Matt👆

Hiring at Brightspark is no joke — it’s a process we take very seriously. We cherry pick our colleagues with the same diligence (if not more) as we do for our investments. Sophie and Mark live by the motto: “hire slowly, fire fast”.

So it is a big deal for us to welcome Matt He as an Investment Analyst. It is an even bigger deal for me because this is a solid proof-point that Front Row Ventures is building incredible young VC talent in Canada.

Matt ran Front Row Ventures’ Quebec Investment Team for two years. During that time, I…


Last week, in the midst of a global pandemic, we signed a term sheet.

Abbey Road Crossing (Social Distancing Edition). Remix of the work by Photographer Iain Macmillan

Brightspark has been intentionally quiet over the past few weeks. We really don’t want to post content that everyone is already hearing or reading elsewhere — information overload is nothing anyone wants now (or ever). We are heads down focusing on internal communications with our existing portfolio and our LP investors. Also, we’ve been busy leading a new investment.

The “new” reality is that we continue to invest, but with a slightly adapted thesis. Instead of writing yet another high-level VC view of the crisis, we’ve…


Jacques, Eleonore, Jaafer @ Web Summit

Part of our role as Brightspark’s Venture team is to nurture the firm’s network in the tech community, and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to tech trends. This involves a lot of events — they’re a valuable way for us to make new connections and learn from industry thought leaders.

Web Summit, the renowned tech conference held annually in Lisbon, has been on our radar for quite some time. And for good reason: Forbes has said they run “the best technology conference on the planet”, and the Atlantic says it’s “where the future goes to be born”.


Brightspark is broadening its investment focus. While the core of what we do is — and will remain — investing in Series A stage companies, we are moving up and down the VC investment pipeline. In the future, you will likely see us placing extra-selective bets on pre-Seed/Seed companies, as well as backing more mature companies at an early growth stage.

Why are we expanding our investment focus?

As the Canadian VC landscape matures, more capital is being deployed at the early-stages, and an influx of international investors are looking at Canadian companies — the VC ecosystem is much more competitive than it was a few years…


Our Commitment to Skyrocketing Canada’s Tech Ecosystem

Front Row Ventures (FRV) is expanding across Canada with the goal of building the strongest community of ambitious young entrepreneurial tech talent in the country.

This is Part 3 of a three-part series on the Front Row Ventures Mafia. For an explanation of why we’re writing this series and why we believe Canada’s tech ecosystem needs a push, start with Part 1, and then jump to Part 2 for a breakdown of how we are building Front Row Ventures.

PART I II— GROW

An early ripple of the FRV Mafia

A year ago, we published a blog post called The Beginning of the Future in which we announced the launch of…


Our Commitment to Skyrocketing Canada’s Tech Ecosystem

Front Row Ventures (FRV) is expanding across Canada with the goal of building the strongest community of ambitious young entrepreneurial tech talent in the country.

This is Part 2 of a three-part series on the Front Row Ventures Mafia. For an explanation of why we’re writing this series and why we believe Canada’s tech ecosystem needs a push, start with Part I.

PART II—HOW

Solving the Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma

After reading Part I, you might feel there’s a catch-22 in our analysis:

  • Canada has most of the needed ingredients to become a leading tech hub, but we won’t be one until our best talent stops leaving the…


Our Commitment to Skyrocketing Canada’s Tech Ecosystem

Front Row Ventures (FRV) is expanding across Canada with the goal of building the strongest community of ambitious young entrepreneurial tech talent.

This is Part 1 of a three-part series covering (1) Our views of the Canadian’s tech ecosystem from our generation’s perspective (2) What is needed to fill the current market gaps (3) Our impact on the ecosystem.

PART I — WHY

FRV was built by Canadian students, for Canadian students. Risk-taking, resolute, ambitious Canadian students. …


Surfing the smartphone S-curve

Being a VC firm for 20 years has its benefits, including front row seats to seeing multiple technologies emerge, grow, dominate and die. One of the lessons we’ve learned as a result of this, is the importance of timing. Today, it’s one of the factors we’re the strictest on when evaluating new investment opportunities.

Timing in tech usually follows an S-curve, a theoretical model that describes how new technologies evolve from crazy ideas to success stories.

Without a doubt, one of the most critical tech S-curves in history (to date) is the mobile phone. Let’s look at where we are…


Workshop #2

Speakers (from left to right): Aaron, Vincent-Charles, Jeff & Sylvain

Before we launch our first fund in September, a lot of work has to be done. Training is definitely at the top of the list. Thanks to our co-founder Éléonore, Front Row Ventures has put together its very own VC bootcamp: Field Trip. For 7 weeks, our freshly recruited team meets with well- and less well-know investors and entrepreneurs from Montreal’s startup ecosystem. Every week, we’ll release their main takeaways.

Hop on the Bus | Intro to VC | Startups: Getting companies off the ground | VC Economics and mechanisms | Technologies | VC/Founder relationship

“Entrepreneurs are a different kind…


Raph, Eleonore & Nic — FRV’s co-founders!

Front Row Ventures is currently recruiting students to join our investment team. We gathered some the most common Q&As students have for us in case you still have a few interrogations about why you should apply :-)

What is Front Row Ventures?

Front Row Ventures is Canada’s first student-run venture capital fund. We back Montreal’s student-entrepreneurs with a game-changing investment of $25,000, plus all our resources, tools, and contacts.

Sounds dope, but what exactly is venture capital?

Venture Capitalists (VCs) are professional investors, targeting very specific companies: start-ups aka young and innovative technology companies with ambitious growth plans. VCs make…

Eleonore Jarry

Working on innovative VC models @brightsparkvc @frontrowvc

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