Please allow us to reintroduce ourselves | The Sunday Briefing
Overstory Media Group is rocket fuel for our mission.
Good morning and welcome to the new Vancouver Tech Journal subscribers reading this Sunday. Make sure to stay engaged all week by connecting with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and the Vancouver Tech club on the Clubhouse iOS app. If you’re not already on Clubhouse but want to be, please get in touch for an invitation.
You don’t want to miss this week’s conversation with Nejeed Kassam, CEO and founder of Keela. Join our weekly show, Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee, to hear from him on Tuesday at 9am PST. *Adds to calendar*
This week, I’m penning this newsletter on behalf of William who is currently dancing in a conga line amongst Elon Musk’s satellites. In this newsletter you’ll meet InBC’s chair, take a trip to space and back and check out some aquaculture innovations.
By the way, today’s Briefing is 1,395 words, a 4 + 3/4-minute read. Enjoy!
🚀 Overstory Media Group takes off
It’s been a fun week at Vancouver Tech Journal HQ—coordinates: whatever room William and I have our respective laptops in—as news of our media company, Overstory Media Group, continues to make headlines in The Guardian, NiemanLab and The Financial Post, amongst other outlets.
🛰️ Alpha Insights CEO Scott Larson caught up with Vancouver Tech Journal to discuss his latest space tech venture.
For the third time in ten years, former UrtheCast CEO Larson finds himself at the helm of a space tech-related startup. Our editor William Johnson hopped on a Zoom call to discuss the serial entrepreneur’s latest space (ad)venture.
🪑 InBC's board of directors has its chair: Christine Bergeron.
Bergeron—CEO of Vancity—will lead the nine-person board that will oversee the new crown agency charged with investing in promising BC businesses.
🐟 Innovate BC’s inaugural Aquaculture Innovation Awards awarded funding to a trio of innovations.
⏩ Quick Takes
Amazon announced an investment in BC to the tune of 2,000 new jobs, three new facilities and logistics support for SMBs.
In the Vancouver x Toronto tech crossover you didn’t know you needed, iconic Vancouverite Ryan Reynolds is part of a celebrity-laden group of investors in WealthSimple.
Vancouver-based telecommunications giant, Telus, whose International wing recently completed the largest tech IPO in TSX history, is bringing jobs, infrastructure and new technologies BC’s way.
BC-based business book club—trademark pending—will have a new offering courtesy of Dave MacLeod, CEO and co-founder of ThoughtExchange.
UBC grad Kookai Chaimahawong is taking what she studied in Vancouver and applying it on a global scale.
Shahrzad Rafati’s BBTV is entering Vancouver’s already robust NFT ecosystem.
🏦 Banknotes: Financial news to know.
In what has proven to be an already fruitful month of May, Thinkific followed up on the launch of their App Store with an announcement that another $24 million has been raised. The additional earnings came via an Over-Allotment Option exercised by underwriters of their IPO, bringing the total over $184 million.
Early-stage venture capital fund, Vanedge Capital, received a Capital Call Line of Credit from CIBC. Mechanically, “the financing solution provides Vanedge the ability to make investments in portfolio companies prior to calling capital from the fund’s limited partners.”
Last Monday was a record-breaking day for Vancouver-based fintech company, RAYL Innovations Inc. RAYL is the first Canadian company to find funding success via the Start-up Crowdfunding Registration and Prospectus Exemption.
Dapper Labs at it again—this time investing in NFT platform, Genies.
📝 604 Views: The sharpest ideas and insights.
Rival Technologies founder and CEO Andrew Reid highlighted the relationship between customer experience, marketing, insights and customer relationships for Entrepreneur. “That sort of cross-department integration was once heresy, remember. If you said to a researcher in 1986, “Hey, that woman we talked to for the survey? We should also market to her” — well, that researcher would have hit you over the head and told you to get lost,” Reid writes.
Cybele Negris, CEO and Co-Founder of Webnames.ca, penned tips in Forbes on how executives can better their personal brand. “A strong personal brand—built through a combination of charisma, stances on trending topics, thought leadership on novel ideas and the example of one’s actions—provides an edge when attracting investors and customers, inspiring employees, and building followers and fans (think Elon Musk and Simon Sinek),” Negris writes.
Pender Ventures released a whitepaper on The State of Medical Imaging in 2021, authored by venture analyst Liam Hilder. "Medical imaging has experienced a transformative leap in innovation due to advancements in telehealth and AI during the pandemic, and we believe that the lasting impact of COVID-19 will be the fundamental change in how technology is used in healthcare," Hilder writes.
📈 Pulse check: Healthtech news keeping hearts racing.
AbCellera CEO Carl Hansen claims their latest COVID-19 innovation is potentially a “game-changer.” The company’s new antibody treatment, which is heading to clinical trials, works against variants and may be potent enough to be used in areas without a strong medical infrastructure.
AbCellera is also partnering with Austrian biotech company, Angios, to support the company’s work on diabetes. “Through this collaboration, Angios can focus on advancing their unique scientific insights for treating blindness in diabetes, rather than on establishing and scaling internal antibody discovery capabilities,” said Hansen.
👨💼 Personnel issues: People going places.
Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou announced that Hali Stark is the company’s new Head of Partnerships Marketing. Stark was hired away from one of NBA Top Shot’s competitors—Major League Baseball—making the hire a salvo in the ongoing battle of the blockchains.
Procurify’s next all-staff happy hour will feature a pair of fresh faces. Alicia Bedard is the new VP of Marketing, while Manohar Ganesan joined as VP Product and Engineering.
Chris Souza, Founder of Pixel River PR, has joined the team at Amplify Games as Director of Business Development, heading up the Amplify Alliance. "I'm thrilled to help shape a platform that gives more resources and discoverability to those who need them most," says Souza.
😎 Pretty cool: Everything else new and novel.
A trio of BC-based companies got some love courtesy of Fast Company. Recognized with World-Changing Ideas Awards Honourable Mentions are:
Cubic Farms, who were also named one of Agritecture’s most innovative vertical farming companies of the decade
Damon Motors, which has built a cutting-edge electric motorcycle; and
Precision OS, which is creating VR surgery and training simulators.
Victoria game studio Metalhead Software has been acquired by Electronic Arts and slotted into their EA Sports brand. Metalhead’s flagship offering is Super Mega Baseball, meaning I have a very important favour to ask on behalf of my 10-year-old self.
🎧 Watch & Listen
Mischa Steiner, CEO of Awesense, chatted with Energi Media’s Markham Hislop.
The latest National Pharmaceutical Congress podcast episode featured Brenda Irwin, Founder and Managing Partner of the Relentless Venture Fund.
Lumen5’s Co-founder and CEO Michael Cheng was Chris Hobbs’ guest on Afternoon T.
📅 Mark your calendar to match ours.
Tech Talent North | On May 12-23, join this focused community of people-leaders, culture scalers and HR success stories to learn tactical strategies from Canada’s most innovative tech industry leaders. Use code VTJ20 for 20% off.
🔥 Top stories, still trending.
⌛ That’s it. Until next week…
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and if you enjoyed this newsletter, we’d really appreciate it if you shared it with your colleagues, clients or anyone else you think would appreciate it. Thanks! 🙏