Victory Square Technologies Inc. Announces Private Placement by Strategic Investor Mehdi Khimji

Our member Victory Square Technologies has announced their decision to enter a subscription agreement with Mr. Mehdi Khimji. Victory Square has had many opportunities to work with qualified investors but none at the calibre of Mehdi Khimji. 

Mr. Khimji has agreed to purchase 6,666,667 units at a price of $0.75 per Unit.

"The private placement allows Victory Square, as an early proponent of Blockchain entrepreneurs and companies, to continue its efforts investing in the most promising and disruptive Blockchain-enabled opportunities." - Yahoo Finance

Supportbench makes it onto the Top 20 Most Affordable Help Desk Software on Capterra!

Our member Supportbench has been making a name for themselves in the Help Desk industry. Supportbench placed 16th on the Top 20 Most Affordable Held Desk Software list by Capterra. This placement is highly impressive considering the substantial amount of help desk software available.

"This performance shows the value of the amazing products and services offered by Supportbench, providing an all-in-one customer support system for small and medium businesses." - Digital Journal

FansUnite wins 2nd place Investors Award at the d10 Conference in Gibraltar!

The FansUnite team has been keeping busy travelling the world speaking at conferences and winning awards. The team recently came back from Gibraltar after winning the second place Investors Award at the d10 Conference. This was the 11th global edition of the d10 Conference. This conference is highly recognized in the world of Decentralized Technology as it brings together 1500+ leader to explore to future of FinTech, ICOs, Blockchain, and Sharing Economy. 

We were very proud to see our member FansUnit participate in the conference and win second place! 

Pinnguaq wins Best Social Enterprise at the Startup Canada Awards in Ottawa 

Our member Pinnguap has been reaching major milestones and receiving major awards!

A month after receiving the award for Best Social Enterprise Startup, Pinnguaq Association was selected as Best Social Enterprise at the Startup Canada Grand Finale.

Pinnguaq is the organization behind the te(a)ch program, addressing the particular technology and skills challenges facing youth in Nunavut. Among 13 delivery partners for the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools (CFS) program in each province and territory, Pinnguaq also operates the CFS program in Nunavut that supplies the computers to the te(a)ch program.

The te(a)ch program brings together a team of technical experts, curriculum developers, mental health workers and youth ambassadors from the north and south to work together on an online infrastructure that includes 100 lessons of curriculum to teach programming, game design, engineering and computer science from an introductory to an advanced level.

Lendified Secures $60 Million From ClearFlow to Increase its Small Business Lending Capacity

Our alumni Lendified, a online based lender providing working capital loans to small business,  has partnered with ClearFlow Commercial Finance to increase its lending capacity. ClearFlow is providing Lendified with a $60 million credit facility to fund loans delivered through the Lendified website. This increases Lendified’s lending capacity to $85 million! 

Koho made it onto the Top 50 Digital Only Banks Ranking

The Financial IT magazine released a survey of digital banks in hope of identifying global pioneers of digital financial services. Their results were presented into a ranking of 50 banks. Our alumni Koho made it onto the top 50 digital only banks! 

Koho is a digital platform for day-to-day banking transactions that include direct deposits, bill payments and electronic money transfers. The Koho Visa Card is a pre-paid Visa card which you can use wherever Visa is accepted. The company is 3 years old and already making a strong name for itself. 

Read more. 

 

HRx Technology Featured on The BCIC Tech is Everywhere Channel

Tech is Everywhere is podcast hosted by Tarah Ferguson at BCIC. The podcast channel features the BC’s ever-growing tech sector by presenting episodes on tech entrepreneurs and non-traditional tech companies about how technology has helped innovate and grow their business. 

One of their latest episodes featured our alumni HRx Technology. HRx Technology is a startup that provides technology services to help reduce unconscious biases from hiring process, support diverse teams, and help recruit and retain the right talents. 

Listen to the podcast.

Koho Raises an $8 million Funding Round from Portag3 Ventures.

Our alumni company Koho hit a major milestone as they finished raising an $8 million funding round from Portage3 Ventures. 

Koho is a platform that provides users with insights into their spending habits, real-time purchase updates, and financial services like e-transfers, access to 8,000 fee-free ATMs, and making purchases with its Koho card.

The company is growing and making new additions to its board of directors, including Power Financial SVP and Portag3 Ventures executive chairman Paul Desmarais III; Portag3 president Adam Felesky; and Wealthsimple co-founder and CEO Michael Katchen.

Read more.

 

FansUnite announces their token offering at the World Blockchain Forum

Our alumni FansUnite recently returned from the World Blockchain Forum in London. FansUnite is revolutionizing the sports betting industry by harnessing the power of blockchain technology to provide cheaper, more secure, verifiable and transparent betting. At the forum, FansUnite took the opportunity to officially announced their token offering as they look to bring sports betting to the blockchain.

CEO Darius Eghdami: “Discussing the evolution of the FansUnite platform with FansUnite members throughout our European tour has been extremely satisfying. While we are proud of our Canadian roots and the growing technology scene in Vancouver, British Columbia, the wealth of knowledge and passion that our European community possesses has been exhilarating to experience.”

Read more.

myBestHelper Partners with Wave Accounting to Reduce Pressure on "Sandwiched" Families

Congratulations are in order to celebrate our alumni, myBestHelper, and their new partnership with Wave Accounting. 

myBestHelper is a tech company that helps people live life well. They invent tech that supports families who are increasingly disconnected, struggling to care for kids and elders which leads to stresses that reduce happiness and productivity and impact health. 

After listening to user feedback, myBestHelper found that most families struggle with doing payroll as it is both challenging and time-consuming. 

Their new partnership with Wave helps their users to simplify the process of paying their caregiver through automated payroll. 

Great work to Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill and the myBestHelper team for this new accomplishment!

For more details, check this out.

Congratulations to RunGo, TalentMarketPlace & Virtro for Advancing in the New Ventures BC Competition!

Three startups founded by our very own Launch Academy members and alumni have advanced to the next round of the New Ventures BC Competition!

RunGo placed in the Top 16 and will be advancing directly into Round 3. RunGo is a navigation app for runners the helps runners explore new routes through turn-by-turn voice directions. 

 

TalentMarketplace and Virtro will be pitching again in Round 2.5, going head to head with 27 other teams to try and secure one of the 9 remaining spots in Round 3. TalentMarketPlace is a curated talent pool of project professionals (project managers, coordinators, and business analysts) available for hire. Virtro is a rapid growth start-up focused on delivering rich content within the Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality space.

We're so proud of all they have accomplished and wish them good luck on the next rounds!

AMA with Hussein Hallak - Answering Your Most Pressing Startup Questions

Hussein Hallak, Launch Academy’s General Manager, hosted an intimate session where both beginning and seasoned entrepreneurs had the chance to ask their most urgent questions. The road to success as an entrepreneur is never easy or clear. Hussein joined Launch Academy driven by his unwavering commitment to help entrepreneurs break through the daily challenges with the right tools, mindset, strategies, and resources for success that can be applied immediately to create results.

It was a great night of thoughtful discussion, networking and learning. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

A Crash Course in Funding For Your Startup! [EVENT]

A couple days ago, we invited Erik Ashdown to Launch Academy to speak about non-dilutive startup funding.

Erik Ashdown is the director of business development at Boast Capital. Previous to Boast, Erik was the founder & CEO of indiloop a music technology company which raised $1M+ in capital, in addition, to take advantage of various funding programs including CMF, IRAP, SR&ED, and other sources of non-dilutive funding.

During the session, Erik shared with us different funding programs, including the eligibility requirements and the potential value. We ended off with a dynamic Q&A session.

Thank you Erik for providing the startup community with an informative and engaging presentation!

Henry Bee (Launch Academy Member) to be Presenting at Plug and Play EXPO

Henry Bee, CEO and Co-Founder of Cassia Research and Launch Academy member will be presenting at the Plug and Play EXPO on June 6th. The audience will include more than 200+ corporate executives from Credit Suisse, Bank of the West, Capital One, USAA, Intuit, Synchrony Financial, Deutsche Bank and US Bank as well as investors and more than 300 entrepreneurs. Check out this article co-written by Henry Bee discussing the future of FinTech. 

Congratulations to Henry for this fantastic opportunity!

PlentyOfFish's VP Revenue Optimization, Kimberly Kaplan Shares Strategies and Tactics to High Impact Revenue Optimization [LAUNCH TALK]

This month’s Launch Talk featured Kimberly Kaplan of PlentyOfFish. She spoke about revenue optimization, which is the strategic management of pricing, inventory, demand and distribution channels to maximize revenue growth over the long term.

As one of the earliest employees at PlentyOfFish, Kimberly possesses immense insight into the life cycle of a startup and what it takes to grow and emerge as a leader.

With 8 + years with the company, Kimberly’s responsibilities within PlentyOfFish have evolved over time, from business development and monetization to a focus on growth and product development. Kimberly has played a key role in propelling the business forward with over 100 million members which in turn lead to it's acquisition to Match Group for $575 million dollars.

During the 2-hour session, Kimberly shared insights on:

  • Pricing strategies
  • Managing multiple revenue streams—across departments
  • Eliminating ineffective spending and maximizing impact
  • Strategic planning
  • Customer relationship management

We were also joined by Emily Key who moderated the conversation. Emily is a Vancouver-based operations strategist currently running full-throttle as Director of Operations at Bench Accounting, which in just a few years has grown from a few founders to a team of 300.

Thank you to Kimberly and Emily for the informative and dynamic session as well as everyone who came out! For more event photos, check out this album on our Facebook Page.

Want to join us at our next Launch Talk? Check out this page for upcoming events.

Life After You Launch [LAUNCH TALK]

 

In celebration of Launch Academy’s 5 year anniversary, we brought back some of our original startups to talk about life after you launch! Building a startup is no easy feat, it’s rollercoaster ride that will take you through high highs and low lows. Passion gets you through the hard patches of being an entrepreneur, but what about the rest of the journey? We heard from Launch Academy alumni & successful entrepreneurs as they shared their experiences and candid stories. The lively discussion was moderated by our very own Sam Chan, Launch Academy's Program Manager. 

Our panel of experts shared insights on:

  • Raising money or self-funding your startup
  • Bootstrapping to profitability
  • Making their first million in revenue
  • Growing from 0 to 45 employees
  • Competing with 800lb gorillas
  • International growth and customer support
  • Raising millions of dollars in Silicon Valley and Vancouver
  • Their biggest failures
  • Transitioning from being an entrepreneur to a CEO
  • Managing stress and exhaustion

Our amazing panel included the following successful Launch Academy alumni:

Alexandra Greenhill - Co-Founder & CEO of myBestHelper, the innovative tech company that helps people live life well. The company has received 22 awards and recognitions in three years. Alexandra has been a mentor and a judge in many Hackathons and Startup Weekends.

Greg Smith - Co-Founder & CEO of Thinkific. Greg is a lawyer, instructor and lifelong student who has taught thousands of students online and helped others create their own online courses. As a founder of Thinkific, Greg's goal is to help create and deliver amazing eLearning experiences.

James Clift - Co-Founder & CEO of WorkStory, a company that builds technology that powers career success. Their flagship product is VisualCV, the leading online resume and portfolio creation website. VisualCV.com has helped over 1.5 million people in dozens of countries worldwide make a career move. 

Jayesh Parmar - Co-Founder & CEO of Picatic. Jayesh is a serial entrepreneur with over 19 years of event industry experience. He started his first company in 1998 and has been building companies ever since. Jayesh is listed as one of the world's top 10 Tech Entrepreneurs Disrupting The Event Industry and is the winner of SISO breakthrough event technology award. 

Matt Smith - Co-Founder of Later.com, a visual content marketing platform that makes you great at visual marketing. You can aggregate, curate, schedule and optimize visual marketing campaigns across all visual social media networks and it's used by over 400,000 people and some of the world's most well-known brands including Redbull, Forbes, MTV, WSJ and Armani.

Thank you to the 5 panelists for your amazing insights and everyone for joining us! Check out this album on our Facebook Page for more photos of the event.

Want to join us at our next Launch Talk? Check out this page for upcoming events.

Jerome Ng (Launch Academy Alumni) Joins 500 Startups Canada

Congratulations to Launch Academy Alumni, Jerome Ng, for joining 500 Startups Canada. He is the newest Venture Associate added to their team and we could not be more proud of all the work he has accomplished.

Jerome has also been a 500 Startups founder and mentor. His new focus will be managing the 500 Startups community in Vancouver as well as finding companies for 500 Startups to invest in.