Canadian startup news of the week (4/2/23)

PM Trudeau and DPM Freeland speaks with media in West Block. July 16, 2020
Plus: RenoRun files for creditor protection.

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

Federal #Budget2023 includes cleantech commitments, little else for innovation

The Government of Canada's 2023 budget is out and it's heavy on cleantech and light on innovation.

Notable commitments include $500 million for cleantech investing through the Strategic Innovation Fund, and numerous new cleantech and clean energy investment-related tax credits totalling billions of dollars. Additionally, the feds are instituting guidelines on the disclosure of crypto assets for federally-regulated financial institutions and pension funds in the wake of high-profile failures like FTX.

With no open banking update in #Budget2023, FinTech executives are increasingly jaded about timeline for delivery

Despite the open banking advisory committee’s call for the federal government to move aggressively to implement the first phase of the system by January 2023, and the Liberal Party’s 2021 election promise to implement a made-in-Canada model “no later than the beginning of 2023,” the system remains delayed.

The federal budget, tabled March 28, didn’t include a mention of the future system.

Federal budget a “huge win” for cleantech, but Canada still at risk of missing out

In an op-ed Maike Althaus of the Canadian Cleantech Alliance and Ontario Clean Technology Industry Association says the 2023 Canadian budget has thrust Canada into the global clean economy race, and it can’t slow down now.

RenoRun files for creditor protection after failed pursuit of “Hail Mary” deals to save company from insolvency

Montréal-based RenoRun has filed for creditor protection as the struggling business looks to avoid bankruptcy.

The decision follows a monthslong pursuit by RenoRun of potential acquisition deals to stay afloat after not being able to secure bridge financing from its investors.

Ontario budget gains kudos for streamlining procurement, increasing access to skilled talent

The province committed to providing an additional $2 million for the Futurpreneur program, $224 million for a new capital stream of the Skills Development Fund to leverage private-sector expertise, and boost the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program with an additional $25 million over three years to attract more skilled workers.

Yoshua Bengio, major tech leaders call for six-month pause on advanced AI development in open letter

“The speed at which (AI development) is moving is outpacing our ability to make sense of it, know what risks it poses, and our ability to mitigate those risks,” Future of Life Institute's Emilia Javorsky said at a press conference.

“Six months gives us the time to create governance around it and to understand it better. It buys us time for those conversations, risk analyses and risk mitigation efforts.”

Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • TOR – Nulogy – $20M (read more)

  • TOR – PureFacts acquires Xtiva (read more)

  • TOR – RealSage – $2.1M (read more)

  • TOR – Carbon Neutral Club – $1.4M (read more)

  • TOR – Birdseye – $500K (read more)

  • OTT – Ranovus – $36M (read more)


    Osler releases multi-year study of 350+ Canadian VC and growth equity financings
    For the second year, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has released its comprehensive study of 353 anonymized venture capital and growth equity financings from 2020–2022, valued at more than US$6 billion, providing data and insights for founders, entrepreneurs, investors and advisors contemplating transactions this year and beyond.

    Join members of Osler’s Emerging and High Growth Companies Group April 26, 2023, at 12 p.m. ET, for a special one-hour virtual event when they provide insights and analysis from this important report.

    Register for our Deal Points Report event

    Ask John Ruffolo anything: SVB fallout, VC groupthink, government dependence & more

    "The [Canadian] venture ecosystem is never going to get to the right level of maturity if they constantly rely upon the taxpayer to provide them with the capital."

    Maverix Private Equity founder and Managing Partner John Ruffolo joins to answer listener questions on the fall of SVB, its impact on the Canadian venture debt market, regulatory capture by new federal bills, and how many VCCI's are too many.

    Michelle Scarborough explains why BDC is thinking bigger with Thrive Platform

    "We're seeing way more women found new technology companies in the market than we did five years ago. By a magnitude—like three times. It's substantial."

    Michelle Scarborough, Managing Partner of Thrive Venture Fund, explains the origins of BDC's $500 million commitment to women-led startups and funds, and the progress she's seen since 2017.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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