Event Speakers Overview

Guest speaker: Yuan Shi (Principal The51 Food and AgTech Fund, The51)


About Yuan Shi: After working with CDL-Vancouver for five years, where she founded and launched the accelerator’s climate stream and where she claims to have steered her team to more than $3 billion in equity creation from portfolio firms, Shi joined The51.

Shi had previously worked at HSBC in global banking and markets after holding a prominent position at Tesla for three years. Shi was referred to as a mergers and acquisitions specialist by The51.


Moderator: Morgan Guo (Innovation Manager, Innovate Calgary, VP & Committee Member at AAIA)

Fireside Chat

The51 is a Financial Feminist™ platform where current and potential investors (especially women and people of colour) may connect in order to democratise access to funding for female and non-binary founders. The51 practises intersectional feminism through financial action, driving capital and commercialization to create mutual wealth and social/environmental impact, exchange knowledge and  experiences,  and  drive capital and commercialization. We are creating the Financial Feminist™ economy with the help of our community of powerful  feminist  investors,  entrepreneurs,  and consumers.

Shi joins The51’s second fund, which has a lead LP and soft circle commitments from institutional and retail investors totaling $50 million. The51 states its first goal for the fund was to generate $25 to $30 million when it was originally launched in 2021. As regular investors doubled their commitments and institutional investors increased their interest, $50 million became the new goal. The51 anticipates that the fund will expire at the end of May. Shi is in charge of overseeing portfolio management at the fund and is also tasked with deal discovery, due diligence, and ecosystem creation. Alison Sunstrum, managing partner of the Food and AgTech Fund, stated that Yuan’s “excellent track record will amplify our Food and AgTech Fund efforts and add to The51’s leadership position in this industry.”

According to Shi, The51 uses investing to promote social and environmental change while giving investors a profit. According to her, “We do feel that financial return is vital, and I think there is so much opportunity in developing and scaling large companies in this sector that give high returns to the investor and our economy. The51’s first sector-specific fund is the Food and AgTech Fund. The fund is primarily interested in early-stage businesses with varied leadership teams that have the potential to develop internationally, as well as investing in women and diverse founders from across Canada and the United States.

The fund plans to make seed, seed extension, and Series A investments in early-stage businesses. According to Shi, the venture capitalists she encounters in the food and agriculture sector often concentrate on Series A or Series B raises.


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