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.
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Top Stories of the Week
Shopify changes employee compensation model: “being a manager now has no effect on compensation”
Following Shopify's rebuild of the Indigo website post-ransomware attack, the company has overhauled its employee compensation (again). Under the new model, Shopify employees will be labelled either a manager or a crafter, and evaluated on their capacity to manage direct reports or deliver on products and projects, respectively.
Semiconductor firm GaN Systems to be acquired by Infineon for $830 million USD
The two firms announced a definitive agreement on March 2 that will see Infineon pay $830 million USD in cash for Ottawa-based GaN Systems. The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
Latest Alberta, BC budgets target talent shortage with otherwise minimal new tech investment
Alberta and BC’s provincial governments unveiled their latest budgets yesterday evening, each outlining significant investments in infrastructure and affordability but little in the way of new tech funding beyond addressing the skilled labour shortage.
From desk to doorstep: KitchenMate expands smart food kiosk to condo market
The return to work has not been as instantaneous as some expected. So, where are the workers? For office workers, it’s still mostly at home, and for those in urban areas across Canada, home is usually a condo building, which is the newest target market for KitchenMate.
Hootsuite follows Twitter lead as company ditches free plans
Much like Twitter, Hootsuite has gone through difficult times of late: a refocus of priorities and a focus on monetizing. For Hootsuite, this has included three rounds of layoffs that have impacted more than 35 percent of employees, and a switch-up in CEOs.
How to build a diverse talent ecosystem for Canada
In an Op-Ed, AJ Tibando, chief strategy officer of Palette Skills, argues that an educated workforce alone is not enough to solve the talent crunch facing Canada’s innovation landscape.
Canada’s small businesses want open banking, too
According to a recent survey by Mastercard, over the past two years 90 percent of small business owners with disabilities, 79 percent of Indigenous small business owners, and 71 percent of women small business owners have sought out new digital tools to manage their businesses.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VAN – Fresh Prep acquires Peko(read more)
KIT – Miovision acquires MicroTraffic (read more)
TOR – Northleaf closes $675M for latest PE fund (read more)
TOR – Genecis receives investment from Amazon (read more)
TOR – Glowstick – $1.3M (read more)
TOR – Uplinq – $820k (read more)
TOR – Obsiido – $815k (read more)
OTT – Feds launch $250M upskilling program (read more)
MTL – Sonder lays off 14 percent of staff (read more)
MTL – Paper acquires MajorClarity (read more)
MTL – AssistIQ – $2.5M (read more)
Inventures 2023: The Breakthrough Innovation Event
A one-of-a-kind experience, Inventures is a high-energy forum of conversations, convergence and creative collisions that attracts more than 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
It’s the place to discover new technologies, talent, capital, customers and markets. Hosted by Alberta Innovates, Inventures brings the world’s brightest minds and boldest ideas together in Calgary for three extraordinary days of learning, sharing, inspiration and fun.
The diverse program features eight curated program tracks with more than 150 sessions and 300+ speakers, including keynotes, expert panels, startup pitch events, networking opportunities, and more.
Register for Inventures 2023 today.
PANACHE’S CHRIS NEUMANN ON FOUNDERFUEL’S RETURN AND “SHITTY” VC BEHAVIOUR
"There is a special place in hell for investors who intentionally screw over their founders with no empathy for the journey or the challenges that they are going through."
Panache Ventures partner Chris Neumann joins to answer listener questions about his blog writing, the state of Canadian accelerators, and what VCs are talking about.
GENERATIVE AI WILL TEST WHAT’S WORSE: BIASED DATA OR USER BAD FAITH
“This whole thing with ChatGPT is just history replaying itself. We need to stop viewing tech and innovation as a veritable silver bullet for all the world’s problems and instead understand that it can actually scale inequities at warp speed.”
Feminuity co-founder and CEO Dr. Sarah Saska walks through the current relationship between DEI and tech, before tracking the dangers of biased data and bad faith users on generative AI.
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