Sunday Briefing | #118

“Continued digital transformation has provided the impetus and Pender Ventures is the vehicle that will position us to double-down.” – Maria Pacella, Pender Ventures

The Vancouver Tech Journal brings you news, insight, opinions, and the lesser-known stories from Vancouver's innovation ecosystem. It is written by William Johnson, an independent writer, communications advisor, and consultant based in Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver’s PenderFund Capital Management unveiled a new venture capital group focused on private investments in the technology sector. The group, Pender Ventures, will manage the private investments from three funds, including the Pender Growth Fund, which has a portfolio of private and public companies, and the Working Opportunity Fund, which invests in private, BC-based companies, such as D-Wave Systems and General Fusion. Managing partner Maria Pacella is leading the Pender Ventures team, which consists of six people, including new partner, Kristina Bergman.

Pfizer’s “90 percent effective” vaccine’s Vancouver connection: The vaccine’s delivery system was developed by Vancouver’s Acuitas Therapeutics. “This is Canadian technology which is critically enabling this vaccine,” said Thomas Madden, the company’s CEO and president. Acuitas developed lipid nanoparticles that act as “delivery vehicles” for the mRNA vaccine. It takes the mRNA through the body, and into the cells, before the body breaks it down. Pfizer’s study enrolled 43,538 participants from six countries. The vaccine requires two doses, taken three weeks apart.

Bloomberg reports that Telus is moving into the agriculture space and using AI to help the food chain. “We will help farmers and ranchers produce food for the world’s ever-expanding population more efficiently, safely and in a more environmentally friendly manner,” Chief Executive Officer Darren Entwistle said Thursday in a statement. “Our efforts to optimize food production will contribute to a better yield of food supply to meet the ever-growing requirements of our hungry planet.”

Vancouver-based global identity verification startup Trulioo has tapped Leigh Ramsden as its new chief financial officer. Ramsden will officially take on the role November 16. Per Betakit’s Isabelle Kirkwood:

Before joining Trulioo, Ramsden was interim CFO and vice president of finance at Absolute Software. At Absolute, Ramsden led the development of Absolute’s financial planning and analysis function and financial technology infrastructure. He also recently participated in a $69 million USDequity raise and listing to the Nasdaq for Absolute.

Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc., an e-sports firm backed by the family that owns the Vancouver Canucks hockey club, plans to list on the Nasdaq as it seeks greater exposure to U.S. investors. Enthusiast’s shareholders include Roberto Aquilini and Francesco Aquilini, who hold a combined 6% of Enthusiast’s stock, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Our story is resonating south of the border,” Chief Executive Officer Adrian Montgomery said in an interview.

BroadbandTV saw record revenue and views on its platform in Q3 2020, according to the latest financial results released by its parent company BBTV Holdings. Says BBTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati:

We executed on our strategy to increase our global scale and experienced strong growth in audience views of our content, accelerated by beneficial secular tailwinds including television viewers ‘cutting the cord’ to watch digital video on demand.

Healthtech startup MacroHealth, which offers a platform that optimizes the buying and selling of health services, has raised $54M.

Participants in the Series A round included NewSpring Capital, Providence Ventures and Triple Tree Capital Partners. The new funds will be used to further develop MacroHealth’s platform and expand the commercial side of the business, through hires in marketing, customer success, operations.


Curatio Helps BC Patients Better Prep for Surgery During the Pandemic

Winners named in SFU’s first virtual i2I Venture Pitch competition

Ionomr lands $240,692 from NCR for tech that converts CO2 renewable fuels and chemicals

TELUS International to acquire Lionbridge AI ahead of IPO

Vancouver-based companies AMPD and Shocap partner to expand real-time XR experiences for arts and entertainment

BC-based Digital Advisory Firm BlueSilverShift Rebrands to Invero

New 'smart' technology means one electric motor can do the work of two

Vancouver startup banks on a niche: unbanked seasonal farm workers

Vancouver startup Hoovie prepares to launch world's first truly social cinema platform

Vancouver company to help recycle old EV batteries

Making It Work: How Telus mastered working from home long before the pandemic


11 B.C. companies honoured at the 2020 Technology Impact Awards

Ideas and opinions

Bill Tam, co-founder of the Digital Technology Supercluster, writing on LinkedIn: Entrepreneurs and leaders: why cybersecurity is more important than ever

Ryan Wong, chief executive of Visier, writing on LinkedIn: The SEC Just Put "People"​ Over Profits — Here's What It Means For Your Job

Dr. Annett Rozek, chief scientific officer of Terramera, writing in Techcouver: Cultivating Team Synergy

Katrina Carroll-Foster, senior strategist with Kollectively Business Strategies, writing on LinkedIn: Guessing what your customers are thinking is not a (good) strategy

Dalena Nguyen, talent branding specialist at Thinkific, writing on Medium: What to Expect when Onboarding Remotely

Shafin Diamond Tejani, chief executive of Victory Square Technologies, writing on LinkedIn: Got A Side Hustle? Here's How To Get Funded

Shahab Samimi, associate at 7 Gate Ventures, writing on Medium: Type of Securities

Bridgitte Anderson, head of Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, writing on LinkedIn: COVID, Crisis and Collaboration – My First Year as CEO

Sean Herman, chief executive of Kinzoo, writing in Forbes: Should Tech Companies Be Paying Us For Our Data?

The Vancouver User Experience Awards take place November 26, 2020

The Vancouver User Experience Awards is an opportunity for growing startups, freelance practitioners, agencies, and user-centric enterprises to showcase their work and get recognized for the incredible experiences they create every day. Tickets for this year's virtual Awards Gala are now available for the Nov 26 event. Stay tuned for an exciting speaker announcement.


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Vancouver-based Vested is one of Canada’s leading equity crowdfunding portals.