Each month, I share my favourite local stories that showcase the incredible work being done by members of our B.C. tech and innovation community. The objective of these posts is to shine a brighter light on the innovation that’s taking place across this province.
Here are the stories from April that caught my eye.
B.C. foodtech and agtech companies are taking a bite out of a growing market
What Happened:From farm to table to the compost bin, B.C. companies are innovating across the food value chain.
Why We Should Care:Over the last two years, access to food has been hampered by volatility, scarcity, and soaring prices. Supply chain constraints brought on by the pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, shipping containers wedging themselves into narrow canals, and ravaging climate-related events have accelerated the need for innovative solutions to protect our food supply.
Fortunately, B.C. companies are stepping up to the plate.
Companies like CubicFarms -- which added new partners, awards, and bylines to their arsenal in April -- are emerging as category leaders. BinBreeze -- a Victoria-based company that’s reducing food waste by making organic recycling easier and better for the planet -- expanded its market size and its product line this month to further validate their eco-friendly food waste solution. And two thought leadership pieces published in April -- one from Semios CEO, Micheal Gilbert and another from MistyWest CRO, Dan Millar--- shed more light on agtech innovations happening in our backyard.
Agri-food innovations have the ability to alleviate climate, health, and economic challenges, and B.C. companies are serving up solutions to tackle these challenges head on.
More on this:
From 2021: This BinBreeze profile in Douglas Magazine’s 10 to Watch series
CubicFarms CEO: A fan of Malcom Gladwell, Braveheart, and John Mayer’s entire music catalogue
Getting Ahead of the Problem
What Happened: Science World secures funding from Mastercard, Amazon Canada, and the Federal Government to grow its Tech-Up Program and develop the next generation of problem solvers, wonder seekers, world changers, and nerds.
Why We Should Care: Science World CEO, Tracy Readies, noted that 65 percent of kids entering school today will work in jobs that don’t yet exist. Tech-Up is preparing today’s youth for the jobs of tomorrow by delivering province-wide STEM programming including coding, digital skills, and computational thinking. The new funding will help expand the program to tens of thousands of more students and teachers and create more opportunities for youth to develop, hone, and apply their digital skills.
Tech-Up is just one of many initiatives Science World has to increase youth access to STEM programming. Two days from now, they’re teaming up with CodeJoy to run a Girls in Steam Coding Workshop to help girls learn the basics of coding. This free workshop takes place between 10am-11am on Saturday and you can register here.
More on this:
From 2020: Tracy Redies becomes Science World’s CEO
From 2021: Science World hosts the 2021 Technology Impact Awards
Return of the Event
What Happened: In-person events are back in a big way and B.C.’s tech community is ready to network.
Why We Should Care: It’s hard to have a tight knit community without in-person events, which is why it’s such a welcome sign to see them return in full force in April.
This month, we saw TechExit.io return to the Vancouver Convention Centre; VEF flex their hybrid event muscles; Webcouv3r host a mashup with Collision Conference; entreprenurship@UBC run a Spring Social and a Female Founder Meetup in back to back days; VTJ draw a crowd at local cafes and bars; and Victoria welcome Chris Neumann and Casey Lau to their Angel Investment Summit.
And it’s not over! Tomorrow is The Forum Pitch Finale, which features entrepreneurship@UBC standout Pocketed as one of three companies vying for the $25,000 prize.
It’s exciting to see our tech community reunite and I look forward to seeing you all in person!