Jim Balcom
Redlen Technologies

Jim Balcom has spent the bulk of his career in the Tech sector in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Vancouver and now Victoria. Jim has spent the last 5 years here with semiconductor developer and manufacturer Redlen Technologies, most recently as their COO. He is pleased to be part of the continued growth of the sector here, helping to grow Redlen from 60 to 130 people and more than tripling Redlen’s revenue during that time. He’s worked in a number of executive management roles over the past 30 years including manufacturing, engineering, sales, and venture capital, and has developed and launched disruptive products and technologies in medical devices, consumer electronics, compound semiconductors and alternative energy. Jim has a Systems Engineering degree from Waterloo and an MBA from Harvard and he’s learned a lot along the way from both successes and failures. He’s helped to raise over $100m in financing for numerous companies from various public and private sources including angels, VCs, government programs and IPOs and has been a board member, angel investor, and mentor to a number of companies over the years. Since moving to the area 5 years ago, Jim and his wife have been blown away by the combination of the high energy of the Tech sector and the high quality of life in Victoria, and they’ve concluded that this is where they prefer to work and live for the foreseeable future. Jim is keen to share his experiences and give back to the local Tech community.

Robert Bowness, Finance Committee Chair
BC Pension Corporation

Robert is a designated Chartered Accountant with experience in accounting, financial reporting, financial analysis and regulatory reporting. He is currently the Assistant Director of Employer Operations at the BC Pension Corporation where he leads a team to work with over 1,000 employers to collect over $3 billion of annual contributions for more than 300,000 pension plan members across the province. Previous to the Pension Corporation, Robert articled at an international accounting firm serving public and private clients primarily in the technology and mining industries. Robert brings a background in governance, risk and compliance blended with a technical knowledge of accounting. He enjoys building strong governance structures in organizations and always understanding the "why" behind each decision. To date, Robert’s involvement with VIATEC has been as a member for over 3 years while attending numerous VIATEC events. He also served on the finance committee helping guide VIATEC through financial decisions. In his spare time he can be found exploring the mountains and oceans of British Columbia.
 

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
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. 

 

Bobbi Leach, Vice Chair
FuturePay/RevenueWire

Bobbi Leach brings more than 25 years of experience, most of which has been in the high tech sector launching startups and working with early stage companies. She’s been part of founding three tech startups, including her current role as co-founder and CEO of FuturePay, a point-of-sale financing company. She also has a proven track with building companies from early stage ventures to profitable businesses on a global scale. As the CEO for RevenueWire, Bobbi has grown the e-commerce company into a global leader, successfully launching new products and driving double-digit growth in revenue and profitability. Her experience has taught her a lot about what it takes to successfully grow a tech company and manage the roller coaster ride that comes along with it. As a Victoria girl, Bobbi is also committed to growing our local tech industry. Continuing to be part of the VIATEC board is one way to help contribute to our thriving community.

Mark Longo, Foundation Chair
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.
 

Justin Love
Limbic Media

Justin Love is an native Victorian with strong ties to the arts and cultural institutions in the City. His love of art and technology led him to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree in Computer Science and Visual Art (M.Sc) at the University of Victoria and SFU. After graduating, Justin started a company called Limbic Media and helped it grow into a successful consulting company with a working culture that is renowned. Recently, Limbic Media used its success as a consulting company and the world class software and hardware team it had built up to bootstrap the development of its first product “Aurora” — a hardware-based interactive lighting platform that is set to revolutionize the entertainment lighting industry. Throughout Limbic’s growth Justin has continued to practice as a media artist with exhibits in Canada, USA, Switzerland, China, Mexico, Turkey and recently in Colombia. Outside of art and technology Justin has a strong interest and involvement in the local agile community and is a proponent of self-organizing and evolutionary organizational management structures e.g. TEAL. Justin hopes his background and involvement in the arts and cultural communities both locally and internationally will bring a unique perspective to the VIATEC BOD and help integrate the organization more into the City’s vibrant arts and cultural scene.

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.

Masoud Nassaji
DoubleJump

In 2014 Masoud dropped out of university and co-founded DoubleJump, a bootstrapped mobile gaming studio. Under Masoud's leadership, DoubleJump has seen rapid growth, tripling its headcount every year while remaining profitable. Masoud has been able to create a diverse team of individuals who have been able to solve challenging technological and creative problems to build world-class products that compete on a global stage. To date, DoubleJump's products have been played by millions of people around the world and have generated millions in revenue.

Rasool Rayani, Board 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, Governance Committee Chair
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.