Welcome to BetaKit’s startup stories of the week! Here, you will find the week’s most important news, features, and editorials published on BetaKit.
If you prefer this update hit your inbox every week, make sure to subscribe to the BetaKit Newsletter.
Happy New Year!
Welcome to the first edition of our flagship newsletter in 2024 and thanks for taking a moment to read on.
Before I joined BetaKit over a month ago, I worked as a reporter for the Financial Post, where I cultivated my enthusiasm for digging beyond headlines to uncover unique narratives that make for richer storytelling. Pairing that with my love for new and digital forms of media made jumping into BetaKit’s first-ever newsletter editor gig a no-brainer.
Supported by a mighty team, each week we’ll bring you a curated selection of the best of BetaKit’s tech and startup coverage, plus a dash of analysis to help you understand the broader context.
But we also have plans to expand The BetaKit Newsletter’s mandate: to provide the best tech newsletter, period. That means fresh approaches supported by new formats that include not just the best of BetaKit, but the most important tech news from around the world.
The team is hard at work, but we don’t want to build this alone. Below, you’ll see a link to a questionnaire that will help inform how we deliver a must-read newsletter to your inbox. Your response is greatly appreciated.
And if you can’t fit what you’d like to say in the questionnaire (or maybe you got a tip) email me!
‘Til next week,
TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK
For an organization that has yet to be formally established, the CIC has already gone through multiple iterations. First unveiled as a campaign promise in 2021, the CIC was originally packaged as a Canadian version of the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Budget 2022 proposed the CIC as an innovation investment agency structured as a Crown corporation.
Eight months after Yung Wu announced his retirement, the MaRS Discovery District has announced his replacement as CEO: BDC Capital senior vice president Alison Nankivell.
Days later, another CEO change was made public: Ali Asaria, founder and now the former chief executive of retail tech platform Tulip, stepped down after leading the company for a decade.
Also no longer in the CEO chair is Arun Iyengar of Intel-backed Untether AI.
Toronto-based Realize Capital Partners has announced its first investments, committing a total of $35.2 million CAD to nine direct investors.
The recipients include six social and environmental impact-focused technology financiers from across Canada, including Idealist Capital, Maple Bridge Ventures, PaceZero Capital Partners, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, Relentless Pursuit Partners, and The51, as well as three other firms.
QIC, an advocacy group for Canada’s quantum technology sector, tapped industry heavyweights, namely Xanadu’s founder and CEO.
Xanadu officially became a Canadian tech unicorn after securing $100 million USD at a $1 billion valuation in November 2022.
Webull’s entrance into the Canadian market puts the company up against the likes of other established FinTech companies, including Wealthsimple and Questrade. Canadian retail investors using the Florida-based company’s platform can trade both Canadian and United States-listed equities.
Canadian tech is facing a deep tech talent shortage and government leaders tend to want to fill this gap with foreign talent. But plans to draw from the international worker pool ignore the talent in our own backyard, including underrepresented communities across Canada.
Pablo Listingart, Executive Director of digital skills school ComIT, shared with BetaKit what he’s learned is necessary to continue pushing inclusion forward.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) accounting used to be a nice to have; now, it’s become a strategic necessity.
In a recent #CIBCInnovationBanking podcast episode, Andrew Waitman, CEO of Assent, explained how startup leaders can begin to craft an ESG strategy that drives business growth.
To help you kickstart a new year with renewed enthusiasm, find out what the founders of these Canadian tech businesses, including Wealthsimple’s Michael Katchen, have to say about their New Year’s resolutions, and what they predict will be the technology winner of 2024.
THE BETAKIT PODCAST
“I had to remind myself that SVB happened this year. Because it seems like it happened a bazillion years ago.”
Rob and Douglas close out 2023 in style with a look back at all the major events in a crazy year before making 2024 tech predictions.