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
In the 16 years since its founding, Toronto-based thermostat company Ecobee has helped customers save over 28 terawatts of energy—enough to take all the homes in Los Angeles and Chicago off the grid for a year.
Now, the firm’s founding CEO and president who led Ecobee to a $770 million USD acquisition by Generac Power Systems in 2021, Stuart Lombard, has made the decision to retire, effective November 10.
BENCHSCI, INOVIA, ADA AMONG #CDNTECH ORGS PLEDGING TO FIGHT WORKPLACE HATE IN WAKE OF ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR
A coalition including BenchSci, Ada, and Cohere, among other large Canadian tech firms and investors has pledged to combat hate and intolerance in the workplace amid the global response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Published by BenchSci on Monday, the pledge says it is a response to the rising concerns of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and hate, which it notes are not only global issues but are also being felt in Canada.
AS SEMICONDUCTOR RE-SHORING EFFORTS HEAT UP, SILICAN URGES FEDS TO PROVIDE MORE TARGETED DOMESTIC CHIP SUPPORT
The Semiconductor Industry Leadership and Innovation Canada Action Network (SILICAN) has published its first policy report, laying out a series of recommendations for how the federal government can bolster the country’s chip industry.
In an interview with BetaKit, Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) president Benjamin Bergen noted that because Canada can’t compete with the US in financial support, this policy report offers guidance on where the country can focus its available resources to better compete on the world stage.
Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) pioneers Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio have added their names to a new letter warning against the unfettered development of AI.
They join 22 other academics and experts, including CIFAR chairs who are responsible for implementing the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, in a call for industry labs to devote one third of their research and development (R&D) resources to ensuring safe and ethical use of the technology, among other policy recommendations.
COMPOUND SEMICONDUCTOR PIONEER GAN SYSTEMS JOINS INFINEON WITH CLOSE OF $830-MILLION USD ACQUISITION
Ottawa-based chip firm GaN Systems has officially been acquired by German semiconductor giant Infineon Technologies.
The $830-million USD all-cash transaction represents both a major Canadian tech exit and a landmark deal for Canada’s semiconductor sector. As part of the deal, Infineon has committed to retaining and growing GaN’s presence in Canada.
GOOGLE AND NVIDIA-BACKED CENTML SECURES $37 MILLION CAD TO HELP COMPANIES DEPLOY AI AMID CHIP SHORTAGES
As companies race to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) amid chip shortages, Toronto-based CentML is developing a solution to help customers make the most of existing supplies.
CentML, which has secured $37 million CAD ($27 million USD) in seed funding and support from a host of big-name investors as the startup looks to help companies figure out what hardware they can use to boost the performance and reduce the cost of their ML models.
What’s a founder to do if you’ve only just started your company in 2023—right on time to miss the COVID-19 stimulus-fueled boom cycle and see capital dry up?
Angela Tran, General Partner at Version One Ventures, on the #CIBCInnovationBanking podcast shared more about the first major venture “winter” since the Great Recession and what founders can do about it today.
In a recent BetaKit Live conversation, three expert panellists—Aviva Klein, VP of Digital Payments & Cybersecurity Solutions at Mastercard in Canada, Darryl Julott, Managing Lead at Digital Main Street, and Charles Finlay, Executive Director of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst at Toronto Metropolitan University—discussed the very real business risks of a cyberattack and how small business and startup owners should engage with those risks.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
BC – PacifiCan invests $9.9M into InnovateBC cleantech initiative (read more)
VIC – Peloton Technologies acquires KIS Payments (read more)
VAN – Well Health acquires Seekintoo and Proack (read more)
CGY – Eavor – $90M (read more)
TOR – Arteria AI – $46M (read more)
TOR – CentML – $37M (read more)
OTT – Infineon Technologies closes acquisition of GaN Systems (read more)
MTL – QuoteMachine – $3.7M (read more)
MTL – PADS Financial – $3M (read more)
MTL – Kiwiz – $600K (read more)
QC – Feds and province invests $7.6M in quantum telecom testbed (read more)
How to get hybrid work right for the long term
Did you know 89% of workers and decision-makers are onside for hybrid work?
As more knowledge workers, clinical practitioners, and front-line staff adapt to the new way of working, leaders are concerned about sustaining productivity and avoiding burnout.
This shift to hybrid work is not only straining the capacity of IT teams and budgets but also introducing new security risks that can’t be ignored.
What can Health Tech companies do to solve the challenges and take advantage of the rewards of hybrid work over the long term?
Read the article featuring a conversation with a hybrid work expert discussing best practices to ensure that businesses in 2023 are getting hybrid work right for the long term.
The BetaKit Podcast
“When you’re a FinTech you’re a second-class citizen when it comes to accessing infrastructure, and so you’re spending a lot of time trying to innovate on table stakes, which takes away from the actual innovation that you want to offer."
Wealthsimple VP and chief compliance officer Hanna Zaidi joins for a wide-ranging conversation on what's impeding financial services modernization, and what Canadians are missing because of it.
“So many Canadian organizations today are sending their dollars, their economic capital, to AWS, to Azure, to Google. There really is no Canadian response to this today.”
Eric Duffy explains why Tenstorrent’s leadership pedigree and open standard tech have attracted interest from Korean auto manufacturers and consumer electronic companies alike, before discussing the opportunities and gaps before Canadian hardware companies competing with Apple, NVIDIA, and Intel.