In a move signalling an end of an era in Montreal early stage venture capital, Real Ventures cofounders Alan MacIntosh and JS Cournoyer will move on from the fund’s day-to-day operations.
The pair will now serve as board members and won’t lead investments going forward, a responsibility which should move to managing partner Janet Bannister.
According to a Medium post by Real, the two investors will “continue to support existing portfolio companies and provide guidance to Real at a strategic level.”
MacIntosh and Cournoyer, along with third partner John Stokes, cofounded Real Ventures over 13 years ago. At the time it was called Montreal Startup.
MacIntosh spearheaded the complete renovation of Notman House in 2014, through his OSMO Foundation charity. Notman House’s regeneration lead to a community space where hundreds of startups rented office space, participated in accelerator programs and attended lively regular events. Real Ventures has long held their Montreal office there.
Together with Cournoyer and Stokes, the trio lead the investment arm of Real Ventures, which to date has invested in over 250 portfolio companies.
The ‘modern elder’
MacIntosh shared in a Medium post that, now in his late fifties, he’ll pursue new projects:
“I realized that I should not be committing to our next 10-year fund. I shared this realization with my Real partners some time ago, to allow the firm time to craft a smooth transition path, ensuring continuity and knowledge transfer.
MacIntosh continued: “This role will allow me to focus on what I love most: actively supporting founders in their personal and professional growth to create enduring success, further honing my ‘Modern Elder’ mentorship skills.”
Moving forward in 2021, MacIntosh will focus on “venture as a force for good to build an enlightened inclusive capitalism” and “computational neuroscience with its mesmerizing potential to square the curve in healthcare.”
Cournoyer had ‘experience that shook the foundation of my belief system’
Cournoyer wrote that his motives for moving on stem from a 2018 experience which “shook the foundation of my belief system.” As a result, he wrote that he “reevaluated his vision for the world.”
Here’s what Cournoyer said:
“It provided a new perspective from which to experience life and observe a deeper meaning in it. It made me realize how every moment of my life, however difficult, was meant to be and was for my benefit. This experience awakened an expanded consciousness, one that extends beyond an individual sense of self that is separate from the world,” wrote the cofounder.
Moreover, Cournoyer wrote that he’s curious about how pillars of our society work in harmony, such as family, community, capitalism and technology, leadership and entrepreneurship.
“How we can leverage these pillars in the context of an expanded consciousness to provide every human being with universal basic needs such as housing, water and food, but also the mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing we all need to thrive,” wrote Cournoyer.