November 2022: Local Tech Stories That Caught My Eye

3 min read
November 24, 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 November that caught my eye. 

Farming Innovation

What Happened: B.C. agtech companies are reducing wastewater, enhancing food safety, and increasing supply chain transparency.

Why We Should Care: B.C.’s emerging agtech sector took centre stage this month. What struck me most isn’t just the success these local companies are having, but the diverse and innovative solutions that are being developed to tackle a wide range of agriculture challenges.

Take Verdi, for example. The UBC startup is climate proofing agriculture through smart farm infrastructure. The Verdi Platform allows growers to build, manage, and scale precision agriculture systems, increase crop yield and quality, and save water through irrigation automation. Their tech is being validated through media coverage, investment ($1.3M pre-seed funding), commitments from Fortune 1000 customers, and a growing pipeline of $65M USD.

Earlier this month, VANTEC Angel Forum brought in over a dozen agtech firms from across Western Canada to pitch in front of a room of local investors.

These included companies like TechBrew Robotics and Inhub Farms that are using robotics and automation to create smart farms, reduce manual labour, and reimagine the way we grow food. It included companies like Sky Acres that are tackling food security challenges in rural and Indigenous communities through cutting-edge vertical farming technology.

And then there are novel food companies like Save da Sea that are using alternative plant-based proteins to create new and sustainable seafood products.

Agriculture is ripe for innovation and it’s exciting to see homegrown companies tackling these challenges through diverse and innovative solutions.

More on this:

  • From 2022: What Agtech Really Needs? Fewer Chatbots, More Boots On The Ground
  • From 2022: Arthur Chen is climate-proofing agriculture


Mintlist Keeps Rolling

What Happened: The Vancouver-based, AI-powered car selling platform kicked into high gear in 2022.

Why We Should Care: It’s been an eventful year for the 2021 New Ventures BC Competition Winner. Let’s quickly run through some of the notable achievements:

  • In January, they secured an oversubscribed $2.6M Seed Round
  • In July, they were selected for the Google for Startups Accelerator Canada Class of 2022
  • In August, they became the first Canadian company to win Tech Startup of the Year (software) at the Stevie Awards
  • In September, they were announced as one of four Startup of the Year finalists for the Technology Impact Awards
  • In early October, they were named “Car Buying App of the Year” By AutoTech Breakthrough. The annual awards program recognizes innovation in automotive and transportation technologies around the globe
  • In late October, Co-Founder and COO, Mehrsa Raeiszadeh was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Incredible Women Leaders, by Ball Street Bull. The 25-person list highlights female leaders who are ‘changing the game and leading Canada forward’.
  • Earlier this week, Raeiszadeh was one of the speakers at entrepreneurship@UBC’s Venture Showcase

There’s still another month left in 2022, so I expect this superstar startup to pile on the accolades before the year is up. Congratulations to the Mintlist team on your banner year. I look forward to seeing you scale your company in 2023 and beyond.

More on this:

  • From 2021: Mintlist Wins 21st Annual New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC
  • From 2021: Mintlist enters B.C.’s increasingly crowded market for online car sales


Get Ready, Get Invested

What Happened: Applications are now open for the newly elevated OKGN Angel Summit.

 Why We Should Care: Startups across Western Canada will have the opportunity to snag a grand prize of $250K -- the largest cheque size in the program’s five-year history.

In addition to the funding, competing companies will go through investment readiness training, learn how to build and nurture relationships with prospective investors, and earn an opportunity to pitch in front of a room full of Okanagan-based funders.

Previous Angel Summit winners include: Certicraft (2022), TechBrew Robotics (2021), Minga (2020), and Trellis (2019).

For companies and investors looking to participate, here are some of the key upcoming dates:

For more information about pitching at the OKGN Angel Summit, click here. For more information about how the OKGN Angel Summit works, click here.

The Angel Summit is a great opportunity for both companies and investors and gives us a chance to shine a light on emerging startups popping up across Western Canada. I can’t wait to see which companies make the cut!

More on this:

  • From 2021: How Treliis Helped Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation Exceed Their Fundraising Goal
  • From 2022: Reaching New Heights With CertiCraft


Have a great December.

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