Innovation and inspiration

Award-winning BC-based innovators inside. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.

Good morning everyone. Welcome to the hundreds of new readers with us this Sunday. 2021 has been a meteorological masterclass. We’ve seen a Heat Dome burst by a Bomb Cyclone that flowed into an Atmospheric River. Despite my appreciation of naming practices, I hope the last vestiges of the year are known solely as “December.” Until then, I’m excited to spotlight the 2021 TIAs, a cleantech entrepreneur with an incredible highlight reel and term sheet, and 40 other stories.

Today’s Sunday Briefing is 1,399 words, a 4-minute read. Enjoy!

-James (@jimmermatthews)

As the year winds to a close, award season ramps up. One marquee event is the 2021 Technology Impact Awards (TIAs), hosted by the BC Tech Association on Thursday night.

Innovation and inspiration were the two themes of the 2021 TIAs, where 44 finalists were recognized across 11 categories. » Meet the winners.


BC-based cleantech startup Moment Energy raised a $3.5 million seed round of funding. The investment round was led by Version One Ventures with major involvement from Fika Ventures, Garage Capital and MCJ Collective.

The seed round caps off a huge year for co-founder and COO Sumreen Rattan. We caught up with Rattan so she could walk us through it. » Get the highlight reel.

Six became three became one on Wednesday afternoon as Pineapple, a startup working to democratize app development, took the top spot in Launch VC's 2021 Pitch Competition.

Six hand-selected companies exclusive to Launch Academy programs virtually presented a 90-second pitch in the opening round before being narrowed down to a top three. That trio also included smartARM Robotics and Ontraccr Technologies Inc.
» See the prizes.

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⏩ Briefly:

🤝 Funding and deals.

  • Cubic Farms, a local agtech outfit, announced the company’s latest farmer partner is Utah-based Magnuson Cattle Company. » Continue.

  • CloudMD, a Vancouver-based healthtech company, announced the acquisition of MindBeacon, a leading digital mental healthcare platform founded in Toronto. » Continue.

  • Vanedge Capital led a $1 million seed round in Campbell, California company Olyns who are working on an in-store recycling solution. » Continue.

  • ScalePad, a SaaS platform for asset management and automation announced the acquisition of Backup Radar, an automation platform specializing in data backups. » Continue.

  • Rakovina Therapeutics Inc, a healthtech company employing DNA-damage response technologies, was selected to join a research program funded by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Martha’s BEST Grant for All. The foundation is aimed at developing new treatments for Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive bone and soft tissue cancer in youth. » Continue.

  • ChopValue, which designs and manufactures circular economy products made entirely of recycled chopsticks, announced a UK expansion. Plus, the company linked up with Premier League footballer Tom Davies. » Continue.

  • Variational AI, developers of generative AI technology that accelerates the discovery of small molecules for drug development, announced $4.3 million CAD in seed funding. » Continue.

  • Mangrove Lithium, developers of lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate—key components in EV batteries—announced $10 Million in Series A funding.
    » Continue.

  • Alpha Esports Tech Inc. partnered with the North American Rugby League to host esports events under the league’s brand. » Continue.

  • Technologies Inc., an online building materials retailer, acquired Michigan-based full-service flooring retailer, Superb Flooring & Design LLC. » Continue.

🗞️ In other news…

  • Alpha Esports Tech Inc. is diving into the Metaverse leveraging the AR technology of their subsidiary company, Paradise City Gaming. » Continue.

  • The Digital Technology Supercluster has invested in a UBC, Boeing, RaceRocks and TrustFlight collaboration that it’s crafting a Digital Aviation Record System (DARS). » Continue.

  • The Supercluster also announced an investment in the Coastal First Nations Connectivity (CFNC) Network, a project led by Coastal First Nations. The CFNC will see a group of community leaders trained to help their rural communities access and leverage broadband internet connections. » Continue.

    • The project has some BC flavour to it as partners include Microsoft, LlamaZOO, Rogers Communications, First Nations Technology Council, Vancouver Island University, Innovation Island and Taking IT Global.

  • PlayWize, a Vancouver-based sportstech startup, teamed up with South African Rugby powerhouse, The Sharks. » Continue.

  • Peninsula Soccer, a Vancouver Island youth soccer club, embraced NFTs as a fundraising option to repair their field in a smartly titled campaign called ”Non-Fungible 'Turfs.'“ » Continue.

🌐 More BC tech headlines from around the web.

💡 Ideas and insights.

🎧 Watch and listen.

  • Visier launched a video series profiling the approaches of HR leaders within Visier’s client companies including eBay and Wayfair.

  • Mike Potter, co-founder and CEO of Rewind, joined the Afternoon “T” podcast to discuss his entrepreneurial journey and unpack how “boring software can lead to huge business opportunities.”

📅 See you soon.

  • Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee every Tuesday: Join the Vancouver tech community for coffee from 8am-10am every Tuesday. Meet at The Coffee Bar (10 Water St.) in Gastown. Sign-up for coffee updates through this form.

  • entrepreneurship@UBC’s 2021 Venture Showcase: Join UBC in person on November 24th at UBC Robson Square or tune-in via live stream to find out who is coming down the pipeline from entrepreneurship@UBC. Register here.

  • TechVancouver: Join the CEO of Visualping and the co-founder and CTO of Opendoor on December 8 in Yaletown. Register here.

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