Recap: InBC at INNOVATEwest 

April 30, 2024

Recently, the InBC team attended and participated in the first INNOVATEwest conference, one of the largest gatherings of technology and business leaders on the west coast.  

Throughout the conference, we enjoyed meeting with numerous entrepreneurs and getting to know all the innovations happening in British Columbia. We also engaged with investors and other organizations advancing innovation in our province. 

Meeting Entrepreneurs on the Expo Floor 

The InBC team on the expo floor at INNOVATEwest conference
The InBC team meeting with entrepreneurs on the expo floor 

InBC hosted a booth on the expo floor where entrepreneurs, investors and innovation ecosystem developers could visit to learn more about how we are investing in companies with strong connections to B.C. Companies were also able to register in advance for one-on-one meetings with members of our investment team.  

We thank all the companies that engaged with us. If you are raising a Series A in the next six months to a year, and believe our objectives align with yours, we encourage you to explore a potential investment from InBC by getting the conversation started here.

For earlier stage companies, we invite you to stay connected. We look forward to your growth and hope to hear from you in the future. 

Judging the Grizzly Pursuit Pitch Finale 

Judging panel on stage atthe Grizzly Pursuit Pitch Finale at INNOVATEwest conference
InBC’s CIO, Leah Nguyen, on the judging panel of the Grizzly Pursuit Finale

Throughout the conference we watched startup companies pitch in the Grizzly Pursuit competition presented by National Bank and MaRS, for a chance to advance to the finale.  

Our CIO, Leah Nguyen, sat on the judging panel of the Grizzly Pursuit Finale alongside Chris Neumann, General Partner of Panache Ventures, Marvin Liao, Partner of Diaspora Ventures, Omi Velasco, Principal of Graphite Ventures and Wade Preston, Director of Tech & Innovation Banking of National Bank of Canada.  

The finalists Autograph Analytics, ecologicca,, Eureka DevSecOps, and Verano.AI did great jobs sharing their business visions on the main stage in front of a large audience.  

Following a short deliberation, the judges advanced the final two, and Verano.AI, for conference attendees to vote on the winner. Congratulations to for presenting a winning pitch and walking away with the $20,000 cash prize. We also applaud all the finalists and companies that participated.  

Moderating the RBCx Investor Breakfast 

Panel speakers on stage at the RBCx Investor Breakfast at INNOVATEwest conference
InBC’s CEO, Jill Earthy, moderating the RBCx Investor Breakfast panel 

Our CEO, Jill Earthy, moderated the RBCx Investor Breakfast, co-sponsored by VoPay and Polymath. We heard from an engaging panel including Sid Paquette, Head of RBCx, Boris Wertz, Founder and General Partner of Version One Ventures, and Lindsay Smylie, Director of Alberta Plug and Play Tech Center, as they discussed the investment landscape, funding strategies, market trends and predictions for technology and innovation in North America. 

Key takeaways and predictions: 

  • The market will continue to be slow this year with smaller average deal sizes but capital will flow, and there are early signs of more potential exit opportunities  
  • There will be continued focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and cleantech, with recognition that we need filter through the hype of AI versus its real-world practical applications 

If you are interested in investing alongside InBC to drive both financial and impact returns, send an inquiry to  

InBC engages in the community to meet with entrepreneurs. It is always our pleasure to witness the amount of talent and strong innovations existing in our province. We extend a thank you to INNOVATEwest and Cube Business Media for bringing a world-class conference to the west coast and helping to propel entrepreneurship and business in British Columbia.   

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