**Rewritten Video Description:**
In this YouTube video, Michelle Scarborough, Managing Partner of Thrive Venture Fund, explains the origins of BDC’s $500 million commitment to women-led startups and funds and the progress she’s seen since 2017. She discusses how there has been a significant increase in the number of women founding new technology companies in the market, three times more than five years ago. Scarborough dives into the details of Thrive, a platform that includes a $300 million direct investment fund, a $200 million indirect investment fund, and a lab. She also shares insights on the differences between Thrive and the original BDC Women in Tech fund, as well as the impact this investment will have on diversifying Canadian venture-backed startups. If you’re interested in women-led ventures and the growth of the tech industry, join us for this informative discussion.
Keywords/Tags: BDC, BetaKit, Michelle Scarborough, Podcast, Thrive
**Transcript of the Video:**
*(Note: This is the full transcript of the video without any formatting.)*
We’re seeing way more women found new technology companies in the market than we did five years ago by a magnitude like three times it’s substantial. In late September at a private BDC event taking place during Elevate on the same day the BDC announced its new Thrive platform Michelle Scarborough told a story of going to Isabel udon bdc’s recently named CEO and asking for a 200 million dollar re-up for the women in Tech fund. The response that she received think bigger and that’s certainly what BTC did announcing a half a billion dollars in commitments to women-led startups and funds through Thrive but what is Thrive exactly well it’s a platform and a 300 million dollar direct investment fund and a 200 million dollar indirect Investment fund and a lab you might be aware that beta broke the news just this month that Sabrina Belle had been named the head of Thrive lab which we’ll be launching in the spring but how exactly are all of these parts of the Thrive platform supposed to work together And Beyond dollar commitments how is Thrive different from the original woman Tech fund that launched in 2017. well the only person to answer these questions is Michelle Scarborough herself who joins us on the podcast this week now six months in market and starting to cut checks Scarborough is able to Directly connect how the 2023 markets for women-led ventures is different from that in 2017 providing some sorely needed data that frankly this ecosystem can use a lot more of it’s early days in the fun but as she notes on this podcast Scarborough is already starting to see some interesting trend lines that I Think we should all be paying close attention to so what impact will half a billion dollars have on diversifying the state of Canadian venture-backed startups let’s dig in I think the place that we should start before we really dig in because there’s some scaffolding we need to set up here is just having you explain what Thrive is and its relationship or Evolution from the old BDC women in Tech fund we might be here all day okay hey that’s What that’s what the podcast is for so we launched the women in technology Venture Fund in 2017. to obviously solve an important Gap that existed in the Canadian Marketplace where women-led technology Enterprises were not being met by VCS that are that were interested in putting money into Their businesses right there was a two percent or three percent of all women Latin technology companies were receiving BC funding the women in technology Venture fund was stood up in order to solve for that problem at that time we set up the fund so it was a 200 million dollar envelope with a Venture fund that was focused on deploying 170 and then a 30 million envelope is intended for indirect investment into women-led GPS which was fully deployed and some ecosystem dollars to support really building the foundation in Canada to support the growth of women-led businesses women Founders and so on that were looking to Build companies in the tech space that fund is out of its investment period now it’s in its sixth year there’s been some substantial Evolution as a result of that fund being stood up in the market you know five new GPS were invested in as a result of the indirect Allocation and we invested in 39 companies in the first fund that so that capital is all out of the investment period there’s reserves for those companies but all of that Capital has been deployed and those companies are now growing and scaling at a rate equivalent to sometimes better than Their counterparts in just a male dominated field but there still is a gap you know we did a lot of work to try to co-invest with other with other investors and syndicate with other investors in the market I think we and many other Canadian and U.S investors Did a good job of really making sure that those women-led technology companies got the right amount of venture capital that they required in 2021 51 of all of the VC dollars that went into Canadian tech companies went into the companies that we had backed so that’s a pretty good switch But because the Gap Still Remains and when we looked back a year ago or a year and a half ago and we looked again at the landscape the landscape was still not moving we were not moving the needle far enough and we had gone to sit down with Isabel Udon who’s the CEO of BDC and we had talked to her about the success that we had had with women and the women in technology Venture fund but the Gap that still remained and she said well obviously what do you need to do more of And we said well we need to do more of the same but but Amplified at the end of the day we decided that it was important to stand up the Thrive platform in order to continue to address the Gap that we saw in the market to continue to directly invest in women-led technology Companies indirectly invest in more emerging manager GPS that had women in their GP and to create some more let’s say foundational elements in the ecosystem that support women-led Ventures women entrepreneurial Ventures at the very earliest stages so the Thrive platform is is comprised of three pillars a Thrive Venture fund which is a 300 million dollar Venture fund focused on investing directly into technology companies led by women same Principle as the women in technology Venture fund that we had in the market before and which is continuing to operate now a indirect envelope of 100 million dollars that invests indirectly into Emerging manager funds led by women so those women are in the GPS and in the investing rules of those funds and the Thrive lab which is a 100 million dollar envelope programmatically designed to partner with ecosystem Partners so think accelerators think incubators think other organizations in the Canadian Marketplace that will work with pre-seed Stage very early women entrepreneurs that may be building Venture packable businesses but also may not be building Venture packable businesses so how do we design things to support those women entrepreneurs that may be looking for Capital but are not necessarily on a Venture track those are the three pillars that we’ve stood up and we believe that with those pillars plus the things that we continue to do to support the ecosystem activities we should be able to see that needle move from three percent of BC funding into into women-led companies to some greater number I want to get to where I guess how these components of Thrive are working together but I think it’s even better or more useful to go back to that evolution in the ask I know some members of the beta team were at an event you were Hosting I guess it would have been at Elevate possibly like the day of the big Thrive announcement I believe you were telling a story about how you know the initial ask for this Evolution was at a certain level and that you were told to maybe like think bigger Beyond this I Wanted to go back to what you had said even just previously about this idea of kind of the same but more and what that means is that you know obviously there’s a bigger Capital commitment but it’s also along three different pillars how much of this is more dollars in and how Much of this is say with the the focus…
*Source: [BetaKit YouTube Channel](youtube.com/betakit)*
“We’re seeing way more women found new technology companies in the market than we did five years ago. By a magnitude—like three times. It’s substantial.” Michelle Scarborough, Managing Partner of Thrive Venture Fund, explains the origins of BDC’s $500 million commitment to women-led startups and funds, and the progress she’s seen since 2017.