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Canadian Space Technology Startup SkyWatch Raises $7.5M USD ($10M CAD) to Make Satellite Data Easily Accessible
SkyWatch Space Applications Inc., a Waterloo-based space technology startup, announced it has completed a $7.5M USD ($10M CAD) Series A round of financing to provide companies with affordable and reliable access to satellite data. Bullpen Capital led the investment round with participation from existing investors, Space Capital, Golden Ventures, Techstars Ventures, SK Ventures, and Angel Round Capital, and new investors BDC Industrial, Clean, and Energy Technology Venture Fund. The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for SkyWatch, which saw its roster of clients grow more than 10x, highlighting the appetite for Earth Observation data from the private sector. The market for Earth Observation satellite data and services is projected to represent a $56B cumulative revenue opportunity over the next 10 years, growing to $7.2B annually in 2028 (source: NSR). Arguably, the largest hurdle in achieving this potential is reaching new, non-traditional customers in the private sector.
National Access Cannabis Corp., today announced that it has entered into an agreement (the "Agreement") with Patricia Gertrude Donnelly, one of the winners of the Ontario cannabis store lottery, relating to a new Kitchener cannabis retail location. META anticipates that this will be the first legal cannabis store to open in Kitchener, Ontario. The winner submitted 589 Fairway Road South in Kitchener as the store location. Pending regulatory approval by the AGCO, and pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, the retail location will be independently owned and operated by the winner, with Meta Growth acting as a consulting partner and service provider, for a 5-year term, to support the store's operations. "The Kitchener store is an opportunity to introduce the city's cannabis consumers to the new Meta Cannabis Co. brand," said Mark Goliger, CEO of Meta Growth (photo). "With our first to market advantage in the region, combined with our newly announced Toronto META location, we have a solid foundation for a successful rollout of META stores across the province."
Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) is offering eligible organizations that are working to do more good in Waterloo Region, Guelph, Centre Wellington, Stratford, Perth South, and Woodstock the opportunity to access non-repayable capital through the Investment Readiness Program. This is part of a national initiative led by Community Foundations of Canada and funded by the Government of Canada that will provide $50 million across Canada to seed and grow social enterprise. The Investment Readiness Program is open to a diverse range of organizations and businesses including charities, non-profits, co-ops and for-profit social enterprises. The program can provide $10,000 to $100,000 in non-repayable capital to design, plan, measure, and scale social enterprises in order to get ready to accept investment.
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board announced plans to maintain its St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres campus at 80 Young Street in downtown Kitchener, potentially until 2035. The opportunity to remain at the very heart of the Waterloo Region community comes as a result of a new lease agreement with the Catholic religious order, the Congregation of the Resurrection (CR) — which has owned the site for more than 150 years. The school board’s current 25-year lease with the CRs was set to expire in 2020. St. Louis has operated at the site since 2002. Catholic educational institutions (most notably the former St. Jerome’s High School) have existed there since 1866.
Equitable Life of Canada is turning 100 this year, and we’re kicking off a year of exciting centennial celebrations with our employees, partners, clients and communities! Equitable Life began operations November 19, 1920, as the Ontario Equitable Life and Accident Insurance Company in a rented, two-room office on King Street in Waterloo, Ontario. Founder Sydney Tweed used a rented typewriter and purchased $150 worth of furniture for the space that he shared with a clerk. Over the last 100 years, through significant historic and financial challenges – two World Wars, the Great Depression, economic crises in the 80s and 90s, regulatory challenges and significant growth and expansion in the face of stiff industry competition – Equitable Life of Canada has become one of Canada’s largest and most financially stable mutual companies. With more than 750 employees and a network of 10,000 independent producers across Canada, our head office is still in Waterloo – just 1.5 kilometres from where we started.
The Guelph Chamber of Commerce announced that the Guelph Young Professionals Network (YPN) will now be housed as a working committee under the organization. The Guelph Chamber is also thrilled to announce that RLB LLP, a local and leading-edge accounting firm is set to be the official YPN sponsor. The Guelph YPN has been an active non-profit in the community for several years, and is known for monthly networking events that invite young professionals, students and entrepreneurs together to expand their networks and get plugged into the local business community.
BPA’s counterpart replacement BPS can hinder heart function within minutes of a single exposure, according to a new University of Guelph study. The study is the first to show the instant effects bisphenol S (BPS) can have on the heart. “We expected to find similar effects from BPS as we have with BPA, but not at the speed that it worked,” said biomedical sciences professor Glen Pyle (photo), who conducted the study with former master’s student Melissa Ferguson. “This replacement chemical seems to be more potent.” Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in plastic products, was banned from baby bottles in Canada in 2010 over concerns that it may leach into foods and cause hormone-related side effects. More manufacturers are now using BPS as a replacement in their products and labelling them as BPA-free. When mice were given bisphenol BPA or BPS in amounts that mimicked typical human levels, their heart function worsened, especially in females, within minutes of exposure.
First-year Business Administration - Marketing (co-op) student Kara Fleiszig placed first in the fashion and retail management stream at a recent DECA Edge case competition held at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. She was just one of two college students participating in the event. DECA is an internationally renowned non-profit organization with more than 200,000 members that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools, universities and colleges around the globe. Fleiszig discovered DECA in grade 11 when one of her business teachers suggested she join her high school chapter. She was hooked after the first practice and found herself loving activities like “Throw me a pitch” where she had to pull a random product, target market and price and then develop a pitch on the spot.
How can professionals stand out from the crowd and score a job this year? According to a new survey, senior managers in Canada are most impressed when candidates provide access to an online portfolio or personal website (43 per cent), highlight accomplishments in an infographic (39 per cent) and add personal details unrelated to the position (e.g., hobbies) on their resume (39 per cent). The tactics that hurt workers' chances most are including cartoon images like Bitmojis or caricatures (42 per cent) and using colourful fonts or backgrounds (23 per cent) on application materials.
According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released today, the aggregate1 price of a home in Canada increased 2.2 per cent year-over-year to $648,544 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Similar to the third quarter, potential buyers are continuing to come back to the real estate market. In the first half of 2019, buyers had remained largely at the sidelines waiting to gauge the potential impact of the federal mortgage stress test. "We have successfully navigated the first significant national housing market correction since the Great Recession a decade ago," said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. "While the drop in the number of properties bought and sold during the 2018-19 downturn was large, the value of homes in Canada held up remarkably well, with only minor, single-digit declines in the areas of Ontario and B.C. that had experienced the most aggressive price inflation in recent years, and of course those regions still suffering from a downturn in the oil and gas sector. "The federal government has signaled that changes could come to the mortgage stress test mechanism in 2020," said Soper. "The stress test pushed people out of real estate markets across Canada temporarily. For the most part, buyers have adjusted, yet it still represents a significant hurdle as families pursue the dream of owning their own home."
The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) has just released its most recent residential real estate market statistics for the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), based on the real estate brokers’ Centris provincial database. In total, 3,533 residential sales were concluded in December 2019, a 26 per cent increase compared to December of last year. "Montreal's residential real estate market had an exceptional year in 2019. Momentum continued into December as sales jumped by 26 per cent, thereby suggesting there will be a dynamic start to the year 2020," said Julie Saucier, president and chief executive officer of the QPAREB. “The real issue is the constant and widespread drop in active listings in all sectors of the city, which further accentuates the already significant pressure on prices," she added.
Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis, Global Earth Observation Market, reveals that heightened demand for enhanced intelligence, entry of cheaper imagery products from small-satellite operators and the development of integration platforms leveraging artificial intelligence and big-data capabilities are key trends transforming the earth observation industry. While surveillance and analytics solutions are being derived from massive data mines delivering diverse solutions across markets, multiple start-ups are poised to deliver specialized intelligence-as-a-service to diverse customer groups such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities and governments. "New geospatial solutions covering diverse data sets are set to enter the market, bringing in fresh competition along with new customer groups and business models," said Arun Kumar Sampathkumar, Senior Research Analyst, Space, Frost & Sullivan. "Pay-per-image pricing and subscription-based business models will rise as the burden of data storage, distribution, and processing will be upheld by solution providers."
Accenture has made a cash and in-kind services grant of more than C$1.1 million to ACCES Employment, a Canadian non-profit that helps connect employers with thousands of qualified workers from diverse backgrounds each year. ACCES will use the grant to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bot to improve services for job seekers, many of whom are newcomers to Canada. The digital solution will help skilled newcomers secure jobs that align with their training and experience. Although nearly 300,000 people immigrate to Canada every year, only about 24% of foreign-educated immigrants find work in their professions, according to Statistics Canada.
Discussions are continuing between the Region of Waterloo and UNIFOR, Local 4304, representing workers employed by Grand River Transit and MobilityPLUS. The Union will legally be in a position to strike as early as 12:01 a.m., on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Should there be a strike, conventional bus, Bus Plus and MobilityPLUS services will be disrupted. ION train service will continue to operate.