Jim Balcom
Redlen Technologies

Jim’s career has been spent working in the Tech sector in Silicon Valley, Seattle and Vancouver. Most recently, Jim relocated to the Victoria area to take a position as SVP Operations at the semiconductor developer and manufacturer, Redlen Technologies.

Jim would like to contribute where he can to the continued growth of the Tech sector here on Vancouver Island. Jim has worked in a number of senior and executive management roles over the past 30 years including manufacturing, engineering, sales, venture capital, COO and CEO, and has developed and launched disruptive products and technologies in medical devices, electronics manufacturing and alternative energy. Jim has a Systems Engineering degree from Waterloo and an MBA from Harvard.

Jim has been fortunate to experience both successes and failures in the Tech sector, and has learned a lot along the way from both. Jim has helped raise $75 million in financing for numerous companies from various public and private sources including an IPO, follow-on financings, angel investors, VCs, and government programs. Jim has been a board member, angel investor, and mentor to a number of companies over the years, and is keen to share these experiences and give back to the Tech community.

 

Robert Cooper
PlusROI

Rob been working as a tech/software marketer since 2001. Interestingly, his move into tech came as a result of joining VIATeC as a supplier (local print shop) back in the late 90's and then selling my shop to make a career switch into tech.

In 2007 Rob founded PlusROI Online Marketing Inc and has enjoyed working with clients from across the US, Canada and Asia (as well as Victoria BC!).

Through PlusROI Rob started delivering educational seminars on web marketing to VIATEC members back in 2009. Since that time, they've done educational talks, seminars and presentations for just about every different VIATeC group.

This spring Rob delivered a 12 part Online Marketing Manager Certification Program for Accelerate Tectoria. Additionally, he's in the process of organizing this fall's curriculum for an "Online Marketing Hacks" training series, as well as several in-depth educational seminars to be offered at no charge to Accelerate Tectoria.
 

Scott Dewis 
RaceRocks 3D

I was lucky enough to build my first company RaceRocks Digital while creating visual effects for some of televisions hottest shows. I contributed to one Emmy during this time, and was nominated for 3 others, I was also named “Newsmaker of the Year”, “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Top Twenty Canadian Film Makers to Watch”.

This experience laid the foundation for my current company, RaceRocks 3D, which uses creative storytelling and gamification for communications and training. We’ve had success in defence and aerospace training, gamification and e-learning, and in corporate and government communications and marketing. We specialize in simplifying messages and telling your story in a way that people can understand quickly and easily, using strong visuals and human connections. We’ve been nominated for 8 business and technology awards including “Innovative Excellence”, “Best New Business” and “Team of the Year”, but the highest honor we’ve received was when a major aerospace client called us their “creative therapists”.

My job titles so far have included animator, founder, CEO, president, and head instructor, I also have experience as producer, VFX supervisor, lead animator, captain and racing coach, but building a company means I’m pretty good with a broom, a spread sheet, business development, cheerleading, making vomit worthy decisions or anything that gets thrown at me.

I’m a member of CADSI, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Victoria Video Game CEO Alliance, VIATEC and Vancouver Island Aerospace Alliance. I’ve spoken at WESTDEF and Western Innovation Forum. 

Colin How, Board Chair
How Creative

Colin How is the Managing Partner at How Creative, a boutique consulting firm specializing in strategic advisory, growth and commercializing innovation. In addition to serving on the board of VIATEC, Colin sits on several technology company boards and is a trusted advisor to many others. 

In his capacity as an advisor, mentor and coach Colin specializes in developing executive leadership capacity, increasing performance, and optimizing the human capital within early and growth stage technology companies. 

Colin has over a decade of C level experience running technology companies. He has raised multiple rounds of venture capital and private equity and facilitated some of Victoria's most successful exits. 

Colin has been acknowledged for his entrepreneurial success with his inclusion in the Top 40 under 40 for British Columbia and Vancouver Island, and nomination as a finalist for Ernst and Young's Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year. 

 

Ho Kim, Past Chair
Protection 1

Ho Kim moved to Victoria when he was 1.5 years old and at the tender age of 44, he cannot think of a better place to operate his business from. Ho is one of the founding members, director and CEO of Camacc Systems Inc., a video surveillance sales and installation company. Since their inception in 1998 in Central Saanich, they have branched out across Canada and have amassed a fantastic resume of national clients such as Best Buy, Future shop, Petro Canada, Shell and London Drugs to name a few. Satellite offices include software engineering labs in Victoria and China selling their Vigil Digital Video Recorder (DVR) Software globally in a license form, a distribution sales office in Westminster, an in Colorado selling their turnkey Digital Video Recorders to a dealer market across the United States. Ho Kim was a 2009 Pacific Region Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Ho currently serves on the board of Camacc Systems Inc. 3xLOGIC USA.

To the board, Ho Kim can bring extensive experience in corporate operations from start-up companies to managing multi branch locations, to the complexities of starting a satellite office across the border or in a foreign office as well as merger and acquisition contracts and negotiations. In addition, motivational skills – Ho believes that creating results on any level comes from developing a culture that motivates and empowers each of its members to succeed. Creativity – Ho has a strong ability to look outside the box to find the most beneficial solution.

In Ho’s opinion, the most important thing that VIATEC does is creates a great forum to network with others in the technology industry to share business strategies and to mentor the new up and coming entrepreneurs

To date, Ho admits to having limited involvement with VIATEC due to most of his resources being spent on Camacc’s startup distribution venture in the United States and most recently a startup engineering lab in Dalian China.
 

Bobbi Leach
RevenueWire

I’m an entrepreneurial leader with more than 25 years of experience, primarily in the high tech sector. I have a proven track record defining strategies for successful, sustainable growth for start-up ventures and existing enterprises alike. As the CEO for RevenueWire, I’ve established the company as the industry leader in our vertical, successfully launching new services and driving double-digit growth in revenue and profitability year-over-year. I’m also the CEO of an early-stage venture called FuturePay, which I’ve led from ideation to million-dollar revenue traction. 

The Victoria tech community has been a wealth of support for me, especially the many VIATEC programs from networking and talent attraction to round tables and mentorships. By volunteering for the VIATEC Board, this is my opportunity to join in and give back to this vital part of our community. As a Board member, I’ll bring my strategy development expertise and broad management skills along with my enthusiasm to help VIATEC continue to grow and provide exceptional value to its members.

Mark Longo, Chair of the Governance Committee
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP 

Mark is Co-Chair of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s Emerging Companies Group and Managing Partner of Osler's Vancouver office. Mark has over 20 years of experience in corporate finance, M&A and technology law, and has held general counsel, corporate secretary and senior executive positions for a number of private and publicly traded technology companies, including Intrinsyc Software International Inc., Star Data Systems Inc. and Datawire Communication Networks Inc. In the three years immediately prior to joining Osler, Mark was a partner in the Vancouver office of a boutique law firm focused on the technology industry. Previous to that, Mark was a partner in the technology and corporate finance groups of a Vancouver-based law firm for over three years. Mark earned his Masters of Business Administration from The Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, his Bachelors of Law from Queen's University and his BA (Economics and Political Science) from McGill University. Mark serves on the board of directors of VIATEC and Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre. Mark has been active in coaching and managing his son and daughter in hockey, volleyball, baseball and soccer and is an avid sportsman.
 

Owen Matthews
Wesley Clover

Owen Matthews is a General Partner at Wesley Clover International, responsible for managing their technology portfolio. Wesley Clover is a private investment firm with active portfolios in technology, hospitality and commercial real estate.

Owen is also the founding Chair of the Alacrity Foundation. The Alacrity Foundation is devoted to advancing the education of Entrepreneurship, Business and Management studies and practices. It provides an intensive training environment with mentors and industry partners to prepare graduates for entrepreneurship in the technology sector.

Prior to his move to Wesley Clover in 2007, Owen was the founder and CEO of NewHeights Software. NewHeights was a pioneer in enterprise unified communication products and was acquired by CounterPath Corporation.

Owen is an active member on the Board of Directors for Counterpath Corporation, EchoSec Systems, Encepta Corp., Pretio Interactive, Referral SaaSquatch, Tutela Technologies and now VIATEC. Owen is a Governor on the Board of Power to Be, a non-profit organization that empowers people to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. He is also active on the board of advisors for the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria and is on the board of directors for DigiBC, the BC industry association for wireless, mobile, gaming and creative technology industries.

Owen studied Computer Science and Psychology at the University of Victoria.

Alex Mendelev
TinyMob Games

Alex Mendelev has been at the forefront of the gaming industry for well over a decade, holding key executive positions in technology, game production, product management and business development.

In addition to being a current Board Member of VIATEC, Alex is the Co-Founder and CEO of newly formed TinyMob Games, a Victoria-based game company that aims to reinvent the midcore genre on mobile. Previously, Alex served as the General Manager and Head of Studios – Canada at GameHouse, where he led the Victoria studio of over fifty people in development of industry leading Free-to-Play games for mobile phones and Facebook.

At GameHouse, Alex’s direct responsibilities included production, operation and monetization of games. Before GameHouse, Alex served as VP, Business and Corporate Development at Backstage Games, a Victoria-based game company that pioneered the Free-to-Play business model in Canada and was the first game developer in Canada to integrate with the Facebook API. At Backstage, Alex was instrumental in tripling the company revenue in less than a year and structuring an acquisition with GameHouse, one of the largest casual game portals in the world.

Previous to Backstage, Alex spent a decade in the mobile space, where he held technical and management roles building and distributing games through mobile devices, well before there were smartphones. Alex began his career as a Software Developer, writing applications for Apple, Microsoft and Adobe. Alex holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from McGill University. 
 

Rasool Rayani, Vice Chair
RDL

In 2001, Rasool co-founded Metalogix Software, which won North America's largest new venture competition (2002), experienced triple digit organic and profitable growth and took on private equity financing (2008).

Metalogix is the leading provider of enterprise collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the fortune 5000 (Inc 500 - 2011). In 2009, Rasool began investing in early stage technology firms including Backstage Software, Mediacore, Bet Smart Media, Tapstream, Versly, Unbouce and Solegear. Rasool has also been a volunteer mentor and juror with New Ventures BC since 2009.

He currently serves on the board for three not-for-profits in Victoria - The Victoria Foundation, the Victoria ALS Chapter and VIATEC. Rasool is also an owner and VP of Operations for a well established retail health business in Victoria, BC. Rasool is interested in working with start-ups and to act as an advisor and investor in technology companies in Victoria, Vancouver and San Francisco. 
 

Christina Seargeant
Workday

Christina is passionate about start-up communities, helping young companies grow and empowering others to start careers in technology. She is the founder of PeopleOps - a network of people operations and HR professionals who share advice, resources and lessons learned to help inspire others build and grow their respective companies. 

In 2012 she joined MediaCore, an ed-tech start-up company, leading all aspects of people operations, recruitment and growth. During that time MediaCore was recognized as VIATEC's Employer of the Year. More recently, MediaCore was successfully acquired by Workday, an on‑demand financial management and human capital management software company. Workday has been named a Best Company to Work For by Fortune and in her role as an HR Business Partner, Christina is excited to promote Workday as a world-class employer in Victoria. 

In her spare time, she can be found playing video games, leading the Victoria chapter of Ladies Learning Code, or frequenting one of the many acclaimed restaurants Victoria has to offer.

Nicole Smith
Flytographer

Flytographer is the brainchild of Victoria­-based Nicole Smith, a former Microsoft Marketing Manager and consultant­-turned­-entrepreneur who was inspired by the idea that memories are the best travel souvenirs. Launched in 2013, Flytographer is the first­-of-­its-­kind online marketplace that connects travelers with local photographers in cities around the world to capture their travel memories, while also serving as informal local tour guides. Nicole’s idea for Flytographer came after a trip to Paris to reunite with her best friend. Disappointed with selfies and the photos they had asked strangers to snap, the duo tapped into a local friend to take candid photographs of them enjoying the city together. Upon returning home with beautiful images that truly captured the spirit of her trip, Nicole identified a gap in the market for vacation photography. Inspired by the photographs from her own trip and recognizing the trend of travelers seeking authentic local experiences, Nicole left her job consulting at Microsoft to found Flytographer. In just three years, Nicole has grown the Flytographer network of hundreds of local photographers in 200 destinations on every continent but Antarctica and secured her first round of funding from BC­-based angel investors. She has also forged official partnerships with global travel brands including Context Travel, Fairmont Hotels, Virtuoso and Expedia. Press around the world has featured Flytographer such as Conde Nast Traveler “The Future of Travel Photography”, Forbes, “The #1 Gift for Travelers” and Oprah.com “An Ingenious Track Hack”. Nicole has been named a 2016 "W100 Rising Star: 5 Women to Watch" by PROFIT Magazine and Canadian Business. Flytographer won a spot in both the Metabridge and 48 Hours in the Valley 2016 cohorts. Nicole’s attraction to travel and photography is organic. Born in Victoria, BC, Nicole grew up watching slideshows and listening to tales of her grandparents’ travels all over the world—an experience that seeded Nicole’s desire to travel the world herself. After graduating with a business degree in marketing and international business from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Nicole studied Spanish in Mexico City and then embarked on an adventure to Asia where she taught English to fund her explorations through the area. Following her teaching position, Nicole worked as a product manager for a Seattle­-based tech startup, and then spent over 13 years in marketing and consulting roles at Microsoft. Through her time with Microsoft, she was able to use her marketing and management skills to successfully build and execute results­-oriented programs and develop high­-impact content to support product launches, sales and integrated marketing efforts.

Brianna Wettlaufer
Stocksy United

Brianna Wettlaufer is CEO and Co-founder of Stocksy United, an online artist owned co-op that specializes in high-end curated stock photography. Brianna has worked as an executive in the stock industry for over 10 years. She has mentored startups in Canada, Korea, Japan, and the US, all focused on using community and curation to lead companies forward in photography, art, and music.

In 2012 she co-founded Stocksy, an artist- owned co-op, focused on the support and empowerment of sustainable artist careers through democratic business. Stocksy doubled revenues in 2015 to $7.9M and paid out more than $4.3M in royalties to it’s artist-shareholders.

Brad Williams, Chair of the Finance Committee
Gravity Lab

Brad has held the senior finance role or CFO role at six different tech and financial services companies over the past ten years. Responsibilities in these roles included three go-public transactions, financial, due diligence and integration responsibilities for more than 10 acquisitions, negotiation and implementation for a CCAA restructuring and all traditional financial, corporate finance, public company reporting, tax and risk and control functions for these businesses. As the finance head of a $100M international financial services company (Custom House), he was responsible for the finance and diligence processes of a $25M private equity investment and $370M exit transaction. Subsequent to the completion of the exit transaction, Brad was VP of Global Business Expansion for a $100M company and was responsible for an aggressive 24-month growth strategy, and developing and implementing plans to double regional coverage and revenues. Brad was also the CEO and founder of Travergence Interactive Inc, a global activity discovery and booking company.

Brad brings to the VIATEC Board of Directors a strong intersection of financial (CFO type skills) with entrepreneurial skill, mindset and experiences combined as well as experience in managing high growth companies (up to $100M in revenue).

In Brad’s opinion, the most important thing that VIATEC does is represent our tech industry overall AND creates and enables a healthy, supportive environment for all tech businesses; from startups through to mature enterprises in our area

To date, Brad’s involvement with VIATEC has been with the VIATeC’s Grow Op program and other related services. Brad has served on a couple of private and public company boards including an FSA regulated UK business.