Angel investor, venture capitalist, and social serial entrepreneur, Ashif Mawji knows Edmonton will become a capital of innovation — because the world is taking notice.
Tell us in one sentence – who are you, and how does your company innovate?
I’m a serial entrepreneur, community builder and philanthropist who cares about their community and the planet at large. My company invests and nurtures ventures that have a social impact mission and want to scale and do well financially.
What is unique about your business?
Unlike other Venture Capitalists, we look for ventures that have a strong promise of a financial return BUT ALSO MUST have a social impact and have measures that demonstrate the good they are doing.
At what point did you identify or realize the problem that your company currently solves?
I have over 110 direct investments and the ones that also have a social impact are doing much better financially, because they are attracting strong talent (who also wants to do good) and have customers that care about their product/services. Therefore, my preference now is to only invest in companies who have a strong promise of a social impact + financial return.
What inspired you to become a problem-solver and start your business?
Leading by example is the best way to achieve scalable results. Rather than telling people what to do, show them what to do, why to do it and what success looks like.
What are you most proud of?
Helping launch the TELUS Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator coupled with the ScaleGood Fund will help make a remarkable and impactful mark on our community and beyond and I’m proud to be a part of that team.
Share some key milestones/updates on your startup within the last year.
Since May 2022 (launch), we’ve invested in 6 companies and are on track to invest in another 5-10 within the next few months. As well, we are adding new limited partners to the fund so that we can close this fund, well within the 2 years we had given ourselves.
Edmonton has a unique opportunity, both locally and globally. The potential is limitless! What does it mean to you to contribute to Edmonton’s innovation identity, and help position our city as an inclusive global innovation capital?
Having launched several companies from Edmonton, with one of them having clients in over 180 countries, I know the power of Edmonton. I know the amazing talent and can-do spirit we have here. I know what’s possible. As such, it is my obligation to help make the world aware of our “secret” sauce and the opportunities Edmonton offers.
How does Edmonton Unlimited resonate with you? What does this mean to you?
It highlights the fact that the opportunity potential in Edmonton is truly unlimited, limitless and there’s no upper limits. In Edmonton, you have everything you need to unleash your full potential.
Why is Edmonton the place to take your ideas to the next level? What made you decide to establish yourself here?
I’ve already built and scaled a company that had customers in over 180 countries, customers like Google, Microsoft, Shell, Nike, Boeing, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others. My team and I did this from right here in Edmonton. We did this when the tech bubble burst, when there was no funding or resources. Now that we have amazing support systems, the potential is truly Unlimited.
How have you been involved with Edmonton Unlimited? How have they helped your company/idea grow?
Our accelerator is partially funded by Edmonton Unlimited and we help feed companies into the pre-accelerator and also help companies that have graduated from the pre-accelerator, into a scale up one that can help them launch globally.
How can people get involved or support your business?
If you are a venture that has a strong promise of a financial return and have measurable goals for delivering a social impact, then visit ScaleGood.ca and apply. If you are an accredited investor who not only wants strong financial returns, but want to help deliver a social impact, reach out to Ashif Mawji on LinkedIn to discuss a potential for joining as a limited partner in the fund.
What advice would you give someone trying to become an entrepreneur or looking to solve a problem?
Are you passionate about it? Is this something that will get you out of bed, on days when you’re running out of money and don’t know if you will make payroll? If yes, then give it your best! But first, validate the idea with non-believers, non-family members/friends. If they say there’s something to it, then there probably is…
What can we look forward to from your company?
Paving the path to help social impact ventures/entrepreneurs deliver their best and truly make a difference in the world, while also making profit and delivering financial value to shareholders.