A New Model for VC is Born in Canada, but has Global Aspirations

Last night, I attended TribalScale’s official launch of Venture Studios, a $100 million, five-year program with a mission to change the way we think about venture capital and open innovation in Canada and beyond.

For those who have been following the blog, you may remember TribalScale from TakeOver Toronto, when I had the opportunity to interview Canadian fashion legend Joe Mimran on stage. In addition to running the TakeOver event, TribalScale also offers product strategy, design, and development to Fortune 500 companies. Now, they’re expanding with a brave new vision for the future of business—and a woman at the helm of it all.

Last month, TribalScale announced Kirstine Stewart as its new President and Chief Revenue Officer. Stewart is a well-known name in Canadian media and technology; Formerly, she served as the VP of Media for Twitter, as well as Executive Vice President for CBC’s English Services. In her new post, Stewart be in charge of international expansion and growth as well as overseeing Venture Studios.

In addition to hiring Stewart, TribalScale has also announced Peter Aceto, formerly President and CEO of Tangerine (formerly ING DIRECT) as Executive-in-Residence, and Farid Kassam, Owner of Akeelee, as Entrepreneur-in-Residence to oversee the ideation and development of disruptive technology for the Financial Services program, and to advise both startups and corporate partners.

Building on TribalScale’s history of linking established companies with innovation-focused products and initiatives, Venture Studios will connect startups with legacy corporations. At Venture Studios, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to address real-world problems faced by some of the largest and most profitable organizations in the world. They’ll also have the chance to access funding pre-revenue, since Venture Studios will be invested in supporting businesses from the ideation stage.

“We are flipping the model and unfairly stacking the deck in favor of entrepreneurs,” Sheetal Jaitly, CEO of TribalScale said in a press release. “Venture Studios supercharges the best ideas, gets them captive customers, early, and takes them globally from day one.” In their first cohort, Venture Studios will hone in on three verticals: financial services, automotive, and media. In terms of technology, they’re looking to back solutions in artificial intelligence, blockchain, and voice.

“Corporations need to start embracing entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Roger Chabra, Chief Innovation Officer, TribalScale. As a long-time VC, Chabra is skilled at seeing gaps in the market and opportunities for innovation. “Over the past decade, enterprises have invested heavily into corporate innovation labs, but we believe the next model for innovation should leverage innovation from both inside and outside of an enterprise.”

To learn more about Venture Studios and how to get involved, follow the link.

Amanda Cosco
Amanda is a freelance journalist and consultant focused on the intersection of fashion and technology and the founder of Electric Runway.

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