2020 is in the books and despite what we’ve all been through, it was a pretty good one for the Vancouver tech community and the province as a whole.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to adapt quickly to change and redesign their products or services or even create new ones to respond to our new reality. Fortunately this brought the best out of B.C.’s tech ecosystem.
We have a lot to look forward across the province in 2021 and what better way to kick off the calendar year than to highlight 10 homegrown startups that Techcouver will be watching closely this year.
In emergency situations when there isn’t time to cross-match a patient’s blood type, doctors have to use universal donor blood to save their life. Unfortunately, this blood type (type-O) is always in short supply. ABOzymes Biomedical‘s technology makes all blood O-type, so any blood can be used for any patient, regardless of their blood type.
Built upon the discoveries of Dr. Peter Rahfeld and Professor Stephen G. Withers of UBC’s Michael Smith Laboratories, ABOzymes was named to the Top 10 at this year’s New Ventures Competition. In the next five years, ABOzymes Biomedical intends to secure product licences in the US and Canadian blood markets.
Addy is on a mission to allow every human to become a homeowner, by investing in real estate for as little as $1. The company’s proof of concept property on Vancouver’s Trout Lake sold out to 300+ investors spread across the country with investments ranging from $1 to $95,000. It was the first of its kind in Canada.
Among addy’s three co-founders are Michael Stephenson and Stephen Jagger who are well-known in the local real estate and tech ecosystem. Part of the CDL-Vancouver 18/19 Prime stream, addy expanded geographically into Calgary and Toronto and into commercial properties in 2020 and has plans for over 50 properties in 2021.
aDolus Technology safeguards against counterfeit or malicious software and firmware in mission-critical systems by working directly with equipment vendors to collect “fingerprints” of original files before they are released to the market. Founded in 2017, the Nanaimo based cyber security startup was participated in CDL-Vancouver 19/20 Prime stream before being crowned the winner of the 2020 New Ventures BC Competition and the $115,000 Innovate BC First Place prize.
With support from the US Department of Homeland Security, aDolus has created a community platform, FACT, that aggregates information on software and firmware to produce a trustworthiness score for software downloads (like a FICO score for credit).
Daanaa is making wireless fast-charging a reality with its one of a kind Capacitive Inductive Resonance (CIR) charging. The fully integrated, self-regulated system maximizes the benefits of the electric and magnetic fields without many of the drawbacks. The transmitter and receiver work together to quickly and seamlessly charge light electric vehicles.
Alumni of UBC’s HATCH Accelerator Ventures, the Vancouver startup was runner-up in the 2020 New Ventures BC Competition.
Dapper Labs uses the power of play to deliver blockchain-based experiences in the real world. Getting their start with collecting and breeding digital at CryptoKitties—the world’s most successful blockchain game—the Vancouver studio is now letting basketball fans trade jaw-dropping NBA basketball highlights with NBA Top Shot.
Look for more partnerships from Dapper in 2021 as their build out Flow, their fast, decentralized, and developer-friendly blockchain, designed as the foundation for a new generation of games, apps, and the digital assets that power them.
This content is sponsored by Matt Carlson, EVP and co-chair of Colliers’ Canadian Tech Team. Matt advises tech companies on their remote work and in-office real estate strategies. Check out Matt’s most recent article Canada’s Tech Companies Face Decision Time to Embrace Hybridized Work.
Born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vancouver’s Darwin Labs is a digital health innovation lab pioneering in the health & safety automation space. Darwin’s flagship product Clear360 includes mobile Covid-19 screening and notification tools, web-based management and visualization tools, and automated decision support to contain outbreaks at campuses and workplaces.
Founded by Ashish Anand, the Enterprise Health & Safety Automation startup has grown to 12 employees and struck partnerships with a potential reach over 10,000 clients in less than a year.
Ionomr is advancing the clean energy economy by creating a new clean membrane industry. The Vancouver startup is advancing the development and manufacturing of ion-exchange membranes and polymers for energy storage and clean energy generation. Ionomr’s technologies provide cost, performance and sustainability advantages for fuel cells, hydrogen production, energy storage, advanced batteries, and carbon capture processes.
Founded by SFU PhD chemistry student Dr. Benjamin Britton in 2016, Ionomr was part of CDL-Vancouver’s 16/17 Prime stream and now employs 25 clean technology professionals at its research and manufacturing facilities in Vancouver.
Matidor is a geospatial visualization and collaboration startup that is building a project platform for consultants and engineers in the energy sector to keep track of projects in a single dashboard. The Vancouver-based startup tripled headcount in 2020 thanks to a Digital Supercluster project helping build out a pandemic monitoring platform.
Co-founders Vincent Lam and Sean Huang introduced Matidor on the virtual stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 and came second on the Startup Battlefield. Lam formerly worked on the Google Earth team, while Huang boasts a background in the AR/VR space.
SkyHive is an artificial intelligence company that supports workforce transformation and re-skilling efforts of Global 2000 companies and governments. With its AI-based engine, the platform reads an employee’s work profile to translate it into skills and then finds correlation between these skills and the skills extracted from jobs to identify optimized career pathways through learning solutions.
Last year SkyHive won the 2020 Spirit of BC Tech – Purpose award, was named one Canada’s most innovative companies, and raised an $8 million Series A round led by AllegisCyber Capital, Accenture, and Workday Ventures.
Spocket, an acronym for “store in your pocket”, is a Vancouver startup that allows e-commerce retailers to easily start dropshipping top products from US and EU suppliers. Founded by Saba Mohebpour, the thriving business model came to Mohebpour out of a problem he experienced as a retailer himself.
Successfully raising $2.5 million to date, Spocket has 60,000+ customers and their team has grown to 50. Mohebpour anticipates hitting the 100,000 customer mark and growing the team to 80+ employees by the end of 2021. Spocket has integrated with the biggest players in the e-commerce space—including Wix and Shopify—and plans to expand to five new platforms in 2021.