Richard Black

Richard Black is a co-founder and Managing Partner of First Ascent Ventures. Richard has over 28 years of experience in senior roles with some of Canada’s largest VC firms, Helix Investments Ltd. and RBC Capital Partners. He also founded Walsingham Growth Partners with a large Canadian Family office, which invested in industrial technologies.

Richard played a key role in turning Helix Investments, Canada’s oldest private venture capital fund at the time, into one of the largest and most profitable growth capital firms in Canada. Helix’s lead investments included such Canadian technology leaders as Mitel, Open Text, Geac, Hummingbird, Data Mirror and Architel.

Richard served as Managing Director of RBC Capital Partners, where he was responsible for the management of the Technology Venture Fund, a private capital fund investing in technology, advanced manufacturing and alternative energy opportunities throughout North America.

Richard has been actively involved in a full range of growth and liquidity issues for investee companies including building management teams, arranging syndicates for first round and follow-on investments, building boards of directors, initiating issuer bids, and completing public issues in Canada, the United States and the UK.

Richard holds an Honors Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business, where he was on the Dean’s List.



  • Helix Investments
  • RBC Capital Partners
  • Walsingham Growth Partners

Prior Exits

  • Assent Compliance (partial exit to Warburg Pincus)
  • Analog Design Automation (acquired by Synopsis)
  • Architel Systems (NASDAQ & TSX, acquired by Nortel)
  • Atrion International (acquired by IHS Inc.)
  • CRS Robotics (TSX, acquired by Thermo Fisher)
  • ESI Software (TSX, acquired by Dye + Durham)
  • Genesis Worldwide (TSX & AIM, acquired by Codding Enterprises)
  • Level Platforms (acquired by AVG Technologies)
  • ListenUP! Canada (acquired Willam Demant)
  • LogicVision (NASDAQ, acquired by Mentor Graphics)
  • OpenText Corporation (NASDAQ: OTC)
  • Syndesis Limited (acquired by Subex Azure)
  • Wyvern (acquired by Sybase)