Igniting innovation in real estate | The Morning Report

Plus 11 other headlines from the last 24 hours.

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Good Morning, 

Here’s what you need to know today.

Vancouver’s Spark RE Technologies has closed a $6.2 million Series A round with investment from BDC Capital, Pender Ventures and GroundBreak Ventures.

As real estate developers and project marketing firms across North America have used Spark to sell projects, the company has seen accelerated growth over the past two years—doubling in both annual revenue and headcount. ➝ Get the full story.

On the heels of the Digital Technology Supercluster’s latest major announcement (a $20 million project with lululemon, Microsoft and other partners), we wanted to quickly note the significant digits in the innovation consortium’s most recent Investment Report published in June 2021.

In our latest Cheatsheet, we spotlight what casual observers may be curious to know about the most active innovation supercluster (of five) in the country. ➝ Get the details.

To share BC’s perspective and provide advice on the NRC-IRAP’s strategic direction and management, three Vancouver innovators have been tapped for its Advisory Board.

They are David Helliwell, Co-founder and CEO of Thrive Health; Natalie Cartwright, Co-Founder and COO of Finn AI, and; Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC. ➝ Learn more about them.

Roger Patterson, CEO of social media scheduler Later, believes the future belongs to small businesses.

“I believe, for a lot of macroeconomic reasons, that small business is the future of our economy, and we’re only going to see more of them. It’s something we saw last year with COVID. We were looking at advance warnings out of Italy and Spain and saw massive rises in people signing up for our service, starting e-commerce stores or becoming influencers or independent consultants,” he said to BCBusiness.

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Terramera announced that global climate policy expert, Diana Fox Carney, has joined its Strategic Advisory Board.

Clir Renewables CEO Gareth Brown argues ‘Buying renewable energy projects is not enough to claim ESG credentials.’

“Buying a wind farm or solar array is a great first step to “greening” a portfolio, but an acquisition alone cannot be enough to claim ESG credentials. Taking steps to quantify and assess performance will be key to ensuring the long-term investability of renewables in the decades to come,” he writes.

Visier CEO Ryon Wrong says ‘Pay parity remains decades away for BIPOC employees.’

“Our new report analyzed a subset of 400,000 U.S. employees across 44 organizations between 2017 and 2020. According to our data, the pay gap between Black and white employees actually widened last year. At the rate of change over the period we observed, pay equity for Black employees will take a staggering 78 years,” he writes.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, launched the federal government’s new biomanufacturing and life sciences strategy today in Vancouver.

It includes more than $2.2 billion over seven years from Budget 2021. The five pillar strategy has two goals: “to grow a strong, competitive domestic life sciences sector, with cutting-edge biomanufacturing capabilities, while creating good jobs for Canadians, and to make sure Canada is prepared for pandemics and other health emergencies in the future.”

Clio has acquired the automated court-calendaring company CalendarRules.

It’s Clio’s first acquisition since raising $137 million earlier this year and its second acquisition ever.

SAP is trying a controlled reopening of its massive Vancouver office.

“We started with ‘Pledge to Flex,’ which is essentially our way of telling employees we wanted to create a trust-based environment that offers hybrid and other functional options to them when they work and where they work,” said Megan Smith, head of HR at SAP Canada

The BC government is launching a Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Network (RAAN) that will help farmers adopt the latest technology to increase profitability and environmental sustainability, while strengthening the provincial food system.

“We are working to help farmers harness the latest and best in agri-technology, so farms can adopt or expand regenerative farming practices that are good for the environment and respond to the long-term challenge of climate change,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

“I am excited about the opportunity the RAAN can create for farmers, rural communities and agritech companies, like Terramera, to come together to create jobs and economic growth while turning back the clock on climate change,” said Karn Manhas, founder and CEO, Terramera.

🎧 A/V: Watch & Listen

That’s it for today’s Morning Report.

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Have a productive and fulfilling day. See you tomorrow.

- William (@notionport)