AVAC Group is primarily a Limited Partner investor in select and diversified venture capital funds. AVAC also manages Carrot Ventures Fund I, L.P., a fund focused on the creation of new Canadian agricultural technology companies.
For more than 20 years, we have supported companies at all stages: startup to scaleup to exit. Our roles have been diverse: from funding, to business management, to sales development to technology commercialization to name a few. AVAC Group provides expertise to technology companies at every stage of entrepreneurship.
In addition to fund of funds investing, AVAC has directly managed several limited partnership funds where profitable market opportunities have been identified.
Seeding New AgTech Ventures.
Carrot is AVAC Group's company formation platform. It is a business model to attract experienced leadership to vetted agricultural technology and form new companies.LEARN MORE
Canada is home to some of the world’s top Ag Tech innovators and experienced entrepreneurs who have led successful businesses. Carrot brings the two together to launch new Ag Tech companies. Guidance and seed funding from the AVAC Group will springboard these new companies on the fast track to success. Funding from Carrot will only be allocated to these newly formed companies.
Our fund of funds investing is a balanced mix of technology and Ag Tech fund investments. We have formed partnerships with top venture capital firms with proven records of success both in Canada and abroad.
AVAC Group is an investor in the following funds:Contact Us
Our team brings venture capital and entrepreneurial experience valued by our investment partners and portfolio companies. Collectively, we are entrepreneurs, investors, science and technology experts, company builders, and business drivers.
Our management team is fully immersed in the entrepreneurial and venture profession across all technology domains. We apply our agriculture industry experience and knowledge to match the challenge of advancing agriculture technology commercialization in Canada.
AVAC’s Board of Directors provides governance and contributes to its entrepreneurial finance and agricultural knowledge through their professional and entrepreneurial experience in agribusiness and technology.
We invest in early stage agtech company creation using venture capital principles and discipline.
We attract the interest of seasoned ag tech investors to the best early agtech deals.
Experienced talent is plugged into to lead readymade agtech companies.
Board Chair, Interim President
Dr. Sailer has over twenty five years of investment banking and corporate finance experience. During his investment banking experience at Acumen Capital Partners and AltaCorp Capital, he directly managed and co-managed over $5 billion in financings for private and public companies. Alf has also acted as M&A and strategic advisor to numerous enterprises during his tenure at ATB Financial and Grant Thornton.
Alf has served as a board member for two TSX-V listed companies and several not-for profit organizations.
Chief Financial Officer
Monte directs all back office reporting functions and audit procedures for AVAC’s operations, fund of funds and direct investment portfolio. He received his CPA CA designation in 1991 while employed by a national accounting and audit firm. Monte has past commercial experience as a Controller/CFO of a privately owned oil and gas services company as well as head office experience with a multinational environmental company and a multinational real estate company.
Senior Investment Manager
Martin is passionate about bringing great products, technology and business model innovation to market, and working with the teams behind them on their journey to personal and professional success. With responsibility across the full lifecycle of portfolio management, Martin serves/d as a Director or advisor to several AVAC investments including BlackSquare, Circle Cardiovascular Imaging, Leankor, LoginRadius, SAMdesk, Susterre Technologies, and Wedge Networks, and is a Partner of Accelerate Fund I, L.P. As a Venture Partner of Carrot Ventures, Martin brings this experience to bear on sourcing technologies, recruiting talent, negotiating investment terms, and enabling investee success.
Senior Investment Manager
Jim has over 15 years of experience building and investing in digital, life science and agricultural technology companies. Prior to the AVAC Group, he had a productive career as an academic in life sciences and published extensively in various areas of human and animal health. As a past company founder and entrepreneur himself, he has insight into the challenges of the entrepreneurial journey and actions needed to address them. In Jim’s role as co-lead of CARROT, his passion for mentoring innovative technology companies serves to identify and equip teams for significant commercial results.
Louis has a passion for sustainability and innovation in agricultural systems and a diverse career background. His experience includes financial and strategic corporate roles as well as entrepreneurship, with a focus on the agriculture and food industries. As an Associate at Carrot Ventures, Louis applies his expertise to identify high-potential technologies and support the new company formation and financing process for commercial success.
Finance and Office Administrator
Laurie Powers is a seasoned financial executive with over 25 years of experience in the private sector as well as with Saskatchewan Crown corporations. Ms. Powers is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canterra Capital Corp., managing a diversified portfolio consisting of 175,000 acres of farmland on behalf of the CPP Investment Board. She has held senior positions with Assiniboia Capital Corp., Harvard Developments Inc., Victoria Park Capital Inc., Investment Saskatchewan and Information Services Corporation.
Jerry Bouma is an experienced management consultant in the agriculture and food industry. His professional career includes 10 years with Deloitte (Guelph office and part of the national agri-business consulting practice); 3 years with Maple Leaf Foods; and 25 years with Toma & Bouma Management Consultants. Jerry’s specialities include strategic planning, governance reviews, business and marketing plans as well as market research.
Myles Hamilton currently serves as President & Managing Partner of CanMar Foods Ltd, the largest producer of Food Grade Flax in Canada. He has over 30 years of consumer-packaged goods experience spending the first 6 years of his career at Procter & Gamble (P&G). Following P&G, he spent most of his 15-year career as the Western Canada Vice President at Frito Lay Canada. He was Managing Partner at Spitz International Inc. from 2006 through 2009 and he successfully initiated and led a company sale to PepsiCo Foods (Frito Lay). Myles has a passion for agriculture and he maintains Agricultural Holdings in South East Saskatchewan.
Colette Miller, a partner with Wilde and Company, CPA’s specializes in owner-managed business including taxation and estate/succession planning with a special interest in agricultural-related companies. Her expertise is enhanced by her personal experience of farming with her husband on their cattle and grain operation.
Her current governance roles, in addition to AVAC, include Canadian Business Growth Fund, Covenant Health Audit and Finance Committee and Elk Island Community Foundation. This follows a ten-year directorship with ATB Financial with experience as chair of HRC and Audit.
Graham Drake has over 40 years business experience in Agriculture in various capacities across Canada and Internationally. Graham has served as director on several public companies, as well as CEO of Cervus Equipment for 7 years. Graham continues to serve as an advisor to several private companies in the Ag sector. Graham is passionate about Agriculture and entrepreneurship.