Victoria health tech nights kick-off this Friday

Meet the entrepreneurs bringing together innovators in the name of well-being



Welcome to this week’s Sunday Digest, brought to you by Acetech. In this issue, meet the entrepreneurs bringing together Victoria's health innovators, the tech firm doubling the size of its office space, and the startup moving small businesses online. Have a great day, and keep an eye on your inbox for our inaugural Thursday feature.

Cognito Health: Bringing together health and tech innovators

The negative impact of the pandemic on peoples’ mental well-being is no secret. In a recent national survey, 54 percent of respondents said that their mental health has worsened since March of 2020. At the same time, reports indicate that Canadians are struggling to access the services they need to treat issues like depression and anxiety.

While the issue impacts Canadians broadly, this situation hit close to home for pharmacist Jason Cridge (pictured above right) just over a year ago when a family member experienced a mental health crisis. “There’s got to be something we can do about this,” he said to himself. It became an inciting incident for the story of his Victoria-based startup, Cognito, which recently revealed that it raised $1.1 million in pre-seed funding.

Later this week, in an effort to bring together “the greatest healthcare professionals in Victoria with the greatest tech people,” Cognito is sponsoring Health Tech Nights. Register to join Cridge and co-founder Armon Arani (above left) for an evening of networking, recruiting, and good company. 

📰 Recent Victoria tech headlines

🏢 Back to the future: At a time when many companies are embracing a remote workforce, tech services provider Think Communications is moving into the former A&B Sound building at Yates and Broad streets, reports CTV News. It’s a doubling of the firm’s office footprint. For managing partner Glen Buhler, the choice of a heritage building has special meaning: "We’re all about going into an organization, whether it’s been around for 100 years or 20 years,” he said, “and really kind of reinvigorating them with technology."

📈 Economy builder: The Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, otherwise known as VIATEC, was founded in 1989. The organization’s impact on the Victoria innovation economy has been indelible. As Amanda Wilson of the South Island Prosperity Partnership notes in a recent feature with VIATEC CEO Dan Gunn, “technology is now Greater Victoria’s #1 industry with a $5.22 billion economic impact and over 16,775 employees across 995 high-tech companies.” Moreover, it’s seen rapid growth over the past two years despite global economic turmoil. For more insights, read the full conversation.


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🕴️ Tech jobs of the week

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🔎 Weekly startup spotlight: Instant Domains

Instant Domains is a Victoria-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup that offers an easy way for businesses to go online. With its product, in less time than it takes to create a social media profile, businesses can buy a domain, launch a site and start collecting revenue. Founded in 2005 by CEO Beau Hartshorne, an ex-Facebook engineer, and CTO Dirkjan Ochtman, the startup recently took part in the prestigious, well-known Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator. Learn more.

📅 Upcoming events

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Have something or someone we should know about? Reply or email [email protected] so we can work together to spotlight the lesser-known stories of Victoria's tech ecosystem.