• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Its work to help members during the COVID-19 pandemic has earned VIATEC a major reward. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Its work to help members during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic has earned the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council a major award from the Technology Councils of North America.

    VIATEC, which represents nearly 500 local companies with combined revenue in excess of $4 billion, was singled out during TECNA’s annual Innovation Awards this week for going above and beyond with its initial COVID response and plan of action.

    “This is a really big deal for us — we were up against the largest organization of our kind in Canada, Communitech out of Waterloo, and two state-wide organizations that have considerable resources and profile,” said VIATEC chief executive Dan Gunn. “To be selected from among them was a pleasant surprise.”

    TECNA represents about 60 technology trade organizations that, in turn, represent more than 22,000 technology-related companies across North America.

    Gunn estimates that between rent, staff time, donations and free services, the organization’s COVID response added up to about $250,000. But what set them apart was the suite of things they put together early in the COVID-19 outbreak.

    They immediately offered to defer membership dues, make the job board free for members and waive rent for early-stage companies that are based at VIATEC’s 777 Fort St. headquarters.

    “It was a hit to revenue, but it was an investment we wanted to make to help our members and companies deal with all the uncertainty they were facing,” said Gunn.

    The organization also established a constantly updating online resource centre with details of the various aid programs being offered, including links to more information.

    “We tried to distill it down to make it available for members to quickly understand the programs that may be available to them and how to get access to them,” he added.

    VIATEC also created a return-to-office handbook that offered a checklist to ensure companies were returning to work safely, while its foundation donated $10,000 to the Rapid Relief Fund in Victoria and supported a community garden established for families in need to grow their own food.

    Gunn said they also facilitated a number of virtual workshops, and the chief executive breakfast club met more often to compare notes on best practices and ways to get through the pandemic.

    Gunn said only a few members actually took them up on the offer to defer membership dues, and they can boast a 95 per cent membership renewal.

    VIATEC has also launched what it calls a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workshop series. The program is being offered for free to anyone, regardless of location or sector.


  • John Brett posted an article
    Delta-X Research Named 2019 Company of the Year for Asset Management Solution Providers see more

    Delta-X Research Named 2019 Company of the Year for Asset Management Solution Providers

    (Victoria, BC – March 11, 2019) – Delta-X Research has been named the number one Asset Management Solution Provider of 2019 by Utilities Tech Outlook Magazine. This Company of the Year award is part of the Magazine’s annual compilation of the Top 10 Asset Management Solution Providers.

    Delta-X Research offers market leading software for managing and interpreting test and monitor data for high-voltage equipment such as the large power transformers found in electrical substations. In particular, the company provides expert analysis of insulating fluid test data, including dissolved gas analysis, that can indicate if equipment is experiencing a fault or requires other maintenance.

    By automatically processing both online monitor data and offline test data using advanced analytics, the company provides accurate and timely insights into the health of the utility’s critical assets, so customers can confidently optimize maintenance and allocate capital budgets to increase reliability, improve safety, and maximize return on investment.

    Delta-X Research’s main product, TOA4, is used by over half of the largest utilities in the USA and Canada. It was recently updated with an innovative new interpretation method called Reliability-based Dissolved Gas Analysis, which identifies and assesses at-risk power transformers by correlating fault gas production with transformer failures. Reliability-based DGA offers a level of assessment far exceeding conventional methods of dissolved gas analysis for transformers. This new approach and the exceptional results when applied at a large utility is what captured the attention of Utilities Tech Outlook staff.

    “We are excited and grateful to have our company acknowledged in this way,” says John Brett, President & CEO of Delta-X Research. “Our customers tell us that Reliability-based DGA, combined with some of the other analytics we’ve developed, represents one of the major advancements in the area of DGA analysis that they have recently seen. After investigation, our customers confirmed fewer false negatives and fewer false positives using Reliability-based DGA, and each one of those avoided errors has saved our customers from financial losses, power outages, and, most importantly, a potentially dangerous catastrophic failure occurring without warning.”

    To read more about the award, please visit

    To learn more about Delta-X Research, please visit


    About Utilities Tech Outlook Magazine: Please visit

    About Delta-X Research: Founded in 1992, Delta-X Research creates diagnostic software for assessing and tracking the condition of high voltage apparatus, including transformers. Its innovative and advanced analytics help companies manage risk, reduce system losses, improve reliability and maximize return on investment of their high-value assets.


    Contact: John Brett, President & CEO


    Phone: +1 250.592.2998 x101

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “I’m very proud to be recognized for my role in inspiring others. I’ve always been motivated by..." see more

    Scott Phillips receives 2018 BC Export Leadership Award

    Victoria BC  (November 20, 2018) StarFish Medical announces that CEO and Founder, Scott Phillips, will receive the BC Export Leadership Award on November 22, at the 2018 Lunch and Awards Presentation in Vancouver BC. The award selection criteria includes:

    • Demonstrated significant year-to-year percentage growth in value of export sales or increased sales volume over the past year
    • Demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles or other unique challenges in entering new international market(s)
    • Demonstrated quality of their export plan through use of innovation and strategies to promote brand awareness in their export market(s)
    • Notable growth in their overall business as a direct result of their export activities

    Mr. Phillips expressed his gratitude to nominators, references, and the selection committee when hearing the news: “I’m very proud to be recognized for my role in inspiring others. I’ve always been motivated by community and helping other be successful. Whether in our company or around North America, nothing make me happier than a successful client.”

    About Scott Phillips
    Scott Phillips is Founder and CEO of the StarFish group of companies, including StarFish Medical and ViVitro Labs Inc.  Known for being an entrepreneur and for helping entrepreneurs, Scott graduated in engineering physics from the University of British Columbia and holds 17 patents. StarFish Medical is an awarding winning medical device development services provider and 2018 Business in Vancouver Top 100 Technology Company. Recent company awards include 2018 Strategic Life Sciences Partner of the Year, 2018 VIATEC Community Champion, and 2016 Business Excellence Technology Business of the Year.

    Scott’s industry awards and service include 2017 VIATEC Technology Champion, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2017 Pacific Award Technology category, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, 2017 President of Entrepreneurs Organization Victoria Chapter, board member of LifeSciences British Columbia and former board member of the BC Medical Technology Industry Association. His passions are being a Dad, discovery, solving problems, outdoors adventures, and helping people be successful.

    About BC Export Awards
    The BC Export Awards are the province’s most prestigious awards paying tribute to the success and innovative approaches of BC export companies. Extending across industries the awards recognize achievements in 9 different categories and are a celebration of the contributions exporters have made to both the provincial and national economy. Conceived in 1982, the program has recognized over 300 companies since its inception, reflecting the growth and diversity of BC’s economy over the past 30 years.

    Empowering Medtech Innovation ™
    StarFish Medical is a full service Medical Device Design company offering design, development, and manufacturing services based in Toronto and Victoria. We use our Pathfinder™ process to reduce wasted effort and increase success for medical device product definition, technical engineering, and product development. Prototype and volume production are delivered within an ISO 13485 certified Quality Management System and an FDA registered manufacturing and clean room facility.

    StarFish Medical media contact:

    Mike Camplin
    250.388.3537 x210

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Locelle, nominated for Small Business BC Award, "Best Community Impact" and is open to public vote see more

    Locelle, nominated for Small Business BC Awards, "Best Community Impact," "Best Concept" and is open to public vote

    Locelle, a networking platform for professional women, was founded by Humaira Ahmed, after she had her second child. She was increasingly feeling socially isolated and depressed and needed an easier way to connect with like-minded women who lived closeby.

    With current social networking space, people spend more time online than offline and are becoming increasingly lonely. With no easy way to find and meet up with like-minded women at the time, Humaira founded Locelle. With a background in Software Engineering and Marketing, she knew she could pull it off. The platform launched in October 2018 after 10 months of hard work, and has hundreds of professional women using the platform in Victoria and Vancouver. Women from big tech companies are especially using the platform as they feel isolated in male dominated space, and feel the need to meet other like-minded women locally. Women are making meaningful connections and the platform aims to tackle social isolation amongst local women.

    You can vote for Locelle to win a Small Business BC Award right here AND here!

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The magazine ranked Victoria second on the list of the top-20 small cities outside the U.S. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    We're No. 2 small city in the world in Condé Nast rankings

    Tourism Victoria says Victoria is making a bigger mark on the world stage after it was named the No. 2 small city on the latest Condé Nast Readers’ Choice awards.

    The magazine ranked Victoria second on the list of the top-20 small cities outside the U.S. behind San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Tourism Victoria believes the ranking is proof the city punches above its weight on the world stage.

    “This result is straight from readers of one of the world’s leading travel magazines,” said Paul Nursey, chief executive of Tourism Victoria.

    “This is proof positive that Greater Victoria’s transformation from a quaint and charming regional destination to a world-leading, experiential destination is complete.”

    Victoria beat out Florence, Italy, Bruges, Belgium and Lucerne, Switzerland, for the No. 2 spot. The only other Canadian city to make the list was Quebec City at No. 8.

    Tourism Victoria believes the ranking is down to getting the word out about the experience of visiting Victoria.

    According to the organization, there has been extensive coverage in publications such as the New York Times, New Zealand Herald and Rolling Stone to showcase everything from the region’s burgeoning concert and music scene to the Pacific Marine Circle Route.

    Already this year, Smart Meetings magazine recommended Victoria as one of the top 10 emerging destinations for hosting meetings and conferences, while this summer a poll of 5,770 Canadian travel agents chose Victoria as one of the top five destinations in the country.

    Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards are chosen by more than 300,000 readers.

    Victoria and the other winning cities will be listed in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler.

    Last year, Victoria was ranked in the No. 7 spot on a list of Best Cities in the World (outside the U.S.) in the same readers’


    Conde Nast Top-20 Small Cities (Outside U.S.)

    1. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
    2. Victoria
    3. Florence, Italy
    4. Bruges, Belgium
    5. Lucerne, Switzerland
    6. Salzburg, Austria
    7. Nuremberg, Germany
    8. Quebec City
    9. Cologne, Germany
    10. Lisbon, Portugal
    11. Copenhagen, Denmark
    12. Edinburgh, Scotland
    13. Bergen, Norway
    14. Stockholm, Sweden
    15. Seville, Spain
    16. Prague, Czech Republic
    17. Venice, Italy
    18. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
    19. Dublin, Ireland
    20. Jerusalem, Israel

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Scott Phillips was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Pacific) in the tech category see more

    Prestigious entrepreneur honour for Starfish Medical founder

    Starfish Medical might need to engineer a new mantelpiece for its Tennyson Place offices as the company landed a major award over the weekend when founder Scott Phillips was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Pacific) in the technology category. 

    The award, considered one of the world’s most prestigious business honours for entrepreneurs, comes on the heels of Phillips being named 2017 Technology Champion at this year’s Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council awards.

    “We’ve been fortunate to win a few things, and I say we because this is a team thing, but this award in particular is recognized around the world and we are an international company so this is very helpful,” said Phillips. “I’m really honoured, to be honest. I mean, it was a large category as ‘technology’ is pretty broad … I’m delighted to be chosen.”

    Phillips, who has received congratulations from clients and colleagues in 12 countries since the announcement, said the win is a validation for the decisions Starfish has made over the past several years.

    “When I frame what we are doing, it’s usually in the context of the medical [industry]. But when you go through the exercise and apply for these awards, it forces you to think in pure business terms,” he said. “It gives me a good feeling to be recognized in more than just the tech expertise that we bring, but also in our business achievements.”

    Starfish, which designs and develops medical devices, has had plenty of the achievements.

    The 18-year-old, private company has reported 50 per cent growth in each of the past two years. In March, it announced the acquisition of Toronto medical-device designer Kangaroo Group to attract more business from the medical-technology hubs of the eastern U.S.

    That expansion helped the company grow to 130 employees, with 25 in its office in Toronto.

    “Financially, it’s a good story. We have tripled the company in the last four years and become the only national firm in our industry,” Philips said.

    The acquisition of Kangaroo has paid off for Phillips, as the firm landed two new clients in Michigan whom he believes they would have missed without an eastern presence.

    “We are making good headway there. … I’m confident we will see some interesting development in places like Boston, New Jersey and New York that we wouldn’t have otherwise,” he said.

    Growth seems inevitable as Starfish plans to add to its sales force.

    “Every year we say to ourselves: ‘Let’s put the brakes on a little.’ Then we grow 30 per cent,” Phillips said with a laugh. “Maybe this is the year we stabilize a bit, but in this business, you kind of respond to demand.”

    The EY Entrepreneur of the Year program runs in about 145 cities in about 60 countries.

    Rob McCurdy, chief executive of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, was named the overall EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the Pacific region.

    As the Pacific region’s winner, McCurdy will compete with other winners from the Prairies, Ontario, Atlantic and Quebec regions for the national honour as Canada’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year. That winner will take on the world.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    It was nearly five years into the development of what was initially titled Dollhouse... see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Michael D. Reid

    Gaming guru Mattrick receives UVic honour

    Don Mattrick grins as he recalls a classic example of his legendary persistence, and how it spawned a $5-billion franchise while he was president of worldwide studios for the Electronic Arts gaming company.

    It was nearly five years into the development of what was initially titled Dollhouse, a passion project the ambitious business mogul was working on with game designer Will Wright.

    Even though his executive team threatened to resign, he soldiered on and Dollhouse morphed into the hugely successful life-simulation video-game series The Sims.

    “Literally, for five years someone would come into my office and say, ‘This is never going to ship! This is the dumbest product you’ve ever had,’” recalled the amiable tech titan at the University of Victoria Monday morning. Mattrick, who on Monday night received the 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year award, was at UVic to inspire fourth-year Peter B. Gustavson School of Business entrepreneurship students.

    “‘You have 75 full-time people working on this! All the rest of us are busy making a difference in our company,’” he said, recalling the reaction of some colleagues. “Does Will have compromising pictures of you?”

    While executives accused Mattrick of having “this huge blind spot,” the Victoria-based entrepreneur’s tenacity paid off with a product that became one of the best-selling video games in history.

    “You have to try and champion things,” said Mattrick, who has done plenty of championing since his teenage years when he offered to work for free at a ComputerLand store after unsuccessfully applying for a job there.

    The Burnaby-raised visionary’s experiences inspired him to create Distinctive Software Inc., which would become Electronic Arts. So began a career turning startups into major businesses and setting the standard for video-game development during three decades in the technology sector.

    Other career highlights include his tenure as CEO of Zynga, the social-media gaming company, and as president of Microsoft’s entertainment businesses, overseeing the growth of the Xbox console and its PC gaming businesses.

    He has served on public and private boards, including the advisory board for the USC School of Cinematic Arts and is currently serving as co-chair of the Premier’s Technology Council.

    As well, Mattrick is an honorary fellow with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, and holds an honorary doctor of laws from Simon Fraser University.

    While Mattrick answered questions about his successes, he wasn’t above acknowledging his missteps. He recalled the one that got away in the 1980s — Tetris.

    “I’d seen the first prototype,” he said. “Three friends pulled me aside and said: ‘We could write this in three hours! You cannot pay this money to license this.”

    He said he considers having passed on the tile-matching puzzle video game released in 1984 a mistake — albeit one he’d learn from — since it went on to become a $2-billion franchise.

    “It’s overwhelming when you start something,” he said. “But it gets easier because you learn how to accept failure and success in the same way. Give yourself permission to fail.”

    Without revealing the person’s identity, other than to quip it wasn’t Mark Zuckerberg, Mattrick said he just spoke with an “Internet gazillionaire” friend. He asked for advice on how to inspire students at UVic.

    “He said: ‘Just kick them in the rear and tell them to go do it,’ ” Mattrick said with a laugh.

    “There’s no perfect entry point. The benefits of doing it are going to teach you a lot more than the benefits of trying to make a perfect choice.”

    Mattrick said he was fortunate to have some great coaches who taught him the importance of time management, setting priorities and how to think strategically.

    “At the end of the day, it’s about people and the first person you’re managing is yourself,” he said. “Be resilient.”

    He emphasized that starting a tech company is “a team sport” and that his experiences in the U.S. have confirmed that Canadian entrepreneurs are as talented and as capable of success.

    “In the U.S., they’re just more brash and competitive,” said Mattrick, who added that “I’m a bit of a hermit” who happens to be “super-competitive” but likes to think things through before taking action.

    When asked to name his proudest achievements, one of his answers took some students by surprise.

    “I married exceptionally well,” he said, referring to his wife of 25 years Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick, president and co-founder of Beehive Holdings, the investment firm that supports women entrepreneurs.

    “My wife speaks five languages, is a literature and business school grad. She pulls me aside all the time and says: ‘I can’t believe you said that in a public setting. You are such a geek!’

    “She’d remind me that most people wouldn’t care about the math. They’d care about the emotion.”


    Previous winners of the University of Victoria Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year award

    • 2016: Linda Hasenfratz, CEO Linamar

    • 2015: David Foster, businessman, philanthropist and record producer

    • 2014: Dennis Washington, founder of The Washington Companies

    • 2013: Brandt C. Louie, chairman of London Drugs

    • 2012: Dennis (Chip) Wilson, founder of Lululemon Athletica

    • 2011: J.R. Shaw, founder of Shaw Communications

    • 2010: Alex Campbell Sr., co-founder of Thrifty Foods

    • 2009: Sir Terence Matthews, chair of Mitel Corporation, and chair and founder of Wesley Clover

    • 2008: Clive Beddoe, founding shareholder in WestJet

    • 2007: David Black, president of Black Press

    • 2006: Gwyn Morgan, former president and CEO of EnCana Corp.

    • 2005: Dave Ritchie, chair and former CEO of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

    • 2004: Jeff Mallett, former president and chief operating officer of Yahoo!


  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Stark, 46, senior vice-president at game studio Kixeye Canada, will be presented with an award... see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Clayton Stark will do something today that he’s not entirely comfortable with — accept plaudits and an honour from a school that gave him a chance to take on the world on his own terms.

    Stark, 46, senior vice-president at game studio Kixeye Canada, will be presented with an award from his alma mater, Camosun College, as its 2016 Distinguished Alumni during graduation ceremonies.

    The outspoken technology leade admits he’s a bit taken aback and humbled by the award.

    “My honest reaction was a big smile ... any kind of recognition is heartwarming, and this is an honour,” said Stark, sitting in his office at Bastion Square.

    At Kixeye, Stark is responsible for technical strategy and execution for the company’s online video game platform, which reaches tens of millions of users around the world.

    It’s a long way from his days learning mechanical engineering at Camosun between games of hacky sack and other recreational activities. Stark said he’s never forgotten the school and the pivotal role it played in setting him on his career path.

    “I think it proved to me that I could go from point A to point B, where there was quite a gap between the two, and make a transformative change in a relatively short period of time,” Stark says. “It was the first great example that allowed me to think I could pretty much do whatever I set my mind to.”

    Stark, who had no high school education, saw Camosun as the only means to getting a post-secondary education through its bridging program, an intensive six-month program that he said basically compressed all of high school into six months.

    After that he took and graduated from its three-year mechanical engineering program.

    The college helped him to establish confidence, which when married with knowledge allowed him to excel, he said.

    “Camosun gave me some wonderful opportunities ... I had good exposure to a lot of things. I took the investment [in school] as the minimal viable investment to start a career.”

    That led to work in oceanography, construction, energy management and software design and then into building top-flight technology and putting together strong tech teams.

    He helped to create a company called Flock, which was acquired in 2011 by San Francisco company Zynga, in a deal designed to lure strong tech talent to Silicon Valley.

    But Stark soon returned home to establish Zynga’s Victoria office, and in 2012 he joined game studio Kixeye and established that company’s first Canadian space in Bastion Square.

    He laughs when he considers how often over the years he, as the Camosun grad, has been around boardroom tables and held court with MIT, Harvard and Yale graduates. “I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic. It isn’t really about requiring a particular pedigree, it’s what you do with it.”

    When he talks with Camosun students, he said he tells them not to impose limits on themselves based on their level of education.

    “The limits you set yourself are going to be your biggest problem, it isn’t what school you go to.”