Maria Pacella has over 23 years of investing and operational experience in emerging growth companies, with a focus on technology businesses. She currently heads up Pender Ventures, the private technology investing arm of Pender. Previously, she spent 11 years with one of Canada’s largest venture capital firms where she invested in multiple early-stage technology companies and served on a variety of boards, in the areas of enterprise software and health-tech. Along the way she worked at two start-ups assisting with operational activities and strategic initiatives. Prior to that Maria worked in M&A for Deutsche Bank. Current board roles include Clarius Mobile Health, Jane Software, Traction Complete, Traction Rec, DistillerSR and Librestream.
Maria is passionate about education, mentorship and giving back. She has served on a number of non-profit and industry boards. Maria is currently on the board of St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association board (CVCA). Previously, she was on the SFU Beedie School of Business Advisory Board and a past President of BC Centre for Ability Foundation Board – an association that creates and delivers community-based programs for adults and children with diverse abilities.
Within the area of mentorship, Maria focuses her efforts on general entrepreneurial support, with a particular focus on supporting youth, women entrepreneurs, and women investors. To support the education and advancement of women in the finance and investment field her activities include her past work with the CFA society and current mentorship work with that organization. In 2013, Maria organized and chaired one of the CFA Institute’s first women-focused events: The CFA Women’s Symposium: Effecting Change, Closing the Gender Gap. She continues to be involved in the CFA Society Vancouver’s Mentorship Program, mentoring young women who seek to develop their careers in the financial field. In 2019, she was recognized as one of British Columbia's Most Influential Women in Finance by BC Business Magazine.
She holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, is a CFA charterholder and an active member and a past President of CFA Society Vancouver.