What entrepreneurs can learn from Shawshank
Humaira Ahmed hasn't forgotten Andy and Ellis. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.
Hi everyone! I'm Rumneek Johal, and I'm the editor in chief of 5XPress, the essential South Asian youth magazine in Canada, based out of my hometown of Surrey, B.C. I'm stoked to be one of VTJ’s special guest editors this month. This month, and always, I hope to highlight the ways we can create equity and accessibility in the media, and better support young women in their efforts to bring about this change. Growing up as children of working class immigrants in Surrey, there was no clear blueprint for how to become a journalist, entrepreneur or leader, especially outside of the only world I'd ever known. I want to work at closing both the gender discrepancies, but also the knowledge and experience gap in media and tech, to help truly diversify the faces of our future leaders. If you want to stay connected, you can find me oversharing on Twitter, Instagram, or if you have a story idea, directly at email@example.com.
Now, onto this week’s newsletter. Today, we have 1,047 words for you, a 4-minute read.
Cover story: 10 books, movies and songs that I love with Humaira Ahmed
The founder and CEO of Locelle Digital digs on Katy Perry, Shawshank and Encanto. » Start reading.
What’s next for The Gaming Stadium?
We talk to CEO Spiro Khouri about how the esports company is navigating some tricky waters. » Start reading.
Merchant Growth puts last year’s funding to good use with Tabit
The Vancouver company has developed Canada’s first buy-now-pay-later point of sale system for small business owners. » Start reading.
👩💻 Meet and Hire Women in Tech | April 5-7, 2022
Also, tune in to the Virtual Fireside Chat for a lively discussion amongst women in engineering leadership.
Katya Shteyn, Co-founder & CTO @ BioRender
Lisa House, Director of Engineering @SkyWatch
Ala Frome, Co-Founder & CTO @ HiMama
🤝 Funding and deals
Vancouver-based Pressboard was acquired by New York’s Impact.com. The deal stands to be a major sea change for content advertising. » Start reading.
Nelson-based CertiCraft wins Accelerate Okanagan’s OKGN Angel Summit Finale and the grand prize of $150,000. » Start reading.
GameDriver receives seed funding round, releases new testing software. The company, which has some key executives based in Vancouver (including its CEO), is making major strides in game testing. » VentureBeat.
The Canadian government, together with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, announced a $3.2 million housing investment in Rossland, B.C. » Continue.
GameDriver, which automates game testing and has key executives in Vancouver including its CEO, announced a seed funding round of USD $2 million. » Continue.
Apollo Insurance Solutions has raised Series B financing from Ontario’s Definity Financial Corporation. » Financial Post.
New York’s Gen II Fund Services has acquired Vancouver-based Update Capital. » Continue.
🗞️ In other news…
TIME Studios is set to create a children’s series on the NFTs created by Vancouver artists Wil Lee and Cassandra Chan. » Daily Hive.
Vancouver’s AMPD Ventures is positioning itself as a leader in the NFT space. » Continue.
Clairus Mobile Health is set to accelerate growth leadership appointments and strategic investments. » Continue.
A high-tech mouthguard worn by UBC Thunderbird hockey players will capture data for UBC researchers who study concussions. » Continue.
Also at UBC (are the people there smart or something?), scientists have discovered how to print testicular cells. » Continue.
Variational AI hired Peter Guzzo as vice president, head of drug discovery. » Continue.
Entrepreneurship@UBC and ICICS announced the date for their 2022 Investor Showcase. » Save the date for May 10.
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💡 Ideas and insights
VTJ guest editor Erin Gee: The world is not neutral.
Indi Smith, marketing coordinator at Covalent, on the “undeniably strong foundation” for Web3 her team witnessed at the Webcouv3r Genesis Event.
Isabelle Kirkwood writing in Betakit: Inside the province-wide push to make BC a global leader in cleantech.
Sophia Cote, Reef Technology’s head of public affairs, Canada, digs on the greatest challenge facing Vancouver: One-to-one with Sophia Cote.
Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, talks up the province’s goals in the north: Minister Ravi Kahlon tours North touting province’s economic plan
Dejan Pralica, CEO of SoleSavy, in Entrepreneur: This Is the Next Big Wave in the Sneaker Industry—and It Isn't Resale
Sonia Furstenau, leader of the Green Party of British Columbia, writing in Business in Vancouver: B.C. should focus on clean energy investments not LNG subsidies.
Lena Sardic, product owner at Aviso Wealth, writing on LinkedIn: The term MVP is old news — but what about its close cousin, MVS?
Greg Gunn, CEO of Commit, featured in Inovia Capital’s new series: Founder-to-Founder: Gunn on Hiring, Culture & Remote Work.