The Sunday Briefing | #93

“We send them on a wild goose chase. They only have enough energy for one flight and they waste it on us.” - SemiosBio CEO Michael Gilbert

The Vancouver Tech Journal brings you news, insight, opinions, and the lesser-known stories from Vancouver's innovation ecosystem. This is The Sunday Briefing. Enjoy.


Vancouver-based Semios, which has developed a platform for crop data and pest control management, has raised $100 million CAD ($75 million USD) in private equity funding. Globe and Mail reporter Sean Silcoff noted that: “It’s the fourth big financing for a Vancouver-area clean-tech firm in the past year, following deals for organic pest control maker Terramera Inc., alternative energy developer General Fusion Inc. and Carbon Engineering Ltd., which sucks carbon dioxide from the air.” Semios claims to have raised a total of $152 million CAD ($115 million USD) in external capital since it was founded in 2010. The company helps manage more than 150,000 acres of permanent crops of more than 500 farms in the United States. /more

Hon. Michelle Mungall, newly-named B.C. innovation minister, toured Vancouver tech companies (PHOTOS). She posted photos on Twitter from stops at five prominent organizations in Vancouver's tech scene, including VentureLabs and Unbounce. /more

The #BCTECHSummit (June 1-2) announced Janet Bannister, newly appointed Managing Partner of Real Ventures, as the first of many keynotes for the 2020 event. She was previously a founder of, an early director at eBay, and made an impact early in her career at global giants Procter & Gamble and McKinsey & Co. Other speakers announced include Markus Frind (Founder of Plenty of Fish), Mike Silagadze (Founder + CEO of Top Hat), and Henrique Dubagras (Founder + CEO of Brex). /more

Paul Cubbon, Assistant Dean, Innovation at the UBC Sauder School of Business, has been named a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellow. The award, jointly sponsored by 3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE), is the highest recognition of individual teaching excellence and educational leadership in Canada. /more

Laurel Douglas, the CEO of British Columbia-based Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC) is stepping down from the role after more than 15 years with the organization. WEC board member Jill Earthy is set to step in as interim CEO as the organization searches for a permanent replacement. Earthy has previously worked for Futurpreneur Canada, FrontFundr, and Female Funders, and co-founded the WEB Alliance of Women’s Business Networks alongside Douglas in 2009. /more

Hootsuite’s Greg Twinney has been appointed the new chief financial officer of General Fusion. “Greg has a truly exceptional track record of successful financial leadership with some of the most respected technology companies in the world,” General Fusion CEO Christofer Mowry said in a statement. /more

“Artificial intelligence is probably the most fundamental transition in technology that we will see in our lifetimes,” says Natalie Cartwright, co-founder and COO of Finn AI. “There’s a lot of opportunities to leverage it to do good in the world—and there’s also some potential risks that we need to be actively managing for.” Read this piece in BCBusiness that asks, “Is ethical AI possible?” /more

BC's Top Employers Winner's List includes around 15 tech companies including Aquatic Informatics, Clio, Copperleaf, and Galvanize. /more


November 9, 2006: Video-game explosion. Vancouver may be to video games what Hollywood is to the movies, which explains why there are so many new studios. “Several… development houses—Slant Six Games, Hellbent Games, Blue Castle Games, Ironclad Games, Atomic Robot Games, and Kerberos Productions—have also formed in Vancouver and Burnaby in 2005 and 2006. None of this bothers Ron Moravek, chief operating officer of Electronic Arts Canada, whose parent company, California-based Electronic Arts, is the largest video-game publisher in the world. “It makes us at EA really proud,” Moravek told the Straight. “We feel here in Vancouver that we were sort of the godfathers of the game-development industry.”


My weekly #booknotes… A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young

Kathleen Reid, founder and managing director of Switchboard PR, with a powerful piece on her firm’s blog: When the Professional Gets Personal: Navigating Pregnancy and Loss in the Workplace

Shafin Tejani, CEO at Victory Square Technologies, writing on LinkedIn: 'Good Hustle'​ Vs. 'Bad Hustle:'​ Do You Know The Difference?

Stephen Cawood, senior product marketing manager at, writing on his company’s blog: Are DevOps Tools Too New to be Boring?

Ralph Baddour, founder of Badhouse Ventures, writing on Medium: Impact investing through early-stage tech startups


Journey Map podcast: Staying curious with Tyrone Lingley, Director of Partnerships at Vancouver’s Unbounce



Super Early Bird tickets are now available for the #BCTECHSummit, taking place June 1-2, 2020. Use code VTJ for a special discount.


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