Calgary-based venture builder studio Harvest Builders has announced the appointment of Graeme Harrison as its new president.
Harrison succeeds Harvest Builders co-founder Chris Simair; according to a spokesperson, the studio has been actively recruiting for a president since last spring following Simair’s transition out. With the appointment of Harrison, Harvest Builders hopes to reorient the studio for future growth and impact venture building.
Harrison is an established member of Alberta’s tech community.
Harvest said it chose Harrison because it was looking for someone with an entrepreneurial background that could build partnerships with other leading ecosystem players, such as other venture funds and startups throughout Western Canada and beyond.
Harrison is an established member of Alberta’s entrepreneurial and tech community, notably as chair for the Telus Spark Science Centre and founder and director of Nutana Power. Before being appointed as president, Harrison served as a founding board member for Harvest Builders.
“Graeme’s experience and vision for Harvest’s future will enable our fund and others to offer a competitive advantage to the entrepreneurs we work with,” said Alex Gold, founder and general partner at Harvest Venture Partners.
The venture builder is a not-for-profit organization that helps startups from the prairies find talent, resources, and early-stage funding. Founded in late 2019 by SkipTheDishes co-founder Chris Simair, it has helped co-create many companies, notably Neo Financial which was the first venture undertaken by the Harvest Builders Team in 2019. Since then, Neo has raised a total of $234.7 million USD.
Since Harvest’s inception in 2019, the organization has received $4 million CAD over three years from The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, to develop a service infrastructure. Harvest Builders also launched a venture fund not long after that of $14 million CAD to invest in six to eight companies over two years.
“I’m incredibly optimistic for the future of this studio and impact we can create here in Alberta,” said Harrison.
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