What B.C.’s tech startups would do with $ 300 million


Written for Daily Hive by Jonathon Narvey, founder and CEO of Mind Meld Public Relations Agency

Vancouver’s tech scene is passing for a while.

Company “Fun and games on the blockchain” Dapper Laboratories just raised $ 305 million, giving it a valuation of $ 2.6 billion (and it looks like they are raise even more).

As previously reported on Daily Hive, Dapper Laboratories “Will evolve his team to continue to develop the NBA Top Shot vision, expanding the platform to other sports and helping a new generation of creators develop engaging experiences using blockchain technology, including NFTs. “

Education technology company Thinkific just raised $ 160 million, which means the company is now valued at over $ 1 billion. Same day legal software company Clio announced funding of $ 110 million, which puts them at a valuation of $ 1.6 billion. In the parlance of tech aficionados, this is a Unicorn rodeo.

If you think these are breathtaking sums, you are not alone. Then did you think about how you would spend that kind of money if you were in charge?

I asked some of BC’s most innovative startups what they would do with hundreds of millions of new funds to grow their businesses and maybe even change the world.

Some of these BC-based businesses have already been funded, while others are starting up. They all had great ideas.

Widening the ownership ladder to all to eliminate wealth inequalities

Stephen Jagger, co-founder of Addy, which allows people to invest in real estate with as little as $ 1 (pictured left, next to co-founders Jeff Booth and Michael Stephenson)

Addy founder Stephen Jagger pictured left, next to co-founders Jeff Booth and Michael Stephenson / Addy

“We would expand our team, technology and real estate opportunities focused on a triple bottom line (societal, environmental and financial) – thus becoming our leader on massive real estate investment transactions. In doing so, we will be able to remove all traditional barriers to entry so that this historically “locked-in” asset class can be open to all Canadians.

“How could that make a difference? Imagine if anyone could invest in real estate regardless of income, age, or other conflicts. We could eradicate wealth inequalities. If someone invested $ 2,000 at birth in real estate and maintained their historic year-over-year appreciation of 8.6%, that would be over $ 300,000 at age 65. strive to do this only during your lifetime (if you are lucky). ”

Enabling businesses to create AI-powered marketing content

Sid Bharath, co-founder of Broca, a startup that lets you create high-quality content using AI

Sid Bharath, co-founder of Broca

Sid Bharath, co-founder of Broca

“We would mainly use this money to hire more engineers and products on our team. We have huge goals for what we are building. We started this business to help brands and marketers tell their stories better.

“Marketing is all about creating content, but you have to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to create that content and promote it. Small businesses and startups can’t afford this and are being left behind. Now, with our AI platform, you can generate high-performing marketing content in minutes and for a fraction of the cost. “

Make the recruiting process less frustrating for employers and candidates

Andrew McLeod, CEO of Certn, a company enabling smarter background checks

Andrew McLeod, CEO of Certn, a company enabling smarter background checks

Andrew McLeod, CEO of Certn, a company enabling smarter background checks

“Using these funds to hire more extraordinary talent would be a priority. The funds would also be used to tighten our core product value proposition and re-invest in what sets Certn apart – our user-friendly and transparent background filtering software.

“Unfortunately, the background check can take a lot of unnecessary time and create frustration for both applicants and employers. This does not lead to a working relationship based on trust and goodwill between the two parties – but this common global problem is what drives Certn’s mission and continuous innovation.

Developing exoskeletons to give people with disabilities the freedom to move

Chloe Angus, Head of Human-Centered Design at Human in robotics in motion, a Vancouver-based company that develops robotic exoskeletons

Human in robotics in motion

Chloe Angus, Head of Human-Centered Design at Human in Motion Robotics

“We would accelerate the development and commercialization of our next-generation exoskeleton. It is a portable device capable of advanced articulation and superior range of motion, enabling natural walking, self-balancing abilities and independent use for people living with movement disorders such as injuries. spinal cord injury, stroke, MS, brain damage, etc. is to have our exoskeleton available for everyday use, at home, at work, for social occasions and for walks around the seawall.

“I have a spinal cord injury and I hope it never happens to you, but aging will happen to all of us, and it will affect your mobility. Our exoskeleton can provide revolutionary opportunities for both rehabilitation and personal use, dramatically improving the health and well-being of people with mobility issues.

Use deep learning to give back time and money to business

Jason Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Klue, a downtown Vancouver company that helps businesses use data to stay on top of the competition

Jason Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Klue

Jason Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Klue

“I would invest even more deeply in machine learning, in particular neurolinguistic programming. I would launch several academic research experiments to advance the field of NLP, hire the best talent in the world (including acquiring entire teams) and give them carte blanche to solve a problem that I think will be relevant to the foundation of helping every business in the world: extract and summarize meaningful and hyper-personalized information from billions of unstructured data pools on the web and within corporate repositories and tools such as Slack, Salesforce, Zoom records, and emails.

“The business world is drowning in data and more and more are piling up every day. Eighty percent or more of it is unstructured… That would eliminate billions of wasted hours each week and translate into trillions of economic benefits around the world. “

Create Best-In-Class Chatbots to Make Financial Customer Service Much Easier

Nat Cartwright, Director of Operations at Finn.ai, who builds conversational chatbots for banks

Nat Cartwright, Director of Operations at Finn.ai

Nat Cartwright, COO at Finn.ai

“I would invest to make sure every potential customer is aware of our product. Today we have a top notch virtual assistant designed to be optimized for retail banking that delivers incredible results through the hard work and dedication of our team. Our biggest challenge is to match the budgets of our competitors to market our product as widely as we would like… I would invest heavily in growth and take advantage of all the tools and processes that we have built to extend our products to sectors verticals beyond retail banking.

“I see retail banking virtual assistants as a way to deliver financial services – including financial education – in a way that allows more people to access extended levels of service.”

Making our living spaces better for people and the planet

Arman Mottaghi, CEO of Lambda Science, which has an AI-powered tool to help with energy-efficient construction

Arman Mottaghi, CEO of Lambda Science

Arman Mottaghi, CEO of Lambda Science

“We would invest money in facilitating home energy retrofits. There is a great demand in the market, but people generally do not receive clear and actionable information on how to improve their living space.

“It could have a big impact on the planet. The reductions in carbon emissions would be unprecedented. Plus, the average person spends most of their time indoors, even before the pandemic. Thus, people will benefit from healthier and more comfortable living spaces.

Use AI to create better emotional experiences

Jason Zerbin, co-founder of Spliqs, offering an AI powered app that helps everyone be a music maker

Jason Zerbin, co-founder of Spliqs

Jason Zerbin, co-founder of Spliqs

“We are at the start of our journey to augment the human experience and neurology using audio and AI. With access to such significant funding, we would direct it first to strengthening our team. In particular, we would work to hire a diverse set of individuals with unique perspectives on product design and marketing processes … Then, we would seek to develop the core technology into a cross-platform solution that could be used in businesses. Web, Mac and Android spaces. This type of funding would further enhance the ability of the technology to target specific emotions and brain states and produce profound changes.

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