Waterloo Tech Highlights for May 2021

Our goal is to provide you with a monthly primer on significant news events from private Waterloo-based technology companies in 5 minutes or less.

Intellijoint received authorization to market and sell Intellijoint HIP in Japan.

Mappedin has more than doubled its number of customers since the start of the year, as they expand their mapping platform beyond retail.

Nicoya outlined the progress on a rapid, portable COVID test kit. They hope to be in market with FDA approval by the end of the year.

Rapid Novor is the first to successfully sequence polyclonal antibodies directly from proteins without DNA sequencing data using only proteomics. [ed: Yes, I copied this because I have no idea what it means.]

RouteThis launched Resolve, a tool to help ISPs debug networks.

ApplyBoard published interesting data about international student interest in studying in the USA. 72% decline during COVID and now a 300% increase.

KA Imaging has begun signing distribution deals in the US and Mexico.

Chris’ Thoughts

One of my best moments came at about 12 years old when I quit the Toronto Maple Leafs and started cheering for whoever they played because they traded my favourite player at the time. My worst came years later, believing in Apple and investing a foolish amount of our savings in 1999 at about $1/share and riding it out for two agonizing years before giving up at about $0.25/share. The stories make me look alternatingly smart and dumb but those conclusions come from what happened afterwards, not on the wisdom of the call at the time.

This I know for sure: It's hard to know when to quit.

Maybe it's the hardest thing to get right. The decision usually provides for hindsight that leaves many to second guess their decision. Whether it's a losing stock investment, a relationship you've spent a lot of time on, an exercise routine that's not working or a job with a boss who just makes you hate the world, deciding when to press on and when to give up can involve as much agony as the problem itself.

There are professions that make these decisions routinely, and probably better than most - successful trauma and cancer doctors, forest fire fighters, and baseball general managers share that ability to frequently make the right call and know when to switch from playing offense to defence. I've often wondered if their skill translates outside their field. Does a great general manager make a great commodity trader with some training?

If you're not familiar with it, Thinking in Bets does a really great job talking about the tools poker players and others use to help people think about their decision-making process. It won't help you know when to quit but it will help you understand and avoid hindsight bias to prevent compounding bad decisions.

In the end, I have no magic formula to offer, other than seek the advice of others who are invested in your best outcome and avoid people who think they're smart but are really just lucky. If you've got a secret, I'd love to hear it.

Have a great June and thanks for reading!

Waterloo Tech Highlights is a communication initiative run by a group of experienced investors and strategists who would like to receive and share real news about the vibrant Waterloo, Ontario tech community.

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Chris Wormald @cwormald