Meet our team.

Together, we offer investee companies a knowledge base and expertise in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors that is unparalleled in the Canadian venture capital industry.  

Founder and General Partner

Arlene Dickinson

President & CEO, Venture Communications and President & CEO of District Ventures.

Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada's most iconic entrepreneurs. From her starring role on the Gemini award-winning CBC series, Dragons' Den, to her bestselling books Persuasion and All In, Arlene Dickinson is a household name in Canada. At the helm of Venture Communications for 30 years, Arlene has established herself as one of the country's most recognized marketing, sales and communications experts, and knows how to build powerful consumer brands. Her leadership and business acumen have been recognized with a number of awards, including Venture's selection as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for 3 consecutive years. She has also received multiple honours and awards including the Marketing Hall of Legends, Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, and PROFIT and Chatelaine's TOP 100 Women Business Owners.

Partner & CFO
Jason Berenstein

Jason has been active in the Canadian accounting and finance industry for nearly 25 years. Before joining District Ventures Capital, Jason was working as the CFO of an institutionally backed wholesale bakery company. Prior to this, he spent over 10 years with a prominent Toronto-based family office where he was a Principal in two Private Equity funds focused on the buy-out of and growth capital investing in mid-market Canadian companies across different industries. Jason has worked with Deloitte’s Transaction Advisory group performing due diligence assignments on behalf of financial and strategic acquirers and began his career in public accounting qualifying as a CPA, CA in 1998. At District Ventures Capital, Jason is responsible for transaction origination, due diligence and execution as well as helping to manage Fund operations. Jason graduated with an M.B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1997. 

Senior Fund Advisor
Dani Reiss
President and CEO, Canada Goose Inc.

As President and CEO, Dani has transformed the small outerwear manufacturer founded by his grandfather in 1957 into a highly coveted performance luxury apparel brand, known around the world. He has been a staunch champion for Made-in-Canada manufacturing and has been recognized for his unwavering passion for authenticity and bringing more of Canada to the world. Dani has been awarded for his entrepreneurial success numerous times, including the Order of Canada in 2016, marketer of the year in 2013 by the Canadian Marketing Association, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 by Ernst & Young, and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award in 2008. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Polar Bears International and on the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation.

Principal
Alex Morley

Prior to joining District Ventures Capital, Alex’s career has been focused on corporate finance advisory roles. Alex joined National Bank Financial in 2012, where she worked with different product groups including investment banking, corporate lending, and derivatives structuring & marketing. Most recently, Alex was a Vice President on the Diversified Industries Investment Banking team. As well, Alex worked as part of the corporate development team with a major private label food and beverage manufacturer where she was responsible for sourcing and executing acquisitions and divestitures aligned with the company’s corporate strategy. Alex is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Bachelor of Commerce program. At District Ventures Capital, she is responsible for transaction origination, due diligence and execution as well as helping to manage existing fund investments.

VP, Marketing
Carley George

Carley is a marketing manager with experience across a diverse portfolio of brands with a focus on CPG. Whether working on a global business like Toyota, or partnering with entrepreneurs on a start-up venture, Carley has the unique ability to build strong rapport with clients, team members and other stakeholders. Her ability to apply a practical approach, strong work ethic and natural marketing sense to all of her work, are strengths that have helped her excel. While working with a variety of clients, she has been a key contributor to several projects that have won awards in various marketing mediums.

Senior Associate
Pete Cobban

Pete is responsible for the origination, execution and management of early-stage investments in consumer brands across North America in addition to running ad hoc strategic initiatives and supporting Fund operations. Prior to joining District Ventures Capital, he worked in the Corporate Development group of a leading Canadian healthcare company primarily focused on driving acquisitive growth.

 

Pete has also worked with PwC’s Corporate Advisory and Restructuring group, developing tactical solutions for lenders, companies facing underperformance and other stakeholders. He began his career in public accounting at PwC in 2012, qualifying as a CPA, CA in 2014. Pete holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Co‐op Option) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Associate
Lucas Giacomelli

Lucas was employee number two at District Ventures Capital and has been involved with nearly every investment made by the Fund to date. He is responsible for the evaluation, execution and ongoing management of early-stage investments. 

 

Prior to joining District, Lucas spent a summer in the investment banking group at RBC Capital Markets where he worked on a variety of mandates, including debt and equity financings, restructurings, and m&a. 

 

Outside of the office Lucas is an avid home chef, a hobby he picked up while studying abroad in France. To keep active he enjoys running, cycling, and kayaking. 

 

Lucas graduated with distinction from Queen’s University and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree.

Controller
Andrea Pember

Andrea is an experienced Controller who has worked both internationally and in Canada. Andrea received her Chartered Accountant designation while working for KPMG in 2013. She has held senior finance positions for companies backed by private equity. She understands the financial challenges and opportunities experienced by small businesses and entrepreneurs. Andrea strives to add value by actively partnering with businesses to provide financial information for strategic decision making.

Analyst
Noah Versluys

Noah joined District Ventures Capital directly after graduating from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance. Prior to joining, Noah held various internship positions throughout the financial industry. He worked at Deloitte’s Corporate Finance group performing industry and financial analysis across several mid-market M&A deals. He has also held roles as a public equity researcher for an asset management firm and worked in financial real estate valuation and private equity at a mid-sized investment fund. Noah is currently pursuing the CFA designation.

If you meet our investment criteria, please email us.

2540 Kensington Road NW

Calgary, AB T2N 3S3

Canada

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