We invest in innovative seed-stage tech companies
in Western Canada
Seed stage venture and mentor capital to accelerate the growth of Western Canadian B2B software startups… that’s what we provide. We recognize that the most successful founding teams, building the most globally relevant companies, demonstrate a unique blend of hustle and diversity. In addition to our active mentorship, our additional value-add comes from the diversity of our investment team and investor pool that are all successful entrepreneurs in industries ranging from crypto to real estate and from ed-tech to energy. If you are a great early-stage founder building a globally relevant B2B startup and have initial market traction, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet The Partners
Mark Benning – General Partner
Mark is an experienced entrepreneur and successful investor. Prior to launching Sprout.vc, Mark spent 20 years in Silicon Valley where he founded and led four investor-backed software startups. In addition to managing strategy, business development, and finance, Mark raised over $100 million in venture capital funding for his startups and others he advised. Over the years, he has worked for several private equity and venture capital firms. Mark is a member of the A100 Tech Entrepreneurs group and an advisor with Venture Mentoring Services of the University of Alberta. He also mentors startup founders through his Founderly.co executive coaching service. Mark has a BA in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University, where he focused on leadership and entrepreneurship. Between his time at Harvard and Stanford, he played professional ice hockey in Europe and traveled extensively throughout the world.
Shaheel Hooda – General Partner
Shaheel is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He has advised hundreds of tech startups in market validation, growth and financing. He is a Certified Leanstack and GrowthX mentor, global accelerator programs that support early-stage tech startups, and is also a resident mentor in the Silicon Valley-based 500 Global Accelerator. His current interests are in fintech, enterprise SaaS, blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence. His operational experience includes serving as CEO of two high-growth Canadian software startups, being part of the team that launched Canada’s first and highly successful online bank (while at McKinsey), and helping grow a US enterprise software startup to over $100 million in revenue. Shaheel was an early investor in, and board member of, a high-growth enterprise SaaS company that returned 10x to early investors by Series A. He holds an MBA (Entrepreneurial Finance) from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. In his spare time, Shaheel serves on the boards of a few startups, is an advisor to the Alberta Securities Commission, and volunteers within the startup ecosystem.
Kristina Milke – General Partner
Kristina is an experienced angel investor and a CPA/Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta. Besides her role as a General Partner in Sprout.vc, Kristina spends her time as a coach in the revenue accelerator GrowthX as well as mentoring and advising many technology start-ups and scaling enterprises. Throughout her career, Kristina has participated in various technology companies. Most recently she was the former President of Valhalla Angels and a Co-Founder of Valhalla Private Capital. Previously, she was a General Partner and SVP of Investopedia, a firm acquired by the global media company Forbes. Before that she was the Corporate Divisional Controller for Intuit Canada and the Divisional Controller and Ethics Officer for Spar Aerospace. Kristina is on the Board of Directors for the Edmonton Screen Industries Office and is the Chair of the Advisory Board for Threshold Impact Venture Mentoring Service (TIVMS) a world-renowned mentoring program founded at MIT and operating locally at the University of Alberta. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the National Angel Capital Organization. Kristina is also a member of the A100 Tech Entrepreneurs group.
Sprout Community Partners
Director, Doddcor Ltd.
President & CEO, Levven Electronics
CEO, Plurilock Security, Inc.
Partner, St. Arnaud Pinsent Steman CPA’s
VP Business Development, Fluid Biomed Inc.
Founder and Senior Advisor, Sequeira Partners
Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Bow Valley College
Lindsay Dodd – Director, Doddcor Ltd.
Lindsay Dodd is a Director with Doddcor, a private company advising and investing in the technology sector. He is also a Managing Partner of Sprout Fund I and sits on a number of private and non-profit corporate boards.
James Keirstead – President & CEO, Levven Electronics Ltd.
James is responsible for managing the vision and growth of Levven Electronics, developing and executing long-term corporate strategies, and building relationships with partners, stakeholders and investors. He is an active developer of the startup ecosystem as the head of Rainforest Alberta in Edmonton.
Ian Paterson – CEO, Plurilock Security, Inc.
Ian is the CEO of Plurilock Security, a publicly-traded cybersecurity company on the TSXV. He is an active leader and connector in the technology ecosystems across Western Canada.
John Pinsent – Partner, St. Arnaud Pinsent Steman CPA’s
John is a partner at St. Arnaud Pinsent Steman CPA’s. He is a prolific angel investor in the Alberta startup technology community having invested in numerous successful startups in the province.
Rahim Nathu – VP Business Development, Fluid Biomed Inc.
Rahim has been spearheading and advising investment on behalf of family offices into early-stage companies, including those in med-tech and digital health. He is an active leader in the startup ecosystem and a well-respected connector to both founders and angels.
Aroon Sequeira – Founder and Senior Advisor, Sequeira Partners
Aroon is the founder and senior advisor at Sequeira Partners, the leading mid-market M&A advisory firm in Western Canada. He has extensive board and advisory experience that he brings to his many engagements and directorships with startup to large companies, crown corporations, and nonprofits.
Craig Elias – Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Bow Valley College
Craig is an EIR at Bow Valley College and an active startup mentor, pitch coach, sales expert, and passionate ecosystem builder. Through the delivery of almost 100 online free events a year, Craig and Bow Valley College are upskilling Alberta’s founders, funders, and mentors.