The start-up scene in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) enjoys an excellent reputation. Most founders are drawn to the coastal cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, and Victoria on Vancouver Island. Because of its vibrant tech community, Vancouver is often referred to as Takeover. No wonder companies like Slack and Flickr saw the light of day here (see text below).
The University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Victoria (Uvik) often serve as incubators and provide start-up support through infrastructure and networking with experts and sponsors. UBC also has two seed funds that invest in UBC start-ups with high growth potential. The focus is on technology and social impact. Since the fund’s launch, it has invested in 22 start-up companies. These include Richmond-based Ideon Technology, which has developed X-ray technology that can be used to detect undeveloped metal and mineral deposits beneath Earth’s surface. The company has so far raised $2.4 million in four rounds of financing.
infrastructure monitoring by drones
UVic’s most recent success story involves Niricson Software, which in less than two years has raised just over $2 million in five rounds of funding and now employs 25 people. The company specializes in aerial surveillance of infrastructure. For this purpose, the founders have developed software that evaluates the data collected by flying drones in real time. The system provides detailed visual, thermal and acoustic analysis of concrete structures such as bridges, buildings or dams, allowing properties to be inspected more frequently, thereby improving maintenance. Based in Victoria, Niricson Software has operations in Canada, the US and Australia, where it is growing rapidly. As the company becomes more global, it expects to employ about a hundred people by the end of next year.
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