Sunday Briefing | #123

"What happens when the industry with the greatest potential for innovation doesn’t reflect the world it’s innovating for?"

In a recent op/ed, Pender Ventures managing partner Maria Pacella asks, “What happens when the industry with the greatest potential for innovation doesn’t reflect the world it’s innovating for?”

Welcome to the Vancouver Tech Journal’s Sunday Briefing, the city’s most comprehensive digest of local tech stories, issues and insights.

This week, explore the edtech platform that raised $3M; the construction startup that bagged $33M; the medical tech firm that closed $115M in new financing, and; a new national tech talent accelerator with backing from Microsoft and Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.

Before venture capital can have its full impact, it must fix its own equity issues

“[Venture capital investing] sounds romantic and aspirational, and sometimes it is – that is, until we admit that the best ideas frequently do not get a shot because of a person’s gender. How and why is this the case? It’s simple. When you look at the data on who makes the majority of startup funding decisions, the picture isn’t pretty – but it’s pretty clear,” writes Maria Pacella, managing partner, Pender Ventures in The Globe & Mail

Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator launched with $8.7M in funding from government and industry

“By partnering with industry players like Microsoft we better understand the challenges they face in identifying skilled talent as we continue to drive technology adoption across our economy. Through this project we continue to support scaling digital companies and saving and creating jobs for all Canadians,” said Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, in a statement.


The101 / Annika Lewis

GameStop 101: r/wallstreetbets goes mainstream

Medium / Ayelen Osorio

Class Warfare: Reddit, GameStop & Hedge Funds


News 1130 / Jenny Pang

Closure of Red Academy last March resulted in thousands in unpaid salaries, missing tuition, international students with invalid visas, and teachers owed thousands of dollars

Business in Vancouver / Tyler Orton

Border restrictions during the pandemic have complicated the global aspirations for West Coast extended reality (XR) firms like Immersive Tech, which plans to sell VR containers for around US$250,000 each


/ Bulletin

Kardium raises US$115M in new financing, led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC and T. Rowe Price

Business in Vancouver / Tyler Orton

Construction startup Nexii raised $33m and added Uber chairman and Apple Inc. director Ronald Sugar to its board of directors

/ Bulletin

EdTech startup Wize raises US$3 million to be used to accelerate the company's expansion across Canada and into the U.S.

Techcouver / Robert Lewis

JIBE, an e-commerce agency for brands like 7mesh, Arc’teryx, Sugoi and Organika has landed a significant investment from Los-Angeles-based OvareGroup

Good Vibes

Daily Hive / Kenneth Chan

Lyft and Uber mark one-year anniversary of launch in Metro Vancouver

VentureBeat / Jeff Grub

Electronic Arts announced the launch of Full Circle, a new development studio, its third in Vancouver

BetaKit / Kevin Sandhu

11 Canadian tech companies to watch in 2021, including Vancouver’s Craver Solutions, Ollie Order, and Elastic Garage

Cantech Letter / Nick Waddell

Stephen Takacsy, fund manager and president and CEO of Lester Asset Management, says Telus is “one of the best managed companies in Canada, we believe, and you can see the value creation over a long period of time” 

Techcouver / Rob Lewis

Bench, Damon, Olive, Routific, and Spocket are five Vancouver startups that got their start at Techstars

Georgia Straight / Steve Newton

The B.C. Alliance for Arts and Culture is presenting six free sessions with digital experts on topics like SEO, social media, video and audio production, and setting up a website

Ideas and opinions

Vancouver Sun / Wendy Hurlburt, Greg D’Avignon

From groundbreaking cancer care to COVID, treatments and technologies being advanced by B.C. researchers, academic partners, entrepreneurs is staggering

Fast Company / Greg Smith

The CEO of Thinkific on how he learned to love critical feedback at work—and you can too

LinkedIn / Shafin Tejani

How "Second-Order Thinking"​ Can Supercharge Your Career In 2021

Personal Brand Brief / Joel Hansen

A framework for how to build credibility when you’re not a CEO

Techcouver / Matt Carlson

Local Colliers real estate executive shares tips and best practices from remote work champions

Fast Company / Paul Rubenstein

The chief people officer of Visier says the new top challenge for HR teams is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Netcoins / Jack Choros

Bitcoin Mania 2017 vs Bitcoin Mania 2020/2021: What’s the Difference?

Business in Vancouver / Christine Duhaime

A local financial crime expert argues that the dangers of disinformation are increasingly dire for democracy

Techcouver / Matt Crowell

The CEO of GetInTheLoop says 2020 has cleared the way for a new norm that elevates both the need and the function of innovation within organizations, leading to increased development and expansion of divisions dedicated to digital transformation, innovation, and new product incubation

Of Note

Real Estate Wealth / Neil Sharma

Robust tech industry buoys Vancouver’s office sector

BCBusiness / Nick Rockel

After a strong finish to 2020, what's in store for B.C.’s M&A market—and what were 2020’s top 10 local deals

CTV News Vancouver / Ross McLaughlin, Espe Currie

ApplyDigital, an agency that works with brands like Arc’teryx, Electronic Arts and Disney, is helping small businesses and restaurants like Kirin with their digital transformation

Esports Insider / H. B. Durn

“We can build communities without always having to have a physical location,” says Spiro Khouri, CEO of TGS Esports Inc., which manages the Gaming Stadium esports stadium in Richmond

News 1130 / David Zura

Meet Steven Van Vooght, synthetic crowd engineer, the man who creates the 'fake crowd' sounds at Rogers Arena hockey games

Global News / Claire Fenton

TransLink has awarded a $16 million contract to Nova Bus to bring 15 more battery-electric buses to Vancouver by 2022, with the funding coming from the Federal Gas Tax Fund, in which the Canadian government gives funds to municipalities to support local infrastructure projects


BCBusiness / Nathan Caddell

56 companies have been funded through equity-funding platform Frontfundr

BBTV, a media tech company, reported that annual views on its platform grew by 50 billion to 473 billion in 2020

31% of hiring decision-makers in Vancouver expect their company to increase hiring in the year ahead, double the amount from this time last year (16%), according to a survey by The Harris Poll, commissioned by Vancouver’s Express Employment Professionals


CTV News Vancouver / Nafeesa Karim

Vancouver company develops touchless technology that takes the 'ick factor' out of elevator buttons

BCBusiness / Nathan Caddell

Vancouver-based Addy Technology Corp. aims to bring real estate investment to the masses, making it possible to get in on residential properties for as little as $1


Proactive Investors / Uttara Choudhury

Loop Insights taps industry veteran Tamer Shafik as new chief technology officer as it eyes rapid global scale

Canadian Underwriter

APOLLO, a Vancouver insurtech platform, tapped Bryan Kinney to be its vice president of product

Immersive Tech hired Steven Dooner to lead UNCONTAINED, its location-based entertainment franchise

Hunter Technology, which developed a smart platform for the energy industry, appointed Alex Medana as CEO



Cela, Eyexpo, Virtro Technology, and weshowup are among Vancouver startups selected for the Washington Technology Industry Association’s Canadian XR Startup Market Accelerator program that helps prepare Canadian virtual reality, augmented reality and voice-related startups for expansion into the U.S. market

Business in Vancouver / Hayley Woodin

For clean tech companies in Canada, “There’s just an enormous amount of capital,” says Jonathan Rhone, chairman of the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance and president and CEO of Axine Water Technologies

If you just can’t get enough…

Vancouver founded Alida, which developed a customer experience and insights platform, won a 2020 APPEALIE Overall SaaS Award, for demonstrating excellence through innovation and dedication to constant improvement

LiteLink Signs LOI to Acquire Equity Stake in Canada's Premier Cryptocurrency Exchange, CatalX

Vancouver Tech Start-Up, Vegano, is Disrupting the Meal-Kit Delivery Services Market

The Scotiabank Women Initiative in collaboration with Forum for Women Entrepreneurs launches third installment of The Go-To podcast series

DoorDash To Provide Over $1 Million In COVID-19 Relief Grants To Help Canadian Restaurants

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