Doubling down on Canada and France: New faces and a promotion
When we first launched White Star Capital over four years ago, one of our founding tenets was that an opportunity existed to back ambitious entrepreneurs in well-developed but under-served hubs. For us, well-developed hubs have to be built on a strong base of talent, supported by a healthy angel and early stage ecosystem and role models.
Having worked, founded companies and invested in startups in Canada and France, we felt, from the beginning, that both had the potential to become leading hubs in the not-too-distant future. That assumption is now becoming a well-known fact across entrepreneurs and investors.
In the past few years Canada has emerged as an AI powerhouse, linking back to its role in the incubation of Deep Learning techniques. We now count seven portfolio companies in Canada, from Ottawa to Toronto and Montreal with a healthy and growing pipeline of entrepreneurs leveraging the local talent pool but with a clear eye towards international expansion. Read more on why White Star ❤s Canada!
In the meantime, France has quietly but efficiently changed the global meme from #frenchbashing of 2013–2014 to headlines highlighting its strong challenge to London as the major tech hub in Europe. Deal activity metrics point out the steady manner in which France has indeed become one of the leading global tech hubs:
And nothing brings this more to light than the awe-inspiring Station F in the Eastern part of the city. To date White Star Capital has backed several French founders both in France and in the US and with seven of us speaking French (and two being French passport holders) we want to accelerate our already deep integration into #LaFrenchTech.
To support our efforts to become the partner of choice for entrepreneurs seeking to scale internationally, we are proud to announce and addition and promotion within our team.
Firstly, Christophe Bourque joins us as a Principal in our Montreal office after having spent 7 years with late-stage venture fund Tandem Expansion. Christophe brings with him a deep experience in investing and supporting B2B technology companies and an international lens from his own personal work experience in Europe. Christophe will split his time between the Toronto and Montreal.
Secondly, Elie Denfert-Rochereau who joined us in New York in 2014, has been promoted to Principal, and will lead our efforts to connect with founders, investors and ecosystem partners in France, while helping French entrepreneurs to cross the Atlantic. His efforts will be supported by our new physical presence in Paris at Station F, the world’s largest startup campus.
The whole White Star Capital team looks forward to connecting with you across our various offices, and hope you will join us in welcoming Christophe and congratulating Elie.
White Star Capital is an early-stage Venture Capital firm investing in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building the iconic companies of tomorrow. With a presence in London, New York, Montreal and Paris, and a team with deep operational expertise, we partner closely with the teams we back to help them scale globally. For more information, visit www.whitestarvc.com.