May 2022: Local Tech Stories That Caught My Eye

4 min read
May 26, 2022

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 May that caught my eye. 

Healthtech hardware secures funding, trials, and approvals

What Happened: Hardware devices that purify water, screen cancer, and treat irregular heartbeat all got a boost this month.

Why We Should Care: Hardware devices give people a chance to hold, feel, and physically see groundbreaking innovation. Acuva’s new funding -- which comes from PacifiCan’s Business Scale-Up and Productivity (BSP) program -- will allow the cleantech company to improve its existing products, while commercializing new ones. To date, Acuva, a past Innovate BC program participant, has brought eight products to market.

Clarius -- a startup that’s developing handheld wireless ultrasound scanners for medical imaging -- has had an eventful last month and a half. It started in late April when the medtech startup secured Health Canada approval for its third generation product line of ultrasound scanners. Then a few weeks later, Clarius received their CE Mark Certification for the same line of scanners, allowing them to become the first company to introduce a third-generation product line of high-performance wireless ultrasound scanners in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Lastly, medical solutions company Kardium is trialing its devices locally at St. Paul’s Hospital, marking a significant milestone on the company’s commercialization roadmap. Karidum’s already secured their CE Certification and this St. Paul's trial -- as well as an upcoming U.S. clinical trial -- has the company on track for global expansion and a potential IPO down the road.

More on this: 

  • From 2018: Acuva wins an Innovate BC Ignite Award
  • From 2020: Clarius receives Digital Supercluster funding to deliver equal access to life-saving ultrasound imaging


entrepreneurship@UBC has a busy month

What Happened: The UBC tech accelerator and BC Acceleration Network partner took centre stage this month with multiple venture success stories, a record-breaking Investor Showcase, and a farewell to their Executive Director. 

Why We Should Care: As one of the province’s most prominent accelerators, entrepreneurship@UBC’s impact on the local tech sector can be seen through its high potential startups, notable alumni, and world class research and leadership. And over the last 30 days, all of them were in the spotlight.

It started at the end of April, when Pocketed -- the rapidly growing startup that’s aiming to help eliminate financial barriers for entrepreneurs -- took home the $25,000 grand prize at the Forum Pitch Finale. Just a week later, Total Flow Medical -- the healtech manufacturing startup that’s improving the lives of heart surgery and life support patients -- closed an oversubscribed $4.1M seed round.

The accelerator’s good month continued, with a record-breaking 700 attendees at their 2022 Investor Showcase. 14 ventures pitched, including reigning New Ventures BC Competition winner MintList and robotic startup Sarcomere Dynamics, which showcased the world’s best robotic hand.

Lastly, I want to recognize the great work of Kari Lamotte. Earlier this month, she announced that she would be stepping aside as the accelerator’s Managing Director after four years in the role. Kari’s leadership has propelled the accelerator to new heights and she’s had a direct impact on the growth of many of B.C.’s fastest growing startups.

Kari -- best of luck in your new role at Envol Strategies. I’m sure our paths will cross again soon enough!

More on this:

  • From 2021: Kari LaMotte on the Startup Canada Podcast
  • From 2021: Total Flow and Pocketed both make the Top 10 of the 2021 New Venture BC Competition presented by Innovate BC


EY Recognizes BC’s Tech Entrepreneurs

What Happened:The accounting giant announced the finalists for their Entrepreneur of the Year Award for B.C. and gave the tech sector plenty of love in the process.

Why We Should Care: As one of the province’s most prestigious entrepreneur awards, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that this year’s list of finalists is littered with superstar tech founders from across B.C. To end this month’s post, we’ll shine a light on some of the notable finalists from this year’s list.

Andrew McLeod, CEO of Certn -- The Victoria-headquartered company secured $65M in Series B funding earlier this month, bringing its total funding to date to nearly $110M. They also employ over 300 people around the globe.

Mike Cheng, CEO of Lumen5 -- The bootstrapped video creation company boasts over 800,000+ customers, including Mitsubishi, Salesforce, and an upstart investment firm called Berkshire Hathaway. Late last year, they were named the Canadian Regional Winner for the 2021 Startup World Cup.

Tom Madden, CEO of Acuitas Therapeutics -- The biotech company rose to prominence during the pandemic as they supported several international partners in the development of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. More recently, the company’s three founders received the Governor General’s Innovation Award.

Madison Guy, CEO of GrantMe -- Canada’s number one university preparation program has helped more than 20,000 students access funding and get accepted into their top school choices. And if you have a TV, Radio, or Print Magazine Subscription, there’s a good chance you already know about Madison Guy.

More on this:

  • From 2021: Mike Cheng on the Supercharge Marketing Podcast
  • From 2020: Madison Guy named to BCBusiness’ 30 under 30

Have a great June. 

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