Matt Wilson

Matthew Wilson


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MBA, Allied Venture Partners | Entrepreneur turned Angel Investor

Keeping customers – Matthew Wilson

“Start building the brand from day one”


I love meeting founders who share my enthusiasm for technology and innovation.

My passion for entrepreneurship began with my first business at age 11 while my teenage years were spent learning HTML and designing websites.
In my 20s, I worked sales & marketing roles at Nestle and Coca-Cola, ranked Top-3 with weekly B2B sales of $3M-$5M. This experience led me to co-found, scale & exit a successful CPG startup.

Moving to Calgary in 2013, I worked at a large media agency, winning numerous sales awards and growing my client portfolio to a $1M+ run rate in just 18-months; while also fundraising from donors & sponsors for various events, including the annual Top 40 Under 40.

In 2016, I began management consulting, coaching & mentoring startups on marketing, social media, product development, market research, recruitment & fundraising.

At one startup, as interim CMO, I helped grow MAUs to 600,000+ in just 12-months. At another, I helped hire & develop a sales team, achieving a $4M run rate.

A life-long learner, I completed my MBA in Organizational Leadership, graduating at the top of my class.

In athletics, I’ve performed at the Professional & National Championship levels (hockey).

Most recently, in October 2020, I founded Allied Venture Partners ( after being a private angel investor since 2012. Allied has since grown to more than 800 investors globally and we’ve deployed over $1 Million into early-stage startups.

As a passion project, I’m the co-founder of Calgary Beer Week. We’ve raised over $500k for charity, hosted 30,000+ attendees at various events, and operate the largest craft beer B2C membership program in Western Canada.

As a trained speaker, I’ve represented our brand with local and national media, including CTV News, GlobalTV, CBC & Sportsnet.

– Leadership, mentoring, entrepreneurship
– Marketing, communications, branding & events
– Growth & customer acquisition
– Venture capital, angel investing, fundraising & startups (80+ investments, 6 exits)



Matthew Wilson

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the Supporters Fund Ask An Angel. I’m your host, Jeffery Potvin, and let’s welcome our investor today, Matthew Wilson.
Matthew: Thank you very much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Jeffery: We’re very excited to have you today. We’ve been changing up the format a little bit after going through so much material on yourself which is great. I wanted to start off with a couple of quick hard-hitting personal questions before we dive into the meat and potatoes. Book or Movie?
Matthew: Book.
Jeffery: Superman or Batman?
Matthew: Superman
Jeffery: Pizza Pie or Ice Cream Bar?
Matthew: Pizza Pie. ‘
Jeffery: Five minutes with Bezos or Oprah?
Matthew: Oprah.
Jeffery: I like Oprah too. I think she’d be way better. Yankees or Blue Jays?
Matthew: Blue Jays.
Jeffery: Bike or Rollerblades?
Matthew: Bike.
Jeffery: Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets?
Matthew: Big Mac.
Jeffery: Trophy or Money?
Matthew: Money.
Jeffery: Done. Alright. Those were some really good rapid-fire questions. That was the first time. I’m going to have to keep coming up with better ones. How did you feel? How did it work out? no
Matthew: That was some good ones there. I think Oprah too would be way more interesting. She’s overcome a lot more and basically comes from nothing. Whereas Bezos had a little bit of a boost being a white male It’s super interesting just to learn about the empire she’s built.
Jeffery: Agreed. Incredible. Well, if you come up with any other questions that you think might fit, let me know because I’ll add them in but I kind of like this rapid fire. I have more. We’re going to do more later on. This could just be a rapid-fire session. We won’t even need to talk about anything, just rapid-fire stuff. But either way, glad to have you here today, Matt. So first let’s start off by giving a little bit about your background, where you came from the CPG world all the way up to where you are today and then one thing about you that nobody would know.
Matthew: I got my start in the CPG world, moved to Toronto, spent my 20s about 10 years in Toronto, started working various sales and marketing roles at Nestle in Coca-Cola and then that ultimately led to my former business partner. I was spinning out a cpg startup so we grew and we scaled that for several years in the GTA and then in 2012 we had an opportunity to sell and exit the business. So, obviously that was a great decision at the time. And then also in about 2011 – 2012, my now wife, had received a great job opportunity out in Calgary so we figured, ‘hey let’s do it, pack the car, put my skis on the roof and we went and got to Calgary. I was essentially looking for a way to stay connected to the startup ecosystem. I’d always had a passion for finance and investing and obviously a passion for entrepreneurship, so I discovered angel investing and you know because there wasn’t a lot of VC activity at the time in Calgary, it was mostly just oil and gas and cowboys. I decided to look outside of the market and focus on more established VC centers like Silicon Valley, Vancouver, New York, Toronto and just joined every angel syndicate. I joined a couple of VC funds, basically started from scratch, writing small checks and learning by doing. Throughout the years, as I got more and more experienced, I started offering to scout for a couple different VCs and syndicate leads whether that was just meeting with founders, writing deal memos and the one thing I noticed about GPs is, they’ll always answer your emails or phone calls if you’re an LP of theirs. It worked out great because I had access to these really smart investors and then about five years ago, I was talking to someone in my network and I said, ‘Hey I’m looking to get more formally into the VC industry. How can I do that? And he said, ‘Well, if you want to get a career at VC, you need two things. You need an exit and you need an MBA. So, because I had already the experience with my cpg startup, I decided to go back to business school, got my MBA and then it was actually the thesis project for my MBA where I built out the business model and the plan for what I’m running now which is allied venture partners. So, we launched that last year, and what better time than the midst of a global pandemic. It’s been going fantastic. We just wrapped up our fifth deal of the year and we’ve put almost a million dollars to work so far. They said that the two things he needed was getting this MBA done and selling a company.
Jeffery: Sounds like sound advice though.
Matthew: That’s what everyone kept telling me. Going to business school had always been something that was on my mind, but then again in my 20s, my interpretation was a fancy MBA for I can learn a lot more by going out building a company and investing in companies. For the longest time, that was my mentality but you know there was always something. I felt like there was some kind of knowledge missing. I figured going back and getting my MBA would fill in those knowledge gaps and just give me the extra confidence and credibility I needed if I really wanted to take that leap forward into VC.
Jeffery: Very smart. Totally agree with that and if we go back to your CPG days and I’m a huge CPG fan just because we also invest. I’ve invested in multiple companies but I just like the space. I think that it’s uh not only is it under service it’s misunderstood. I think there’s a lot of startups that have gone through the CPG space today. There’s so many that are being built around coming out so when you go to the grocery store, it’s not the same 10 staple products they’ve opened up. So many more avenues, grocery stores are bigger, there’s more content obviously, there’s online. So when you guys first started in this space back in even 2000 between 2005, 2012 when you ended up exiting out how much of that world changed and were you kind of learning as it was changing and did you already start planning on the fact that you wanted to start investing what kind of got you into the investment world? How much of it was based on what was changing in the environment you were with regards to investing?
Matthew: My grandmother actually introduced me to investing at age 15. It was always something that I had a passion for and then when I started building that cpg company and really becoming a founder and an entrepreneur, I started to realize, “hey listen, I can invest in other people like me and other entrepreneurs.’ At the time in Toronto, our cpg company was a coffee wholesaler. We didn’t want to get into the retail game because at the time there was really only Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and some second cups. It was really before the whole fair-trade organic thing really took off. So instead of getting into the retail game, which was really cost intensive and hard to do, lots of competition we just stayed with wholesale and we serviced hotels, bars, restaurants, cafes and bakeries across the GTA. It was fantastic. I remember we looked at getting into retail one time and just to get one SKU and a Loblaw’s on the bottom shelf with maybe 10 stores across the GTA. It was 250,000 and I was just like, ‘this is absolutely nuts.’ It is so hard to get in and compete in the major retail grocery store space so we just avoided that all together and obviously brick and mortar like setting up a coffee shop that’s just got a whole additional set of overhead and so we just stuck to the wholesale model but it seems like it’s come a long way now because if you want to start a cpg company there’s a lot more avenues like you can go direct to consumer. you can set up a Shopify site. You know ecommerce is much bigger and it’s a lot easier to do on the web now. With regards to doing cpg with beverage, that can still be really challenging because it’s very heavy and it costs a lot to shi