Montreal, QC (March 17th 2020) – It is with much anticipation that Holt is proud to announce a new addition to the family.

Founding partners, Brendan Holt Dunn & Jan Christopher Arp, are pleased to announce that former Holt Advisor, Elisabeth Laett will be joining the Holt team as Managing Partner. Elisabeth brings a wealth of experience, a contagious dedication and energy, that will bring new ways of thinking and help build Holt’s future.

“Elisabeth has been instrumental in supporting Holt Accelerator, and me personally, from the very start. I’m very excited to be able to work alongside her and I look forward to witnessing first hand the impact this will bring to our Canadian early stage fintech ecosystem” – Jan Christopher Arp, Founding Managing Partner at Holt Fintech Accelerator.


Whether occupying senior roles in Fortune 50 technology companies, investing in start-ups or being hands on to accelerate growth, Elisabeth is no stranger to the start-up scene. With over 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, her keen eye to understand a business and its potential for success is a great asset to the Holt team. 

Her contributions did not go unnoticed as she landed a spot on the Digital Finance Institutes’ Top 50 Women in Fintech for 2019.

“I cannot think of a better person for this role. We are honoured and thrilled to see Elisabeth go from one of our very own highly engaged Advisors, to joining our team full-time. As an Advisor, she delivered big results for our teams, and we are confident the value to our portfolio companies and associated ecosystem will substantially increase within this new role” – Brendan Holt Dunn, Founding Investor at Holt Fintech Accelerator.

A recent report revealed that among the  executive teams managing over $6.1 billion CAD in active venture funds only a tiny fraction have female partners. Additionally, of the thousands of applications Holt Accelerator received in 2018 and 2019, only 8% came from startups that were founded by women, however the tides are changing and according to crunchbase, we close out the decade with 20 percent of global startups raising their first seed funding round in 2019 having a female founder.

With Elisabeth on board, Holt will increase their focus on encouraging more female Advisors to join the ecosystem, participate as investors into the startup, as well as supporting more female led fintech startups. This includes bringing more visibility to the challenges of keeping women in technology focussed careers. 

“Demonstrating that financial services is a sector in which women can thrive is a critical first step to achieving parity. At RBC, we believe role models are important to inspire women to be investors or entrepreneurs. Congratulations to Holt Accelerator for their commitment to breaking down the barriers, and inspiring  more women to lead in the Fintech Ecosystem” states Holt advisor Anne No Delaide, RBC Vice President Knowledge-Based Industries: Tech, Medias & Lifescience | Business Financial Services.

Elisabeth was a national Leader representative with the Status of Women’s three year project under GENC-C to look at how we can remove unconscious bias in different sectors across Canada. The urgency is paramount as we look at machine learning and AI development, which can scale bias quickly, and thus encouraging diverse teams is critical. 

As a VP of the board of YES Montreal, she has chaired the Women in Technology program, which today now offers the ELLEvate program, sharing the achievements, detours and failures of amazing female entrepreneurs in Quebec’s start-up Ecosystem. “I’m excited to be at the forefront of more women’s achievements, helping to close the gender gap between the number of men and women that receive funding for their ventures”, Elisabeth further stated. 

As Managing Partner, Elisabeth is dedicated to:

  • Expanding upon the world class scouting and due-diligence systems that makes Holt such a winning success today.
  • Driving excellence in scaling the amazing results achieved to date to continue to distinguish the Holt Accelerator as a unique offering in a global marketplace. 

Elisabeth goes on to say “I look forward to ensuring that we are also seeking out top women led Fintechs and helping them make it through to the final selection phase out of the 800 + applicants that we are expecting for the accelerator cohort this year.” 

Complementing each other in more ways than one, the trio’s passion in nurturing early-stage fintechs to reach unicorn status has us excited to see what the future holds for the Holt Fintech Accelerator.

Welcome to the Family!

Holt recently announced the opening of the application process for their 2020 Cohort. The application deadline is May 9th at 11:59pm (EST). For more information, please visit our website at: http://bit.ly/2RyEaFJ.

About Holt Fintech Accelerator

Backed by Holdun, Holt Accelerator is Canada’s most active seed fintech investor. We track over 10,000 early stage fintechs globally, and solicit the ones that present a best match with our Advisor network (ie. individuals who represent financial institutions, institutional investors or experts). We’ve received over 1,000 applications from close to 75 countries, in which we then invest up to $130K in the top 1% of applications globally. We’ve helped our 18 active investments reach their milestones, which includes over 30 deals established that were half with financial institutions as customers, and half with institutional investors, resulting portfolio companies raising an additional $25 million post program, up from $8 million prior to entering the program.