👩💼The woman who engineered a $1B exit
Unsurprisingly, she’s the BC Tech Person of the Year. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.
Good morning everyone. Welcome to the hundreds of new readers with us this Sunday. As we get closer to the end of the year, I keep telling myself that things will slow down. But I think I’m going to stop saying that now because, as this week’s briefing demonstrates, things are as busy as ever in BC’s tech ecosystem. We’ve just finished week 47 of 2021 — and lo and behold — I’ve got a whopping 47 stories for you to catch up on.
Today’s Sunday Briefing is 1,479 words, a 5-minute read. Enjoy!
Cover story: Tech’s person of the year
In-depth: Laurie Schultz paints her Picasso.
The architect behind the $1 billion Galvanize exit and recently announced BC Tech Person of the Year sets her sights on what’s next. » Start reading.
Radar: Local exec shares 4 BC life sciences startups to watch from LSBC’s Invest in BC event.
RBC's Sean Azarshahi says the leaders of these firms "aren’t in it for money... but to help patients, their loved ones, our communities and our society." » Start reading.
We asked Boris Wertz, BC’s top crypto investor, what the most underrated startup or sector in BC is. He said we should be focused on climate tech.
“To solve the climate crisis, we need to have modern technologies, and I think BC will play a tremendous role in providing these technologies on all different levels,” he said. “I’m super excited about that space, and I think BC has actually not yet gotten the credit for the amount of activity that is happening.” » Read his full response.
Rhino Ventures, ‘the funders we wished we had as founders,’ launch $120M Fund III.
Rhino partners Jay Rhind and David Hogarth reflect on six years, six exits and Thinkific’s IPO. » Get the full story.
After a year in business, the $100M TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good has invested $20M into 10 companies.
40% of startups in its portfolio are led by women and 50% are led by Indigenous and racialized people. » Start reading.
🟢 Clean BC: 18 BC companies featured in Foresight 50, a list of Canada’s most investable cleantech ventures.
🗺️ Money map maker: PwC snapshots the Canadian fintech landscape.
🏢 Real cool: Innovative real estate development projects in Vancouver from TechOffice.io
🕴️Founder friendly: Pitchbook named UBC among the top 50 universities for entrepreneurs worldwide.
🤝 Funding and deals.
Lucent BioSciences, which creates carbon-neutral and non-polluting fertilizers, closed $4.2M in investments from Emmertech, Amathaon, SVG Ventures, WUTIF Capital, Vantec/eFund and local angel investors. » Continue.
FansUnite acquired sports betting firm American Affiliate to accelerate US expansion plans. » Continue.
Mogo Inc., a digital payments and fintech co. revealed a minority investment in Gemini, which recently completed a US$400 million financing. » Continue.
First Fund, a new early stage fund, has backed Andira, a biopharmaceutical firm led by Dr. Dana Lambert. » Continue.
Tribe Property Technologies has partnered with Luxer One, a developer of smart locker technology, to bring parcel storage to Tribe communities across Canada. » Continue.
The Digital Technology Supercluster is investing $13.5 million into an earth x-ray discovery platform project led by muon tomography pioneer Ideon Technologies. The project will allow mining companies to identify density and magnetic anomalies with greater resolution and clarity up to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface, kind of like x-rays/MRIs and the human body. » Continue.
Netflix is set to acquire Vancouver’s Scanline VFX, which has 1,000 employees and worked on Cowboy Bebop and Stranger Things. » Continue.
Ballard Power Systems is partnering with Caterpillar Inc. and Microsoft on a project to demonstrate a power system incorporating hydrogen fuel cells to produce reliable and sustainable backup power for data centres. » Continue.
WELL Health Technologies raised $70 million from a bought deal offering of convertible debentures. (Betakit) » Continue.
Uber Canada and The Forum partner to launch free programming for self-identified women entrepreneurs
The Forum and Uber Canada are excited to announce The Forum Growth Series: a new, free programming to help self-identified women entrepreneurs take their startups to the next level. Learn how to simplify your transition to entrepreneurship and build your business from experienced entrepreneurs.
Registration is now open, with programming going live in February. Women entrepreneurs can sign up here.
* Partner Message
🗞️ In other news…
Greg Gunn, CEO of Commit, says “geography and opportunity are becoming completely decoupled.” (CBC) » Continue.
Dan Gamble, BBTV’s former head of communications, launched DGPR, a communications consultancy for tech businesses, with his former employer among his client list. » Continue.
BDC Capital’s growth and transition capital team launched a tech specific team for British Columbia. » Continue.
Affinor Growers Inc., an agtech firm, could dominate the vertical farming market. » Continue.
Pieter Cullis, the famed UBC professor, was awarded the 2021 Prince Mahidol Award for medicine (which comes with US$100,000) for his role in creating COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. » Continue.
Julian Ing, CEO of Launchtrip, featured in Barrons. » Continue.
UBC post-doc Kevin Kung’s carbon reduction invention won an Earthshot Prize worth $1 million British pounds, as well as another US$250,000 from the XPrize and Musk Foundation. » Continue.
Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera profiled in Report on Business Magazine. » Continue.
Jessica Nordlander, COO at ThoughtExchange, and Dr. Vikram Yadav, CEO of Tersa Earth Innovations, are two of multiple British Columbians recognized on Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 2021 list. » Continue.
Next door: Alberta invests $35M into business accelerators to help drive tech sector growth. » Continue.
Hootsuite has delayed its IPO plans to 2022 (Betakit). » Continue.
Spring Activator announced a healthtech specific Impact Investor Challenge in collaboration with the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good. » Continue.
Dapper Labs launched NBA Top Shot and pioneered a new multibillion-dollar business model. (Globe and Mail) » Continue.
Hootsuite, Unbounce and other BC tech firms are spearheading flood-relief efforts. (The Logic) » Continue.
Carl Hansen (AbCellera), Judi Hess (Copperleaf) and Rizwan Somji (Cymax) were recognized as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 national award winners. » Continue.
Catherine Dahl, CEO of Beanworks, believes the metaverse will be “a fad”. (BIV) (Don’t tell Dan Burgar.) » Continue.
Cybele Negris, Webnames.ca co-founder and CEO, joined the Afternoon “T” podcast to discuss leadership, governance and women in business. » Continue.
TCap Private Equity’s Neon, a Vancouver-based digital product studio, won a 2021 Canadian Marketing Association Award in the Marketing Technologies (Martech) category. » Continue.
Klue was named one of Canada’s most admired corporate cultures. » Continue.
Amazon’s BC workforce tops 10,000 people. (BIV) » Continue.
Develop Your Leadership Skills
For 30 years Acetech has helped CEOs of technology companies become better leaders through peer roundtables, executive training, and an annual Leadership Summit.
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💡 Ideas and insights.
Zac Cohen, COO of Trulioo, writing in Biometric Update: The complexities of a digital identity network
William Johnson, me, writing on the Overstory Media Group blog: I’m William Johnson and This Is How I Work
Megumi Mizuno of Traction on Demand On The Top Five Trends To Watch In The Future Of Work. » Continue.
Tamara Gromisnky, chief strategy officer at Unbounce, writing in Forbes: 10 Reasons Why Launching A Podcast Series In Business Improves Brand Marketing Appeal
Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight, writing on her organization’s blog: Bolder Climate Action – 3 Ideas to Pursue Now
Mike Stephenson, CEO of addy, writing in Fast Company: I worried coming out would hurt my company. But business has only gotten better
Dieter Shirley and Benjamin Ebner, both of Dapper Labs, writing in a16z’s Future website: Blockchain Networks and the Human Factor: How to Know
Elizabeth Thorsen, VP operations at Foresight, writing on her organization’s blog: So, How’s The Weather? Reflections on a year of extreme weather – and fear of what lies ahead
📅 See you soon in person.
November 30: Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee. Our last Morning Coffee of the year before a holiday break will be a special one (and may include Christmas gifts). Join us 8am-10am at The Coffee Bar (10 Water St.) in Gastown. Sign-up for reminders and updates through this form.
December 8: TechVancouver: Join the CEO of Visualping and the co-founder and CTO of Opendoor on December 8 in Yaletown. » Register here.
December 9: Alacrity's Cleantech December Social: Enjoy a casual evening together with some drinks and snacks as you mingle and connect in person with cleantech industry peers. » Register here.