Victoria tech’s female leaders have us StemStruck

Plus, Origen Air and Save Da Sea receive national recognition.



Welcome to this week’s Sunday Briefing brought to you by Acetech. In this issue, you'll meet a pair of female founders who are literally changing the game, discover a big raise for a local SaaS company, and learn from failure at VIATEC’s upcoming event.ace

-James, @jimmermatthews

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StemStruck showcases a “runway of possibilities”

Origen Air's Susan Blanchet made it look easy

“What you need to remember is that this is not their everyday job,” Tessa McLoughlin, owner and founder of Kwench and StemStruck's MC, says as a disclaimer. Victoria has converged on The Atrium for a rather unique fundraiser: a fashion show, which has some of the biggest and brightest tech founders acting as the models. Founder and CEO? That’s the easy part. The runway was unchartered waters.

But with every hoot, holler, and round of thunderous applause — all of which were extremely plentiful (particularly for the pockets adorning an outfit worn by Flytographer founder Nicole Smith) — those tech execs navigated the stage with ease. It was the exact juxtaposition StemStruck hoped to provide, and did so with an impressive amount of fun. 

The women in STEM fundraiser, presented by Women’s Equity Lab (WEL) in support of Island Women in Science and Technology (iWIST), raised money that will go towards establishing a scholarship through iWIST. By removing financial barriers, the award will allow more women to access rewarding opportunities in STEM. Claire Skillen, the organization’s past board chair, put it perfectly: the stage at StemStruck offers a “runway of possibilities.” 

“If you want to be a teacher,” Skillen continues, “be a teacher. If you have the drive to go into another industry, go into that industry. But we want to make [STEM] a viable, exciting option, too.” That path has become increasingly available for the Island’s future female leaders thanks to organizations like WEL and iWIST. The winner may even be cast in a fashion show themselves someday. 


Acetech Leadership Summit 2023

Join Acetech at the Summit - tickets are selling fast! 

With an impressive lineup of speakers, CEO war stories, tons of networking opportunities, and top-notch entertainment and food, this is an event you don't want to miss. Invest in yourself and take your leadership skills to the next level at the 3-day Acetech Leadership Summit in beautiful Whistler, BC. 

🏙️ Community catchup, powered by VIATEC

Say cheers to a new year of successes and failures with F*ckUp Night Volume 15.

Returning for another season, Victoria's favourite #fails night will start again on March 22. There's nothing like watching accomplished, confident people share their still-raw, professional disasters with a crowd of 250 community members.

Better than crying. Cheaper than therapy. 

F*ckUp Nights is a global movement where stories of failed businesses and projects are told, questioned, and celebrated. It started in 2012 in Mexico City and has since arrived in Victoria.

Three "f*ckuppers" will have seven minutes each to tell their story, and up to 10 minutes for Q&A. What was the project? What went wrong? What did they learn? What would they do differently? 

📰 More Victoria innovation news

👩‍💻 It’s only natural: Victoria-based businesses Save Da Sea and Origen Air, and their respective founders Aki Kaltenbach and Susan Blanchet, were named amongst Natural Products Canada’s Game Changers. Get the full list.

💰 It’s for your health: Local health-focused SaaS company Semaphore Solutions announced a significant investment from Cypress Ridge Capital, a healthcare-focused growth equity firm. Learn more.

📺 It’s on TV: VecimaNetworks, the local software company that came up clutch during the most recent World Cup, announced a new video-on-demand platform. Continue.

🕴️ Tech jobs of the week

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Have BCIT Computing students help with your IT challenges

Do you need a tech solution, automation tool, or prototype? BCIT’s Industry Sponsored Student Projects program puts students to work on your software and IT projects. 

Next submission deadline is March 23 – learn more!

📅 Upcoming events

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