Althea Wishloff is the newest member of the Panache Ventures team, working out of the Toronto office. She joins us from a career in buy-side finance, and has a background in fintech, Indigenous issues, and most recently, acting as a researcher for Sidewalk Labs, the civictech subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.
I joined Panache Ventures because it was an opportunity to both build an early stage VC firm and to support an ecosystem of Canadian entrepreneurs from the ground up. Evidenced by the variety of backgrounds and interests on the Panache team, the fund’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was also an important factor in my decision to join the firm. Similar to my other involvements in the tech community, I truly believe innovation and equity come hand-in-hand, and at Panache I am excited to work with companies who not only bear best-in-class entrepreneurs but are also impact-focused.
I am convinced that Panache's founder-first philosophy makes the firm unique - it emphasizes the strategic approach associated with investing in Canadian entrepreneurs coast-to-coast. Now as a member of the Toronto team, I look forward to investing in verticals which are already of personal interest – healthtech, smart cities and fintech – and learn of many more.
Healthcare became an interest of mine when I was working in asset management, and consistently looked at established firms who were finding tech solutions for a relatively untapped market.
My background in smart cities stems from participation as a researcher on Sidewalk Toronto project. In this research process, eleven fellows and I engaged with entrepreneurs in cleantech, biotech and civictech, to craft a recommendation report as to how Quayside could be designed into an equitable, inclusive and affordable neighbourhood.
Finally, my passion for fintech began with a project at Ryerson University, where I researched financial services opportunities for the unbanked and underbanked. As an Indigenous person, that project was particularly special as I could empathize with the multitude of challenges faced by the Aboriginal communities with regards to access to opportunity, financial literacy and education.
Looking forward, I am thrilled about learning alongside a highly entrepreneurial team and expanding Panache Ventures’ investment footprint, which will enable more and more entrepreneurs to create leading-edge tech businesses across Canada.