Category: BetaKit

TSX Venture Exchange announces top performing Canadian startups

TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) has announced its top 50 performing companies, part of its annual 2019 TSX Venture 50 event.

“We are exceptionally proud…[of] the role these companies play in fueling Canada’s economic success.”
– Brady Fletcher head of TSXV

The annual event showcases top companies from five industry sectors: clean technology and life sciences, diversified industries, energy, mining, and technology. The winners were chosen based on three equally weighted criteria, market capitalization growth, share price appreciation, and trading volume for the year-end.

For the technology sector, Kraken Robotics topped the list. The Newfoundland-based startup specializes in marine technology and develops sensors for unmanned underwater vehicles.

In second for the tech sector, is Toronto-based Patriot One Technologies, a company that develops systems to detect concealed weapons. Last year, Patriot One Technologies acquired video threat recognition software company EhEye.

Drone Deliver..

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Northumberland CFDC commits $900,000 for rural Eastern Ontario tech startups

Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CDFC) has pledged $952,500 in non-dilutive, performance-based seed funding to a total of 42 startups across Northumberland and rural Eastern Ontario.

The N1M program matches private investment of up to $30,000, and provides entrepreneurial skills training for founders.

The companies were selected for N1M-2, the second part of the N1M program, in which FedDev announced a $2.2 million contribution to Northumberland’s CFDC’s program to support tech startups in Eastern Ontario. In 2015, FedDev also committed $3.2 million the Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association in order to support Southwestern Ontario startups.

The N1M program funding matches private investments made in the startups, up to $30,000, and is contingent on performance. The program also provides entrepreneurial skills training for founders, including a four-part group training session on financial management at Venture13, Northumberla..

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Dessa engineers build machine learning supernova identification system

Three engineers at Dessa, a company that works with enterprises to build and implement AI systems, have created a machine learning system that successfully identifies supernovas faster and more accurately than legacy methods.

The machine learning system, named space2vec, is improving the accuracy of identifying supernovas by 10 percent, while also reducing the time previously spent by half.

“We’ve opened-sourced our code in hopes to show people that you don’t need to be an expert to do this.”

Engineers Jinnah Ali-Clarke, Pippin Lee, and Cole Clifford are all big fans of space. They share a desire to assist the astronomy industry as software engineers, through the use of machine learning and AI. All three embarked on a research journey hoping to discover a problem in the astronomy industry that they could use their skill-set to help solve.

“We’re at this point in time where three engineers without any background can help and do significant work,” Lee, a developer at Dessa, told Be..

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Terramera secures $13 million CAD investment from BDC

Technology for clean food company Terramera announced Thursday that it has received $13 million CAD in growth capital financing from BDC.

“Our goal is to help increase agriculture yields by 20 percent while reducing the synthetic chemical load in agriculture by 80 percent.”

The money will go towards the company’s facilities, equipment, and staffing, as well as research and development, in order to accelerate commercialization. Just last year, the cleantech company received $2.5 million CAD from the federal government, through Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

Vancouver-based Terramera specializes in technology for clean food by developing natural alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilizers, while aiming to increase agriculture yield. Last month, for the second year in a row, Terramera was one of 12 Canadian firms named in the 2019 Global Cleantech 100 list, an annual guide to the world’s top 100 companies in green tech innovation.

“Our goal is to help increase glob..

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A|I: The AI Times – Is Canada an AI leader?

The AI Times is a weekly newsletter covering the biggest AI, machine learning, big data, and automation news from around the globe. If you want to read A|I before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page.

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Canada needs to do better on leading AI innovation, says Trudeau

“We’re going to see an increasing reliance on technology, computer programming, and artificial intelligence. These are the things we need to continue to invest in and focus on.”

Driverless truck startup TuSimple raises $95 million at $1 billion valuation

For the better part of four years, the China-based startup has been developing trucks at its R&D lab in San Diego and test operations facility in Tuscon that can drive depot-to-depot without human intervention.

Only one Canadian company places on list of top 100 AI companies in the world

Despite Canada’s rising reputation as a global leader in the artificial intelligence community, it appears Canadian compani..

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Element AI coming out of “stealth phase,” launching products

Today, Element AI announced a partnership with the National Bank of Canada, which will see its AI-powered software help improve cybersecurity for the bank.

This announcement marks the beginning of the Montreal-based company moving out of its self declared “stealth phase” and finally bringing its products to market.

“AI has the power to assist organizations in building intelligent solutions…that were never before possible.”

Element AI’s software will be integrated into the National Bank’s Security Operations Centre, allowing the bank’s security analysts to more deeply investigate, react, and respond to alerts and threats. The software is set to create real-time reports and communication alerts, while also identifying, mapping, and autonomously hunting for threats, according to the company.

Earlier this year, Element AI stated its intention to start bringing to market the products it has been working on since its inception. JF Gagné, co-founder and CEO of Element AI, told the Mont..

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First Canadian SVB startup survey says entrepreneurs find fundraising challenging

More than half of Canadian startups have a positive outlook for 2019, but most are still facing challenges with fundraising and accessing talent, according to a survey conducted by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

56 percent of Canadian entrepreneurs say business conditions will be better in 2019.

Silicon Valley Bank’s Startup Outlook surveyed 1,400 tech and healthcare founders across the US, UK, China, and for the first time, Canada. Last March, BetaKit reported that Silicon Valley Bank established a lending branch in Canada, with Barbara Dirks as head of the Canadian team. In November, it also put out a call asking Canadian entrepreneurs to respond to its survey to help evaluate the Canadian startup ecosystem.

The report found that 56 percent of Canadian entrepreneurs surveyed believe business conditions for this year will be better than 2018, with 31 percent saying it will stay the same.

Although the majority of startups have bright expectations, there are still many challenges facing..

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Drone Delivery Canada shows new Condor drone, shares building plans

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) revealed its new drone called the Condor that is capable of carrying weights up to 180kg (396lbs) and travel distances of up to 150km with a full load of cargo.

The new drone was shown off at an event in downtown Toronto on February 19th. The company’s other drones were also on display as well its mission control-esque FLYTE system. The showstopper was the six-metre (22-feet) long gas powered Condor drone. It’s the size of a small helicopter and looks like one too. The drone has a large storage compartment located where you’d expect a pilot to sit.

DDC is also working on a larger version of the Condor that can fit a pallet full of supplies and it should be ready around the company’s 3rd quarter this fall.

Drone Delivery Canada has been working on the Condor for about a year already, and the company suspects that it will have the drone certified and ready for use by the end of Q2 in the summer.

The Condor is the DDC’s largest drone, and that’s why it was ..

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Montreal startup receives $1 million for app helping paralyzed patients communicate

Montreal-based Innodem Neurosciences has received $1 million from angel, banking, and government entities to begin commercializing Pigio, its first mobile app.

“With AI the more data we collect, the more accurate [we are]…at identifying individuals with disorders and tracking progression.”

Pigio uses AI-powered mobile software technology to allow paralyzed or intubated patients to communicate with eye movements. The app will be marketed to local Montreal hospitals and is set to be deployed in the US at a Boston, Massachusetts hospital, as well as healthcare facilities in California.

Innodem Neurosciences said the app is also expected to be available on the Apple App Store in spring 2019. The app itself is free, with more advanced in-app features starting at $39.95 per month or $360 for a yearly license.

Users will be able to control a cursor on the screen with their eye movements and select pre-defined sentences and words displayed on the screen, which will then produce an audio ..

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R|T: The Retail Times – Endy goes brick-and-mortar

The Retail Times is a weekly newsletter covering retail tech news from Canada and around the globe.

Subscribe to R|T using the form at the bottom of this page to ensure you don’t miss out on the most important retail tech news every week!

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Endy partners with Urban Barn to build brick-and-mortar presence

With this new partnership, Endy has opened 37 showrooms across the country that will allow users to test out the mattresses before buying them online.

Shopify reaches milestone, surpassing $1 billion in total revenue in 2018

“No other SaaS company has crossed the $1 billion revenue mark at a faster growth rate than Shopify has,” said Tobi Lütke, Shopify’s CEO.

Xiaomi-backed electric toothbrush Soocas raises $30 million Series C

Electric toothbrushes are a relatively new concept to most Chinese consumers but the category is picking up steam fast.

11 Canadian tech companies to watch in 2019

Last year, Lightspeed made the list; this year, the company IPOs. Is yo..

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Applications open for CDL’s blockchain, quantum machine learning incubator streams

The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) has announced it is accepting applications for its 2019/20 cohort for its quantum machine learning and blockchain-AI incubator streams.

“The program is a platform for us to connect with investors and network with other startups facing the same challenges.”

Both streams are 10 months long and include meetings with CDL mentors every two months to gather feedback and set objectives that startup founders are accountable for. Startups will also be exposed to participating venture capitalists, who track their progress over the course of the program. This opportunity gives participating startups access to potential capital and investment opportunities.

The quantum machine learning stream is geared towards entrepreneurs looking to commercialize products that meld quantum computing and machine learning. Participants receive an equity investment of just over $80,000 CAD from investment partners. Technology partners and AI experts for the stream include D-W..

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Battlesnake returns to Victoria to give coders a chance at gaming glory

Battlesnake, a non-profit AI programming competition, will be hitting Victoria on March 2 for its fifth year. Organizers are expecting over 1000 participants to compete for $15,000 in prizes and giveaways

Battlesnake is a coding education event and gaming tournament, where groups and individuals generate AI bots to play the massively popular arcade game, Snake, using modern and real-world technology. It’s the largest programming competition in British Columbia.

“We hope to make programming fun and accessible for millions of developers around the world.”

For the first time, Battlesnake’s website is featuring a platform where users can create and play their own games from anywhere, as well as place on the game’s competition board. The platform was released on February 19, and is sponsored by software development platform Github.

Each competitor’s “snake” is placed on a board with other snakes, and the last one slithering is proclaimed the winner. The competition comprises three divis..

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