Meet the B.C. startup co-founded by a Grammy winner
The inside story of how Janice Taylor teamed up with Ashanti to start EQ Exchange. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.
Good morning! Did you hear our exciting news? This week, Vancouver Tech Journal welcomed Kate Wilson as our new managing editor—and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Kate is an exceptional journalist and editor whose work has been featured in publications including The Independent newspaper, TechCrunch, BetaKit, BC Business, the Georgia Straight (where she served as technology editor), VR Scout, VR Focus, and Adbusters magazine. I personally can’t wait to see how she elevates the work of our team and the stories we tell about our city’s innovation ecoysystem.
Here’s what Kate had to say about her new role: “Vancouver’s tech scene is rocketing, and it’s an honour to return to local news and tell our city’s stories at such a pivotal time… To my old friends in the tech industry, and to those I’m yet to meet please reach out! Coffees, press releases, and tips are always welcome. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Now onto today’s briefing. It’s 1,275 words, a 4-minute read.
P.S. Quick reminder: Tuesday morning coffee is always on, 8am-10am at The Coffee Bar in Gastown.
Meet the B.C. woman looking to create equity in the music industry
How Janice Taylor, CEO of EQ Exchange, teamed up with Ashanti and became an advocate for the marginalized. » Start reading.
NFT brand Doodles hires Billboard exec Julian Holguin as CEO
It’s the latest signal that the worlds of Web3 and music are converging. » Get the full story.
📷 Snapshots: The faces of NFT BC
The digital arts community came out in force to the flagship event, and we were there to capture it. » See the photos.
Mantis XR brings St. Louis Blues fans to the metaverse
The Vancouver-based company has partnered with the NHL team on what it says is a first-of-its-kind shopping experience for a sports franchise. » Start reading.
Innovate BC now accepting applications for Ignite its $300,000 R&D grant
The Ignite program funds B.C.-based innovation projects in the areas of natural resources, applied science and engineering. » Learn more.
Kari LaMotte, the head of entrepreneurship@UBC, is stepping down
Read her farewell note to the community on » LinkedIn.
Vancouver-founded Boast taps Alok Tyagi as new CEO
Former CEO Alex Popa and fellow co-founder Lloyed Lobo to stay on the board of directors. » Start reading.
Acetech member highlight: IUVOX
IUVOX is a healthtech startup developing specialized air disinfection devices for indoor spaces to reduce the risk of airborne disease transmission. Their smart control systems are able to autonomously disinfect high-risk surfaces and aerosols at an extremely high efficiency by combining novel Far-UVC technology with artificial intelligence.
The co-founders started IUVOX at Simon Fraser University in late 2020, received support from SFU’s Venture Connection program, and joined Acetech via support from NRC-IRAP. Learn more.
🤝 Funding and deals
Vancouver-based BWZ made a $3.6M acquisition of London’s Crozdesk. It’s the fourth B.C. tech firm to make a European acquisition this year. » Get the full story.
Supportbench secured CAD $1.9 million in funding in a SAFE with participation from StandUp Ventures, N49P Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, and other angels. » BetaKit.
TIMIA Capital Corporation, a leading innovator in specialty private credit, agreed to acquire Brightpath, one of Canada’s leading private providers of residential mortgages, for a purchase price of approximately $30.5 million in shares. » Continue.
Acuva Technologies, CORE Energy Recovery Solutions Inc. and Loop Energy Inc. are receiving $13.4 million in total from Pacific Economic Development Canada to develop cleantech in B.C. » Continue.
Vancouver-based startup Adamas Esports partnered with TSM FTX—the organization atop Forbes’ latest list of most valuable esports companies—to “develop team chemistry through out-of-game training that heavily focuses on mental wellbeing, communication, and team building.” » Forbes.
Summerland agtech firm Crush Dynamics Inc. has raised $3.6 million in Seed 2 financing from Western Universities Technology Innovation Fund (WUTIF), Women’s Equity Lab (WEL), Lumia Capital, AgFood Opportunities Fund based in Melbourne Australia and Turnham Green Capital. » Continue.
Edmonton-based Sprout.vc has secured a first close of nearly CAD $10 million for its seed-stage venture capital fund. » BetaKit.
Visier made its first acquisition in company history: Yva.ai, a leading collaboration analytics vendor that provides next-generation insights into employee wellbeing, satisfaction and productivity. » Continue.
Departure Lounge Inc., a Metaverse-related technologies and creative services company, entered into a lease and education collaboration agreement with the Centre for Digital Media, the first phase of plans to develop a Metaverse Innovation Centre. » Continue.
🗞️ In other news…
Applications are open for Deloitte Canada’s Technology Fast 50 program. » Apply today.
Fintech startup pitch battle coming to Vancouver. The initiative is co-hosted by Victory Square Technologies in partnership with The Holt Xchange. » Start reading.
Rana Taj joined social NFT marketplace Orderinbox as vice president, growth. » Continue.
WeBC’s new report—Closing the Gap: Meeting the Unique Borrowing Needs of BC’s Women Business Owners—highlights the unmet financial needs of female entrepreneurs. » BCBusiness.
Art Rapture is supporting the NFT drop of anonymous street artist iHeart on May 25, which comes with a surprise “gift” of a physical piece of street art from iHeart himself. » Continue.
Bulletin: How to hire and relocate tech talent. » Start reading.
GenXys Health Care Systems, Inc., a healthtech company crafting software to help health professionals prescribe more accurate dosages, added a record five pharmacogenetic companies as customers in the first quarter of 2022. » Continue.
CubicFarm’s HydroGreen technology was recognized by Fast Company’s 2022 World-Changing Ideas Awards. » Continue.
Proptech company Tribe reported annual revenue of $15.8 million for the year to December 31, 2021, an increase of 247% compared to the $4.6 million it earned in 2020. » Proactive Investors.
Vancouver's GlüxKind is the only startup west of Toronto to make NEXT AI’s Montreal cohort. » BC Business.
💡 Ideas and insights
Matt Carlson, managing director at Floorspace, asked seven questions of Trulioo’s SVP of people and culture Shradha Mittal. » Read the seven answers.
Chris Neumann, a partner with Panache Ventures, writing on his blog: How to pitch like an American.
Blakelee Land, director of strategic communications at Switchboard: Media Relations 101: Why authenticity is key to successful brand growth.
Maria Pacella, managing partner of Pender Ventures, was joined by Jill Earthy, CEO, and Leah Nguyen, CIO of InBC, on the Pender Ventures Podcast to chat about their respective careers, life lessons for women entrepreneurs, and sustainable development.
Casey Lau, podcaster and conference host, joined the Show Me The Crypto! show to chat about community building and Vancouver’s positioning as a Web3 hub.
Michael Gilbert, CEO of Semios, joined The Modern Acre podcast to chat Semios’ business model, emerging agtech categories and the challenges of scaling a company.
Wal van Lierop, founding partner at Chrysalix Venture Capital, writing in Forbes: The Energy Transition Cannot Be Won By Hypocrites
Marlon Thompson, founder of Future Capital, joined the Afternoon “T” podcast to discuss changing the landscape of startup investing across North America. » Watch/listen.
Serge Salager, CEO of Visualping, joined the Just Getting Started podcast to answer quickfire questions on Visualping, its growth and how it helps users leverage the internet as their own personal database.
Ray Walia, CEO of Launch Ventures, has taken the Founder Journey podcast global. In Season 3, Walia is joined by international entrepreneurs as he continues his globetrotting trade missions.
Farshad Abasi, chief security officer of Forward Security Inc., shares what’s ahead for application and cloud security challenges in 2022
Colin Macrae, co-founder of Fluency Leadership, writing on his agency’s blog: Why Resign When You Can Redesign? The Four R’s of Job Redesign