• Article
    Attendance ballooned to over 1,100 guests, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in see more

    19th Annual VIATEC Awards shine spotlight on Greater Victoria’s #1 industry


    VICTORIA, BC (June 15, 2019) – Last night at the Royal Theatre, the VIATEC Awards celebrated the innovation and excellence of individuals and technology companies responsible for making Victoria the fastest growing technology region in British Columbia. 49 finalists were honoured, with 15 recipients receiving newly designed astronaut trophies (designed by local artist Russell Papp), at the elaborate show. Attendance ballooned to over 1,100 guests, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the nation, and VIATEC’s most attended - ever.

    Erin Skillen took the reigns for the second year in a row as host for the production, bringing the perfect balance of humour, intelligence and attitude. With a theme of “There’s no place like home”, the night featured local variety show acts from Passion

    and Performance Arts Inc, Atomic Vaudeville and a powerful finale accompanied by the resident awards band, in what has become an annual tradition... flying inflatable Killer Whales. The stage was brought to life by immersive video projections from VJ Photon featuring seven flown screens featuring video projection mapping along with four laser banks and five giant disco balls all supported by the incredible stage crew of the Royal Theatre. Everyone continued the celebration at the After Party with local eight piece band The New Groovement.

    “It is our honour to produce a show that brings together and entertains our tech community and we relish the opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of our top performing companies and executives,” said Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “Each year gets more elaborate and we cannot say enough about our local arts community and what they bring to make this event the unique and anticipated festivity it is has become.”


    Technology Company of the Year (30+ employees):
    (Sponsored by: Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP)


    Technology Company of the Year (11-29 employees):

    (Sponsored by: Lazaridis Institute)


    Scale-Up of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: KPMG LLP)


    Start-Up of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Bambora)


    Product of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: RBC Commercial Financial Services)


    Innovative Excellence - Software or Service:

    (Sponsored by: Grant Thornton LLP)


    Innovative Excellence - Hardware:

    (Sponsored by: Wesley Clover)


    Leader of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: AbeBooks)


    Emerging Leader of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Roy Group)


    Team of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Royal Roads University)


    Employer of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: The VIATEC Foundation)


    NAMED RECIPIENTS (No finalists):


    The Colin Lennox Award for Technology

    (Sponsored by: Reed Pope LLP)


    VIATEC Members of the Year:

    (Sponsored by: Cox Taylor LLP)

    • Sang Kiet-Ly, KPMG


    Community Champion:

    (Sponsored by: City of Victoria)


    Angel of the Year:

    (Selected by the Capital Investment Network, Sponsored by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP)

    Media Contact:

    Michaela Schluessel
    Community Manager


    About VIATEC

    VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. Our mission is to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector (Victoria's biggest industry). We work closely with our members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the front door of the local tech sector and as its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, we acquired our own building (Fort Tectoria) where we offer flexible and affordable office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering/event space for local entrepreneurs.,

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Includes Cuboh who is one of the newest members to join VIATEC's Venture Acceleration Program! see more


    The judges’ scores are in! Meet the eight companies moving on from Round 2.5 to join Round 3, following successful pitches before a jury. Congratulations to the companies that are moving on.

    Moving on to Round 3 (in alphabetical order)

    These companies will join the top 18 that had previously advanced directly into Round 3, including Cuboh who is one of the newest members to join VIATEC's Venture Acceleration Program!

    Additional Round 3 Competitors (in alphabetical order)

    In the next stage of the competition, ventures will be paired with a mentor team and create a condensed business plan.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “A 10 to Watch Award is a strong endorsement from local business experts” see more

    VICTORIA, BC (NEWS RELEASE) — Douglas magazine is proud to announce this year’s 10 to Watch winners, who represent the very best of Vancouver Island’s new businesses. 

    From slowing down climate change or helping veterans reclaim their health to sustainably farming the land oceans or providing mobile natural healthcare solutions, these innovative companies are looking to change the world. The 10 to Watch winners were selected by an independent panel of judges that included local business owners and representatives of the University of Victoria Peter B. Gustavson School of Business and Royal Roads University School of Business.

    “A 10 to Watch Award is a strong endorsement from local business experts,” says Lise Gyorkos, co-owner of Page One Publishing, which produces Douglas magazine. “The award recognizes that these businesses demonstrate sound business models, scalability, talent and great market potential.”

    The 2020 10 to Watch winners are:

    Bilston Creek Farm

    Cascadia Seaweed 




    Eir Mobile Medicine

    Little Fox Design

    Rehab and Performance


    Zero Waste Emporium 

    Find profiles of each of the winners on The winners will be celebrated at a special gala, which will be announced at a later date.

    "It's an especially difficult time for new businesses,” says Douglas Editor-in-Chief Kerry Slavens. “These innovative local businesses are an important part of our communities, so we ask the community to please give them extra support."

    Now in their 11th year, the 10 to Watch Awards recognize Vancouver Island’s best new companies, which have been in business for three years or less. Previous winners include: SendtoNews, Sea Cider, Echosec, DeeBees Organics, Flytographer, Rumble Energy Drink, Elate Cosmetics and Family Sparks.

    Douglas is published by Page One Publishing, creators of YAM, Victoria’s lifestyle magazine, and Spruce, Victoria’s home and design magazine. 

    The 10 to Watch Awards are made possible by the generous sponsorship of Title Sponsor Peninsula Co-op and supporting sponsors.

    For further information and interviews, contact:

    Kerry Slavens, Editor-in-Chief, Douglas Magazine

    Mobile: 250-516-0152,  Email:



    Bilston Creek Farm

    Maintaining a beautiful balance of progressiveness with sustainability, Bilston Creek Farm produces natural face, body, kitchen and bath products, and has become a hotspot destination for weddings, retreats and dinners. 

    Cascadia Seaweed

    Cascadia is a commercial seaweed farmer looking to bring more seaweed into the diets of North Americans. 


    The Covault app is powerful co-marketing software that connects brands and retailers to unlock co-op funding and reach a shared local audience.


    This company’s inventive app streamlines restaurant ordering by combining meal delivery applications like DoorDash, Grubhub and SkipTheDishes in a single interface.


    With its integrated payment software, DivDot solves a major pain point for business — how to pay and get paid.

    Eir Mobile Medicine

    An acupuncture and natural medicine clinic housed in a multi-coloured Winnebago, Eir Mobile Medicine brings a vivacious farmer’s-market energy to the typically staid health environment.

    Little Fox Design

    This certified carbon-neutral green graphic design and branding studio focuses on something no one else in the industry seems to be paying attention to — the climate.

    Rehab and Performance

    Rehab and Performance provides a rehabilitation space for a particularly vulnerable sector: Veterans and service personnel.


    VINN’s innovative online auto buying platform makes buying a car simpler and less time consuming for Canadians.

    Zero Waste Emporium 

    Vancouver Island’s first full-serve, zero-waste grocery store, Zero Waste Emporium provides food, personal care and cleaning items all package-free. 

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Victoria companies Cuboh and Open Ocean Robotics take home cash prizes. see more


    The results are in: 2019 New Ventures BC Competition winners

    Cuboh takes home 3rd place prize of $35,000 and $10,000 Innovate BC Top Regional Startup prize package, and Open Ocean Robotics earns the $22,000 BC Resource Industry prize package!

    This year our 19th annual New Ventures BC Competition presented by Innovate BC was larger than ever before. They received a record-breaking number of applications – over 200 in fact and after six months of rigorous Competition, they are excited to announce that they have a winner.

    After edging out nine other finalists to collect this year’s $105,000 top prize, Vancouver video creation platform Lumen5 takes home top honours at our 2019 Competition.

    NiceJob, also of Vancouver, took home the $60,000 second-place prize for their reputation marketing application and Victoria-based Cuboh claimed the $35,000 third-place prize for their food order management solution last night at the competition’s 19 the annual awards ceremony.

    “Every year, I’m taken away by the strength of the companies in BC’s tech sector. The diversity of ventures in this year’s top 10 is a true representation of the creativity and innovation we see emerging from all corners of the province,” said Mike Volker, Board Chair of New Ventures BC.

    “We’re proud to be supporting the industry and are looking forward to seeing this group of companies grow and succeed in BC, Canada and beyond.”

    Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Lumen5 is a powerful storytelling tool that helps businesses drive online engagement, turning blogs and content into compelling social video – in minutes. Almost 74% of internet traffic comes from video content, and Lumen5 is making it easier than ever for anyone to create engaging video content and build their online audience.

    In just two years, Lumen5 has grown into a multi-million dollar business with close to 300,000 users including brands like Forbes, The Economist, Translink and the Daily Hive – without raising any capital.

    This year’s competition attracted a record 200 companies developing innovative solutions in sectors including software, robotics, hardware, healthtech and cleantech. For almost two decades, the New Ventures BC Competition has awarded BC-based startups with over $250,000 in cash and prizes to grow their companies.

    The mentorship and education startups receive during the competition has contributed to the success stories of alumni including Aspect Biosystems, a Vancouver-based company 3D printing human tissue, and female-led intelligent dermatology company MetaOptima – standouts in BC’s thriving tech sector.

    Since its inception, the competition has helped 2,700 startups create over 3,800 jobs and raise over $380 million in financing.

    “The New Ventures BC competition once again showcased leading entrepreneurs who are developing ground-breaking innovations that have a tremendous impact on the way we live,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Congratulations to all the winners and nominees and to New Ventures BC and Innovate BC for supporting the next generation of high-tech innovators.”

    In addition to the top three prizes, the competition awards industry-specific prizes honour companies making a significant contribution to specific sectors or markets.

    This year’s winners are:

    • Spectrum (Vancouver, BC): $15,000 Vancity Social Venture prize package
    • Open Ocean Robotics (Victoria, BC): $22,000 BC Resource Industry prize package
    • Cuboh (Victoria, BC): $10,000 Innovate BC Top Regional Startup prize package
    • Plugzio (Coquitlam, BC): $6,000 BC Tech Association Growth Programs prize package
    • Beatdapp (Vancouver, BC): $2,500 People’s Choice Award

    The 19th annual New Ventures BC Competition is presented by Innovate BC, a crown agency helping innovators in all regions of the province launch their ideas and succeed in BC’s competitive tech sector.“Connecting regional communities to funding, resources and support is a big part of Innovate BC’s mandate and vision,” said Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC. “New Ventures BC is uniquely positioned to support startups all over British Columbia, which is why we are thrilled to once again be the title sponsor of this competition.”

    About the organizers:

    About New Ventures BC

    New Ventures BC runs the annual New Ventures BC Competition, the largest and longest-running tech competition in BC, awarding $250,000 in cash and prizes to early-stage startups. The organization also offers a mentored, online Venture Acceleration Program and administers the Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) Grant, offering tech companies up to $10,000 a year to hire a student. New Ventures BC is a non-profit organization that receives funding from both government and corporate sponsors.

    About Innovate BC

    Innovate BC is a one stop service centre to connect innovators — large and small — with B.C. government funding, resources and support. Innovate BC programs and initiatives serve and celebrate innovation in British Columbia, helping our industries grow, while ensuring the benefits of our thriving technology sector are felt by people in all regions of our province. Innovate BC is a Crown Agency of the Province of B.C.

    About the winning companies:


    Lumen5 is a video creation platform designed to help brands and businesses drive online engagement. Using an algorithm and artificial intelligence to identify key messages and find relevant videos, photos and audio tracks in Lumen5’s media database, the platform makes it easy to create videos in minutes.


    NiceJob helps businesses share customer testimonials by automating the collection of reviews and posting them to the company’s website to increase visibility. NiceJob’s reputation marketing platform ensures that businesses can raise awareness and drive sales without having to lift a finger.


    Cuboh saves restaurants time and money by consolidating orders from third-party platforms like Skip the Dishes and DoorDash into one integrated app. By bringing all online orders into an integrated hub, restaurants can ditch the hassle of managing multiple food ordering apps and focus on providing a great customer experience.


    Spectrum is making it easier for doctors to prescribe antibiotics. With easy-to-understand clinical guidelines loaded into the Spectrum app, doctors can input patient information and receive dosage recommendations tailored to the patient’s needs. Spectrum’s partner hospitals have seen up to 90% increases in accurate prescribing.

    Open Ocean Robotics

    Open Ocean Robotics has developed autonomous, wind and solar-powered boats to collect ocean data. Using sensors, cameras and real-time communications, the boats provide a safer, more effective and more affordable way to study the ocean. Open Ocean Robotics collects atmospheric and oceanic data, including air temperature, wind speed, water height and temperature, ocean currents and marine mammal acoustics.


    Plugzio provides an easy, secure charging solution for electric and autonomous vehicles. The company has developed an outlet that only starts the flow of electricity once the user activates it through mobile phone. Once installed, it bills the user directly and the owner of the shared space gets paid. Electric vehicle owners get access to an affordable charging solution, while business owners can easily take advantage of a new revenue stream.


    Beatdapp has developed a custom blockchain application that tracks real-time audited play counts of a song across streaming services. With Beatdapp, music labels can accurately track the number of times a song is played on a streaming service, ensuring musicians are compensated fairly.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The winners will be announced on September 19th see more

    Just 10 companies are still in the running for top prizes in this year’s New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC, and Victoria's own Cuboh and Open Ocean Robotics have made the cut! Winners will be announced at the Awards on September 19th.

    Out of the 196 companies, 20% were from outside Metro Vancouver (3 in North Van, 9 in Thompson/OK, 4 in Kootenays, 22 on Vancouver Island). Out of the top 25 ventures, 5 were regional, although all on Vancouver Island - Kranked in Gibsons and 4 in Victoria: Cuboh, GT Water Machines, SpayVac, and Open Ocean Robotics.

    The top 10 ventures are pitching this week, and 3 are regional - Kranked, Cuboh, and Open Ocean Robotics. Also, while SpayVac did not make the top 10, they finished just outside and nearly made it in!

    The $2500 People's Choice Award voting is on now:

    2019 New Ventures BC Competition Top 10 Finalists:

    In alphabetical order

    Congratulations to all finalists!

    After receiving the judging scores, the New Ventures Competition BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC uses Octothorpe Software for judging analysis. See details here.

    Next Steps:
    In the fourth and final round, each team will pitch to a judging panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors.

    The judges:

    • Natalie Dakers, CEO, Accel-Rx Health Accelerator
    • Andy Edelmeir, Braemar West Capital
    • Bruce Schmidt, Angel Investor
    • David Shore, Co-founder Inc.
    • Geoff Catherwood, BDC
    • Jim Fletcher, Angel Investor
    •  Julien Sellgren, Angel Investor and past NVBC winner (Metalogix 2002)
    • Maria Pacella, PenderFund Capital Management
    • Meredith Powell, Venture Partner, Voyager Capital

    Want to see who wins $250,000 in cash and prizes? Be sure to register for the 19th Annual Competition Awardshappening on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Imperial in Vancouver. Tickets are $5 for BC tech startups, but are limited – be sure to register early.

    This event is a part of Vancouver Startup Week for the fifth year in a row.


  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Cuboh makes Y Combinator list see more

    Author: Meagan Simpson

    This week, Y Combinator held its Summer 2019 Demo Day and this time 11 Canadian startups participated in the seed accelerator program including VIATEC Member, Cuboh!

    YC’s summer 2019 cohort was comprised of 197 companies overall, which pitched to investors over the course of two days. The 11 Canadian companies mark the second largest group of Canadians to ever participate in YC; the record was set in YC’s winter 2018 batch, which included 12 Canadian startups.

    From a breathalyzer for cannabis to college financing and coding, here are 10 Canadian or Canadian-founded startups that participated in Y Combinator this season. BetaKit has agreed to keep one of the startups off the record as they remain in stealth mode.


    Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Cuboh is a platform that integrates delivery services like Grubhub, SkipTheDishes, and Doordash. It allows restaurants to consolidate their various app delivery services and POS systems on one dashboard, as well as view metrics and analytics. According to Cuboh, users can “86 [get rid of] items, accept, reject, refund, and remark items all in real-time, regardless of which delivery platform they come from.”

    Cuboh was founded in late 2017 by CEO Juan Orrego as an analytics platform for restaurants. In August 2018, Sinan Sari joined on as a co-founder, and, according to BC Business, the two turned Cuboh into the subscription platform it is today.

    Orrego said that since starting YC, Cuboh has grown by 300 percent from $120,00 in annual recurring revenue (ARR) to $360,000 ARR. He also stated that Cuboh already has customers in Canada, the US, and Hong Kong.


  • Article
    The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) has accepted 54 companies to land globally this summer. see more

    Source: Canadian Digital Media Network

    Cuboh and VitaminLab Accepted into CDMN Soft landing Program 2019

    The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) has accepted 54 companies to land globally this summer, as a part of their Soft Landing program including Victoria-based Cuboh and VitaminLab. 

    The program helps mature startups and small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) from across Canada to grow their businesses through new revenues or investments in foreign markets.

    Program participants receive access to office space for up to three months in their desired destination, plus up to $4,000 CAD to cover travel and accommodation expenses.

    Companies landing in the spring/summer 2019 cohort are:

    AlchemyArtVentureAthlete Era TechnologiesAxle Plastic Inc.BetterezBeyond Media Digital Inc.; Bialogics Analytics Inc.BioRender.ioBodiometerBoss InsightsCHAR Technologies Ltd.CoEng AdvisorsCubohDrop MobilityeTreat Medical Diagnostics Inc.Forward Water TechnologiesFREDsense Technologies Corp.Harbr Inc.Hex Management Inc.HITCH Tech Inc.HostedBizz Inc.IncuversKnockriLaunchfireMatagora Inc.Merq Inc.Nimbus Tutoring Inc.OVAPantonium Inc.PomeGran Networks Inc.PredikatProNavigatorProskidaPUG Interactive Productions Inc.Rank SoftwareReWatt Power Inc.ScreenScape NetworksServicePath Inc.SmartTones Inc.Spare Labs Inc.StandardFusionSwift Medical Inc.TDL Systems Inc.The Growcer Inc.The Learning BarThe Raw OfficeThisFish IncTournamentCaddie Inc.TRAINFOTrip NinjaVitaminLabVivaVax Inc.Wolf and GrizzlyYuma Foods.

    The selected companies will be landing in 70 cities across 21 countries globally.


    About The Canadian Digital Media Network

    The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), is a network of 29 regional innovation hubs across Canada, all focused on supporting Canada’s digital entrepreneurs. Designated a federal Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research, CDMN is dedicated to establishing Canada as a world leader in the digital economy. Follow @CDMN on Twitter, join the Canadian Digital Media Network Group on LinkedIn and like the CanadianDigitalMediaNetwork Page on Facebook.


  • Article
    As always, the night was filled with irreverence and a touch of pandemonium. see more

    Source: Times Colonist 
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    More than 1,100 people gathered in the Royal Theatre Friday night to celebrate the brightest lights of the high-tech industry.

    The 19th annual Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council awards handed out 15 trophies in what was the largest awards show yet. As always, the night was filled with irreverence and a touch of pandemonium — complete with flying inflatable whales — while the spotlight hit some of the best stories in the industry.

    “It is our honour to produce a show that brings together and entertains our tech community and we relish the opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of our top performing companies and executives,” said VIATEC chief executive Dan Gunn.

    “Each year gets more elaborate and we cannot say enough about our local arts community and what they bring to make this event the unique and anticipated festivity it is has become.”

    Erin Athene was named this year’s winner of the Victoria tech sector's highest award, the Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion. Athene has been a tireless servant to the community having worn several hats including starting the local Ladies Learning Code chapter and serving as a mentor in VIATEC’s accelerator program.

    Other winners were Women’s Equity Lab as Angel of the Year; Sang Kiet-Ly of KPMG as Member of the Year; and RingPartner, named Community Champion.


    Other Winners

    • Tech Company of the Year (30+ employees): Benevity

    • Tech Company of the Year (11-29 employees): RingPartner

    • Scale-Up of the Year: Tutela

    • Start-Up of the Year: Cuboh

    • Product of the Year: Limbic Media

    • Innovative Excellence, Software or Service: DreamCraft Attractions

    • Innovative Excellence, Hardware: RioT Technology Corp.

    • Leader of the Year: Anita Pawluk, RaceRocks

    • Emerging Leader of the Year: Stephanie Thiel, SaaSquatch

    • Team of the Year: Encepta

    • Employer of the Year: FreshWorks Studio

  • Article
    Round 2.5 and Round 3 ventures announced! see more

    Source: New Ventures BC

    New Ventures BC 2019 - Cuboh, Open Oceans Robotics and Locelle move to next rounds 

    Congratulations to Cuboh for advancing straight to Round 3 and Open Oceans Robotics and Locelle for moving to Round 2.5 of the New Ventures BC 2019 competition! 


    The results are in! Our esteemed panel of 64 judges have evaluated the Round 2 submissions. This year was extremely competitive, leaving us with 16 ventures moving directly into Round 3, and 27 ventures pitching in Round 2.5. All scores were analyzed and normalized by Octothorpe software.

    Congratulations to all!

    Top 16 advancing directly to Round 3 (in alphabetical order)

    Round 2.5 (in alphabetical order)

    What’s next?

    The top 16 companies advance directly to Round 3. The remaining 27 teams will enter Round 2.5, where they will pitch for a chance to advance. The top nine ventures from this pitch day will join Round 3, creating our Top 25!

    Round 2.5 pitches happen June 14. Our final Round 3 ventures will be announced on June 17.

    Good luck to all of the teams!

  • Article
    196 BC tech companies are moving on to Round 2 of the NVBC competition. see more

    Source: New Ventures BC 

    196 BC tech companies are moving on to Round 2 of the NVBC competition.
    Local Victoria companies including Cuboh, LetHub, Live It, Locelle and Orpheus Key are in the running.  

    The 2019 New Ventures BC Competition presented by Innovate BC has officially begun! This year they received a record breaking number of applications by the competition deadline on April 10th, over 200 in fact! 196 BC tech companies are moving on to Round 2 of the competition.

    Victoria entries included:

    Locelle Digital Inc.
    HRG Infrastructure Monitoring Inc.
    Live It
    orpheuskey Research and Development Inc.
    BoatKey Enterprises Inc.
    Open Ocean Robotics
    Anvy Technologies Inc.
    Build A Better Earth Movement
    Local Hood
    GT Water Machines Inc.

    What's next for the competitors? 

    The 196 ventures will attend educational seminars and on May 6 the companies will submit a venture plan and pitch. Stay tuned for more info!