🇩🇪 From East Berlin to B.C.
Annett Rozek has seen the impossible, and now she’s doing it. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.
Good morning everyone. It’s Erin Gee here. I co-host the Bad + Bitchy Podcast where we discuss current events and pop culture through the lens of intersectional feminism, and I'm also one of VTJ’s special guest editors this month. Over the next few weeks, my aim will be to spotlight how companies need to move beyond gender parity, as well as highlight stories that focus on addressing systemic barriers to a more diverse tech ecosystem. Tech is integral to our lives, but it needs to work for everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, and ability. If you want to connect, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, or reach out via my website.
Now, onto this week’s newsletter. Today, we have 1,021 words for you, a 4-minute read. But first, the VTJ team has a quick favour to ask of you. See below—trust me on this.
For a chance to win a 2-night stay downtown at the St. Regis Hotel, including dinner for 2 at Gotham Steakhouse, complete our short reader survey.
Cover story: Terramera’s Annett Rozek has seen the impossible, and now she’s doing it
Inside the agritech executive’s remarkable journey from East Berlin to B.C. and beyond. » Start reading.
Meet all three of our #IWD22 special guest editors: Erin Gee, Anthonia Ogundele and Rumneek Johal
As part of a goal to highlight the voices and perspectives of women and other underrepresented voices in the community, we've brought on three special guest editors who will be writing and assigning stories throughout March. » Learn more.
Susan Blanchet comes clean
The co-founder and CEO of Victoria-based Origen Air is working to bring fresh air inside. » Start reading.
Makeship has found a plush market that’s bringing in $5M in annual revenue
Founder Rakan Al-Shawaf has perfected the art of the dropship. » Start reading.
The latest move from Ontario to Vancouver? HouseSigma
CEO Joseph Zeng walks us through the company’s expansion to B.C. and beyond. » Start reading.
Are you B.C.’s top new startup?
The 2022 New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC, is now open for entries. Will your startup win the $110,000 top prize? » Learn more.
Deloitte Ventures is an engine of innovation designed to help supercharge the technology ecosystem.
Deloitte Ventures provides more than capital. We use the power of our firm to help fuel growth.
Find out more here.
🤝 Funding and deals
Backbone Angels look to increase their impact in 2022. The Shopify adjacent angel investing collective has backed 42 companies—the majority of them Canadian—with over USD $2.3 million in capital. » Start reading.
Chip Wilson announces new venture philanthropic organization Solve FSHD. The Lululemon founder will invest $100 million to find a cure for the disease he has. » Start reading.
Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) received $360,000 from B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training Micro-credential Initiative to create the Creative Technology Fundamentals (CTF) micro-credential program. » Continue.
Tribe Property Technologies has partnered with TUT Fitness Group to bring strength and cardio training products to its digitally-connected residential communities across the country. » Continue.
Clio Ventures, the investment fund from legaltech unicorn Clio, made an investment in Proof, an on-demand platform that serves court documents using a national network of 1,000 process servers. » Continue.
Fruit chip company Chiwis, founded by former tech entrepreneur Sarah Goodman, raised a $550,000 seed B round of funding. » Continue.
East Side Games Group has entered into a multi-year partnership with ViacomCBS for the worldwide release of a Star Trek: Lower Decks-themed mobile game. » Continue.
Divisin, a Vancouver-based revenue management application for real estate, secured investment from First Fund. » Continue.
Hedgehog Technologies is acquiring Igloo Innovations, a mechanical engineering firm with creative and technical capabilities. » Techcouver.
Echosec Systems secured a $10 million credit facility from venture debt firm Espresso Capital. » BetaKit.
ConnectionPoint Systems Inc, a collaborative funding platform, has raised USD $1.5M for the launch of CoCoPay, a community-centric healthcare payment solution. » Continue.
VFS is partnering with The Coalition & Blackbird Interactive for a $125,000 ‘Women in Game Design’ Scholarship Fund. » Continue.
🗞️ In other news…
Innovate BC sat down with Julie Angus (Open Ocean Robotics), Brianna Blaney (Pocketed), Aria Hahn (Pocketed), and Humaira Ahmed (Locelle Digital) to discuss what’s driving positive change in B.C.’s tech sector. » Continue.
Ryan Holmes talks youth entrepreneurship and life after Hootsuite on the BetaKit podcast. » Listen.
Video games are reinventing traditional physiotherapy through platforms like Tenzr Health. » Daily Hive.
EV maker ElectraMeccanica is moving its HQ from Vancouver to Burnaby. » Business in Vancouver.
Girls Who Code is one of many initiatives pursuing changes that will keep women in tech across the country. » Vancouver Sun.
For Greenlane Renewables, demand for decarbonization tech is fueling business growth. » Investing News Network.
5 BC climate technology startups to watch in 2022 according to Vancouver Economic Commission. » Continue.
Canadian companies, with help from VanHack, look to hire Ukrainian tech workers amid the Russian invasion. » Globe and Mail. ($)
💡 Ideas and insights
Opinion: ‘Mompreneur’ and ‘she-EO’ must go if we’re going to #BreakTheBias. Switchboard’s Kathleen Reid connects with fellow tech entrepreneurs to explore the biases they face as working mothers and how those biases can be overcome. » Start reading.
Shafin Diamond, CEO of Victory Square Technologies, writing in Forbes: How A DAO Took Aim At An NHL Team, And What They Learned From Failing
Dave Dinesen, CEO of CubicFarms, writing in Worth: How Running A Public Company Prepared Me To Lead Through Volatility
Greg Gunn, CEO of Commit, says the “lines between work and play or work and life are becoming blurred.”
Ryan Holmes, co-founder of LOI Venture, shares insights on Building Community in 2022