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Angel Investing in Ontario:  A Primer

The Angel Network program in Ontario was established in 2007.  The program is administered by Angel Investors Ontario (formerly called the Network of Angel Organizations - Ontario (NAO-Ontario).

Since 2007, Ontario Angels have invested $250 million into 400 companies, creating or retaining about 8,200 jobs in the province.  There are currently 26 angel networks in Ontario supported by Angel Investors Ontario.

The group envisions the further development of an entrepreneurial culture in the province where more companies become investor-ready and more individual investors band together, while adopting standards and best practices to maximize the potential scale, effectiveness, and returns of their investments.

Angel investing goes beyond providing funds to start-up businesses.  It is an opportunity to give back to the community and shape the future economy.  Unlike venture capitalists, Angels are involved in the start-up businesses that they invest in.  This difference is what makes Angel investing more rewarding.

Angel Investors
Angel investors are typically well-educated, high-net-worth persons, who invest personal funds at arm’s length in businesses owned and operated by unrelated individuals.  The personal funds are invested on a long-term basis in exchange for repayable or convertible debt or equity in the company.

Profile of a typical Angel investor in Ontario

  • Well-educated
  • Has a high-net-worth
  • Former entrepreneur or business professional who can provide new firms with financing, contacts and business experience
  • Recognized by the Ontario Securities Commission as an “accredited investor” as defined by the Ontario Securities Commission’s Rule 45-802, such as:

  1. an individual who, either alone or with a spouse, beneficially owns financial assets having an aggregate realizable value that before taxes, but net of any related liabilities, exceeds $1 000 000
  2. an individual whose net income before taxes exceeded $200 000 in each of the 2 most recent calendar years or whose net income before taxes combined with that of a spouse exceeded $300 000 in each of the 2 most recent calendar years and who, in either case, reasonably expects to exceed that net income level in the current calendar year,
  3. an individual who, either alone or with a spouse, has net assets of at least $5 000 000,
  4. a person, other than an individual or investment fund, that has net assets of at least $5 000 000 as shown on its most recently prepared financial statements,


For the complete list of definition and other relevant information, please refer to the Ontario Securities Commission’s Rule 45-802 (National Instrument 45-106). There is also an unofficial consolidation of National Instrument 45-106 incorporating changes through January 31, 2012.