TELUS is aiming to make some big inroads into the venture capital footprint in Canada, as it is launching a $100 million social impact investment fund for startups.
The telecommunications giant announced today the new TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good targets support for new responsible and sustainable startup businesses that focus on creating solutions for improving healthcare, furthering social and economic inclusion, improving sustainable food production, and reducing the environmental footprint.
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“The Pollinator Fund for Good represents the progression of TELUS’ social capitalism thesis, as we invest in entrepreneurs and prescient business models that share our belief that to do well as an organization, we must do good in the communities where we live, work, and serve,” said Darren Entwistle, president and CEO of TELUS, in a statement.
“This $100 million investment will accelerate potent, scalable and socially responsible services coming to market, helping to answer some of the most pressing challenges facing our world, including socio-economic inclusiveness.”
In a release, the company states it is in the process of forming an advisory board of entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders with expertise to advise on strategy, markets, and deal sourcing.
The early-stage companies that receive investment will benefit from the insights and expertise from TELUS resources, including the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, TELUS Community Boards, TELUS Health, and TELUS Ventures, which has a broad reaching network within venture capital space.
The new TELUS venture capital fund is in partnership with Windmill Microlending, which offers microloans and learning plans to help skilled immigrants and refugees find successful careers in Canada, as well as Sunshine Coast-based social investment fund Rhiza Capital, and US-based green industry company Tidal Vision.
According to TELUS, the company has offered $1.3 billion in financial and in-kind value support to Canadian charities and grassroots organizations since 2000, including various initiatives in response to the impact of COVID-19.