Fraser Hall

Forty Under 40 Winner 2016: Partner, Vancouver Founder Fund, Age 39

Years after leaving the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – a marine conservation group founded by early Greenpeace member Paul Watson – Fraser Hall found himself back aboard the Brigitte Bardot, commanding a 12-person crew on a one-boat mission to intercept a whale hunt in the Faroe Islands, and at the same time trying to close his Series A financing for Recon Instruments.

“I was trying to close my financing at sea on this sat phone while we were being chased by the navy, zipping in and out of ports trying to track down whalers,” said the co-founder of Recon, today a partner with Vancouver Founder Fund.

“It was a very interesting and frankly difficult experience, confronting whalers all day long, by day at sea, and by night at ports, they’d come up to the boats. And then trying to close the most significant financing of my life.”

Before the sale of Recon to Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) last year, Hall’s high-tech company, which produces smartglasses and head-up displays, raised in the neighbourhood of $30 million from an array of investors – from friends, family and fools, as he put it, to angel investors, venture capitalists and corporate venture arms.

“When we dealt with Vancouver-based investors, the experience was less than ideal,” Hall said. “They didn’t add the value that we felt they should, and they made our process difficult.” He added that he felt investors prioritized their vested interests. The culture was predatory, and the outlook narrow-minded.

“When we sold Recon, … [fund co-founder] Dan [Eisenhardt] and I felt we had to fix this problem. And so that was the genesis of Vancouver Founder Fund – a geographically focused venture fund – to be the funders we wished we’d had.”

Providing seed-level funding for startups in Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria, the fund supports seven different companies, and plans to fund up to five more. After that, Hall may be looking to expand geographically to Alberta and Washington. He also wants to remain hands-on with the companies he’s funded, through mentorship, guidance or reinvestment.

“I’m treating this fund like a startup itself; I think it might even be slightly disruptive to the venture community.”

 Join us to celebrate the 2016 Forty under under 40 Awards January 25, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.

comments powered by Disqus

More from BIV

BIV on Global BC September 20, 2017: Visits to Canada up; Cities ...

Tyler Orton discusses new data that reveals an increase in the number of visits to Canada. Plus: Canadian cities vying for new Amazon HQ

Read Article

Anthem Properties closes deal to buy Coquitlam project

Brandywine owners used new Bill 40 wind-up method to agree to sell homes

Read Article

Liberal government consistently breached own FOI laws

'Government routinely operates in contravention of BC law' – privacy and information commissioner

Read Article

Pembina Pipeline expansion nears completion

Read Article

Government should promote benefits of CETA to small businesses: CFIB

Read Article

Subscribe to our mailing lists

You may withdraw your consent at any time.

* indicates required

Newsletters

* You can modify your newsletter subscriptions at the bottom of any newsletter you receive.
Business in Vancouver Media Group
303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia
V5Y 1J6 · Canada
604-688-2398
×