Over hundred years and five generations of experience and a robust global network, Holt is powering innovative tech products, world-class companies, and entrepreneurs, helping shape the future of their businesses and growth.

Fast facts
about our
company &


“Our family has a history of investing, growing, supporting, and building financial companies for the past five generations.“

Brendan Holt Dunn

Founding Investor

Financial services and entrepreneurship runs in the Holt family DNA, beginning with Sir Herbert Holt, who emigrated from Ireland to Canada in 1873 and played a pivotal role in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Holt later helped pioneer Quebec’s energy industry, founding the Montreal Light, Heat & Power Company which became Hydro-Quebec. His business acumen and expertise helped him become one of the most powerful influencers in Canada’s modern economy.

Financial services and entrepreneurship runs in the Holt family DNA, beginning with Sir Herbert Holt, who emigrated from Ireland to Canada in 1873 and played a pivotal role in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Holt later helped pioneer Quebec’s energy industry, founding the Montreal Light, Heat & Power Company which became Hydro-Quebec. His business acumen and expertise helped him become one of the most powerful influencers in Canada’s modern economy.

Our expertise and legacy will help guide you through your FinTech journey.



Our managing partners have over 40 years experience in investment (from millions to billions), FinTech, startups and corporate innovation.

Jan Christopher Arp

Founding Managing Partner

Jan is a FinTech evangelist, passionate about improving society through finance and technology. He is Holt’s founding Managing Partner, which has currently invested in 27 early stage FinTech businesses both in Canada and internationally. He founded Fintech Cadence, a non-profit that supported and trained thousands of individuals, resulting in over 100 FinTech projects. Prior to this, he was Head of Finance at Bus.com. He began his career as a consultant for billion dollar investment banking projects in the satellite sector and holds an MBA from HEC, a finance degree from the University of Ottawa, passed II levels of the CFA, and was named Ambassador of the Year in 2018 from the Montreal Startup Community Awards.

Elisabeth Laett

Managing Partner

Whether occupying senior roles in Fortune 50 technology companies, investing in startups or getting involved at the hands-on level, Elisabeth is no stranger to startups. She has managed revenue pipelines for global products and customers and has more than 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience. Today, she sits as co-Managing Partner of Holt Accelerator. She was previously a founding partner of Xaphan Group, a seed investment firm, including a recent focus in FinTech where she was embedded into one of her portfolio companies as VP Business Development which her contributions landed a spot on the Digital Finance Institutes’ Top 50 Women in FinTech for 2019. She also leads the Women in Tech initiative of YES Montreal, was a national leader in the Status of Women Canada GENC project, and VP of the board of the Montreal.

Our relationship with Holdun (Holt-Dunn Family)

Holt Accelerator is supported by Holdun, a family office with over a century of investment experience. Holdun is composed of Holdun Family Office, Holdun Wealth, Holdun Trust, Holdun Corporate Services, Holdun Financial Services, and Holdun Concierge Services. The Holdun Family Office is an award-winning multi-family office with branches in Canada, United States, and the Caribbean, providing services from wealth management, trusts, insights, and charitable givings. 

Brendan Holt Dunn

Founding Investor

Led by Brendan, an investment guru with 15 years in managing multi-billion dollar asset portfolios. He is currently the CEO of Holdun Family Office Bahamas, a 5th generation wealth management firm awarded and titled BV’s Best Multi-Family Office Caribbean in 2017, 2018, and 2019. A tech savvy investor and founder friendly investor, he has made many investments in startups including Stradigi AI, Addepar, Uber, LeAD Sports Accelerator, Sway Ventures, and Falcon 5. He has passed all testing requirements for five finance and investment certificates to compliment his finance degree from King’s University College, and is a board member of the Lyford Cay Foundation.

Maggie Dunphy


Maggie  is CFO of Holdun Family Office Canada with over 25 years of experience in wealth management and securities legislation. She started her career at Gryphon Investment Counsel as a trader and later joined the Holdun Family Office as CFO of the Canadian division. After working in the financial services for many years and recognizing issues needing to be addressed, Maggie shifted her focus to FinTech, becoming director and a shareholder at Holt Accelerator. Today, she is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build a more inclusive foundation for future generations.

Stuart Dunn


Stuart is the great-grandson of Sir Herbert Holt, and Founder / Chairman of Holdun. He has a proven investment track record spanning four decades. He founded 2 asset management firms (Griffin & Holdun), led financing for Stradigi.AI and is a board member for the Canadian Lyford Cay and the first US soccer team to play behind Russia.

Peter Dunn


Peter is the great-grandson of Sir Herbet Holt, and a board member at Holdun. He is a  previous Government of Quebec representative in BC, ON, and AB as well as New York state.. Peter served under six Quebec premiers over 25 years as well as chairman of DESTA Black Youth Network and a Board member of the Canadian Friends of the College of the Bahamas.

Platform Team

At Holt, we believe our diversity makes us stronger. Our team is made up of varied backgrounds, both cultural and professional.  

Investment & Portfolio Management

Gaurav Bansal

Investment Professional & Program Manager

Gaurav is an investment professional with both a tech and finance background having worked across venture capital, investment banking and technology consulting. He has close to a decade of experience across global firms such as IBM, Nomura, Axis Capital, IIFL, Pentathlon Ventures. Gaurav has closed IPO and private equity deals worth US$2.3B and has experience and knowledge in BFSI/FinTech domain across FinTech applications including digital lending (mortgage, SME, personal, vehicle, microfinance), insurance distribution, payments/wallets, invoice financing, goal-based investments, etc. Prior to joining Holt, Gaurav was the Principal Fund Manager at Pentathlon Ventures (a B2B SaaS VC Fund). Gaurav holds a BTech degree in Electronics & Communication, a MBA in Capital Market and certificate in Artificial Intelligence (Strategies for digital business transformation). At Holt, Gaurav leads the Fund’s new investments and portfolio management activities including deal sourcing, investment analysis, due diligence, negotiations, legal investment contracts (term-sheets), investment memos, Investment Committee presentations, and exits.

Rojin Nair​


Rojin is a technology management executive with 28 years’ experience. Currently, he is the Head of Product Innovation at a large Canadian payments firm and a strategic advisor and incubator to Canadian and international start-ups. Rojin has worked across many industry verticals ranging from banks, credit unions, investment, telecom, education, energy, insurance, and manufacturing in business leadership, management consulting, and technology roles. He is also a member of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada, Credit Union Financial Exchange Standard, Financial Data Exchange, and contributes to the Canadian Open Banking and Payments Modernization consultation process. Rojin is involved in nurturing Holt’s investee companies to accelerate their market growth. Current areas of focus include open banking, fintech, insurtech, regtech, blockchain, digital identity, artificial intelligence. Rojin holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics & Telecommunication and executive certifications in Fintech, Strategy & Innovation from MIT and in Strategy & Entrepreneurship from Stanford University.

Operations & Marketing

Sam El Falah

Operations & Marketing Lead

Samah’s career began in finance and has experience working in one of Canada’s top financial institutions as an account manager before deciding to switch to a more technology-driven field. She is currently completing her studies in Business Technology Management & Finance at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business, has interned as a Data Scientist at Desjardins’ innovation lab and, as the former president of a data science club at Concordia, is a huge advocate of making learning accessible to all, especially women and girls.

Sarah Spagnuolo

Marketing Coordinator

Sarah has been the marketing coordinator at Holt Accelerator since 2017. She began her career working at Stradigi AI and fell in love with the tech industry. With a passion for art and creativity, she discovered that FinTech could allow her to explore opportunities that were traditionally not feasible in the financial industry. Not long after, Holt was founded and she joined the team. She has a degree in finance from McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management and is expected to graduate in winter 2021.

Data Science

Manuel Morales

Head AI Scientist

Manuel is an applied scientist in the field of Artificial Intelligence in banking and investment who has experience in creating business value through AI. During his tenure as Chief AI Scientist at National Bank of Canada, the sixth largest commercial bank in Canada, Manuel oversaw the scientific component of the AI transformation initiative of a $20 Bn+ banking institution. Manuel continues to conduct his research and teaching activities at the Université de Montreal where he is the director of the FinML network, whose mandate is to train the next AI-enabled generation of finance and banking professionals. He has also established himself as a well-known presence in the Montreal FinTech ecosystem where he is a scientific advisor of the Holt Accelerator as well as one co-founder of the OCF Group, a venture building group that leverages Montreal AI talent in order to help start-up’s to scale their value proposition. He holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Concordia University. He has been a professor in mathematics and statistics at the University of Montreal since 2005. He is also a scientific advisor of Kapitalwise and MAAT.AI, two emerging companies in the field of AI in the financial services sector.

Richard Gao

Data Scientist

Richard is a Data Scientist/Analyst at Holt Accelerator with a background in Computer Science and Economics. He is currently also pursuing a Masters in Management Analytics. Previously, Richard was a Topics in Finance Research Assistant at McGill University. During his time at McGill, he also aided in projects ranging from desk research, web development, creating data pipelines, dashboarding tools and pricing model solutions for research centres/labs. He is passionate about the application of emerging technologies and startups.

OUR extended TEAM


Meet our network of nearly 500 expert advisors from across the globe, with extensive backgrounds in finance, tech, data, and other adjacent industries.


A team of 150 Holt Advisors that are investors that challenge the status quo and invest in the early stages.

Venture partners

We co-invest with strategic individuals passionate about advancing the next generation of financial infrastructure.

Corporate partners

Our tight network of corporate partners promotes support and synergy for our portfolio companies.

Our commitment to diversity & inclusion

Over 75% of our investments have diversity at the founder or executive level. This is because we believe that the foundation of a successful business is built with unique perspectives, ideas, and experiences. For this reason, we believe in creating equal opportunities for people from all walks of life regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, race, religion or sexuality. This is how our industry moves forward, together.

Work with us

Holt is looking to hire a copywriter vlogger intern. Email your cv to sarah@holtaccelerator.ai

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