Chris Arsenault from iNovia Capital has been an early stage technology investor and entrepreneur for more than 20 years. He was founder & CEO of SIT, which was acquired by Ubizen, and helped launch a series of tech companies; Copernic, Wanted, up2 and i5. In addition, he is a board member of the CVCA and Réseau Capital, Co-Chair of the CIX and is an active Charter Member of Silicon Valley based C100.
As a key member of the Startup Visa Initiative, Chris is very interested in finding and connecting with talented entrepreneurs around the world. I reached out to him to learn more about the kinds of companies and entrepreneurs iNovia invests in and their Startup Visa Review Process:
Maura: Why iNovia?
Chris: iNovia is a venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs. We are a team of founders, operators and engineers that are passionate about building leading technology companies. As entrepreneurs ourselves, all of us have experience in early stage technology companies within the industries we seek to invest in. In addition to capital, we bring these experiences as well as our respective domain expertise and personal networks with us to help the entrepreneurs we back succeed.
What kinds of companies and teams does iNovia invest in?
Our goal is to find organizations that have the potential to emerge as category leaders within the Digital Media, Software, eCommerce, Consumer Internet and Cloud Infrastructure sectors. We invest in outstanding entrepreneurial teams that demonstrate a strong vision for the future and the ability to execute in competitive markets. We prefer to finance disruptive business models driven by a metrics-oriented and capital-efficient strategy. We think of our portfolio companies as being sustainable platforms for continued innovation, and encourage our entrepreneurs pursue a product roadmap that reflects that.
What is the best way for immigrant entrepreneurs to contact you about investment and what should they send you?
We are all about building strong relationships. The best way to get our attention is to link up with us through an existing portfolio company, co-investor or friend of iNovia. The second best way is likely to send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your website/product and a short summary of what you’ve been working on. We are a data-oriented firm, so please include any relevant metrics that demonstrate momentum and/or traction to date.
What is your selection process like?
We will review each submission and contact the Companies we find compelling within a few days. But in the scenario where we receive an investment opportunity that is outside of our investment thesis, we will not respond back.
If they get to the meeting stage, should the founder(s) be prepared to walk you through a presentation?
Our best meetings take the form of a conversation rather than a formal pitch. We invest in people, not presentations. That being said, it is helpful to have some slides that can be distributed beforehand to better guide the conversation. And let’s be clear, a product demo outweighs any presentation, and customer data and metrics out-speaks any market research.
More on iNovia
iNovia Capital is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec with additional offices in New York and Calgary. For more updates, you can follow iNovia on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Before you contact them, check out their website and portfolio to see if your company would be a good fit.