Embracing Nature: Startup Founders Find A Perfect Blend of Tech and the Great Outdoors in Vancouver

Embracing Nature: Startup Founders Find A Perfect Blend of Tech and the Great Outdoors in Vancouver

Last week a group of 24 talented tech startup founders from our incubator went on an exhilarating hike at the breathtaking Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver, British Columbia. As our team explored the lush forest trails and crossed the iconic Lynn Canyon suspension bridge, everyone in attendance was struck with how seamlessly the worlds of technology and nature can come together to inspire and invigorate us.

The sun shone brightly and the temperatures were soaring, but it was the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable day of adventure and connection. A private guided hike allowed our founders to immerse themselves in the wonders of the forest while engaging in stimulating conversations about the intersection of tech and the environment.

The hike not only provided a much-needed escape from the bustling startup world, but it also offered a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the beauty and resilience of nature.

We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the amazing group of tech founders who joined us on this memorable journey. 

Photo On Net App Launches to Create New Business Opportunities for Photographers

Photo On Net App Launches to Create New Business Opportunities for Photographers

The platform serves as a marketplace and community for freelance and aspiring photographers to sell their work and level up their skills.

Vancouver, B.C. – Photo On Net, a startup in incubation at Empowered Startups, is excited to announce its upcoming app launch on June 5, 2023.

Since arriving in Vancouver in December 2021, Dennis Tsang, Founder and CEO, has used his passion for growing photographer communities to embed himself in Vancouver’s photography community and learn about the challenges and goals of photographers. While building his network, he uncovered an opportunity to support freelance and aspiring photographers to make the transition into full-time photography. This has culminated in the design, development, and now launch of Photo On Net: a revolutionary platform for launching the careers of the next generation of professional photographers.

“I feel fortunate having been able to turn my love of photography into a career. Photo On Net’s mission is to create more opportunities for photographers to turn their passion into a thriving business. In connecting with photographers across the globe I have seen similar challenges for photographers in promoting their work and accessing resources to learn and improve. We are launching in Vancouver, but this is just the start.” – Dennis Tsang, Founder and CEO of Photo On Net

Every year 1.2 trillion digital photos are taken. The accessibility of cameras through smart phones with editing tools and filters has developed a renaissance of photographer hobbyists who want to do more with their passion. As Photo On Net grows, we will be offering more courses and additional features to help hobbyists and budding photographers build their portfolios and careers.

“We are very excited about the tools and courses that we have developed for photographers. It has been a journey to get to where we are but given the feedback we have received from the photography community and seeing their excitement, I know it has been worth it.” – Dennis Tsang, Founder and CEO of Photo On Net

Photo On Net launches on June 5, 2023. Sign up on its website to get early access to the app and opportunities to win a free membership.

About Photo On Net
Photo on Net Inc, founded in 2021, is a technology startup that helps photographers turn their passion for photography into an unlimited business opportunity. Photo On Net provides tools for photographers to share their portfolios, a marketplace to sell their photography, courses to level up their craft, and a community for support and collaboration.

Contact Information
Dennis Tsang – Founder and CEO
Email – [email protected]
Address – Unit 420 744 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
Website – https://www.photo-on-net.org/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/photo.on.net/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/photo.on.net.canada/


SLG Storage Launches Showroom for Smart Lockers – Secure and Convenient Package Delivery

SLG Storage Launches Showroom for Smart Lockers – Secure and Convenient Package Delivery

Exciting news from another startup in incubation at Empowered Startups. SLG Storage has developed a smart locker storage system that provides a secure and hassle-free way of receiving packages for residents of apartments and condos. With the rising popularity of online shopping during the pandemic, the need for innovative delivery solutions has become increasingly important to ensure the safety and convenience of package delivery and returns.

SLG Storage’s smart locker system will allow recipients to receive a text message notification when a delivery arrives, along with a code to retrieve their package from a secure locker. The system will also facilitate returns, making it a convenient solution for customers and merchants alike.

Lydia Ho, Founder and CEO of SLG Storage, has over 10-years experience in the industry, including running a sending/receiving logistics business in Hong Kong. Her expertise in trading, shipping, and logistics has enabled her to develop a reliable and efficient smart locker system that meets the needs of residential building managers, developers, retail stores, e-commerce sellers, and strata management services.

To showcase the benefits of the smart locker system, SLG Storage recently launched its showroom in Richmond where interested parties can learn more about installing the system at their properties.

“I’m passionate about making local deliveries more efficient and safer. Picking up a parcel from a courier center is a hassle and the theft of unsecure packages is unacceptable. I believe that residents of Vancouver deserve better logistics services, which is why I launched SLG Storage.” –  Lydia Ho, Founder and CEO of SLG Storage

SLG Storage will continue to innovate in smart logistics by developing an app to work alongside their locker system.

You can email [email protected] to arrange a time to visit the showroom located at 335-6628 River Road, Richmond V7C 0E2.

SLG Storage

SLG Storage’s smart locker system and mobile app offer a reliable and convenient package delivery solution, ensuring that customers’ parcels are secure and accessible 24/7.

Contact information
Lydia Ho, Founder and CEO
[email protected]
Showroom address: 335-6628 River Road, Richmond V7C 0E2


Viedial Launches Programs for the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Viedial Launches Programs for the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Exciting news from another startup in incubation at Empowered Startups. Viedial, a company focused on helping people identify and manage their risk of cardiovascular disease, launched a new guide aimed at helping Canadians and Nigerians prevent pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes and managing their risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, and it is especially common among people with diabetes.

The good news is that 80% of cardiovascular diseases are preventable when people can identify and treat the behavioural and metabolic risk factors in time. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease like a heart attack or a stroke than people without diabetes, but by taking action to prevent diabetes, you are reducing your risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The healthcare system is not always effective in helping people identify these risk factors, which is why patient education, lifestyle coaching, and remote monitoring programs could serve as a complement to traditional healthcare. Many preventive programs are focused on preventing type 2 diabetes among people with pre-diabetes, an important intervention, however, it may be even more effective to prevent pre-diabetes from occurring. With this in mind, Viedial also launched a program for Canadians with a family history of type 2 diabetes named “Prevent Pre-diabetes.” The programs are two components of the venture’s ambitious plans for a comprehensive approach to cardiovascular health.

Co-founder and CEO of Viedial, Bridget Akudo Nwagbara, brings her experience as a medical doctor and public health specialist to the company’s mission. Her work in designing and implementing population-level interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention and control has led to the development of these innovative programs.

I’ve lost loved ones, including my father, to either a heart attack or stroke. I also observed that many people in my family and community were living with metabolic risk factors like type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Unfortunately, this is not a priority in most low- and middle-income countries where the funding priorities are focused on infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Based on my experience in the Nigerian public health sector, I realized that the priority shift towards cardiovascular diseases will take a long time. Therefore, the response had to be from the private sector, which led to the founding of Viedial.” — Bridget Akudo Nwagbara, Co-founder and CEO of Viedial

Alongside rolling out education and coaching programmes, Viedial will continue development of the platform to track patients’ health records and progress towards their health goals. They will work with health care providers to educate their patients and onboard clinical teams to launch a virtual clinical care program for metabolic diseases.

My co-founders and I came together to address the problem of cardiovascular diseases. We started by supporting health system reforms in Nigeria to put cardiovascular diseases and other non-communicable diseases into the national public health priorities. Then, we decided to form Viedial to implement these interventions. As a private entity, we needed an enabling environment to incubate our idea and extend the intervention to the African Diaspora in North America. We joined Empowered Startups to gain experience in the North American market as we launched our venture in Canada.” — Bridget Akudo Nwagbara, Co-founder and CEO of Viedial.

About Viedial
Viedial is a digital health application that will enable people to identify their risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It will provide personalized care to enable them to make behavioral and lifestyle changes to reduce these risk factors with the support of their loved ones and will monitor the changes in their health from anywhere and anytime.

Contact information
Bridget Akudo Nwagbara, C0-Founder and CEO
[email protected]
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/viedial-healthcare/?viewAsMember=true
https://www.viedial.ca (Canada)
https://www.viedial.com (Nigeria)

About Empowered Startups
Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions. Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs. Apply for our programs online at empoweredstartups.com

Photo by April Laugh on Unsplash



Alberta is Seeking International Grads Who Want to Launch Startups With Their Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Alberta is Seeking International Grads Who Want to Launch Startups With Their Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

What exactly is this program and how do I apply?

The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is an immigration program that nominates talented and qualified foreign educated graduates from outside Canada for permanent residence when they start-up an innovative business in Alberta. The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is a collaboration between the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) and approved designated agencies (that’s us).

Alberta is a fantastic home for Oil & Gas tech start-ups, crypto-currency and crypto adjacent innovation, agriculture tech entrepreneurship, software development, mining tech, fintech, environmental start-ups & more!

What is the eligibility criteria for this program?

  • Minimum of 6 months full-time work experience that can be a combination of actively managing or owning the business or equivalent (equivalencies are work experience with business incubator or business accelerator).
  • Completion of a degree from a post-secondary institution outside of Canada with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  • The degree needs to have been completed within the last 10 years at the time of EOI submission
  • A business plan with projected financials. Refer to the Business Plan Guidelines.
  • A 10-minute presentation (slides only) that outlines the proposed business venture and focuses on what an investor would want to see.
  • Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 5 for each English language skill or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) of 5 for each French language skill: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • Must have a minimum of 34% ownership if the business is located in an urban centre or a minimum of 51% ownership if located in regional area outside Calgary and Edmonton
  • A minimum level of investment from candidate’s (or spouse or common-law partner) own equity or from a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital, or angel investment firm prior to coming to Alberta.
  • Must have a letter of recommendation from an AAIP-approved designated agency (that’s us)
  • Candidates must demonstrate that they have the funds needed to set up their business and support themselves while they are on a work permit and launching their start-up.

Can I apply if I’m already in Canada or own a business in Canada?

Yes! If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can indeed qualify for this program! Foreign graduates who currently own and operate a business in Alberta can apply to the AAIP as a pathway for permanent residency. They must demonstrate they meet the criteria highlighted in the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream Points Grid and Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream mandatory minimums grid at the time of EOI submission. The established business must have operated in Alberta for at least one year immediately prior to submitting an EOI in the AAIP portal.

Are there businesses that don’t qualify for the program?

Ineligible businesses include:

  • any business in contravention of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations – for example, immigration-linked investment schemes or passive investment
  • businesses without a value-add economic component, including:
    • pay day loan, cheque cashing and related businesses
    • businesses trading in used goods
  • businesses that would be considered passive investment or lack active management, including: insurance brokerage or business brokerage
  • project based or seasonal businesses
  • home-based businesses, including:
    • businesses that are not zoned for commercial or industrial operations
    • bed-and-breakfasts and lodging houses
  • businesses that are part of a succession plan
  • businesses involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
  • any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the AAIP and the Government of Alberta into disrepute, in the opinion of and as determined by the AAIP

If you’re interested in learning more about the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream or request more information here!

Empowered Startups to Present at VIP Startup Visa Intake Event in Vietnam on April 22, 2023

Empowered Startups to Present at VIP Startup Visa Intake Event in Vietnam on April 22, 2023

Empowered Startups, alongside John Hu Immigration, is pleased to be hosting a series of seminars and intake meetings in Vietnam on April 22st, 2023.  At these special events,  founders and soon-to-be founders will have the opportunity to speak with Empowered Startups’ Vice President of Partnerships, Shawn Olson. Topics of discussion will focus on how to apply for the Canada Startup Visa, requirements,  innovation in Canada, and the Startup Visa program as a direct pathway to PR / Citizenship.

Attendees will be able to apply and interview for the program on the spot.

Additionally, those interested in learning more about the United States EB2 Startup Investor Visa Program will also have the opportunity to learn more about the program and get their questions answered. 


Where: Novotel Saigon Centre

When: 4/22/2023 at 9am

You can RSVP for a place at the event here: https://sukien.johnhu.com.vn/

About Empowered Startups

Founded in 2009 in Vancouver, Canada, Empowered Startups’ mission is to connect work done in universities with the business world, helping researchers and entrepreneurs commercialize innovation. It has focused its work in remote and rural areas to attract talent and new job and business opportunities to these locations. Since its founding year, it has supported more than 450 startups on 6 different continents.


Photo by Skitterphoto