Telus backs new social impact fund focused on community safety and wellness in Edmonton

ScaleGood Fund to take a position in grads of the Telus Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator.

In partnership with the Edmonton Police Foundation, Telus has backed a new social impact fund designed to assist graduates of the Telus-sponsored Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator (CSW) program.

Geared in direction of international firms addressing complicated social points in Edmonton, the enterprise capital (VC) fund will focus on CSW grads delivering “each a measurable social and robust monetary return.”

The ScaleGood Fund will focus on CSW grads delivering “each a measurable social and robust monetary return.”

The ScaleGood Fund has set a $10 million CAD goal. As the ScaleGood Fund’s lead investor, Telus has invested $1 million, as a part of the telecom large’s broader dedication to supporting early-stage startups in the social impact area. Telus operates its $100 million, tech-focused Telus Pollinator Fund for Good, and invests in startups by way of its company enterprise capital arm, Telus Ventures.

Ashif Mawji has been named managing director and common accomplice of the ScaleGood Fund. Mawji additionally serves as a enterprise accomplice at Rising Tide VC, board chair of Telus’ Friendly Future Foundation, director of Invest Alberta, and the board chair of the Edmonton Police Service Foundation.

“Being a seasoned investor with direct investments in greater than 100 firms and in a number of funds, I’ve seen firsthand that it’s very a lot attainable to get a robust monetary return in addition to a significant social impact,” mentioned Mawji, who will assist lead the ScaleGood Fund’s funding selections alongside an funding advisory committee made up of choose VPs.

The fund can have a rolling shut, beginning with round $5 million this month, and a ultimate shut both inside the subsequent two years, or when it reaches $10 million. Mawji mentioned the fund is about to safe “nearly” $5 million in a number of days from Telus and a bunch of shut contacts that features undisclosed people, household places of work, and foundations.

The ScaleGood Fund plans to take a position between $25,000 and $200,000 per firm, and assist introduce portfolio companies to potential clients, companions, and different buyers. The fund can have a time period of 10 years, extendible by two one-year extensions.

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The ScaleGood Fund’s first funding is in Areto Labs, an Alberta-based B2B SaaS social enterprise startup focused on making digital communities “extra constructive and inclusive” by way of machine studying (ML) sentiment evaluation and automated prompts and nudges. The ScaleGood Fund didn’t disclose the precise quantity it invested in Areto Labs.

“Our first funding is a testomony to our mission, and we strongly imagine that Areto Labs will make a significant impact in the lives of all residents and assist scale back on-line hatred and cyber bullying, in addition to scaling and producing robust monetary outcomes,” mentioned Mawji.

CSW is an Edmonton-based tech and social impact accelerator sponsored by Telus and the Edmonton Police Foundation, in partnership with the Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Innovates, AlchemistX, ATB Financial, Motorola, the University of Alberta, Amii, and AlchemistX.

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AlchemistX is the company and authorities providers division of Edmonton’s Alchemist Accelerator, a venture-backed and provincially-funded accelerator focused on seed-stage ventures utilizing synthetic intelligence (AI) in Edmonton’s social sector.

The ScaleGood Fund was introduced as a part of CSW’s Demo Day, which noticed 19 firms from over six international locations current to community members and buyers. In addition to Areto Labs, the checklist of taking part firms included Canadian startups Brave Technology Coop, Budee Solutions, Digital Public Square, NavigateIO, PALcares, Pedesting, and Rubicon.

CSW’s second cohort will begin in September. Applications for it are open till August 1 to candidates from world wide.

Feature picture courtesy Billy Hudy by way of Unsplash.

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