We Do Cool Stuff x Eric Agyemang

Career and experiential learning 
Entrepreneurship Hub
Student life
Black History Month
Photo of Eric Agyemang, alumus from Telfer and founder of Maple Bridge Ventures.
The Entrepreneurship Hub thrilled to introduce We Do Cool Stuff, a brand-new campaign that celebrates the innovators and trailblazers who are making our campus an epicentre of creativity, collaboration, and entrepreneurship.

Black History Month

We Do Cool Stuff has made it possible for us to celebrate the innovators and trailblazers who are making our campus a centre of creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship. This month, we celebrate the passion, creativity and entrepreneurial achievements of Black students and alumni.

Eric Agyemang is the founder and managing partner of Maple Bridge Ventures, an early-stage technology venture capital fund committed to creating social impact by supporting immigrant founders in Canada. With a focus on transformative startups, it aims to unlock the next wave of global innovation by bridging the gap between founders and venture capital, elevating the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurship to Canada’s economic future and empowering entrepreneurs to contribute to Canada’s tech ecosystem.

Many people are doing cool things on campus. What entrepreneurial endeavour are you currently working on?

As the managing partner of a new VC fund, I’m laser-focused on building strong relationships with strategic investors who share our vision and searching for game-changing immigrant-led startups in Canada, coast to coast. I’m also passionate about deepening Maple Bridge Ventures’ contributions to actualizing the incredible potential of immigrants and newcomers for Canada.

How does interdisciplinary collaboration and/or innovation play a role in your entrepreneurial endeavour?

At Maple Bridge Ventures, innovation lies at the heart of our mission as a tech fund. Our investment thesis is deeply rooted in deploying capital through an innovative, even contrarian, lens, unlocking untapped potential for Canada.

We prioritize startups with transformative ideas, seeking not only to contribute to the Canadian tech ecosystem but also to capitalize on global market opportunities, enhancing Canada’s position in global innovation. We are particularly excited about immigrant entrepreneurs who not only demonstrate a deep understanding of their industries but also show a willingness to question norms, push boundaries and introduce innovative solutions.

By aligning ourselves with these innovative founders, we aspire to be catalysts for disruptive technologies that have the power to reshape markets and industries. We firmly believe that it is these immigrant founders who will unlock global innovation in Canada.

What impact do you hope to make through your entrepreneurial endeavour?

Through Maple Bridge Ventures, we aim to make a multifaceted impact on the Canadian entrepreneurial, innovation and venture capital landscapes. Our goal is to empower and elevate immigrant founders, many of whom have sacrificed much in pursuit of the Canadian dream, by providing them with the necessary resources, mentorship and funding to transform their ideas into successful businesses. In doing so, we contribute to a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem that reflects the richness of talent and perspectives within the immigrant entrepreneur community.

We also seek to foster impact by supporting and catalyzing the development of ground-breaking health-care and sustainable technologies. The impact extends beyond the success of individual portfolio companies, encompassing the broader influence these innovations can have on industries, markets and societal challenges. I hope to contribute to advancements that address pressing global issues and shape the future of technology in meaningful ways.

Ultimately, the impact I envision goes beyond financial success, involving the creation of a legacy of positive change, diversity and innovation within the Canadian tech ecosystem. I believe that Maple Bridge Ventures is well positioned to make a difference in our own small way.

What advice would you give to those who are eager to follow in your entrepreneurial footsteps and make an impact through their own initiatives?

I still have a long way to go, but reflecting on my journey, I believe these three pillars have played a pivotal role in my success:

Resilience: Entrepreneurship is an inherently unpredictable journey, replete with challenges, uncertainties and setbacks. Developing resilience is crucial to bouncing back from rejections, unanswered emails and naysayers. Learning from these experiences, honing your focus and using setbacks as stepping stones are essential aspects of the entrepreneurial path. Being resilient is paramount for navigating the inevitable highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

Focus on impact: Striving to make a difference is key. Whether it involves addressing technological or social gaps, improving efficiency or introducing innovative solutions, a focus on impact serves as a powerful motivator and a key differentiator.

Embrace diversity: Diversity acts as a catalyst and a powerful enabler of creativity, innovation and sustained success within any entrepreneurial venture or organization. As an entrepreneur or startup founder, embracing diverse perspectives when approaching problems and opportunities is crucial. This includes bringing individuals with different backgrounds and experiences to the table. Additionally, when presented with the chance to uplift the right person from a marginalized group, doing so promptly becomes second nature.

Your nominations

The We Do Cool Stuff series is all about showcasing the inspiring work, projects, and innovations that students, researchers, alumni, faculty and staff are passionately pursuing. We want to share their stories, their journeys, and their visions with our University community and the world. Do you know someone who fits the bill? Send your nomination to: [email protected]