Another year is almost over and a new decade is just on the horizon. Here’s a look back at what has made this year a memorable one.
At Alacrity Canada
2019 brought with it a lot of firsts.
Back in May, Alacrity held our inaugural Turn the Tables event at our Victoria headquarters. We welcomed 28 companies and 24 investors from across North America. The investors pitched to the entrepreneurs by sharing a brief description of the firm they represented, the deal size they typically look for, their investment thesis, and what they can bring to the table for the companies. This format introduced an interesting spin on investor-company relations, “turning the tables” on the traditional pitch process.
This summer held big news for one of our first portfolio companies. We were pleased to announce the merger of Tutela Technologies with Comlink Data. Tutela first joined the Alacrity Canada portfolio through our Entrepreneurship @ UVic program back in 2011. The four co-founders Brennen, Hunter, Tony and Dave, began with humble beginnings, working out of a small closet in a UVic engineering lab all the way through to building a world leading company in mobile data analytics. We’re proud of the team and excited to see their continued growth under Comlink Data.
In September this year, we launched the pilot cohort of our digital marketing bootcamp, an in-person bootcamp that prepares students for real-world digital marketing careers. This is a 12 week intensive learning program is provided out of Victoria BC, and into several of our newly established regional partner locations across the province. This program involves daily experiential learning as well as weekly mentorship sessions with marketing experts to equip students with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to thrive as a marketers. Within just two weeks after the end of our first cohort, 50% of our graduates were employed by technology companies. We are preparing for a much larger cohort come January 2020 and look forward to the future success of our students.
In October, we also hosted our first engineering and tech-centric recruitment night in partnership with the University of Victoria. Both students and local technology companies were in attendance and spent the evening networking and making career plans for 2020. The event was such a success that we plan to repeat it annually.
The Alacrity Cleantech Scaleup program achieved major milestones in 2019. The number of companies participating in the program raised to 26 and we have actively worked with government and businesses within the Mexico, India and Kazakhstan markets. With our support, our portfolio companies have signed deals in the north of 10 million CAD.
We held our first inaugural Alacrity CEO Cleantech Roundtable which brought industry leaders and governmental agencies together with an aim to initiate industry-wide communication and networking. Alacrity has partnered with SDTC and all three of the companies which we nominated for the Pilot Seed Funding Program have been granted over 300 thousand CAD. Our team also joined the Cleantech Forum Asia event in Singapore and travelled to India to join Canada’s mission for water treatment in October.
In order to bring more awareness into the industry as our program continues to grow, we launched our first ever Cleantech podcast, Cleantech Talks, alongside the second season of Between 2 Term Sheets. Cleantech Talks features conversations with companies that are working to save the world through their expertise and innovation.
Our Startup Visa program proudly supported eight startup visa companies in 2019. These companies offer a variety of solutions, such as multi-media content platforms, e-commerce and online marketing, platform and software as a service, smart home solutions, and mobile and web-based application businesses.
Finally our ecommerce program witnessed and supported company Goldilocks through a year of 200% growth. Goldilocks is a local company in Victoria, BC that has become an industry leader and advocate for using eco-friendly products, eliminating single-use plastics, and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. We are excited about what they will accomplish in 2020.
In our backyard
In a recent report, CBRE ranked Victoria as the 7th strongest tech hub in Canada. Victoria also ranks first in the small market category, and is listed as one of the strongest tech hubs in North America. The Times Colonist contributes this recent bump in the list to Victoria’s manageable costs and a strong pool of talent.
Just last week VIATEC Announced its Women’s Entrepreneurship Program. This news comes after successfully securing a $475,000 CAD investment from the Digital Technology Supercluster. This new program will consist of accelerator cohorts that will be created by women, for women, to boost the aid and inclusion of female founders in tech.
We hope that all of our partners, community members, network and portfolio companies a safe and happy holiday season.
Alacrity Canada is a venture builder that supports driven entrepreneurs. We help create thriving companies & connect them to our global network of expert investors & mentors.