tain­ing clean­tech in­dus­try that cat­alyzes ever-greater in­sti­tu­tional in­vest­ment.” — Su­san Ro­hac BDC

els, plas­tics re­cy­cling, heavy oil up­grad­ing and re­mote GHG sens­ing.

These four in­vest­ments are just the be­gin­ning. Our in­tent is to back the best in Cana­dian clean­tech and our endgame is a com­mer­cially self-sus­tain­ing clean­tech in­dus­try that cat­alyzes ever-greater in­sti­tu­tional in­vest­ment. BDC is proud of the role it can play to help our most promis­ing com­pa­nies scale into global clean­tech cham­pi­ons.

BDC is the only bank de­voted ex­clu­sively to en­trepreneurs. It pro­motes Cana­dian en­trepreneur­ship with a fo­cus on small and medium-sized busi­nesses. With its 118 busi­ness cen­tres from coast to coast, BDC pro­vides busi­nesses in all in­dus­tries with fi­nanc­ing and ad­vi­sory ser­vices. Its in­vest­ment arm, BDC Capital, of­fers equity, ven­ture capital and flex­i­ble growth and tran­si­tion capital so­lu­tions. BDC is also the first fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion in Canada to re­ceive B Corp cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. To find out more, visit bdc.ca.


Catherine Clark, David Lam­metti, MP La Salle-Émard Ver­dun, QC, Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary to The Min­is­ter of In­no­va­tion, Science & Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Carl Bur­lock, Se­nior-Vice Pres­i­dent & Global Head, Fi­nanc­ing & In­vest­ments, EDC, Su­san Ro­hac, Vice Pres­i­dent, Clean­tech, BDC and Shan­non Watt, Di­rec­tor of En­vi­ron­ment & Health Pol­icy at Chem­istry In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion.

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