"There’s something for everyone on the ground in Victoria"

Plus, more growth for Women's Equity Lab.

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Briefing. In this issue, we'll tour the local social scene, find out where Women's Equity Lab is off to next, and look back at Animikii's 2022.

Here at Victoria Tech Journal, we're big fans of round numbers. Help us reach a tidy 1,200 subscribers by forwarding this email to a friend! And if you're not already subscribed, you can sign up by clicking here.

Victoria’s tech events kickstart new startups, products, and relationships

February's Health Tech Night, featuring Jordan Schley of Care2Talk. Photos: Jason Cridge

Talks of economic headwinds haven’t slowed down the local tech community. On paper, Victoria closed out last year ranking in the top 10 Canadian cities for venture capital, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. That’s 11 deals worth $109 million dollars — so what could be behind Victoria’s success?

Perhaps it’s the enthusiasm, networking, and relationships found at recent in-person events. This year, we’ve already seen local entrepreneurs pitch in the historic Craigdarroch castle, founders gather to talk about getting traction for their startups, or medical practitioners learn about innovation in healthtech. There’s an energy in the city thanks to leaders who are excited to build locally. And no matter the industry, there’s something for everyone on the ground in Victoria.

When you think of the occupations of people who build tech companies, software engineers, computer scientists, or folks with a background in business and finance may come to mind. Tech is often synonymous with the image of San Francisco and the Bay Area — the headquarters of companies such as Google and Meta, alongside many software startups born out of homes and basements.

But Victoria has a special quality that Silicon Valley doesn’t, said Junaid Ahmad, CEO and co-founder of JackRabbit Ops, an AI documentation software venture. “A big component of what Victoria has to offer is that we're not like [that],” he told Victoria Tech Journal. “[Victoria is] not just made up of fancy software companies — we have very socially driven or environmentally driven companies that use technology to amplify their ability.”

Read staff writer Allison Gacad's deep-dive on Victoria tech's event scene in our Scaleup Story Series, supported by VIATEC.

🏙️ Community catchup, powered by VIATEC

Celebrate International Women's Day with Rise Up: Women Leaders Making an Impact.

VIATEC is bringing a panel of powerful movers and shakers — folks who create meaningful change within their industries — to share their thoughts and experiences.

The diverse panel includes:

  • Anita Pawluk, CEO of RaceRocks

  • Sage Berryman, CEO and founder of Prosperity Pollinators

  • Erinn Pinkerton, CEO of BC Transit

  • Julie McGill, investor, advisor, and board director, VC & PE.

Join them for an informative and inspiring event on Wednesday, March 8, at 2:30 p.m.

📰 More Victoria innovation news

👩‍💻 Unchartered waters: Women’s Equity Lab, the Victoria-born organization that's Canada’s first all-female angel fund network, expanded in Atlantic Canada, Silicon Valley, and Manitoba. Learn more.

🚣 Choppy waters: Open Ocean Robotics co-founder and CEO Julie Angus joined CBC's Superior Morning to detail her experience rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, a trip that was formative in the origin story of her company. Listen now.

📝 Clean waters: Animikii, an Indigenous-owned tech company that builds websites and custom software for Indigenous organizations across Canada, "is in an important phase in its evolution as a company." It expands on why in its 2022 social impact report. Dive in.

🕴️ Tech jobs of the week

Find your next career:

Hiring in Victoria? Reply to this email and let us know!

📅 Upcoming events

Have an upcoming event? Reply to let us know.

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.