From the 2013 Influencer Index: The former COO of Abebooks has made it his mission to mentor and finance fledgling tech startups in B.C.
Boris Wertz has followed what some may call the typical path of a tech entrepreneur: Start a successful website, sell it, become an investor. It’s his desire to share the wealth among tech startups in B.C. that really makes him influential. His finger-on-the-pulse knowledge has helped this serial entrepreneur become a successful full-time tech investor with startups all over North America.
The former COO of AbeBooks.com—purchased by Amazon in 2008—began financially backing other Internet startups even before the ink was dry on the AbeBooks deal. Once that sale was in the bag, Wertz became a full-time angel, founding his own venture capital firm Version One Ventures and investing in 35 early-stage companies to date.
Noteworthy B.C. startups in Wertz’s portfolio thus far include Summify, Indochino Apparel Inc., Suite101.com Media Inc. and Clio. He’s also a co-founder of GrowLab, a Vancouver-based startup accelerator (see p. 50).
“I definitely considered moving to a larger tech ecosystem,” he says, but the expansion of the Vancouver startup scene in the past few years has inspired him to stay local. “It’s now one of the best in Canada—companies like Indochino, Clio or HootSuite are proof of a more mature ecosystem. And it’s always more fun to root for the underdog.”