The Brightspark Manifesto: A look at our unshakable criteria for startups

Posted by Brightspark on Aug 29, 2016

In over 15 years of investing in venture capital, we’ve developed a serious flair for finding and growing the very best early-stage companies in Canada.

At Brightspark, we invest in people first. We partner with founders that are...

Experienced.

The CEOs and management teams should be no stranger to the world of startups. They should have experience being a CEO, running a startup, have been on the very senior team of a startup or worked extensively with and for startups.

Experts.

The CEO and management team need to be complete experts with significant experience in the field they are tackling.

Committed.

The CEO and Management team need to show huge focus and commitment. We’re talking true, 24-hours-a-day hustle.

Canadian.

The company usually is based in Canada, although we make exceptions for extraordinary companies.

Knowledgeable of VC.

Everyone at the company needs to understand the dynamics of VC investment and be ready for that reality. They strive to have an exit within 5–7 years and a focus on creating investor shareholder value each and every day.


If a management team hits all the checkboxes above — they’re on the right track. Furthermore, we get excited about products that are:

Pain killers.

The company picked a distinct problem that is of burning importance to customers, and developed a compelling solution.

Validated.

The company has a minimum viable product and has traction, usually in the form of bona fide sales and/or promising beta sites.

Unique.

The solution is unique, and the company shows that it can be a market leader, not a small fish in a big sea of players. We expect defensible intellectual property.

Marketable today.

Significant dollars are already spent in the industry and the market exists today, not simply prognosticated by futurists.

Scalable.

The upside of the company is very large with significant market potential. We’re not looking for companies that will double in size — think bigger.

In the tech, SaaS, or mobile industry.


We are founder-oriented and actively help grow the companies we invest in. This means that we look for solutions that are in a space that Brightspark understands and has contacts in.


If your investment thesis is aligned with ours, we should talk. Individual investors can co-invest alongside Brightspark in Canada’s best early-stage companies.


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