Q2 investment surge

Investment in Canadian tech surged in the second quarter with CDN$2.8 billion invested across 170 deals – the second largest Q2 dollar-wise on record, according to a report from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

The dollar total represents an increase of 140 per cent over Q1, and 45 per cent over Q2 of last year.

Investments were strong across all growth stages, from pre-seed to scaleup. The average deal size was CDN$16.6 million, which the CVCA said highlights “investor confidence in supporting companies with significant growth potential.”

Trust beyond borders

Kitchener-based Vambora has taken some big strides in its quest to innovate traditional credit-check systems. The company creates “trust profiles” that help international students and immigrants establish credit histories with landlords and financial institutions in Canada.

Located in the Communitech Hub, Vambora has partnered with Canadian fintechs KOHO and Neo Financial. It was also accepted into the Montreal-based IFH Lab accelerator program and selected to compete for the Digital Commerce Calgary Fintech Award. 

Another startup making progress is Fierce Founders graduate AIMA Labs, which is driving innovation in women's health through a non-invasive diagnostic tool for the early detection of endometriosis. 

Co-founded by researchers Dr. Jocelyn Wessels and Dr. Lauren Foster, AIMA Labs builds on years of academic research. Check out their story on Tech News.

(By the way, Communitech’s Fierce Founders Bootcamp is currently accepting applications. Submission deadline is Sept. 10 at 11:59p.m.)

Fast-tracking innovation

One of Communitech’s True North Strategy goals involves “integrated markets” – an effective model for bringing founders together with public-sector buyers to find innovative made-in-Canada solutions to common sector-specific challenges.

Our Fast Track team has been busy on several fronts, issuing calls for solutions in health care, gearing up for our next cities initiative and launching the new Canada-Ukraine Security Innovation Challenge (CUSIC).

Meanwhile, the Communitech Outposts program – an employer-of-record service – is partnering with MaRS Discovery and the Toronto Board of Trade to deliver the Global Growth Series, which helps founders learn about hiring talent in foreign markets and expanding sales teams internationally.

Hub hot spot

The Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener hosted a number of high-profile visitors in August.

The Advantage Austria and the Austrian Consulate in Toronto, led by Consul and Trade Commissioner Gregor Postl, toured the Hub and showed a keen interest in Communitech’s Fierce Founders program, among others. 

A group from the British Consulate, including Consul General Fouzia Younis, also paid a visit and expressed interest in the Communitech-led Good AI coalition. The UK plans to hold the first global summit on AI safety this fall.

Later in August, U.S. Consul General Susan Crystal toured the Hub. She spoke of the value of cross-border relationship-building and expressed interest in the Communitech model for supporting founders and innovation.

Work space

The evolving nature of office work and space requirements was the subject of a story in the Waterloo Region Record. The local market continues to fluctuate as many companies experiment with hybrid models, according to the story. 

One of the people interviewed – Susan Brockhus-Strickler, Communitech’s Director of Building Operations and Tenancy – said tech companies have responded well to the variety of new space-rental options that Communitech has introduced in its Hub space since the end of the pandemic.

Paying it forward

Started by founders for founders, Communitech has always been an active member of the Waterloo Region community.

In that spirit, our IT team once again donated a number of surplus laptops to two student-focused programs in the region.

One set of laptops is supporting Temenos, a program launched by Camino Wellbeing + Mental Health, which helps high school students with special needs gain real-world experience with audio and music production.

Another set of laptops will be used by the ACE Robotics Team at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School in Cambridge for programming and business development. 

Other news 

  • OTTO Motors of Kitchener won a Gold Stevie Award for its OTTO Lifter autonomous forklift. The award recognizes the product’s innovative approach to manufacturing challenges and was also recognized as SupplyTech Breakthrough Material Handling Solution of the Year.
  • eSentire introduced its new MDR Agent, which enhances cybersecurity through deep learning technology, rapid threat containment and expert monitoring. The company also unveiled an open-source LLM Gateway framework, aiding security teams in governing the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) and enhancing control over AI innovation.
  • Vidyard alum Roger Orde has joined Waterloo-based ThinkLP as Chief Customer Officer. Larissa Currah, previously at Magnet Forensics, became Senior Director of People Operations.

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