Redbrick posted an articleWith this announcement, the Victoria-based company enters into a new phase of business growth see more
Victoria, British Columbia, Dec. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Shift, a company from the Redbrick portfolio, today announced the close of its independently-raised $1M CAD seed round, as well as the appointment of former General Manager, Nadia Tatlow, to the role of CEO. Bolstered by capital infusion and the appointment of a new CEO, today’s announcements indicate the company’s business viability, next phase of growth, and its ongoing commitment to addressing some of the most common pain points felt by today’s technology users. Since its inception, Shift – a productivity platform that enables a beautiful and streamlined workflow – has made significant strides forward, recording 10x growth in 2018 and an additional 4x growth to date in 2019. With no sign of slowing down, Shift has since acquired over 30,000 paying customers, averaging 13.5% month-over-month revenue growth this year.
Shift’s seed round was led by Calgary-based, seed-stage venture capital fund, Panache Ventures and brought together a small group of key advisors who collectively committed $500,000. The remaining $500,000 was committed, through debt financing, by Redbrick – the parent organization to a portfolio of companies, including Shift – demonstrating Redbrick’s ongoing commitment to its portfolio companies throughout their growth and evolution.
“It’s an absolute honour to be stepping into the role of CEO. Having worked on Shift from its inception in 2016 – when it was simply an idea, all the way through our public launch and growth phase – it’s very gratifying to continue to lead the team and observe, firsthand, Shift’s inevitable transformation and evolution. We are solving an acute workflow pain point, and seeing the impact we are having on our customers’ daily workflow management is extremely rewarding,” said Nadia Tatlow, the newly appointed CEO of Shift. “The last 18 months have been an especially exciting period for Shift. With the close of our successful seed round, I am looking forward to capitalizing on our incredible momentum, refining our product, and building towards a Series A raise next year.”
An integral part of Shift’s founding team, and throughout her role as General Manager beginning in January 2018, Nadia has led the team through its massive growth phase, furthering Shift’s highly valued functionalities. By electing to use Shift, users are able to increase their productivity and enjoy time-savings of several hours each week. Of Shift’s active monthly paying customers, over 75% use Shift every single workday – with the average user spending roughly 106 minutes in Shift per day – which speaks to the meaningful brand the platform has fostered for them. In her new role as CEO, and with a proven track record in scaling up, Nadia will provide strategic oversight to lead Shift into its next phase of growth.
Following the close of its seed round, Shift is now building towards a 2020 raise.
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Founded in 2017 on the West Coast of Canada, Shift, a company started within the Redbrick portfolio, has established itself as a market leader in its category, having scaled at an impressive rate to redefine how consumers approach their digital-centric work lives. In December 2019, Shift announced the successful close of its $1M seed round, indicating the company’s product-market fit, business viability and ongoing commitment to addressing some of the most common pain points felt by today’s technology users.
Shift is a productivity platform that helps customers streamline and optimize their workflow, in one beautiful place. On a mission to bring focus and convenience to the work day, Shift makes managing multiple apps and accounts—without logging in and out or opening up a browser—simple and intuitive. By re-thinking the way work gets done, Shift is solving an acute pain point felt by millions, and growing at an unprecedented rate.
Talk Shop Media
Humaira Ahmed posted an articleVictoria-based Locelle to showcase their technology in Silicon Valley Bank Presents: Innovation Alley at Invest Canada.Locelle from Victoria selected to showcase their tech at Invest Canada, June 4-6. see more
Victoria-based Locelle has been sponsored by Innovate BC as one of the 5 companies to showcase their technologies in Silicon Valley Bank Presents: Innovation Alley at Invest Canada. Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association (CVCA) hosts this annual event each year - which is the country’s biggest PE + VC event.
As part of the exhibition, Locelle was recently featured in an article in CVCA Central about the exciting investment opportunities in BC’s thriving tech sector! Read full article here.
Among the list are three VIATEC Members: Priologic Software, Plurilock, and Flytographer! see more
BCTECH Summit's Top 50 Tech Startups announced
These 50 B.C. tech companies (Click here for list), have been chosen as the most investable startups in their sector by BCTECH Summit's Selection Committee, a group of top-tier VCs and angel investors. Among the list are three VIATEC Members: Priologic Software (HardHat Connect), Plurilock, and Flytographer!
They'll be pitching in front of local and international investors at this year's Investment Showcase, happening May 15th.
Victoria’s booming tech sector is applauding the province for establishing a new trade and invest... see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Andrew Duffy
Techies hail new Seattle trade office
Greater Victoria’s booming tech sector is applauding the province for establishing a new trade and investment office in Seattle.
Saying it will improve access to capital, especially for higher-risk start-up ventures, Victoria’s tech sector sees the move as a step toward its goal of having its companies more than double their existing combined revenues to $10 billion by 2030.
“As we aspire to grow our tech companies by almost 300 per cent, the most natural market for us to pursue has always been the United States,” said Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council. “Something that close and easy to reach for customers, strategic partners and investors is a terrific opportunity.”
Gunn said the Seattle office just makes sense, as combined with the existing office in San Francisco it covers off the two closest and most important markets for Island tech firms.
The Seattle trade and investment office opened this week and expands the province’s trade network in the U.S.. There are currently offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.
The goal is to attract investment to B.C. and connect B.C. companies with venture capitalists, potential workers and partners in the U.S.
“I’ve always seen Seattle as the key focus for B.C. aerospace. It’s the world’s largest aerospace hub and only 45 minutes away,” said Scott Dewis, chief executive at Race Rocks 3D. “[Seattle-based] Boeing has a large presence in Western Canada generating
$3 billion in the Canadian economy. Seattle also has a large tech industry and many big corporate headquarters.”
Clayton Stark, chief technology officer at Kixeye, said establishing offices in Seattle and the Silicon Valley is the right move to help tech grow in B.C.
“I have to believe that any moves like this are likely to be net positive, at least for some segments of the industry, most likely those folks early in their ventures who are struggling to make connections and gain access to experienced mentors and investors,” said Stark. “There isn't enough risk-tolerant investment available locally and it’s no secret we have to look south of the border to gain access to more sophisticated players.”
The province, with a tech sector that recorded just over $26 billion in revenues in 2015, intends to open a new office in the Silicon Valley this fall.
“Having a new presence in the Seattle market is key to continuing to grow the British Columbia brand and to build on the Cascadia Innovation Corridor,” said Will Fox, managing director of B.C.’s U.S. Trade and Investment Office.
The Seattle office will be run by director Troy DeFrank, who spent the last six years as a trade commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle.
“As a British Columbian who has worked on both sides of the border, there has always been a natural, progressive and rewarding relationship between the two regions,” said Edoardo De Martin, director of Microsoft Vancouver.
“This is an opportunity to formalize it and bring together the tremendous talent and ingenuity we have in B.C. and Washington state.”
The addition of a new trade and investment office is only one piece of the puzzle to improving the lot for tech companies in B.C., said Stark, who added that Ottawa has a big role to play.
“I always come back to the federal government’s real opportunity to drive technology in Canada forward, which is to remove the punitive tax laws that prevent Canadian companies from accessing scientific research and experimental development grants if they have in excess of 50 per cent of their funding coming from outside of Canada,” he said. “This outdated system continues to penalize Canadians for taking U.S. funding, even when that funding is used to put Canadians to work in our primary industry.”
As a result, Stark said his enthusiasm for accessing American capital is tempered significantly.
“Being U.S.-funded creates a material operating disadvantage relative to those companies who are able to secure Canadian investment,” he said. “This really needs to get fixed in order to maximize the value of these trade department initiatives.”
B.C. also has trade and investment representatives in Japan, South Korea, India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Europe.
JEA Pension Administration Solutions posted an article"JEA plays an essential role in the pension administration system at OPTrust," --OPTrust President see more
TORONTO, July 6, 2017 /CNW/ - OPTrust today announced a strategic investment in James Evans & Associates (JEA) Ltd., a leading provider of pension administration services in Canada and the U.S., and one of the pension plan's long-standing service providers. JEA's pension engine, which OPTrust believes is the best product offering in its category, is a key component of the pension plan's administration system.
"JEA plays an essential role in the pension administration system at OPTrust," said OPTrust President and CEO Hugh O'Reilly. "Our investment in JEA represents a strategic investment with a valued provider that fits within the plan's approach to innovation, strategic relationships and serving our members."
"We are delighted to strengthen our long-standing relationship with OPTrust. This strategic partnership will support JEA as we continue to offer leading-edge pension solutions and help shape JEA's products to fulfill market needs, which will benefit all of our clients. For more than 38 years, JEA has provided software solutions to the pension industry and we look forward to the opportunities that will undoubtedly come about as a result of this agreement," said Jim Evans, President & CEO of JEA.
Given that OPTrust employs the JEA pension engine, a natural synergy exists between the two organizations. This investment represents a strengthening of the relationship between OPTrust and JEA, which has been ongoing for two decades.
With net assets of $19 billion as at December 31, 2016, OPTrust invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with almost 90,000 members and retirees. OPTrust was established to give plan members and the Government of Ontario an equal voice in the administration of the Plan and the investment of its assets through joint trusteeship. OPTrust is governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees, five of whom are appointed by OPSEU and five by the Government of Ontario.
JEA, a Victoria, British Columbia-based company, is one of Canada's leading pension software firms. JEA's solutions are used to administer over 1.5 million individual member pensions across public and union plans in Canada and the United States. JEA provides solutions that enable organizations to operate their pension plans with great flexibility, using configurable rules-based solutions capable of managing the most complex, defined benefit pension plans. Offering solid, reputable and easy-to-use technology coupled with people who have extensive pension knowledge, JEA offers full-service pension software, solutions and consulting services.
SOURCE OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust)
For further information: Media Contacts: Claire Prashaw, Manager, Public Affairs, OPTrust, +1 (416) 681-3617, email@example.com; Sheree Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, JEA, 416-407-3312, S_johnson@jea.ca
Babcock Canada has donated $800,000 to launch a high-tech Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Inter see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Carla Wilson
Donation helps fuel Camosun high-tech interactive classes
Photo: Matt Zeleny performs a 3-D scan of a bone in the high-tech Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Interurban campus. Photograph By ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist
Babcock Canada has donated $800,000 to launch a high-tech Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Interurban campus, part of a fundraising effort that has exceeded expectations amid growing recognition that more skilled trades workers need to be trained to meet demand.
The donation from Babcock is the largest individual contribution to Camosun College Foundation’s TRADEmark of Excellence Campaign.
The college’s fundraising effort has surged past the original $5-million goal, reaching $6.5 million.
Funding the Interaction Lab made perfect sense to Mark Dixon, Babcock Canada president.
“It is in our interest, as well as the local economy and the people, to try and promote more people getting into the trades,” he said.
The Interaction Lab’s new equipment includes 3D printers, high-end scanners and virtual-reality technology. It allows students from different disciplines to work together using top-tier technology.
Students will broaden their experiences, have the chance to be innovative, use their analytical skills and get comfortable using the latest technology, Dixon said. “I think it kind of brings them into the modern age.”
Babcock Canada is a subsidiary of U.K.-based Babcock International, an engineering support-services organization serving customers around the globe.
In Victoria, Babcock has the in-service support contract for Canada’s submarines.
Tim Walzak, director of Camosun’s centre for applied research and innovation, said its current high-tech lab, called Camosun Innovates, is being expanded with the addition of the Babcock-funded equipment.
The new lab will be installed in renovated space in the Jack White building, serving Camosun’s school of trades and technology students.
The Babcock-funded technology will “really help us enhance what we already have,” Walzak said.
The installation will be completed by July.
“Once we move into the new space, it will give us great capacity to involve local companies in more and more projects,” Walzak said.
Firms will have access to services and equipment that they would not have otherwise, he said.
The lab’s open-door policy means all trades are welcome.
One example of trades in technology is development of the “CamoSun” solar-heating system and installation. Many plumbing and pipefitting students are doing extra work for certification in this field. When they graduate, “they are fully tuned in to the latest approaches,” Walzak said.
The 3-D technology means a small item can be scanned with laser or white light. Information from the scan is fed into a computer where it can be adjusted. Students can then print a 3-D model with their changes to try out. Dixon said this technology is already being used by Babcock to create equipment.
Scanners can be used to gather information on a large area, such as a ship’s hull, and once that information goes into a computer, students can design what goes into that area.
The TRADEmark campaign, which dovetailed with the new $30-million trades-training building at Camosun, raised money to buy equipment and renovate buildings.
Donations came from individuals and companies, some owned by second- and third-generation families. Family gifts alone account for more than $1 million. Unions donated a total of $250,000.
The campaign’s goal is to create a “trades powerhouse” at Camosun, said Murray Farmer, who chaired the initiative with wife Lynda.
“From my point of view, you spend so much of your life working, you better be doing something that you really like. And if you can have a passion for what you are doing, you are going to do a better job, you are going to be more productive and you are going to just have a more fulfilled life.”
Startups that are selected to pitch will get their business in front of a panel of VCs and more. see more
VIATEC and the Capital Investment Network are happy to partner up with Fundica as they travel across Canada for the 2016 Fundica Roadshow. In each of the 10 cities they travel to, Fundica is searching for the best startups working on an innovative solution. On April 13 the roadshow makes a stop at Fort Tectoria. You can sign up to either pitch (deadline is April 6), network or attend RoadTalks.
Startups that are selected to pitch will get their business in front of a panel of VCs, Angels, banks and government organizations. The winner gets a life-changing trip to San Francisco to pitch to Valley investors, funding for their business and more.
If you're not ready to pitch yet, you can still register for inspirational RoadTalks led by expert guests to learn how to take your business to the next level. This is a great opportunity to make great connections and engage with your startup community.
Victoria's booming tech sector is poised to put its mark on restaurants in the city. see more
Victoria's booming tech sector is poised to put its mark on real estate, retail and restaurants in the city.
Click to play CTV News clip below:
CIN is hosting its fourth Pitch & Mix on Feb 17th at Fort Tectoria. see more
The Capital Investment Network (CIN) continues to put Victoria angels on the map, proving that Silicon Valley isn’t the only place for companies to fundraise.
CIN is hosting its fourth Pitch & Mix on Feb 17th at Fort Tectoria, an event that brings together local angels to see 10 presentations from pre-revenue to multi-million dollar enterprises. Every company chosen to present has undergone a rigorous application and vetting process before making it to the stage. They’re given three minutes to pitch and then answer questions from an esteemed panel of experts. CIN has streamlined the process to create a fast-paced program with plenty of time for networking to encourage appointments between entrepreneurs and investors. Past participants have received up to $250,000 in a single investment from pitching in this event, demonstrating the impact of this new, but vital organization.
Established in 2014, CIN founders recognized the potential for Victoria to become a powerful angel hub. Since then, they have been dedicated to building a sophisticated investment community through providing opportunities for education and deal flow, helping grow the local economy from the bottom up. What may surprise some skeptics is that CIN run completely by volunteers and has recently incorporated as a non-profit.
With this change, CIN welcomes new board members, community leaders in their own right, including: Hannes Blum, Laurie Baggio, Briony Bayer and Rodger Bannister. These champions bring critical expertise to CIN and are active in the organization’s development. At this upcoming Pitch & Mix, CIN has partnered with VIATEC and the City of Victoria to kick off a series of events that converge on the City’s Reverse Trade Mission and Discover Tectoria.
Companies that would like to be considered for this event should complete the application form http://capitalinvestmentnetwork.ca/entrepreneurs/ or contact Chrystal Phan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Craft Technology Services Corp (Craftt.com) posted an articleVIATEC Accelerator company, Craftt, closes strategic partnership with ContainerWorld. see more
Victoria, BC - December 14th, 2015 - Craft Technology Services Corporation (Craftt) is excited to announce a recent partnership with ContainerWorld Forwarding Services Inc., a leading logistics provider to the alcoholic beverage industry.
ContainerWorld has made an equity investment in Craftt. The two parties have also entered into a consulting agreement in which Craftt’s web knowledge and expertise will aid ContainerWorld in improving the software and services they offer to their clients.
“This is an ideal partnership for us and for ContainerWorld. Our services complement each other really well. ContainerWorld is the industry leader in logistics and Craftt is the easiest way for a brewery to manage their inventory and orders.” says Ryan Stratton, founder of Craftt.
“Together, we can provide a full-service platform for breweries to manage their business all the way from manufacturing through to the product being delivered to their customers.”
Craftt’s brewery management software is designed specifically to help craft breweries stop keg loss and get better insight and control over their inventory. With powerful reporting features, breweries can significantly reduce the time they spend on creating regulatory reports to send to the relevant governing bodies. The recent investment will go towards growing the development team, among other things, to further improve Craftt’s software.
“We want to make Craftt the go-to platform for breweries, helping them manage their inventory, and their business, efficiently.” Stratton goes on to say. “Through this strategic partnership, we will be able to ensure craft brewers make the most of their time by simplifying these often complex aspects of the job.”
Unlike spreadsheets or expensive, bloated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Craftt’s software makes it easy for every brewery employee to quickly access and manage their inventory and assets in real time through any smart device. Understanding current inventory and capacity levels allows breweries to make better decisions when it comes to production, customer orders, and distribution, and allows them to have a comprehensive overview of what resources are available in the brewery at any given time.
Partnering with ContainerWorld will provide Craftt’s clients with additional benefits, giving them direct access to one of the best logistics and distribution companies in the beverage industry today.
Craftt is a Victoria, BC startup and part of the VIATEC Accelerator program. They build innovative tools and services to modernize and simplify the way beverage companies manage their business.
ContainerWorld is a multi-faceted company based in British Columbia. They provide clients with worldwide door-to-door logistics services, including inventory management, freight forwarding, warehousing, and distribution.
VIATEC posted an articleBC announces an investment of $100 million in the BCTECH Fund in first phase of #BCTECH Strategy. see more
Source: Accelerate Okanagan
Author: Heidi Mann
The Province of British Columbia is creating a $100-million venture capital fund as it builds the foundation for a comprehensive technology strategy aimed at stimulating growth in the fast-moving sector, creating jobs and strengthening a diverse economy.
Premier Christy Clark today announced the new BC Tech Fund as part of the first of three economy-building pillars in the B.C. government’s multi-year #BCTECH Strategy that will drive growth and job creation in the multi-billion dollar tech sector.
“B.C.’s technology sector is consistently growing faster than the overall economy making this the perfect time to catch the wave and help smaller companies join in the ranks of economy builders,” said Premier Clark. “With this fund we’re creating a stronger foundation for B.C.’s technology sector, which is a major employer in communities across the province, to shine on the global stage while creating well-paying jobs back at home for British Columbians.”
The BC Tech Fund will help promising tech companies in B.C.’s tech sector by creating an avenue for capital funding, enabling them to take the next step towards joining the ranks of other job-creating tech companies.
The new fund will also help develop a sustainable venture capital system in the province, building on the success of the B.C. Renaissance Capital Fund (BCRCF), the province’s well developed Angel investment community, and responding to current funding needs.
Capital is one of three pillars in the forthcoming #BCTECH Strategy. This first pillar, announced today, also includes continuing to support B.C.'s competitive tax system and research environment.
The remaining two pillars, talent and markets, include actions to deepen the B.C. technology talent pool by developing and attracting the highest quality talent, and actions to make it easier to access new markets. The complete #BCTECH Strategy will be announced in January.
The BC Tech Fund will be in operation in 2016 following an open procurement process to secure a private sector fund manager to administer it. The process for identifying a fund manager begins today with a posting for a Negotiated Request for Proposal (NRFP).
B.C.’s technology sector, a key pillar of the BC Jobs Plan, is consistently growing faster than the economy overall. Its continued growth is integral to diversifying the Province’s economy, strengthening B.C.’s business landscape, and creating jobs in B.C. communities. The BC Jobs Plan builds on the strengths of B.C.'s key sectors and its educated and skilled workforce, keeping the province diverse, strong and growing.
In partnership with the BC Innovation Council, the province is hosting B.C.’s first #BCTECH Summit, Jan. 18-19, 2016, where the #BCTECH Strategy will be released in full. The summit will showcase our tech industry and offer opportunities to connect to this growing sector. To register or learn more, go to: http://bctechsummit.ca/
LlamaZOO has raised $500,000 in private equity funding. see more
(Victoria, BC, November 30, 2015) LlamaZOO Interactive Inc., an early stage technology company that develops edtech software for postsecondary institutions and students is pleased to announce it has raised $500,000 in private equity funding.
"LlamaZOO Interactive will use this equity funding to continue to develop and refine our EasyAnatomy edtech platform," said Charles Lavigne, LlamaZOO director and cofounder. "This investment and vote of confidence will also allow LlamaZOO to hire additional designers and developers to continue to build our product."
The $500,000 private equity investment comes after LlamoZOO won a VIATEC Startup of the Year Award in June 2015 and received a $50,000 prize as a 2015 recipient of the Spin Master Innovation Fund in September.
LlamaZOO Interactive was cofounded in 2014 by game industry veterans Charles Lavigne and Kevin Oke, and was quickly accepted in the VIATEC Accelerator program that fosters successful technology startups in Victoria, BC.
"EasyAnatomy uses medical information from MRI and CT scans to create detailed 3D models of animal anatomy. Students no longer have to dissect animals to learn about them, and instructors are provided with a powerful new teaching tool," said Lavigne. "LlamaZOO Interactive's EasyAnatomy platform saves universities and colleges money while providing students and teachers with truly innovative learning tools that can be accessed from any device."
EasyAnatomy improves learning and teaching by using sophisticated 3D visualization technologies to explain abstract spatial concepts while borrowing strategies from cognitive neuroscience to update course materials in real time. The educational technology platform also provides educators with deep analytics that provide powerful insights into how students are performing and progressing.
"Educators can use EasyAnatomy to create narrated interactive virtual tours of animal anatomy for their students," said Oke. "Students can study animal anatomy online, anywhere and at anytime. EasyAnatomy also analyzes student performance to create individualized quizzes so that studying is more efficient."
LlamaZOO Interactive will use this latest round of equity funding to hire new staff, acquire new imagery and work with more than 700 students and design partners around the world to continue to test and refine EasyAnatomy.
EasyAnatomy harnesses the power of modern 3D technologies to give veterinary students a new way of interacting with, and learning animal anatomy. This powerful edtech platform combines HD graphics with expertly written course material, integrating everything into an interactive, mobile, social application designed to improve how veterinary students learn.
About LlamaZOO Interactive Inc.
LlamaZOO Interactive is an awardwinning technology company founded by mobile and video game industry veterans. They lead a team of web, print and digital media experts who combine their expertise in user experience and design to create powerful interactive educational technologies that can be accessed by students anytime, anywhere.