Partner Content | Tech update: Semiconductor shortage hits the medical device industry, startups compete for talent in a job seeker’s market and other news

The extreme scarcity in semiconductor chips continues to have ripple results all through the economic system.

It’s expected to cost the global auto sector $210 billion (U.S.) alone. The continued provide chain concern can also be inflicting disruptions within the medical system business: in a current Deloitte study, near 80 per cent of medical system firms surveyed reported delays, some extending previous 52 weeks.

The delay and generally outright order cancellation of chip-powered tools, akin to ventilators, defibrillators, assistive robots and imaging machines, is placing sufferers who depend on these things in danger and additional straining an already stretched health-care system.

John Laughlin, chief know-how officer at business group Subsequent Era Manufacturing Canada (NGen), was a part of a $50-million initiative that helped medical system firms scale production of life-saving devices in the beginning of the pandemic. He’s seen the affect provide chain points have had on the business.

“The disruption of the worldwide chip provide chain has been felt by numerous our portfolio firms — particularly within the type of immense price pressures, sluggish supply lead instances and necessities for up-front funds,” says Laughlin.

Tony Chahine, CEO of Myant, a textile computing firm that produces health-monitoring clothes, additionally factors to the monetary dangers related to steady semiconductor points, noting that there at the moment are necessities to prepay for stock purchases as much as six to 12 months forward. “Financing this new actuality is without doubt one of the greatest threats,” Chahine says. “Many suppliers gained’t survive with out some critical rethinking of the enterprise mannequin.”

The medical system firms could, nevertheless, have an edge over others with regards to navigating the chip scarcity: they’re fascinating clients for chip suppliers. Medical system firms are inclined to pay greater than firms in different industries, and merchandise are closely regulated and don’t change as typically, making the sector a dependable one.

Medical know-how firm Thornhill Medical, as an illustration, has been capable of climate provide points thus far. Early within the pandemic, the corporate partnered with auto part supplier Linamar to assist ramp up manufacturing of their transportable built-in life help system. As well as, Thornhill Medical’s engineers had been capable of work round issues, stopping manufacturing disruption. “At the moment, we’re managing the provision chain however stay vigilant in figuring out future points in order that we will be nicely ready,” says Thornhill Medical CEO Lesley Gouldie.

In line with Deloitte, semiconductor delays may lengthen into 2023, although provide points ought to begin bettering later this 12 months. And demand for semiconductors isn’t going anyplace. In reality, demand is set to intensify globally over the subsequent a number of years — probably rising from $452.25 billion in 2021 to $803.15 billion (U.S.) by 2028.

Competitors for tech expertise heats up because the employment market favours job seekers

Canada’s unemployment rate is down for the fourth consecutive month. The jobless charge dropped to six.9 per cent in September — the bottom charge for the reason that begin of the pandemic. In the meantime, job postings are up. Job itemizing platform Certainly says its whole Canadian postings had been up 47 per cent as of September, nicely above pre-pandemic ranges.

It’s more and more a job seeker’s market, which implies know-how firms are utilizing each avenue they’ll as they vie for the perfect individuals. Canadian startups are hiring globally by packages just like the federal authorities’s World Expertise Stream or Communitech Outposts. On the identical time, U.S. firms are discovering it even simpler to poach Canadian expertise and are persevering with to broaden their operations in Canada. Funds processing platform Stripe lately introduced it might be opening an workplace in Toronto, becoming a member of Amazon, Google, Pinterest, Netflix, Reddit and Uber.

Including to the aggressive panorama is the truth that many workplaces are nonetheless absolutely distant.

For a startup or scaleup, standing out and making a tradition that can draw probably the most proficient is vital. Tulip, a retail software program firm with workplaces in Toronto and Waterloo, is exploring new methods to draw and maintain expertise.

“The market is extraordinarily aggressive and there are alternatives not simply in Ontario however globally now. We have to guarantee Tulip is a spot individuals need to work,” says Marco Osso, Tulip’s vice-president of worker success.

The corporate has launched a number of work perks, together with a versatile work atmosphere through which they attempt to accommodate any worker schedule. Plus, the corporate is offering employees with 4 hours per week of time to do something they need. “Tulip isn’t asserting a hybrid, distant or in-office construction. We’re saying you are able to do no matter you need and work nevertheless you need,” says Osso.

Tulip has additionally introduced that, beginning in 2022, staff can take workcations, by which staff are capable of tack on a diminished work week (or two) after a trip. As well as, the corporate is profiting from the distant work alternative. They’ve already employed workers from international locations around the globe, together with Sri Lanka, Estonia, Mexico and the Philippines.

In different information

  • Mike Silagadze, founder and former CEO of edtech firm Prime Hat, is taking a leap into the world of crypto. Silagadze has launched DeFi fund Gadze Finance alongside Andrew McGrath, one other former Prime Hat worker. With $25 million (U.S.) beneath administration to start out, the 2 plan on rising belongings to $100 million over the subsequent six months.
  • CIBC has created a $450-million fund centered on investing in key Canadian and U.S.-based enterprise capital and progress fairness funds. The CIBC Innovation Banking unit, which caters to tech and innovation companies, has already invested $150 million in a number of Canadian enterprise capital and progress fairness funds.

  • Vancouver’s decision-analytics software program maker Copperleaf Technologies has turn into British Columbia’s newest know-how unicorn after hovering in its Toronto Inventory Alternate debut final week. It is without doubt one of the few woman-led know-how companies in Canada that has reached the billion-dollar valuation mark.
  • Toronto actual property know-how startup Perch has raised $1 million in seed funding. The corporate goals to assist Canadians make smarter actual property selections and is presently centered on scaling its operations. The primary investor this spherical was Second Century Ventures, the strategic funding arm of the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors.
  • Toronto’s small enterprise accounting software program firm FreshBooks has acquired German accounting software program supplier FastBill. The transfer is a part of FreshBooks’ acquisition-fuelled progress technique. This deal comes not lengthy after FreshBooks’ $130-million (U.S.) funding spherical, which pushed the corporate to a valuation of greater than $1 billion (U.S.).
  • Saskatoon’s appointment scheduling firm Coconut Software has raised $28 million in Collection B funding because it appears to broaden its enterprise at extra banks and credit score unions in North America. The spherical was led by Toronto-based Klass Capital. The corporate’s clients embrace RBC, Vancity and Rogue Credit score Union.

  • Vancouver precision-farming firm Semios has secured $100 million as it really works to assist growers enhance crop outcomes. The spherical was led by Morningside Group, which additionally led the $100-million spherical in January 2020. The newest funding will permit the agriculture know-how supplier to speed up its worldwide growth and M&A method.

Adena Ali writes about know-how for MaRS. Torstar, the mother or father firm of the Toronto Star, has partnered with MaRS to focus on innovation in Canadian firms.

Disclaimer This content material was produced as a part of a partnership and due to this fact it could not meet the requirements of neutral or impartial journalism.

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