Waterloo Tech Highlights for April 2022

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.


VueReal raised US$14M in a round led by Cycle Capital and including TDK Ventures, Citro, EDC and BDC. They’re developing micro-LED displays.

Extra Dimension Games raised $1.4M from Sisu Game Ventures.

Intelliculture raised $1.7M of equity in a round led by Emmertech Ventures along with participation from 519 Growth Fund and others. (Missed this last month with apologies.)

Alora received an undisclosed investment from Toyota Ventures. Continuing a trend of polluters investing in carbon capture companies.

Smile now has over 100,000 merchants using their loyalty platform.

Equator Studios has grown their monthly active users by 3x in the past four months, exceeding 1,800 in April.

Intellijoint received a second PO from a Canadian hospital in as many months, landing a $1M order from Grand River hospital. Cool (and graphic) showcase of a surgery plan using their new VIEW platform here.

Plum has found themselves at ground level in the war for talent. They’ve seen 100% growth in their pipeline in the past six months and they won a 3 year renewal and expansion from Hyundai Motors and Scotiabank.

Mappedin signed a multi-year six-figure pertnership with their second big Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) vendor.

SSIMWAVE signed a deal with an esports company to embed contextual ads in live events without impairing video quality.

Auvik acquired MetaGeek, a company that builds tools to troubleshoot Wifi networks. The Boise company’s founder has a good story arc in his blog post here.

NERv produced a clinical study showcasing the system’s ability to detect complications 6 days prior to the current standard of care.

Cavelo hired Kris Shoemaker as head of channel sales, building up a channel program to complement their direct sales efforts.



Chris’ Thoughts


A few book ideas this month to put on your reading / Audible list.

Hillbilly Elegy

Listened to this on a recent road trip across America. Almost unbelievable, but a completely true story with a powerful message of redemption and rescue. Great to listen on a road trip and like lots of books, better to read with a group who have a variety of opinions since the answers are both scarce and don’t fall within the bounds of polarizing political dogma. There’s a movie as well, and while it’s good, it lacks the gravity to leave me really thinking about how to help a middle-class who is increasingly being left behind. Found out after the author has gone a bit wild, but it’s still a great coherent piece to struggle through.

This is How they Tell Me the World Ends

If you’re looking for something to get a digitally naïve parent or friend for Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day, I’d recommend this book. Read it yourself first. I have invested countless hours teaching my parents about how to be safe online and gotten them on a password management system only to have them get ransomwared this past month. This book paints the picture of the global cyber warfare system that has developed.

It’s a good book about an increasingly important topic that’s becoming a cost of doing business for the “have” economies and companies of the world as many groups look to disrupt us in an asymmetric manner. Like many books, it trails off at the end, and gets a bit too political but I’d make it required reading for really understanding where geopolitics is headed.

Loonshots

It’s a better version of The Innovator’s Dilemma and unlike most business books, it gets better as it goes. I think Innovators Dilemma gets lost in an academic distinction between sustaining and breakthrough innovations. Loonshots is a good book to read along with a leadership team since it features content that creates a practical discussion on how to practically foster innovation within an execution culture. Better than I thought it would be.

What You Do Is Who You Are

I like Ben Horowitz because he understands the power of story to teach. Good books entertain with story and then spend a short time making the point, since the point is usually embedded in the story. While I think a lot of leaders talk about culture as a distraction from winning, the fact is you can’t continue to win without building an intentional culture to support it.



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Chris Wormald @cwormald