A new investment platform aimed at fostering sustainable and responsible foreign investment in Canada outside the real estate sector launches today.

Foregrowth.com, operated by Privest Wealth Management Inc., is designed to connect Canadian businesses to affluent investors in China and Canada.

The platform’s co-founder Max Guo, who is also the COO of Gravitas Ilium Capital Corp. (GIC), told BNN that Chinese entrepreneurs bring an “innovative edge” to Canada and says the economy “hasn’t tapped into that resource very well.” Canadian real estate is a popular investment for Chinese buyers, but Guo said they are looking to buy into other companies such as internet or fintech businesses.

“I think one of the experiences that Chinese Canadians have had is that they’ve come here and they’ve invested primarily in real estate and now there’s potentially some societal problems that are being created by that,” David Carbonaro, CEO of Gravitas Financial and executive chairman of foreGrowth, told BNN in an interview.

The B.C. government implemented a 15-per-cent tax on foreign homebuyers in August aimed at discouraging those who are not residents of Canada from purchasing homes in Vancouver’s overheated housing market.

“I think Chinese-Canadians here feel really underserviced, and the story on the other side is they want to participate in the economy by more than just real estate,” Guo said. “But often the financial institutions here in Canada don’t provide that level of service and education for them. So often they feel their options are limited.”

GIC is hosting a dinner Wednesday night for about a dozen members of the China Entrepreneur Club – also known as the Chinese billionaire club – as they make their way through Canada. Guo said they will participate in the launch of foregrowth.com, as some of their members are shareholders of the company.