After 20 years, guess who’s coming home | The Sunday Briefing

"I'm coming back to Vancouver to double down on the Canadian ecosystem," says Chris Neumann, Panache Ventures’ newest partner.

Good morning everyone! You’re invited to join Vancouver Tech Journal and Panache Ventures this Wednesday, September 22 at 4:00pm PST for a Twitter Spaces AMA where we’ll discuss what the firm’s acquisition of Commonwealth Ventures means for founders across Canada and what to expect from its new partner, Chris Neumann.

Below, I’m excited to highlight Canada’s most active early-stage venture capital firm, nine noteworthy companies expanding their Vancouver footprint, and 33 other stories.

Today’s Sunday Briefing is 1,781 words, a 5-minute read. Enjoy!

-William (@notionport)


Panache Ventures has acquired Commonwealth Ventures, the founder-bootcamp founded by entrepreneur and investor Chris Neumann.

As part of the deal, Neumann—who has spent significant time in the Bay Area—has joined Panache as a partner based in Vancouver and San Francisco. Following the deal, Commonwealth Ventures’ growth and fundraising programs, which focus on bridging the gap between international startups and Silicon Valley investors, will be rolled out across Panache’s entire portfolio of more than 90 companies.

The deal is not only meant to support Panache startups, but to elevate the entire Canadian tech ecosystem, according to Lor, who spoke to Vancouver Tech Journal over the phone. “What Panache is all about is making sure that we're serving not only our entrepreneurs, but serving an ecosystem of early stage startups. That’s whether we're invested or not. We have a mandate to help every entrepreneur in the ecosystem,” he said. The two organizations have collaborated previously, resulting in Vancouver-based Dooly raising a $96.5 million Series B round earlier this year. » Get the full story.


Kaseya, a provider of IT and security management solutions for managed service providers (MSPs) and SMEs, announced that it’s hiring 75 new positions in Vancouver by the end of 2022.

On the heels of Kaseya's announcement, we’ve taken a look at nine other noteworthy companies expanding their Vancouver footprint. » Get the list.


Four BC startups have been selected to join a tech startup accelerator designed to help promising B2B SaaS companies expand to the US.

Bandit Labs, Asset Market, Locelle and Panevo have been chosen to join the third-ever Canadian Startup Market Accelerator program, launched by the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) in partnership with Global Affairs Canada and Trade and Invest British Columbia. » Learn more about each company.


⏩ Quick takes.


Women in Tech Hiring Event

VanHack’s Women in Tech Hiring Event starts September 21st. 

In their last event, 30+ companies made 708 connections, with 20+ women getting hired within days! Companies such as Bench who were struggling to find the right senior developers made two hires through one event and could not be happier.

Sign up for their event and find your next hire with VanHack!

* Partner Message

🤝 Funding and deals.

Nelson-based SMRT1 Technologies secured $484,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on Frontfundr.

86 individual investors opened their wallets to the startup, which creates technology for the vending machine industry. » Get the full story.


Pixieset Media Inc., a Vancouver-based SaaS company for photographers and creative professionals, announced a growth investment from Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE).

The transaction marks Pixieset’s first outside institutional capital investment and occurs amid a substantial growth phase for the company, which currently serves over 600,000+ users on its platform globally. The dollar figure for the investment was not disclosed. » Get the full story.


AbCellera has acquired Boston biotech firm TetraGenetics to enhance its capabilities to generate antibodies.

“We look forward to welcoming the TetraGenetics team and believe that these new capabilities, once integrated into AbCellera’s technology stack, will empower the discovery of new antibody therapies across a range of therapeutic areas,” said Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera.

  • Plus, AbCellera has entered into a multi-year research collaboration and license agreement with pharma giant and vaccine maker Moderna to leverage AbCellera’s AI-powered technology to search and analyze natural immune responses to identify therapeutic antibodies.


🗞️ In other news…

NVBC top 10 venture Train Fitness has built the first wearable workout tracker capable of automatically detecting sets and reps during a strength-based workout.

Last week, the startup’s app launched on the iOS App Store. You can download the app to check out what they’re building—and if you want to support their launch and growth, founders Antoine and Andrew have an ask for you: » Read and learn how you can help them here.


  • Plus, Telus Ventures has been awarded the Diversity VC Standard Level 2 certification for its work in advancing diversity and inclusion in the global VC and CVC industry.

  • A new partnership will enable companies in The Lazaridis Institute’s ScaleUp program to gain access to Boast.AI's tax incentive technology to help identify, claim, and finance Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax credits and government incentives.

  • Vancouver’s TraceSafe, which develops IoT platforms, said it’s sold over one million IoT devices. "Forward-thinking companies see wearable technology as an opportunity to leverage the vast amount of data at their fingertips that would otherwise go to waste," said TraceSafe CEO Wayne Lloyd.

  • PlantX Life, which has an online shop and meal delivery services for the plant-based community, will launch sales of its 10,000 plant-based products on Amazon Marketplace.


💡 Ideas and insights.


👩‍💼 People going places.

Eleena Marley has been appointed permanent CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC), a role she has held in an interim capacity since February.

Back in March, VTJ named Marley as one of 23 Vancouver tech and business power players to know. VEC is an external agency of the City of Vancouver23 Vancouver tech and business power players to know governed by the Societies Act with a stated mandate to build a prosperous, inclusive, zero-carbon and resilient local economy, competitively positioned in the global market. » Learn more.


  • Plus, John Herrema has been appointed as executive vice president of product and strategy and Joel Windels has been promoted to chief marketing officer at publicly traded cybersecurity firm Absolute Software.


Job Opportunities at Overstory Media Group

Vancouver Tech Journal is looking for an experienced salesperson to join our team as an Account Executive. Plus, Overstory Media Group, our parent organization, is hiring for more than 20 roles, including a Graphic Designer.
» Learn more here.


🌐 More BC tech headlines from around the web.


🎧 Watch + listen.

  • Last week, I (William) joined the Jas Johal Show on CKNW in a segment titled, “Amazon is hiring - but is that a good thing?” » Take a listen.


📅 Upcoming events.

  • Every Tuesday in person: Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee. Join the Vancouver Tech community at The Birds & The Beets (55 Powell St) from 8am-10am every Tuesday. Sign-up for weekly reminders through this form.

  • September 21, 2021 online: Join the Vancouver Entrepreneurs’ Forum online for their The Future of Retail featuring Azure Capital Partners, Salesforce, Later and Cymax.

  • The 2nd annual Entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week is happening online, Sept 27-Oct 1. This year's theme "Creating breakthrough ideas at the intersection: when diversity of thought, inclusive networks and equitable impact connect we find innovation" will bring together the UBC community, including students, researchers, faculty and entrepreneurs with our regional innovation ecosystem. For more info on the agenda and speakers visit https://www.entrepreneurship-immersionweek2021.com

  • Have you heard? SAAS NORTH is back this November 17-18 in Ottawa. Early Bird tix are on until Oct 14 and you can save an additional 25% with the code VTJ25—run, don’t walk to grab your tickets: saasnorth.com/register-full


✅ Checklist.

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