• Paula Parker posted an article
    Funding opportunity through The Impact Challenge see more

    Source: Spring


    Last year Spring hosted the first Impact Investor Challenge. This program trained and supported a group of investors to make their first early stage impact investment. From a group of 20 businesses, the group selected 5 finalist companies and more than $100,000 was invested in the winning company (Open Ocean Robotics of Victoria!), with two other companies also receiving investment. 

    This year they're running the program online, and that's created the opportunity for the program to have companies and investors from across the province participate in the program. They're looking for impactful companies from the Victoria area participate in the program, and if there are investors looking to step into impact investing they'd love to talk to them.

    Sectors considered impactful include: Cleantech, EdTech, FinTech, Circular Economy, Renewable Energy, Circular Economy, Sustainable Food and Ag, Agri-tech, Impact Marketplace and Impact E-commerce. 

    The Program:

    Spring’s 2020 Impact Challenge is now open for registration.

    The Impact Challenge is a 10 week impact investor training program that empowers investors in the process of investing in early stage purpose driven companies. The program spans all aspects of impact investing so you become empowered to invest in businesses that align to both your values and your target return.

    Sessions are lead by prominent global and local speakers with topics including:

    • Defining your investment thesis to reflect what impact means to you
    • How to find great impact companies and screen pitches
    • What to look for when evaluating startups
    • The due diligence process, including investor portfolio and taxation strategies
    • Assessing the market opportunity and measuring impact
    • Evaluating the team
    • Funding venture scale businesses
    • Exits and alternative returns for companies that may not exit
    • Negotiations and paperwork

    The speakers and Spring will help you navigate pitfalls, mitigate risk, develop your impact investment thesis, and make your first impact investment.

    At the end of the two months, the group will use their learnings through the intense training program to negotiate and close a combined $100,000+ investment in the company or companies the group selects.

    The Impact Challenge will leave the group with a network of Impact Angels and key players in B.C.’s impact startup ecosystem.

    For more information, to register, or to share with someone you know who is interested or curious, visit our website at or to find out how to get involved, email Mari directly at

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “We are extremely excited to partner with Battery, a firm with a long history of helping software... see more


    Battery Ventures Makes Significant Investment in Latitude Geographics

    BOSTON, Oct. 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Battery Ventures, a global, technology-focused investment firm, announced it has made a significant investment in Latitude Geographics Group Ltd., a Victoria, B.C.-based provider of web-based mapping software and related Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Latitude develops software called Geocortex that helps customers maximize the potential of their investment in web mapping technology made by Esri, the world leader in GIS whose software is the most powerful mapping and spatial data analytics technology available. Latitude’s business centers on government customers, as well as industry sectors like energy and public safety, and is focused on making it as easy as possible for organizations to deliver mapping and GIS technology to their end users. The company was founded in 1999.

    “We are extremely excited to partner with Battery, a firm with a long history of helping software firms like Latitude reach their potential,” said Steven Myhill-Jones, Latitude’s CEO. “Additionally, I think Battery’s interest in the mapping/GIS space through its investment in fellow-Esri partner AED-SICAD in Germany demonstrates the firm’s long-term strategic commitment to the GIS market. Battery’s resources and expertise will help us grow and expand Latitude even more internationally; we look forward to working with their team.”

    Latitude’s technology “was extremely attractive to us, as was the company’s growing and diverse set of customers,” said Battery Partner Morad Elhafed, who led the investment. “Global GIS is a multi-billion dollar market that has demonstrated consistent growth across all verticals over the years. Given its deep alignment with leading GIS vendor Esri, Latitude is well-positioned to benefit from and help drive ongoing developments in GIS.”

    Battery Ventures’ private equity team has invested in many industry-specific software companies like Latitude, a category of companies which generally offer customers highly specialized products as well as high-quality support and services. Current investments include AED-SICAD, Alogent, Clubessential, ClearCare, Concurrent Real-Time, CrunchTime, DrillingInfo, Enviance, Forterro, Newforma and WebPT*.

    *For a full list of Battery investment and exits, please visit:

    About Battery Ventures
    Battery strives to invest in cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, Web infrastructure, consumer Internet, mobile and industrial technologies. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at stages ranging from seed to private equity and invests globally from offices in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Tel Aviv and London. Follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures, visit our website at and find a full list of Battery's portfolio companies here.

    About Latitude
    Latitude Geographics believes that geography empowers people to make vastly better decisions about the world around us; we help them accomplish this with Geocortex mapping software and services. In use by more than 1400 organizations around the world, Geocortex technology helps our customers operate more efficiently, communicate more effectively, and improve their decision making. Our technology is designed specifically and exclusively for use with Esri’s ArcGIS® platform; as an Esri Platinum Partner, we are focused on helping clients maximize the return on their investment in core Esri technology.


    Rebecca Buckman
    VP, Marketing Communications
    Battery Ventures

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    NACO will hold its Regional Summit in Victoria in February of 2018 as a direct result. see more

    Capital Mission Nets Big Results

    VICTORIA, BC (April 21, 2017) – The City of Victoria’s 2017 Capital Mission has already started producing significant returns on investment for the region’s technology sector.

    The Capital Mission is an opportunity for angel and venture capital investors with an interest in early stage innovative technology companies to visit Victoria. The event was held in February for the second consecutive year hosted by the City of Victoria, VIATEC and the Capital Investment Network (CIN).

    As a direct result of the mission, the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) will hold its Regional Summit in Victoria in February of 2018. The Summit is expected to attract 100 Angel investors and NACO members to the city exposing those investors to Victoria’s thriving and dynamic tech industry.

    “It is thrilling to see that in only two years our Capital Mission has attracted national and international attention”, said Mayor Helps. “We look forward to a large mission next year with the 100 investors at the NACO Summit kicking it off.”

    "Through our accelerator and building on three decades of developing strong investor relations and awareness of Victoria’s tech sector, VIATEC was well positioned to expose hundreds of startups applying to the program with investors from far and wide,” noted Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC.  “In recent years VIATEC, now 552 members strong, has benefitted greatly from the added support of our city.  We are pleased that these efforts have culminated in a vital organization like NACO recognizing the vibrancy and potential of our region," added Gunn.

    NACO is excited to join the Capital Mission in Victoria with the 2018 Western Regional Angel Summit.  “This is an opportunity to continue our work to improve access to risk capital for early-stage Canadian companies.  At the Summit, Angel investors meet face-to-face to share experiences and best practices,” says Yuri Navarro, NACO’s CEO.  “Those conversations lead to meaningful connections that are imperative for building community and fueling the local and regional startup economies.”

    "Angel investing is increasingly common and more accessible through education and connecting investors,” said Peter Elkins, Co-Founder of CIN.  “Adding NACO as a partner for Capital Mission 2018 is an honour for Victoria."

    Invitees for the 2017 Capital Mission experienced first-hand the city’s highly sought after quality of life, including how easy it is to travel to and from Victoria, the vibrancy of our innovative business community and the depth of our local deal flow. This year was fully subscribed once again, and 100% of attendees said they would refer the mission to someone in their network.

    For more information on the Capital Mission visit

    For More Information:

    Rebecca Penz
    Citizen Engagement Advisor
    City of Victoria
    Office: 250.361.0263
    Mobile: 250.661.0085

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    TeamPages was just an idea that Nikolas and Mike came up with for a class assignment at UVic... see more

    Author: Mike Tan

    TeamPages joins Active Network

    What a day! It's official, TeamPages is joining Active Network :) Super excited about the future of TeamPages as part of the Active family!

    It’s crazy to think that 10 years, ago TeamPages was just an idea that Nikolas Laufer-Edel and I came up with for a class assignment at the UVic Entrepreneurship Program. And that shortly after writing that business plan, with guidance and mentorship from Jonathan Kerr, that business plan ended winning the IDC Challenge and giving us our first $10,000 in seed capital.

    A couple months after winning the IDC Challenge, in October 2006, Adam Palmblad, Jonathan Kerr and I decided to take the plunge and leave our other tech jobs to work on TeamPages full-time. And 2 months later we had converted my apartment into our office (hoisting whiteboards into the apartment from the balcony cause they wouldn’t fit in the elevator), launched our first beta of TeamPages for UVic Intramurals, and raised our first $50,000 from friends and family (instead of getting Christmas presents that December). A big thank you to Adam’s parents, Jon’s parents and uncle, my parents, William Oliver, and Nikolas Laufer-Edel for believing and investing in us early!

    I still remember the first day we launched the site and we made $0.35 cents from Google Adsense and to celebrate we ended buying beers and a pizza which costed us $20 (which at the time of earning $0.35 a day would take us almost 2 months to pay off).

    We were very fortunate early on to have an amazing Board of Advisors (Steven Dagg, Chris Taylor, Tony Melli, Robert Bennett, Eric Sei-in Remy Jordan, and Stacy Kuiack) who helped us stay focus on the right things and avoid many pitfalls early on. Thank you for of your wisdom and support over the years, the early morning meetings, the late night phone calls to go over term sheets and shareholders agreements, and always being there for us even during our most challenging times. 

    A few months after launching the site, we completely lucked out when Kyle Vucko introduced us to Hannes Blum and Boris Wertz who along with Burda Digital Ventures led our Seed Round and joined our Board of Directors. Over the years I have learned so much from the two of you and have the upmost respect for you as mentors, entrepreneurs, and investors. The two of you are two of the smartest, hardest working, and supportive people I have ever met. Thank you for showing me what true hustle and hard work looks like, the importance of tracking metrics early on, that success doesn’t come from a magic silver bullet but a lot of hard work and incremental improvements that add up over time. Thank you for all of your support, wisdom, and much needed tough love throughout the years.

    And shortly after raising our Seed Round, Derek Story joined us a co-founder and VP Sales. Since my departure as CEO in 2012, Derek and Adam took the leadership reins and have been doing a fantastic job ever since. Without their dedication, grit, and hustle, TeamPages wouldn’t be where it is today. Words can’t really express my gratitude and respect to the both of you. Thank you Derek and Adam (and Tracy Wilkinson)!

    The last 10 years has truly been a roller coaster of ups and downs, highs and lows. It’s been amazing journey along the way and one that (after a lot of rest and incorporating all the lessons learned from the mistakes made) I would definitely do again :) 

    A special thank you to Adam's parents and my parents who provided a much needed bridge investment in 2011 that helped us turn the corner and save the company. Thank you for believing in us even in the darkest of moments.

    Thank you to all of our wonderful investors (names I'll keep private but deeply thank and cherish) for all of your support and patience over the last 10 years.

    Thank you to all the amazing team members and friends who made this journey possible and for all of your support over the years: Steve Brown, Helen Wilkinson, Mark Aquino, Matthew Langlois, Minxing Wang, William Oliver, Alex Shipillo, Lesley Bidlake, Naomi Buell, Ian Douglas, Eric Brewis, Joshua Sendoro, Greg Gunn, Allan Kumka, Willem Brosz, Arturo Gomez, Sean Taylor, Oleg Matvejev, David Mikula, Jeremy Rose, Landon Trybuch, Jacob Patenaube, Juri Totaro, Jesse Appleby, William Eckhart

    A big thank you to Arik Broadbent and Mike Rawluk at Farris, Geoff Dittrich at Segev, and Sang-Kiet Ly at KPMG for helping us close this deal!

    A massive thank you to both the tech communities in Victoria and Vancouver for all the support over the years. Without the help VIATEC (Dan Gunn, Robert Bennett, Tony Melli), IRAP (Martyn Ward), and New Ventures BC (Angie Schick), TeamPages would be here today.

    And lastly, thank you to Kelly Luu for being the love of my life and all your unconditional love and support through this journey. You have always been there for me and I can't thank you enough.

    I’m really excited about the next chapter and what’s in store for TeamPages at Active.

    Thank you! And stay tuned :)

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Owen Matthews sees China as a solid investment. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Chinese trade opportunities loom large for Victoria firms

    Despite slower economic growth in recent years, China remains a market full of potential for Canadian companies. And for some Victoria firms, it may represent a massive missed opportunity if they don’t get into the game.

    Owen Matthews sees China as a solid investment. Matthews is chairman of the  Alacrity Foundation, which provides mentorship and guidance to start-up firms and engineers in order to create new tech companies.

    A single city, Shanghai, with a population of 24 million, is better funded and has more wealth than Canada, he said.

    Matthews, who is also a partner with investment firm Wesley Clover, said companies have the potential to be valued higher there given the availability of capital and the room for growth.

    “Not being part of that in some way is a huge missed opportunity,” he said.

    Matthews, who has just established a branch of the Alacrity Foundation in Shanghai, said China is starting to open up and the country is more open to technology partnerships in particular. But he warned it’s important for Canadian entrepreneurs to find a Chinese partner who they can trust.

    “You have to have people you can work with, whose interests are aligned so when the Victoria company does well somebody there also does well,” Matthews said, noting that partnership is key as it can mean the feet on the ground in China will protect the firm’s interests.

    The seven year-old Alacrity Foundation may be able to do some of that for Canadian firms. The non-profit entity, supported by industry and government, has branches around the world, including Turkey, India, France, the U.K. and now in China.

    Matthews said each of the Alacrity branches gives interested companies an insight into global markets.

    With its arrival in China, Alacrity’s network has trusted feet on the ground in Shanghai that can help open doors, or offer advice.

    The mayor of Victoria hopes local firms are looking at the opportunity in China. Lisa Helps, who returned from a two-week trade mission to China in late October, told a gathering of local business people this week that Victoria firms are well positioned to take advantage of China’s potential. She said she believes the $22,000 trip was a huge success and has laid the ground work for trade deals to be signed with a country that is continually changing and opening up.

    “The central government is focused on growing its economy in a sustainable manner and they need the innovation and technology we have here,” Helps said

    Matthews said having the Victoria mayor join local firms on trips to China can open a lot of doors.

    “It’s a great endorsement,” Matthews said. “It makes a big difference in China. Their assumption is government is a very important player in our economy. Having a mayor shaking hands beside a tech company goes a long, long way.”

    It can also help the tourism industry, said Paul Nursey, chief executive of Tourism Victoria, who was in China at the same time.

    Nursey said Victoria has seen strong growth from China — 20 per cent each year over the last few years — but it can do better.

    “We have a great brand and a great product,” Nursey said. “But we are being more deliberate in targeting overnight stays.”

    Nursey said Tourism Victoria has changed its sales team to be more digital savvy, and able to converse in China, as they go after a more lucrative slice of the Chinese market — the individual traveller rather than packaged tours. That’s a segment growing as a result of an emerging middle class. “Now it’s about the hard work on the ground and pitching, it’s a sales proposition and we have refined our sales approach,” he said.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Atrium is pleased to announce its initial investment in Certn Holdings Inc. see more

    Atrium Ventures Announces New Investment into Certn Holding’s Inc.

    Kelowna, BC – Atrium Ventures VCC Inc. (Atrium), is pleased to announce its initial investment in Certn Holdings Inc. (Certn).  Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Certn is the new standard in applicant screening and risk management tools for landlords, property management firms and credit issuers.

    Certn has aggregated over 100,000 different databases to create a platform that provides a deep quantitative understanding of an applicant’s character and risk profile that is otherwise extremely hard to get.  Using machine learning and AI, Certn validates social and public information to predict good and bad applicants from data derived from a customer’s online and social behaviour.

    “We have assembled the largest proprietary database of continuously updated, risk-relevant and risk-scored information in the industry,” said Andrew McLeod, Certn Co-Founder.  “Our solution can integrate into existing application processes or be used stand-alone, automating and streamlining the applicant decision-making process which generates significant time and cost savings.”

    Led by experienced entrepreneurs Andrew McLeod, Owen Madrick and Evan Dalton, Certn has received several recent awards and recognition including winning the Top Regional Startup prize at the 2017 New Ventures BC competition, recipients of the 2017 Fundica Cup, nomination for the 2018 Innovative Excellence Award by the Victoria Advanced Technology Council and being listed on the 2018 Ready to Rocket list.

    “We are very pleased to be supporting Certn during this period of rapid growth,” said Jeff Keen, Managing Director at Atrium. “The team has experienced significant early success, are executing on their strategy and have several very promising opportunities ahead.”

    About Atrium Ventures (VCC) Inc.

    Atrium Ventures is an entrepreneur led venture capital corporation that makes investments in promising new technology companies in British Columbia.  Atrium’s institutional investment partners include Interior Saving Credit Union and the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust.

    About Certn Holdings Inc.

    Certn is a platform used to predict the future behaviours of people. While quickly becoming one of the largest tenant screening providers in Canada, Certn has completely changed how applicant screening is done.  Historically, applicant screening processes have not leveraged available data or artificial intelligence (Al) to effectively predict behavioural outcomes. By solely using credit reports or Google searches, lenders, employers, and property managers can be turning away great clients. With Certn, you can evaluate several dimensions of character, over millions of data points, to successfully determine an individual's credibility.

    Media Contact: Jeff Keen, Managing Director