Canadian Startup News Week 01/02/2021

Feb 3, 2021 | Startup News | 0 comments

Welcome to our weekly Canadian startup news segment where we bring you the most important events in the world of canadian startups. We cover all major cities in canada, mainly Toronto, Montreal & Vancouver and other emerging startup scenes.


Toronto-based investment startup Wealthsimple appears to be growing in popularity amid the ongoing short squeeze ofs GME, ALC and other stocks by retail investors.

Last week, WealthSimple, trading platform reached number one overall on the Canadian Apple App Store after beginning the new year at number 39. WealthSimple has comfirmed the sign ups and the amount traded has augmented immensly in the last weeks.

“The numbers before [GameStop] were already 🤯,” the source said. “Now it’s just 🍌.”

This surge in popularity for Wealthsimple Trade comes as a number of retail investors on various social platforms have coordinated their efforts buy shares in GameStop and a number of other stocks, resulting in sweeping disruptions to public markets and many online trading platforms.

According to WealthSimple insiders, the increased interest in the company’s Trading app began well before the GameStop frenzy. The source cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a key driver of increased interest.

Amid the stock trading frenzy, American retail trading app Robinhood has blocked purchases of GameStop, AMC, and other popular stocks, only allowing users to close their positions, which has brought massive backlash to the american trading startup.

Wealthsimple is not currently blocking users from trading GameStop and other stocks. Notably, Robinhood’s service is not available to users based in Canada, while Wealthsimple Trade is only available to Canadians, meaning international Robinhood users cannot migrate trading to Wealthsimple Trade.

CEO of Wealthsimple Michael Katchen told BetaKit it is up to stock exchanges and regulators to determine if market activity should trigger a trading halt.

“Our role as a self-directed brokerage is to inform our clients about the risks so they can make an informed decision, and to provide a safe and reliable trading platform,”

Katchen added.

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Researchers at McMaster University have developed a new form of lab grown meat using a method that gives a more natural flavour and texture than other alternatives to traditional meat.

Using a similar technique adapted from a method used to grow tissue for human transplants, researchers have been able to cultivate meat by stacking thin sheets of cultivated muscle and fat cells grown together in a lab setting.

“We have used mouse cells in order to do this, and currently we’re working with rabbit cells,”

“The technique to actually skilfully assemble these types of cells … should be applicable to chicken and beef and other types of human-consuming meat.”

Said Selvaganapathy, a professor of biomedical engineering

The sheets of living cells, each about the thickness of a sheet of printer paper, are first grown in culture and then concentrated on growth plates before being peeled off and stacked or folded together. 

The sheets naturally bond to one another before the cells die.

While the technology is very new, Selvaganapathy said it was developed “with an eye on scalability.”

Selvaganapathy said in the last five or six years, various groups and companies around the world have been investigating this technology. 

“We are the first group in the world to actually develop a tissue-like structure, which is composed of both fat and muscle, because the fat is the one that gives the taste in meat,”

Selvaganapathy said.

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Nexii, a Canadian-based construction tech startup, just raised $33 million CAD in its 4th round of funding to help speed up production of its sustainable building materials.

The company produces precast, environmentally-friendly building panels. 

Nexiite, the material the company manufactures, is more thermally-efficient and less carbon-intensive than concrete

When assembled, the panels create an airtight building envelope, minimizing thermal bridging, for a lower impact on the environment. This combination aims to improve a building’s energy efficiency, lowering its greenhouse gas emissions.

Nexii says.

Nexiite is a concrete-like material made without Portland cement or lime. The material is constructed from sealed layers of cement and insulating material. The panels are water, fire and disaster resilient and contain no dangerous building materials. The finer details are not disclosed and will remain a company secret.

These novel materials were invented by brothers Ben Dombowsky and Michael Dombowsky, who have backgrounds in construction design and research. 


Nexii announced in July that it planned to open three manufacturing plants in North America:  one in Alberta, one in Toronto, Ontario in Canada and another in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania plant, in Hazleton, will serve the northeast markets, including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Wolfington, a real estate developer, will invest up to $30 million (Canadian dollars) for the development of a production facility that will manufacture green building and retrofit products and create over 180 full-time highly skilled jobs in the area.

“Nexii’s approach to tackling the climate crisis and reinvigorating economies with green technology is exactly where we need to be right now,”

”McNabb says.

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Stay tuned for weekly updates and the latest news from the world of Canadian start-ups.

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