7 Gate Ventures is a family office venture capital firm, based in Vancouver, Canada, and Silicon Valley. We invest in early-stage startups, particularly those in the Seed stage. We look for innovative companies along the technology vertical, with a focus on Enterprise Software, Marketplace, HealthTech and Medical Devices. Our mission is to be the first partner to identify and fund technical founders to help them scale and grow to a billion-user company.
Built on the promise of Diversity and Inclusion, and an effort to provide the necessary fuel for growth among immigrant and minority communities. 7 Gate mindfully draws its members from a diverse mix of ethnicities, genders, and educational backgrounds, all of whom were immigrants or refugees themselves. With stories of struggle, facing many barriers, we realized that immigrants and people of colour are not only underrepresented in technology but also within the world of venture capital.
Shahab Samimi, a Senior Associate at 7 Gate, recalls a time landing as an infant in Canada as a refugee, fleeing a 7 year Iran-Iraq war. Stories of how his family had nothing but a pair of luggages used as pillows, and jackets as blankets, with no more than 3 servings of food per day at the YMCA that they would ration, gathering cutlery and plates for future use. This has shaped Shahab’s resilience and vigour, and why 7 Gate has a natural empathy for the grit and drive within immigrant entrepreneurs.
We realized there is a gap for an institutional seed stage funding within the Canadian ecosystem. We aim to remove the stigma against immigrant minority communities and help diverse, educated, but underrepresented and underestimated entrepreneurs. We invest in a rising new generation of immigrant founders, placing more diversity and minorities in portfolio companies and boards. We envision an inclusive world where entrepreneurs have the support, capital and guidance they need to thrive. Part of our corporate social responsibility is aligned with 7 Gate Academy.
A Vancouver-based training academy targeting students, graduates, developers, and business owners looking to upgrade their skills in emerging technologies. Programs are free of charge for eligible students and developers. Before every cohort, CTOs or tech department managers will gather to comment on the needs of their business and what the talent pool lacks. Some of whom even take part in designing and teaching the courses.
The Academy’s talent development program is built on three pillars:
- To help developers add another skill to their toolkit.
- Give companies access to a great talent pool and empower the local ecosystem.
- Potential investment in an idea that comes out of the program, now or in the future for local Venture funds.
As Shahab Samimi said: it all starts with recognizing the privilege we have, and how we dismiss others and their ideas. Including diversity early on, especially in the founding team, is critical to seeing the world with a broader more inclusive point of view.