🥽 How the first metaverse was built (and sold) in B.C.
An inside look at Kelowna entrepreneur Lane Merrifield's knack for growing communities in both the real and virtual worlds. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.
Good morning! I’d like to invite you to join me at The Home Key on May 26 for #vtjtalks: Scaling From Idea to $1M -10M and Beyond. Come get insights on how to start and scale your tech business from idea to millions in revenue from Jane Software, Launchpad and Keela—companies who have done it before. I hope to see you there. » You can register here.
Now onto today’s briefing. It’s 903 words, a 3-minute read.
Lane Merrifield’s journey to the metaverse and back
From online penguins to a thriving tech economy in Kelowna (and a lot more in between), here's the story of how Club Penguin founder and Dragon's Den star Lane Merrifield has grown communities in both the real and virtual worlds. » Read our in-depth feature.
Camille Hunt is taking a bite out of baby food
Hunt dishes on the origin of her new consumer packaged goods company, First Course Foods, which aims to make mealtime easier for working parents and tastier for babies. » Start reading.
Orderinbox makes NFTs social
The new commerce platform aims to build a community between creators and traders. » Get the full story.
Uber Canada and Wallbox team up to help drivers switch to EVs
Uber Canada is on the road to becoming a zero-emission platform by 2030 in major Canadian cities. In this latest partnership, Uber and Wallbox are reducing barriers to EV ownership by making home charging more accessible for ridesharing drivers. Drivers using Uber can now receive a discounted package for a Wallbox Pulsar Plus charger and installation.
Read more about the Uber and Wallbox partnership here.
🤝 Funding and deals
Victoria’s Certn raised $65M to fund global expansion of its background check solution. CEO Andrew McLeod says the new capital will be used to accelerate hiring and growth in new markets. » Get the full story.
Dispensary POS software company Greenline was acquired by California cannabis technology company BLAZE Solutions, Inc. » Continue.
Healthtech startup Total Flow Medical closed a USD $4.1M seed round of financing. » Continue.
Ballard Power Systems has announced a strategic collaboration with Wisdom Motor Company Limited to boost the adoption of commercial hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Hong Kong. » Hydrogen Fuel News.
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🗞️ In other news…
Lynsey Thornton, a Backbone Angels founding partner and former Shopify executive, joined Bessemer Venture Partners—an early Shopify backer—as a portfolio company advisor. » Twitter.
Ensō, a Vancouver nightlife venue, announced it would be the first in Canada to accept cryptocurrency for table services. » Daily Hive.
Delta-Q Technologies, a company working on battery charging solutions for EVs and industrial equipment, announced the shipment of its four millionth battery charger. » Canadian Manufacturing.
Vancouver energy storage company Invinity is spotlighted in an article titled ‘Green hydrogen, vanadium and gravity: A look at longer duration technology winners’ » Current News.
An Okanagan heritage farm is using high-tech audio devices to track and record birds. » Infotel.
Despite reporting US$117.2-million in net profit in the first quarter, AbCellera’s stock sunk as much as 14% this week amid significant volatility in the markets. » Globe and Mail.
Imagia Canexia Health, a locally developed precision oncology software aims to transform cancer research, treatment and recovery. » BCBusiness.
CubicFarm Systems Corp., a local chain agricultural tech company, shared data that says it uses 50+% less energy than average vertical farms surveyed globally. » Blue Book.
Vancouver’s Visier was named among 10 startups riding the wave of AI innovation. » VentureBeat.
Smart swim goggles maker FORM announced the appointment of Eric Min and former Facebook and Uber exec Ed Baker to its board. » Continue.
SoleSavy announced the launch of COLLECT, a marketplace for buying, selling and trading footwear without middleman fees. » Hypebeast.
Dr. Sean Lumb is taking over for Kari LaMotte as head of entrepreneurship@UBC. » Continue.
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💡 Ideas and insights
Chris Neumann, general partner at Panache Ventures, writing on his personal blog: The Sky is Falling! …or is it?
Angel Pui, founder of DiamondHandbag Club, joined the From The Blockchain podcast to discuss her passions for technical problem solving and fashion in designing NFTs. » Listen now.
Nicky Senyard, founder of Vancouver-based Fintel Connect, featured in Forbes: Don’t Underestimate Your Smaller Partners
After raising 30 million and exiting Allocadia, co-founder Kristine Steuart shared the best growth advice she ever received.
Dave Dinesen, CEO of CubicFarms, launched a new newsletter: Cultivating Change