SW21 will support mission-driven, double-bottom-line disruptors in health, education, and clean tech
TORONTO, ON/MIAMI, FL, May 25, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Serial Startup founders Gregory Sukornyk and Marc Wayne are excited to announce the launch of their startup studio, SW21, focused on supporting very early-stage companies.
SW21 will invest in and co-build startups at the pre-seed and seed levels and take a hands-on role in helping the founding management teams grow their business. SW21 is seeking to work with startups that will have a meaningful impact on the education, health and environmental sectors. These three sectors represent at least a $12 Trillion annual market opportunity. Impact businesses have several advantages: loyalty from customers who prefer goods and services that create social value, better recruitment and retention of top talent who prefer to work for companies delivering a social benefit, and access to a broader range of capital options given the business is delivering societal benefits.
Gregory Sukornyk, President & Co-Founder, explains: “We aim to be co-builders and co-founders. Many startup founders have excellent engineering or product credentials, as well as, business acumen, but they need key support during a critical phase in their lifecycle to help develop the business. Early-stage startups must be nimble to gain advantage in their market and it places great demands on the founding team. That’s where we come in. In addition to investing capital, we are there to serve a key role in building the company. I’m excited to work with my longtime, close friend, Marc. He and I have known each other for many years and have collaborated on past companies. We both see a specific need in the market for a boutique, high quality and hands-on partner for early-stage companies.”
Marc Wayne, Chairman and Co-Founder, added: “Investing while being deeply involved in accelerating a startup’s growth can make a profound difference on a young company’s success. Most startups need more than just a capital infusion from an outside fund; they need strategic and operational support. We want to be active and engaged, and work with passionate people to create businesses that make a difference. I’m excited to work with my great friend, Greg. We share a common vision for the critical help that early-stage startups need and a mutual interest in impact investing.”
In addition to investment, SW21 will assist its startups in many critical areas including raising additional capital, corporate and product strategy, partnership and business development, organizational structuring, technical planning, and M&A strategy.
Greg and Marc have each been founding and building startups for the past 30 years in various emerging sectors. Companies they have co-founded and have been involved building through early stage include Canopy Growth (created through merger with startup Bedrocan Canada), Canopy Health, Canopy Animal Health, Good World Games, LibertySurf, Beckley Canopy Therapeutics and Beckley Psytech. Greg and Marc have been involved in every aspect of building a startup including early product development, operations, startup basics, tech strategy, sales and marketing, financing, as well as M&A including going public transactions.
SW21 is also supported by an outstanding venture partner advisory board that includes Rod Prat, Christopher Sukornyk and Derrick Horner. Rod has had an extensive career in finance across private and public sector capital markets, including as a Managing Director with Goldman Sachs, Global Head of Sales for HSBC’s capital markets business, a consultant to the Bank of Canada and a portfolio manager at British Columbia Investment Management. Chris is a highly successful, 6x Canadian tech entrepreneur, having built leading companies in AdTech and EdTech (Disco.co). Chris’s last venture-backed startup Chango pioneered performance marketing and sold for $120MM in 2015. Derrick founded and serves as CEO of H1 Ventures where he works internationally as a strategic advisor, investor and co-founder with a range of experience in corporate finance, development, strategy, and M&A across sectors. Derrick graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and cum laude from Harvard Law School.
SW21 is an independent seed stage impact startup studio based in Toronto and Miami, co-founded by Gregory Sukornyk and Marc Wayne. SW21 invests at the earliest stages in promising startups with global potential and is a hands-on co-builder. SW21’s focus is on health, education, and cleantech companies that deliver both social and financial returns.
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