Coffee Briefing Feb. 15, 2022 – DMZ & Desjardins launch platform to help Canadian entrepreneurs; Telus to deliver smart city solutions; and more

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What’s new this week

DMZ and Desjardins launch digital platform to shorten the learning curve for Canadian entrepreneurs

DMZ, Ryerson University’s business incubator for tech startups worldwide, and Canadian financial services cooperative Desjardins today announced they have teamed up to launch a bilingual, on-demand digital learning platform that is designed to support aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs across Canada.

Dubbed Launchpad for Entrepreneurs, the free-to-use platform is built to provide entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the beginning stages of their business growth journey. It offers expert-curated videos and course content in both English and French, and will be available to Canadians from coast-to-coast. Topics include startup idea formation, leadership development, market research, leveraging SMART goals, pitching and presenting to investors, and more. Canadians looking to kick start their business success can become Launchpad members today by signing up at here.

Telus partners with Google Cloud and NXN Digital to deliver IoT solutions for smart businesses and communities

Source: elenabs | Getty Images


Telus last week announced it is partnering with Google Cloud and the end-to-end smart digital solutions provider NXN Digital to deliver the next generation of sustainable, efficient, secure, and innovative Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, providing an ecosystem of integrated smart technologies to make cities smarter and greener. 

The partnership will combine the speed of Telus’ networks with Google Cloud’s infrastructure and data analytics, and NXN Digital’s “smart city as a service” platform, to empower businesses, communities, and their residents through a vast ecosystem of people-first solutions. From dynamic traffic signaling that reduces congestion and emissions to data analytics that create smarter, more efficient city planning, the innovative IoT solutions will transform the way municipalities operate in our increasingly digital world, according to the three organizations. 

Telus smart city solutions fall within four foundational pillars:

  • Infrastructure and environmental sustainability: These smart city solutions include connected lighting, energy management, environmental monitoring, road quality management, and smart waste.
  • Intelligent transportation: Sensors, cameras, and other devices that are built into or near roads, sidewalks, and bike paths, that provide data for innovative software to improve traffic flow in real-time, and more.
  • Public safety and security: Solutions include mission-critical communications and connected worker solutions that improve the safety of remote and hybrid workers.
  • Health: These solutions include smart devices and virtual healthcare, such as wearables that can connect emergency medical technicians with physicians through a secure network.

IBM teams up with SAP to help clients move workloads from SAP solutions to the cloud

PhonlamaiPhoto | Getty Images

IBM has announced it is teaming with SAP to provide technology and consulting expertise to make it easier for clients to embrace a hybrid cloud approach and move workloads from SAP solutions to the cloud for regulated and non-regulated industries. 

To facilitate this, the company has launched the premium supplier option with IBM for RISE with SAP, which will provide clients with the tools to help accelerate the migration of their on-premises SAP software workloads to IBM Cloud, backed by its security capabilities. This makes IBM the first cloud provider to offer infrastructure, business transformation and application management services as part of RISE with SAP. 

In addition, IBM unveiled a new program, BREAKTHROUGH with IBM for RISE with SAP, a portfolio of solutions and consulting services that help accelerate and amplify the journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud. 

Saskatoon-based 7shifts raises $80 million in new funding

Source: 7shifts

Provider of team management software designed for restaurants, 7shifts,  has raised US$80 million in Series C funding led by Softbank, with support from existing investors Ten Coves Capital and Enlightened Hospitality, the fund affiliated with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, the company announced on Feb. 10.

Founded in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2014, with offices in Toronto and New Jersey, 7shifts’ team management platform helps over 27,000 restaurants and more than 700,000 restaurant workers across North America simplify their operations, said chief executive officer of 7shifts Jordan Boesch. 

Boesch said 7shifts will use the latest round of funding to bring together all aspects of HR processes for restaurant operators to cover the entire employee lifecycle. This will include processes such as hiring, onboarding, training, scheduling, payroll, and retention, all under a single end-to-end platform.

Rise People partners with Wealthsimple to help Canadian employees navigate the upcoming tax season

Khanchit Khirisutchalual | Getty Images

Canadian people management platform provider Rise People last week announced a partnership with Canadian financial services firm Wealthsimple, to simplify tax season for Canadians. The partnership will make it easier for Canadians who receive their T4s through Rise’s digital payroll system to prepare and submit their return through Wealthsimple Tax.

As part of the partnership, Rise People says Wealthsimple Tax is giving Rise clients $15 per filed return in a Wealthsimple Cash account that they can re-invest, send, or spend. In addition, for every tax return filed by Rise People users, Wealthsimple will donate one meal to Second Harvest, a Canadian food rescue charitable organization.

Black entrepreneurs, workers report greater financial challenges, lower access to health care in Canada – survey

Source: Viktoria Korobova | Getty Images

QuickBooks Canada recently shared the findings of its Black Business Health Survey, which found Black business owners and workers in Canada are more likely to be facing financial challenges and less likely to have good access to healthcare. The survey of 1,400 business owners, employees and self-employed people throughout Canada reveals Black respondents are more than twice as likely as others to describe their current financial situation as “terrible.”

Key findings on the goals and barriers of Black business owners and workers in Canada for 2022, as shared with IT World Canada by a QuickBooks Canada’s spokesperson, include:


  • Almost half of Black respondents (48 per cent) reveal they are placing a higher priority on well-being because of the pandemic. More than one in five (22 per cent) say they are making it a “significantly higher priority.”
  • Goals for 2022 reflect similar priorities among respondents. Tied for first place are “achieving financial goals” and “achieving health goals”, both chosen by more than two in five Black respondents (44 per cent).
  • Black respondents reveal the top two priorities for improving personal well-being are “maintaining my mental health” and “boosting my income.”


  • More than one in three Black respondents (37 per cent) say their personal finances got worse during the pandemic.
  • Among Black respondents who do not currently have positive financial well-being, only 55 per cent report positive mental well-being.
  • Almost two in five Black respondents (38 per cent) say they are not able to prioritize self-care as much as they would like because they often have to put other things, or other people, first.

More to explore

5 trends for non-profits to watch for in 2022

It is crazy that we have lived in a pandemic for almost two years. With Canadians already having two COVID-19 vaccination doses and now booster shots quickly rolling out, the hope of normalcy is on the horizon again – and 2022 will present more opportunities for recovery.

Digital home service providers should not be complacent after business boom

Canadians are using digital services at home more than ever before, but it would be a mistake for providers to rest on their success, according to a recent survey.

5 cybersecurity concerns in digital marketing

In an increasingly digitized world, the significance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Yet despite notable ransomware cases in recent years and a drastic, seemingly COVID-fuelled spike in overall attacks, many executives remain unprepared.

Rogers Business introduces new IoT solutions for smart buildings and smart cities

Rogers Business, the enterprise-focused division of Rogers Communications, announced new smart city and smart buildings internet of things (IoT) solutions on Feb. 10.

New program aims to scale Black-led tech startups across Canada

Dream Legacy Foundation (DLF), an organization that runs innovative programs to boost entrepreneurship within the Black Community, and Ryerson University’s business incubator for tech startups worldwide, DMZ, have announced a new three-month program designed to support Black founders looking to accelerate their tech startup’s growth. 

A conversation with IBM Canada president Dave McCann: It’s all about the people

For IBM Canada‘s new president, Dave McCann, it’s all about the people. McCann took over the post on Jan. 17, in addition to his job as managing partner of IBM Consulting Canada, after former president Claude Guay accepted a global role as managing partner, Global Ventures, Ecosystem and Acquisitions.

Contamination incident affects ‘at least 6.5 exabytes’ of SSD memory chips

Western Digital and Kioxia announced a contamination incident at their NAND flash memory production sites in Yokkaichi and Kitakami, Japan.

Research reveals gap between what business leaders say is good for business and their actions

Canadian business leaders are on board with the notion that data, and the insights gleaned from it, are key components in achieving business success. Yet very few are actually doing anything about it, according to research released yesterday by Microsoft Canada.

Tenzr Health launching wearable technology in Ontario physiotherapy clinics

A British Columbia-based company is rolling out its wearable health technology to physiotherapy clinics in Ontario.

Channel Bytes February 11, 2022 – new products from Cisco; new Dynatrace partner program; Quest update; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Snapchat testing ads in Stories, computer scientist discovers an exploit to create Ethereum, and a Chinese startup wants to take on Starlink.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Commerce and Magento, Microsoft ups Windows security and bugs found in Moxa MXview.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.



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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the river Yamuna on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing fanatic who also loves to prepare delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not. Can be contacted at [email protected] or 647.695.3494.

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