March 29, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VA ANGELS NAMES GRANT LAWRENCE KELOWNA CHAPTER PRESIDENT
Most active angel network in Canada adds leadership strength to Okanagan network
(27 March 2017 – Kelowna, BC) Effective 24 March 2017 local software executive and veteran investor
Grant Lawrence takes the reins of the Kelowna chapter of VA Angels, bringing angel investors
together with prescreened early-stage business proponents along the length of the Okanagan Valley.
A successful real estate investor Mr. Lawrence is also 20+ year veteran in the enterprise B2B
software space who has worked internationally with some of the world’s largest organizations.
Pertinently he has participated in software acquisitions, spin-offs, start-ups, an IPO and made
investments in hi-tech and other sectors.
R. Stewart (Randy) Thompson, CEO and Founder of VA Angels and 2014 Startup Canada Investor of the
Year is the outgoing Kelowna chapter president. “We are privileged to have such an experienced
investor leading the charge in the Okanagan,” said Mr. Thompson. “His subject matter expertise,
sharp insight and honest feedback will be invaluable to the regional startup community.”
The VA Angels network has more than 130 members in five chapters (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg,
Kelowna and Medicine Hat) and has invested over $44 million in 150+ deals since 2003.
The Kelowna chapter has a great track record having provided 17 capital injections to seven
companies since 2013. Two of the success stories emerging from Kelowna VA Angels are WTFast – a
private network that optimizes internet connections for online gamers and Forbidden Spirits –
distillers of vodka hand crafted from the finest BC apples.
“I’m excited to work closely with the Okanagan angel and entrepreneur community to build upon
recent success in marrying experienced local investors with entrepreneurs looking to bring their
commercial and social pursuits to market,” said Mr. Lawrence. “What I relish most about VA Angels
is that it’s as much about experienced business people helping guide these entrepreneurs and giving
the benefit of their experience as it is about funding and creating new employment and wealth
generating opportunities in our community.”
The Kelowna chapter is very active with regular participation from a cadre of notable
Okanagan-based angels like Alex Miller (CEO Visland Media), Sheila Livingstone and Peter White
(experienced investors with deep background in business and health administration), and Mark
Ameerali CFA (author of
personal finance books Common Cents and Perfect Cents).
“Grant is a great choice to lead the Kelowna chapter,” said Mr. Ameerali. “I have no doubt his
experience and energy will rub off on the angels and entrepreneurs alike.”
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For more information contact:
R. Stewart (Randy) Thompson
CEO / Founder, VA Angels
Kelowna Chapter President, VA Angels