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 September that caught my eye.
Government support for students, startups, and scaleups
What Happened: The B.C. government announces funding for skills training and job placements, while the Feds zero in on Canada’s most promising tech companies.
Why We Should Care: The Innovator Skills Initiative -- a B.C. government funded program that helps people from under-represented groups get their start in the technology sector-- is being re-upped with an additional $583K to support waitlisted companies who couldn’t access the first round of funding. The program is delivered by Innovate BC, Mitacs, and ICTC. Approximately 3,800 people have gotten their first tech job through this program since it started while companies like Ideon Technologies and Precision Nanosystems have used this grant to grow their teams, complete key projects, and service more customers.
The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is receiving $3.4M from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to increase access to healthcare and IT training for students in rural Indigenous communities. NVIT is the province’s only Indigenous-led public post-secondary institution and is seeing increased demand for tech and health focused programming. This new funding will allow Indigenous students to access this training close to home and help NVIT expand its services to serve more remote communities.
Lastly, the Global Hypergrowth Program is a new federal initiative that will provide high potential growth companies with concierge services to help them sell into government, secure regulatory approvals, and fast-track access to immigration and upskilling programs. Per Small Business Minister Mary Ng, the program hopes to support and create 30 new anchor companies by 2030, specifically mentioning companies like Shopify, Bombardier, and WealthSimple as Canadian firms that have already achieved this status.
More info all three programs can be found here:
Curatio is on a mission to transform lives
What Happened: Curatio merged with an Australian medtech company to provide ‘next level’ solutions to patients.
Why We Should Care: Healthcare systems are under duress, impacting health services for Canadians across the country.
Curatio -- the social healthtech company founded by CEO Lynda Brown-Ganzert -- provides patients with a social platform to increase their knowledge, connect with other patients, and access peer support. The newly combined entity, called RxPx, will deliver enhanced patient experience, particularly for those who require specialized treatment for more serious diseases.
The VentureLabs alum has been on the rise the last few years, closing a Series A in 2020 and making the Ready to Rocket List (Digital Health) just last year. Brown-Ganzert -- who is assuming the role of CEO for RxPx -- is a globally recognized leader in her field, earning recognition from Forbes as one of the women driving the future of healthtech. Sean O’Connor, Managing Director at Conexus Venture Capital and Curatio Board Member, took to Twitter shortly after the announcement praising Brown-Ganzert as a ‘world-class founder’ and ‘great operator’.
Congratulations to Lynda and the entire Curatio team on this significant merger that has the potential to transform the social healthcare industry.
More on this:
- From 2022: Two B.C. firms chosen for the Canadian Technology Accelerator digital health cohort
- From 2019: Curatio Networks Wins $250,000 at VentureClash Pitch at Yale
No Moment to Rest
What Happened: Moment Energy had a busy September, which included winning awards, keynoting events, and recognizing their Women+ staff.
Why We Should Care: The Port Coquitlam cleantech startup is catching the eye of partners, industry leaders, and media, both locally and abroad.
They started off the month by winning an Excellent Alumni Award from their alma mater SFU. After that, they flew down south to speak at events in California and Michigan, while one of their founders traveled to Germany to visit with Mercedes-Benz and meet with the automaker’s CEO.
The added exposure for the company comes off the heels of last year’s $3.5M seed raise, which will help Moment Energy deploy more upcycled EV batteries to industries in need of clean and reliable energy.
Lastly, I want to take a moment to spotlight their Women+ in Cleantech campaign, which started in September and will run into the middle of October. The campaign highlights Moment’s underrepresented employees by sharing their stories, achievements, and personal goals. This group ‘makes up the backbone’ of the Moment Energy team and the startup is using this series to showcase the impact they’ve had on some of the company’s most important and successful projects.
Congrats to the team at Moment Energy on a whirlwind month and I look forward to watching the rest of your Women+ in Cleantech series.
P.S. Moment Energy took advantage of Innovate BC's Venture Acceleration Program with our friends at Foresight. Learn more about how it might help your startup here.
More on this:
- From 2021: Moment Energy Places Third at the 2021 New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC, Scoring a $35K Prize Package
- From 2020: Moment Energy Secures Supply Chain Relationship with Nissan North America
Have a great October.
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