Who We Are

ARCHANGEL is the overarching angel stage investment fund with the mission of unlocking capital through the support of a consortium of superangels and venture capitalists.

To accelerate the transition of Canada to an innovation economy, we will:

  • Make angel investment accessible to investors who otherwise are not able to participate
  • Invest in the entrepreneurs who are bringing that innovation to life
  • Scale Canadian startups into U.S. and Global markets, and
  • Reinvest back into the angel ecosystem

Archangel Network of Funds is made up of four portfolios

Focus Areas

Our Team

Aaron Rezaei
General Partner

As an Angel Investor, Aaron is focusing mostly on pre-seed and seed-stage start-ups in Tech, Fintech, BigData, Electronics Design, Manufacturing and Commercialization. As a serial entrepreneur, investor and advisor, Aaron has co-founded several companies in Electronics Design and Electronics Manufacturing Services, Voltage Power (Protection Control), SCADA panel design, Automation and Smart Manufacturing in Canada and the United States.

Amber French

Amber has extensive experience in private capital placement and a passion for working with entrepreneurs. Amber is currently the Director of Capital Services at Communitech and most recently, Managing Partner & Co-founder of Catalyst Capital. Amber’s previous roles:

  • Co-founder, Catalyst Commons
  • Chief Executive Officer, Supply+Protect
  • Founder & Principal, Verity Financial Canada

Benton Leong
General Partner

In his career, Benton has served as teacher and researcher in computer science at Penn State University and University of Waterloo, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, coach to many startups, innovation ecosystem builder and community activist.  Some highlights include:

  • Communitech’s Executive-in-Residence for social entrepreneurs.
  • Canada’s National Angel Capital Organization (NACO)’s Angel-in-Residence.
  • Co-founder of MapleSoft, a venture that developed an algorithmic system for performing difficult symbolic math computations, adopted by research institutes, universities, and firms world-wide. MapleSoft was acquired by Cybernet Systems Group in 2009.
  • Coach for Team Canada, a cohort of 15 Canadian startups that swept the podium in 2019 at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship International Competition in Shenzhen, outshining teams with the best startups from Silicon Valley, London, Berlin, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv.

A business developer at heart, Benton identifies opportunities that are not obvious at first glance and he puts together teams with complementary expertise to capitalize on those opportunities.  As well as serving on the board for tech ventures, Benton also helps in the general community as a board member or volunteer for organizations that serve people under stress, recent immigrants, and those without shelter.

Claudette McGowan
General Partner

Claudette McGowan is a global information technology leader with more than 20 years of success leading digital transformations, optimizing infrastructure and designing new approaches that improve service and cybersecurity experiences. She has worked in the technology industry for several organizations such as Deloitte, Metropolitan Police Services, North York General Hospital, Bank of Montreal and TD Bank.

At BMO, Claudette served as the CIO, Enterprise Technology Experience and at TD she was the Global Executive Officer for Protect Fusion & Cyber Experience. Claudette is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Protexxa, a Canadian-based cybersecurity software and services company.

Claudette is an active member of the Canadian innovation ecosystem. She is the chair of the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR), a group of senior business leaders committed to fighting systemic racism within the innovation economy. McGowan recently co-led the launch of Phoenix Fire & The Firehood, a multi-million dollar women-focused angel fund and network for women in technology.

Her commitment to community is evidenced by her multiple board seats for leading organizations such as MaRS Discovery District, SickKids Hospital Foundation, Black North, The Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR), Elevate Technology Festival, Northwind Professional Institute, and the U.S. Consul General of Toronto U.S-Canada Innovation Council.

Danielle Graham
General Partner

Danielle Graham is Managing Partner of Phoenix Fire and Co-Founder of The Firehood. She founded Communitech’s Fierce Founders, the first women-focused tech accelerator in Canada. Previously, Manager of Ontario Centres of Innovation’s Market Readiness fund, Principal at Sandpiper and Dream Maker Ventures and consulting at Deloitte.

David Rich
General Partner

Prior to starting angel investing, David had a 30 year career in the food industry. He was country manager for one of the world’s leading flavour and ingredient companies. He brings a strong record of corporate governance, financial and risk management. David was the 2018 GTAN Angel of the Year. He sits on the Board of Directors at Hospice Wellington. David has a B.Eng. from McGill University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Diane Wolfenden
General Partner

Diane is an active angel investor and a charter member of the Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN). A former GTAN board member, she represents GTAN on the Board of Equation Angels which is chairs. Formerly an investor advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, she now gives back to the community as a volunteer. She is a former Chair of both the board of Governors of the Grand River Hospital Foundation and the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, and was the recipient of the GTAN David Borges Community Builder of the Year Award in 2016.  Diane received both her MLS and MBA from McGill University in Montreal.

Ehsan Mirdamadi
General Partner

Ehsan obtained his BSc in Computer Science from York University and has been an active entrepreneur since 1999. Throughout his 20+ of experience, he has founded, led and exited multiple successful ventures in cloud computing, cloud software and biotech in Canada and the United States. He is also an active angel investor and advisor for technology and venture development to dozens of ventures.

Ellen Fang
General Partner

An angel investor and a former executive at L.E.K. Consulting and Deloitte, Ellen had accumulated rich experience in evaluating and investing in opportunities across a wide range of sectors. She had helped many Fortune 500 corporations expand business in Asia through equity/asset acquisition, partnership, licensing, and joint ventures. She had also worked with leading growth capitals and buyout funds evaluating deals, and developing growth strategies and value activation plans for their portfolio companies. Ellen’s current focus is investing in innovations in technology, healthcare, and renewable energy in Canada, the US and China. Ellen holds a bachelor’s degree in Material Sciences and an MBA from CEIBS with an exchange program at London Business School. Ellen sits on the Association Council of Upper Canada College.

Jacky Chen
General Partner

Jacky is dedicated to angel investment and has built up a portfolio of tens of startup companies in Canada and the US. Further to the role of a GP of Archangel StarForge Fund, Jacky also serves as a Managing Director of Wharton Alumni Angels. Prior to angel investing, he had acquired concrete business experiences as a successful founder in the startup ecosystem and an executive of Fortune 500 companies over the last two decades. His remarkable accomplishments range from building startups from scratch to leading a billion-dollar business with the leverage of 14,000 enterprise channel partners. The unique journey has shaped Jacky’s outstanding investment in early startups. Jacky holds the degrees of Mater’s E.E. and MBA, and he graduated from CEIBS and The Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Peyvand Melati
General Partner

Peyvand is a highly accomplished entrepreneur and angel investor who has successfully launched multiple businesses. He is an expert in the commercialization and growth of companies in major industries, with a focus on AI, IOT, CleanTech and Med Tech. He is a seasoned veteran in the start up process from initial inception to launch. Peyvand has a particular knack for setting priorities, developing strategies and building teams to scale ventures.

Randall Howard
General Partner

A prolific technology visionary, CEO, investor and philanthropist, Randall has a distinguished career  building and funding global firms based on innovation. Some current roles, both investment and operating include:

  • Since 2001, as Managing Partner at super-angel boutique, VERDEXUS, Randall has pioneered an “activist” model to choose, manage and monetize a portfolio of next generation companies.
  • Co-founder and Partner at Cognition Fund planned to be a $150M venture fund to revolutionize deep IP commercialization around the University of Waterloo research and innovation.
  • From 1984 to 2001, co—founder and CEO of MKS Inc. a software company, a leader in Application Lifecycle Management, which he grew from scratch to a public company with US$50M in revenue with 7 acquisitions and 1 divestiture. In 2011, MKS was sold to PTC for US$304M.

In the Waterloo-Toronto Tech Corridor, Randall is well known as a co-founder of Communitech and a major driver of GTAN, the local angel organization. Randall graduated from the University of Waterloo with an honours degree in computer science and mathematics.

Thealzel Lee
General Partner

Thealzel Lee is an entrepreneur, angel investor and business strategy advisor to companies with a focus on strategy development and operational alignment. She manages the monthly VANTEC Angel Network (VANTEC) and the Vancouver chapter of the Keiretsu Forum (Northwest Region) for the local startup community of entrepreneurs and angel investors. She also serves on committees with the National Angel Capital Organization (Canada) and the Angel Capital Association (U.S.). Thealzel is co-founder and director of angel investment funds Nelsa Investment (VCC) Inc., the VANTEC Entrepreneurs (VCC) Fund Inc. dba eFund and the Montfort Capital Corporation (TSX.V:MONT) which provide equity and non-equity investments in these entrepreneurs. Thealzel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Alberta, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Todd Bissett
Legal Advisor

Todd is a widely experienced business, technology and international transactions lawyer, licensed in California and Ontario.  He previously practiced for several years in Silicon valley and Greater China.  He is a partner at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP’s Waterloo Region office.

Todd’s emerging growth practice focuses on the complete life-cycle of startup companies, from formation and organizational work through equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, and complex business combinations. Todd acts for both issuers and investors in investments, and sellers and buyers in M&A transactions. He has worked extensively with venture capital and private equity funds, major institutional and strategic investors, and companies and issuers from early stage startups to multinational public and private organizations.



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