RG Column

January 2022: Local Tech Stories That Caught My Eye

January 27, 2022

Each month, I’m going to 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 January that caught my eye. 

 

The C-Suite Shuffle

What Happened: January saw a flurry of executive moves across BC’s biggest tech companies. Carbon Engineering’s Board Chair became their new CEO; Anna Sainsbury is once again in the top role at GeoComply; Zymeworks’ co-founder and CEO stepped down; Clio kicked off 2022 with a new CFO; and after all that, another four tech companies announced c-suite shakeups

Why We Should Care: While executive moves were happening fast and furious during the first month of 2022, Clio has been noticeably active over the last few quarters, stacking its executive team with talent from Uber, Airbnb, and Lightspeed. 

The appointment of Curt Sigfstead as its CFO -- who previously held the same role at fintech unicorn Clearco -- comes during a unique period in Clio’s growth. The legaltech giant became a unicorn in April, launched a new investment fund in October, and enters 2022 with rumours swirling about a pending IPO. 

Never a dull day for a $2B company

More on this:

 

New Name, Bigger Vision

What Happened: The HR Tech Group is now the Tech and People Network (TAP Network). The rebrand is a response to “a growing and evolving community and a renewed organizational vision”. 

Why We Should Care: The rebrand follows a period of tremendous growth for the 30-year old association. Per the news release:

Over the past three years, the association has experienced 70% growth in membership and expanded from a BC-based community to one with services and membership in multiple Canadian provinces.

One of the key catalysts behind TAP’s growth has been their commitment to providing best-in-class DEI resources and support for BC’s tech community. Through its D+I Resource Hub and Diversity in Tech Dashboard, the TAP Network is equipping employers with the tools they need to create inclusive cultures and the benchmarks they need to measure success. 

Congratulations to Stephanie Hollingshead and the entire TAP Network team on this significant milestone. Innovate BC is extremely proud to be your partner and we look forward to collaborating on more DEI initiatives in 2022. 

More on this:

 

Web3 is the present and the future for BC’s tech sector

What Happened: In both a literal and figurative sense, Web3 is closer than you think.

Why We Should Care: Web3 represents a significant shift in the way we interact with technology. It also represents a huge opportunity for British Columbia. 

But don’t just take my word for it. If you’re interested in learning more about Web3 -- and Vancouver’s place in this burgeoning new era -- then here’s everything you need to know from a curated list of local sources. 

If you learn by reading, then sift through this Vancouver Tech Journal piece from Launch Academy’s Ray Walia. The article explains why Vancouver is poised to play a leading role in a Web3 future.  

If you learn by connecting with a community, then reach out to the Frontier Collective. This group represents the fastest growing industries in the city and aims to raise the profile of our region. Innovate BC is proud to be a founding partner of this group. 

If you learn by listening, then ask Alexa to fire up a recent BIV Today podcast with Tyler Orton and Dan Burgar. Burgar is the President of the VR/AR Association in Vancouver and founding member of the Frontier Collective. 

If you learn by doing, then purchase an NFT on NBA Top Shot, the online marketplace created by Vancouver’s Dapper Labs. Dapper has raised over $600M (USD) since its founding and has investors named Michael Jordan, Ashton Kutcher, and 2 Chainz. 

And if you prefer to do all of your learning on Twitter, then follow Annika Lewis. Lewis is a ‘recovering VC living the DAO life at Gitcoin’.

While I don’t like to make too many new year’s predictions, here’s one I feel confident about: this is not the last time you will hear about BC’s Web3 opportunity. 

Have a great February. 

 

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