HIGHLINE is a Canadian based pre-seed vc that supports early stage technology companies that are working hard to bring the future to life. We do our best to be entrepreneurs’ first check and invest up to 200k. We also bring access to a premium network for our founders, helping them benefit from support that spans both of North America’s coasts. Unlike traditional funds and accelerators, we’re a VC-backed company with not only great pre-seed investment track record, but also a proven method to effectively connect relevant startups to Fortune 500 strategic roadmaps.
Building on leading Canadian accelerator performance and understanding the evolving needs of Canadian founders, we are now also supporting & funding startups through Highline BETA.
Highline BETA is a startup co-creation model that launches new ventures with leading corporations and founders. To learn more about our Corporate Innovation Programs, New Venture Creation and Investment Funds, subscribe to the Highline BETA newsletter.
Just like most accelerators, we believe in providing our founders with far more than capital. Yet unlike most accelerators, we have no rigid start/end dates throughout the calendar year. By joining the HIGHLINE family, you get to call on us for advice on an ongoing basis, gain access to our premium network and founder events. We’ll get your startup “venture ready” and do our best to help you close your institutional funding round.
We have active roster of 100+ entrepreneurial leaders, global investors and corporate executives from which we make mutually beneficial intros. Unlike typical mentor groups, many are investors in HIGHLINE and have ongoing motivation to help you since they have indirect equity interests in your startup once you are part of our portfolio family. In addition, we take deep pride in building assets and co-creating initiatives to support our founders. Whether it is our national partnership with Emily Carr University that pairs our startups with top design students, a TSX Technology Day investor showcase or special relationships with global technology companies to give you over $100K+ in perks, we’re always evolving ways on how we can help.
The best way to get our attention is to get referred by someone we know. That said, you can send us details about what you’re working on through AngelList, and we will follow-up with next steps if there’s a fit.
We look for Pre-Seed and Seed stage tech companies that have typically shipped a MVP and is now working toward product/market fit. While we have a track record for helping a wide range of startups, we are now focused on several specific verticals / industries where we have partnered with Fortune 500 companies. We fund only teams that have at least one technical lead and have a bias towards founders that value strong design. If you’re chasing a big market we want to talk.
We use entrepreneurial friendly SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) term sheets that have quickly become the standard for Pre-Seed investing. Rounds are called rounds for a reason, there’s usually multiple people involved. We regularly work alongside co-investment partners (like the BDC and the OCE) to jump start rounds. Also, our institutional investors are major Canadian VCs (like Relay Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, iNovia Capital and Yaletown Ventures to name a few) to help you truly get venture ready and close larger rounds faster. Our own checks never exceed to $200k but our co-investors can help you reach $500k+.
We’ll let you judge, but we’d like to think so. As pre-seed investors, we have one of the best track records in Canada that has raised $136M+ in follow-on funding, $329M+ equity value created and 80%+ up-rounds since the point of our investment. We’ve also been lucky enough to have 13 exits, but there’s much more left to do than what’s already been done.
As entrepreneurial leaders, digital product advisors and competitive instigators, we’re passionate about Canada and driven to make an impact on the global stage. This is our private business and our prime incentives are aligned with yours to drive long-term cash-on-cash returns through successful exits. This is not a non-profit, a cookie-cutter program or entrepreneur-in-residence platform for a future gig. World-class entrepreneurial investors like Amar Varma, Leonard Brody and Boris Wertz are amongst our most recent investors and closest advisors to push both how we help founders and drive shareholder returns.
Time well spent at leading corporate innovation firms, accelerators and financial institutions helps round out how we think and do things differently.
While we’re based in Canada and have made most of our investments here in the past, we’re happy to chat with any founder and have made investments abroad in the past. Case in point: we currently have a handful of portfolio companies in the U.S and Africa. We’re also one of the most active player in the startup visa program and through our work with CABI we’re strong advocates in driving more success stories for founders who want to HQ their company in Canada.