Discover Tectoria

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    This is about being part of the tech community, and it’s cool to showcase all the incredible... see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy
    Photographer: Adrian Lam

    Julie Angus and her husband, Colin, learned a lot about the ocean during the five months it took them to row from Portugal to Costa Rica.

    Quite apart from determining there’s a reason most people don’t tackle the Atlantic Ocean and hurricanes with only humans to power the vessel, the couple realized just how little is known about the world’s oceans.

    The trip sparked an idea that has become their start-up tech firm, Open Ocean Robotics.

    The two year-old company produces solar-powered, autonomous boats equipped with sensors and cameras that can collect information and relay data in real time.

    “There are huge applications for this, 80% of the ocean is unknown, unmapped,” said Julie Angus, who was showing off one of their boats and showcasing the company at the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council’s Discover Tectoria event at Crystal Garden on Thursday.

    “When you spend a lot of time on the ocean, you realize people don’t know how hard it is to see what goes on out there,” she said, adding when she and Colin faced two hurricanes during the crossing they realized there had to be a better way to go out and explore.

    “The automaton solves those issues. It can go out in conditions no crewed vessel can go out in and can stay out for months at a time,” she said, adding it’s also a more cost-effective way of doing research.

    The company, which has eight employees, is doing a pilot project mapping the sea floor for the Canadian Coast Guard and another for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans relaying real-time data on ocean currents, temperature and salinity.

    The need, said Julie Angus, is immense.

    “If we want to protect our oceans and have industry operate in them, we have to embrace technology,” she said.

    Angus said it was important for the young company to be at Discover Tectoria, a showcase of what makes Victoria’s tech industry tick, to both promote itself and the plight of the ocean.

    “This is about being part of the tech community, and it’s cool to showcase all the incredible innovation we have here in Victoria,” she said.

    At the day-long event, thousands of people checked out the latest in research from the University of Victoria, heard speakers talk about the growth of Victoria’s tech industry and how to get careers in the industry, and saw which young companies are preparing to test the marketplace.

    That included new firms along “Start-up Alley” with innovative twists on office furniture, robotics and marine services such as Wisertech Marine Services, which has 10 employees despite being active for only a few months. Wisertech founder Edward Wisernig said the firm has developed marine products from mooring solutions to augmented reality navigation systems.

    On Thursday, he was showing off the company’s solar-energy capture system for boats, which, he believes, is the only sun-tracking device available. He said its 150-watt solar panel will provide the same energy as five 100-watt flat solar panels.

    The system captures energy through photovoltaic solar panels and by using a stainless mirror and a solar collector.

    Unlike flat panels that only get a percentage of the sun during the day, the system can track and capture energy from full sun through the day, he said.

    “It’s designed to reduce the number of solar panels while getting the same amount of energy,” he said, noting 150 watts would power a fridge, electronics and charge a boat’s batteries.

    Jerome Etwaroo, associate director of the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre at UVic, which helps student entrepreneurs takes ideas and concepts to market, said Discover Tectoria is circled on their calendar every year.

    “It’s great, it brings the community together and showcases some of the great things that are happening,” he said.

    For start-up firms, it’s a chance to build connections and get feedback before going to market. “What better place to get candid feedback than this?” Etwaroo said.

    Industry veterans also see the value in the event.

    “It makes you aware of everything going on in the city,” said Scott Dewis, chief vision officer at Race Rocks 3-D. “Most tech companies don’t sell to Victoria, they sell to the world, so to get them together and see what they are actually doing is pretty neat.”

    Dewis said his company was on the trade show floor because it is always looking for talent.

    Race Rocks hired 18 people last year and expects to grow this year.

    “The trouble is finding people who are available,” he said. “There’s now so many tech firms and every one is growing.”

    The Victoria tech sector, which generates about $4 billion in annual revenue from [955] companies, employs about 20,000 people.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “This is a huge event for us, and the majority of the exhibitors are hiring..." see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    With a focus on drawing new talent to the industry, Victoria’s burgeoning high-tech sector will throw back the curtain and show off what makes the industry tick as the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council puts on its Discover Tectoria event this week.

    The free, day-long showcase of the kinds of companies that make up the sector and the sort of innovation that has set them apart on the world stage, expects to welcome about 3,000 people Thursday at Crystal Garden.

    “This is a huge event for us, and the majority of the exhibitors are hiring, so that’s the biggest push this year,” said Tessa Bousfield, VIATEC’s events director.

    The event will feature a “career corner” where anyone, from those considering a career change to those somewhat curious about working in tech, can discuss how they should go about it and how to choose the best employers.

    There will be more than 75 tech companies — from start-up experimental technology firms to established gaming and engineering outfits — research projects and interactive displays for the public to check out to better understand what’s driving and growing the industry.

    The Victoria tech sector, which collectively has more than $4 billion in annual revenues from its 904 companies, has also set a goal for its own growth.

    It wants to have its firms, which employ about 20,000 people, more than double their existing combined revenue to $10 billion by 2030.

    “VIATEC is committed to helping innovators grow their companies, and Discover Tectoria gives our local tech companies a platform where they can be seen and heard by investors, media, job seekers and youth,” said VIATEC chief executive Dan Gunn.

    “This event draws big crowds, many of which will make up the leaders and vital team members of our community in the immediate and near future.

    “There’s no better way to inspire our future tech workers than filling a space with all the opportunities, creative minds and unworldly inventions.”

    Some of the other key features of this year’s event are:

    • Startup Alley, where you can get a sneak peek at the future of Tectoria.
    • UVic’s Research District for new projects in development.
    • The Women in Tech Lounge for networking and discussions among women in tech.
    • The Leadership and Talent Theatres that will feature a line-up of talks and panel discussions throughout the day.

    Discover Tectoria is free, and runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday at Crystal Garden.

    aduffy@timescolonist.com

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    VIATEC hosts their FREE biennial tech expo at the Crystal Garden Feb 27, 2020 from 11am to 6pm see more

     

    DISCOVER TECTORIA TO SHOW OFF LOCAL TECH WITH ONE-DAY EXPO

    VIATEC hosts their FREE biennial tech expo at the Crystal Garden Feb 27, 2020 from 11am to 6pm

    Victoria, BC (February 25, 2020) - Discover Tectoria is an exposition of more than 75 Greater Victoria tech companies, research projects, interactive displays and community partners that showcase Victoria's largest industry! It's one of the only events where locals and visitors come together under one roof to discover the innovation that's stemming from right here in "Tectoria". Attendees get to interact with the people and their creations to better understand who and what is driving Victoria's largest industry, leading to potential careers, connections or simply an appreciated knowledge. 

    VIATEC created this event to open the eyes of potential employees, investors and policy makers to the vibrancy and potential of the local tech scene... not to mention inspiring tomorrow's inventors. Exhibitors get the opportunity to demonstrate their leading edge work to thousands of attendees who in turn, get an insider’s view into this fast changing and vibrant industry. It is also an opportunity for local and visiting investors to effortlessly check out up-and-coming businesses. 

    FEATURES:

    • Main floor Tradeshow
      (local companies demonstrating products and looking for talent)

    • Startup Alley, sponsored by Work BC
      (get a sneak peek at the future of Tectoria)

    • The University of Victoria Research District
      (see some amazing projects post-secondary students have put together, including the UVic Formula Hybrid car outside in the courtyard)

    • The Leadership & Talent Theatres
      (a line-up of great talks and panel discussions throughout the day)

    • Career Corner (NEW)
      (Job seekers get access to additional resources that will help them navigate a career in the tech industry)

    • The Women in Tech Lounge (NEW)
      (Presented by Locelle Digital and sponsored by Used.ca, pop in for networking and discussions among women in tech)

    • Partner Row, sponsored by Royal Roads University
      (a group of incredibly useful organizations that serve businesses and the community)

    • An exclusive Executive Breakfast prior to the show at the Parkside Hotel

    “VIATEC is committed to helping innovators grow their companies and Discover Tectoria gives our local tech companies a platform where they can be seen and heard by investors, media, job seekers and youth,” explains Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “This event draws big crowds, many of which will make up the leaders and vital team members of our community in the immediate and near future. There’s no better way to inspire our future tech workers than filling a space with all the opportunities, creative minds and unworldly inventions.”

    Media are encouraged to attend Discover Tectoria and also get in on numerous tech story ideas for the future. The event is the ideal place for media outlets to capture the vibrancy and diversity of the local tech scene all in one room. Please contact VIATEC below if you would like to attend and if you need help arranging interviews or photo-ops.

    FILES:

    1. For the full Program and Exhibitor Map, click here
    2. [Exhibitor Directory 2020]
    3. [2018 Video Recap]
    4. [2017 Photo Gallery]

     

    MEDIA CONTACT: 

    Paula Parker
    Community Manager
    pparker@viatec.ca
    Cell: 604-440-2686

     

    A BIG thank you to our sponsors!

     

    DiscoverTectoria.com


    ABOUT VIATEC:

    VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. VIATEC's mission is to cultivate the most cohesive tech community in the world by providing resources to tackle shared opportunities and challenges while boosting a sense of belonging and shaping our region. (Victoria's biggest industry is tech!).

    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.

  • Paula Parker posted an article
    Discover Tectoria 2020: An epic exposition of Greater Victoria tech industry. see more

    Source: victoriabuzz.com 

    Robots, and 3D printers, and beer gardens, oh my!

    It’s no secret that tech is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in Victoria, and when you get a huge collection of that hive mind under one roof, it’s kind of a big deal.

    Discover Tectoria is just that – an epic exposition of over 75 Greater Victoria tech companies, research projects, interactive displays and community partners – all in one place!

    Happening on Thursday, February 27th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Victoria’s Crystal Garden, not only is the event entirely free to attend, it’s the largest of its kind on the whole Island – attracting locals and visitors alike to discover the innovation that is tech in our fair city.

    Whether you’re looking to interact with the biggest and brightest in the industry, take in some cool tech-related creations or even find leads on potential careers, VIATEC’s Discover Tectoria has a little bit of something for everyone!

    Aside from two full floors of exhibitors, there is also a jam-packed lineup of speakers and panelists consisting of some of the biggest names in the industry.

    Also new this year to the event, Locelle is proud to host Discover Tectoria’s first “Women in Tech Lounge” – a space for women to connect with like-minded women, learn about each other and hear from some incredible women leaders in Victoria about how they navigate their careers and thrive – how cool is that?

    And the cherry on top?

    They’re giving away four box suite tickets for the Victoria Royals – contest details are below!

    Check out this incredible lineup of exhibitors (and where you can find them!) at Discover Tectoria:

    • University of Victoria – Research District Sponsor / Booth #10
    • WorkBC – Startup Alley Sponsor / Booth #30
    • Camosun College – Exhibitor Recharge Sponsor / Booth #8
    • Royal Roads University – Partner Row Sponsor / Booth #23
    • Mitchell Digital – Print Sponsor / 2nd level table
    • Used.ca – Media Sponsor / Entry table
    • Alacrity Academy – Booth #1
    • ALTADATA – Booth #15
    • AOT Technologies – Booth #16/29
    • Archipelago – Booth #9
    • Avocette Technologies – Booth #25
    • Axolotl Biosciences – Startup Alley table #50
    • Bambora – Booth #6
    • Barnacle Systems – Startup Alley #54
    • Battlesnake – Booth #34
    • Benevity – Booth #31
    • Canada Learning Code – Partner Row #44
    • Capitial Investment Network – Partner Row #42
    • Certn – Booth #18
    • Change.org – Booth #10
    • Checkfront – Booth #17/28
    • Codan Communications – Booth #20
    • DivDot – Startup Alley table #55
    • DreamCraft Attractions – Booth #22
    • EncoreFX – Booth #27
    • Ergonomyx – Startup Alley #46
    • FIRST Robotics BC – Area #45 by Startup Alley
    • FreshWorks – Booth #12/33
    • FTS – Booth #36
    • GetSmart Solutions – Booth #32
    • Irving K Barber BC Scholarship Society – Partner Row #40
    • Lighthouse Labs – Booth #38
    • Locelle Digital – Startup Alley #53 / Women’s Tech Lounge
    • MYRA Systems – Booth #3
    • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – Partner Row #39
    • NetMotion Software – Booth #35
    • New Ventures BC – Partner Row #41
    • NRC-IRAP – Partner Row #43
    • Open Ocean Robotics – Startup Alley #56O
    • PQA & PLATO Testing – Booth #26
    • RaceRocks 3D – Booth #21
    • Redbrick – Booth #5
    • Reliable Controls – Booth #2
    • RioT Technology Corp. – Startup Alley table #52
    • Rockland Scientific International – Booth #4
    • Rooof – Booth #13
    • RT Prime Industries Group – Booth #24
    • Salesforce Victoria Administrators Group – Startup Alley table #47
    • Silius Technologies – Startup Alley #48
    • StarFish Medical – Booth #7
    • Stocksy United – Booth #14
    • VIATEC – Career Corner: Booth #57
    • Victoria Beer Society – Area #65 (2nd level Beer Sample Garden)
    • Victoria Makerspace – Booth #37
    • VRX – Area #64 (across from Beer Garden)
    • Wiser Marine Technologies – Startup Alley table #51
    • 4M Biotech Inc – Startup Alley table #49

    CONTEST

    For a chance to WIN four box suite tickets for the Victoria Royals, complete one or more of the following:

    1. LIKE VIATEC on Facebook and comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)
    2. FOLLOW VIATEC on Instagram and comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)
    3. SHARE this post on Facebook and/or Twitter and leave a comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)

    Contest entries will be accepted from the time and date of publishing until 11:59 pm on February 27th, 2020. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they used to enter.

    Contest Guidelines

    Discover Tectoria 2020

    • When: Thursday, February 27th – 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Where: Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas Street
    • Tickets: Completely FREE to attend!

  • Locelle Digital Inc. posted an article
    This first of its kind lounge will feature networking and inspiring panel talks in a safe space. see more

    or immediate release

    Victoria, B.C., January 14, 2020: Locelle, Canada’s leading platform to connect women for networking, support and mentorship is hosting Discover Tectoria‘s first ever ‘Women in Tech Lounge’ on Feb 27th, 2020 at Crystal Gardens.

    “I have been to many tech conferences and the traditional vibe is very “bro culture” and not as welcoming for women. I wanted to have a safe space for women where they could gather, connect, share and learn; and VIATEC whole heartedly supported the vision”, said Locelle CEO, Humaira Ahmed.

    This first of its kind lounge will be focused on networking opportunities and inspiring panel talks throughout the day. While the content is still shaping up, the focus will be on helping women navigate issues such as leadership, stereotypes, confidence, growth and more importantly, how to advance in the industry.

    The lounge will also offer complimentary coffee. For interested companies looking to support and participate as sponsors or partners, please reach out to Humaira Ahmed at partners@locelle.com

    To learn more about the event, check out: https://www.viatec.ca/events/discover-tectoria-2020

    ####

    About Locelle Digital Inc.:

    Locelle (/lōk-el/) offers individual and enterprise platform to connect and engage women for support, mentorship and belonging.

    Media Contact:

    Humaira Ahmed

    Founder and CEO

    humaira.ahmed@locelle.com

    250.514.8182

    www.locelle.com

    Social Media:

    https://www.facebook.com/locelleapp

    https://www.instagram.com/locelleapp

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/11451731/

    https://www.twitter.com/locelleapp

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Thanks to people like the panelists, and the rebellious youth, there's an extremely bright future... see more

    Source: Betakit.com
    Author: Wyatt Fossett
    Photos: CrackerJackFlash

    Discover Tectoria panel says tackling unconscious bias, education part of building inclusive workplaces

    The ever-quiet sibling of the mainland metropolis that is Victoria, British Columbia continues to surprise and grow. With help from groups like the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council, the veil is lifted—if ever so slightly—a few times a year, and it truly exposes the veins of an astounding technological sector which just so happens to be the leading employment industry within British Columbia’s capital city.

    The secret to Victoria’s innovation

    There’s no shame here. Everyone is more than happy with their growth, and their success from the shadows of Vancouver. Maybe it’s key to their evolution. Perhaps it’s this climate, sans spotlight, that makes people in Victoria willing to try things a little more on the unconventional side.

    Discover Tectoria is an annual event held by VIATEC in Victoria, filled with panels and a show floor that puts over 75 of the most innovative companies on Vancouver Island on display. Integral to the growth of their industry, the Discover Tectoria event works to promote the often unknown, or forgotten $4 billion tech sector. It’s a full day of expo floor that includes demos and plenty of local companies looking to hire — the free-to-attend event is big for those seeking work.

    Want to keep tabs on your boat using smart-home-like technology? BRNKL has you covered. Maybe, for some reason, you’re looking to replace all of the lights in your abode with fixtures that react to noise, or dance while you sing? Limbic Media has just the thing for you. Perhaps you’re looking to engage children in the field of engineering? Well, there’s a group doing just that.

    Victoria is even home to some of Canada’s most successful independent video game companies (see: KANO apps, Codename Entertainment, and Double Jump). With over 20,000 video game projects launched in Canada alone last year, it’s a sector of the tech industry that will not be going away anytime soon.

    The VIATEC showcase

    VIATEC does an outstanding job gathering some of the most interesting and prospering companies that call Victoria home and puts them on display to continue working towards promoting their tech sector.

    Some of the standouts on this year’s Discover Tectoria show floor were:

    Victoria Makerspace

    A lot of people go about their creating alone. But whether it’s in robotics or gaming, collaboration is essential to the growth of our technological industry. The Victoria Makerspace is a member-operated space where imaginative technology developers can share time, tools, and work with their peers. It’s absolutely key that spaces like these exist, and it’s often difficult to get the word out; Victoria’s Makerspace is the best place to grow and collaborate with like-minded people.

    FIRST Robotics BC

    What inspires young minds the most? Is it reward? Is it play? One of the most influential things to dreamers are heroes. FIRST Robotics BC promotes robotic sciences to children from kindergarten and throughout high school, creating heroes for young scientists in the form of their competitions and mentorship.

    Codename Entertainment
    A flagship in the Victoria technology industry, Codename Entertainment cut their teeth on the gaming world with Facebook titles like EggBreaker and BushWhacker back in the day.

    Recently, they’ve exploded with their clicker-based fantasy game Crusaders of the Lost Idols that came out on nearly every platform you can think of. On the shoulders of that big success, they were granted the enviable task of adapting a beloved role-playing intellectual property Dungeons and Dragons into something like Crusaders.

    EchoSec

    In a world where breaking news happens on Twitter, and our social media feeds are a far more viable source for what’s going on than most news outlets, a lot is lost in a sea of voices. Echosec wants to change the idea of smart news and uses billions of social media posts to collect data and report on the happenings of the world based on geofencing technology. The company is gathering interest from government and security firms, social coordinators, and news sites (ironically).

    Loc’elle

    Targeted to women in technology, Loc’elle is a women-only social networking platform that enables like-minded women to easily connect in person or digitally. This is not just LinkedIn for women. Whether you’re looking for new friends, a mentor or running buddy, Loc’elle’s mission is to provide a safe platform for women to connect. The goal is to provide groups that are underserved and underrepresented with more ability to connect and support one another.

    Innovation theatre

    In addition to the trade show, a special stage and seating area on the upper level of the Crystal Room in the Victoria Conference Centre held panels all day. The talks—a collection of four or five experts and a moderator—ranged from cryptocurrency security, creative storytelling, local gaming takeover, all the way to “how do I land that gig.”

    It was a vibrant theatre throughout the day, with a ton to take away with you for those that managed to catch a talk or two.

    When discussing the future of the technology industry — a world with a high-demand for more talent — there’s a lot of weight on the industry to adapt in order to be more inclusive. Wrapping up the day of panels was, by far, the best of the bunch: Industry Enhanced by Inclusion. Unfortunately, it was also the one talk with the least amount of people in the audience.

    Young people are key to breaking barriers in tech

    It is essential in our changing social landscape to be on the inclusion end of a movement currently breaking down long-standing barriers faced by underrepresented groups in tech. True, major strides have been made. But it’s not enough.

    Inclusion isn’t a concept solely related to mainstream, front page topics such as women in tech and how they’re treated, though that is very much a part of it. Rather, it’s a generalized term referring to all kinds of inclusion. Gender identity, disability, race, and other intersecting identities are at the forefront of the conversation. But what is the industry and the people within it to do in order to encourage inclusivity?

    The final panel of the Discover Tectoria event included moderator Rebecca Kerstein (Rethink Thinking), and speakers Jeff Hopkins (Pacific School of Innovation & Inquiry), Bobbi Leach (RevenueWire), Nigel Livingston (UVic), and Dawn McCooey (Women’s Enterprise Centre). Two women who are developing the world of women entrepreneurs and the support systems in place for them, one disability researcher, and the founder of a revolutionary education system.

    The panel kicked off with a simple introduction, followed by an intriguing question: “How is the diversity perspective changing, and what does it look like today?“ asked Kerstein.

    viatec

    It’s fundamental that we assess and speak to what the current climate is. If we’re not aware of where we are, it’s difficult (or impossible) to map out how we get to where we need to be.

    “Social media has done a great service in giving those with disabilities—namely an inability to speak—a voice. Or anyone a voice, for that matter. Young people are the most sure-of-themselves generation yet,” Livingston says.

    “There’s a new awareness and support for women in the tech industry, and it’s extremely positive. Though the pace is not enough.” adds McCooey. “At our current rate, some estimate it would take 400+ years to reach a state of equality.”

    The conversation needs to shift to the dissolving of the systems already in place, because they’re problematic.

    While there is a lot of conversation happening around supporting women in tech, Leach cautions against falling for hype. “We hear and see all of these stats and headlines like a recent one that read ‘women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies grew by 50 percent last year’ but it’s disingenuous. It did grow 50 percent, but that 50 percent increase only put the number up to [32] out of 500. Outlets are using catchy titles to breed complacency,” said Leach.

    This is a major problem. Like Livingston points out, social media has done a fantastic job in allowing anyone a voice (see: Florida students fighting against NRA and Trump). Unfortunately, it’s also an easy tool to manipulate the public consciousness, and has spurred the growth of inaccurate representation of facts.

    When you take the current social media tools into account, the conversation needs to shift to the dissolving of the systems already in place, because they’re problematic. “It’s a systemic unconscious bias,” says WEC founder McCooey (echoed by the rest of the panel) on the inherently non-inclusive, grandfathered structure of many industries. “The way we speak to one another, and the predetermined roles within offices, who succeeds and who fails, are pre-formatted. So much so that we ‘expect it’, due to the pattern in the industry’s history.”

    Our best bet? Well, that comes down to how much power we give our youth. Millennials are a strong force and possess the drive and determination to shake up any structure already in place. They (as a collective) are the most progressive age of humans and have done valuable work to force the world onto an inclusive path.

    viatec

    “How do we ensure that our future is brighter, and we’re more inclusive?” asked Kerstein.

    We’re always told that you can’t change the rules from the outside, and it was reflected here as the panel discusses ways we can adopt an change for the future. The key for older generations is to learn the ways of the new world. For those on the cusp, it’s important to nurture that world. For the youth of the world, it’s to continue understanding yourself, being free within that self, and remain inclusive of all types.

    “Working with teenagers in an abnormal education environment like I do, it’s evident. People — and I don’t know if it’s exposure to social media or places like Reddit — are more comfortable with their own identity,” said Hopkins, as he’s on the front lines of a shift in the inclusive educational structure.

    “Yes!” exclaimed moderator Kerstien. “It’s also important to jump in and educate when finding yourself face-to-face with an opportunity to dissolve others’ ignorance.”

    “It’s very much about language, and our awareness of such a thing, that is the key to being inclusive,” added Leach.

    The language in question is an overall term used here to describe a shift in the way we speak to one another, or speak for ourselves. “When it comes to identifiers, I always open with my own, and ask for their pronouns afterwards. It opens up a safe conversation, and as a member of an older generation, displays my desire to be inclusive right out of the gate,” said Hopkins, in response to an audience question of how he uses language to ask someone about pronouns.”

    There are many other ways to ensure that the language we use is inclusive. “Women need to adapt away from passivity, in a sense, but it has always supported a more comfortable environment, so it’s still very much a work in progress,” said McCooey on how we should present our at-work selves. The common use of aggressive language to achieve goals, or put into action one’s climb up the “ladder,” is something that has to die. Inherently, this language brews a lack of inclusion.

    “We can be more thoughtful. We can ask more questions. We can try to help each other, or ensure that others are more comfortable in any environment,” said Leach.

    It is only a revolution, on the brink of toppling an entirely predetermined path, that is going to be the foundation of a tech industry (or any industry) that will progress through the inclusion of all people.

    The problem is a poison that many don’t even know they are perpetuating. This systemic bias is something that caters to an already privileged group. A lot of the world is missing out on some of the most qualified personnel out there, all because of an archaic structure or uninviting workplace. There is turmoil now, but thanks to people like the panelists here — and the rebellious youth — there’s an extremely bright future.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    VIATEC puts their FREE tech expo on at the Crystal Garden Feb 23, 2018 from 11am to 6pm see more

    DISCOVER TECTORIA TO SHOW OFF LOCAL TECH WITH ONE-DAY EXPO

    VIATEC puts their FREE tech expo on at the Crystal Garden Feb 23, 2018 from 11am to 6pm

    Victoria, BC (February 22, 2018) - Discover Tectoria is the Island's BIGGEST Tech Expo and it’s taking over the Crystal Garden from 11am to 6pm on February 23rd. This year’s showcase features 76 booths over two floors, a great lineup of panel discussions, science demos for kids, VR experiences, a “Jam Hut”, samples from Victoria Beer Week, the Spirit of Tomorrow car and more. The expo, organized by VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council), will feature a:
     

    • Main floor Tradeshow
      (local companies demonstrating products, hiring talent and co-op students)

    • The Creativity Hub, sponsored by BC Public Service Agency
      (A collection of interactive tech displays, showcasing our city's most excellent creativity)

    • Startup Alley, sponsored by Work BC
      (get a sneak peek at the future of Tectoria)

    • The UVic Research District
      (see some amazing projects post-secondary students have put together)

    • The Innovation Theatre, sponsored by TD Canada Trust
      (a line-up of great talks and panel discussions - schedule TBA soon!)

    • The Combustion Chamber
      (Science Venture LIVE demos for the kids!)

    • Partner Row, sponsored by Royal Roads University
      (a group of incredibly useful organizations that serve businesses and the community).

    VIATEC is once again taking full advantage of the tri-district Pro-D Day scheduled on the same day and is encouraging parents to bring their kids to enjoy a full day of exploration.

    Youth get a glimpse into a future working in tech, post-secondary students and job seekers get to meet potential employers, local and visiting investors can check out some up-and-coming businesses, and tech companies get to showcase their products and services to thousands of attendees.

    “We created this event in 2003 to showcase the innovation taking place right here in Victoria,” explains Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “Discover Tectoria gives our local tech companies a platform where they can be seen and heard by investors, media, job seekers and youth. We are aiming to draw out 4,000 attendees, many of which will make up the leaders and vital team members of our community in the immediate and near future. There’s no better way to inspire our future tech workers than filling a space with all the opportunities, creative minds and unworldly inventions.”

    Simultaneously, VIATEC, the City of Victoria, the Capital Investment Network and NACO are hosting the Western Regional Angel Summit for a contingent of visiting angel and VC investors which kicked off on February 21 and runs until the February 23. Invitees are experiencing first-hand the city’s highly sought after quality of life, including how easy it is to travel to and from Victoria, the vibrancy of our innovative business community and the depth of our local deal flow. The trip will finish with a visit to Discover Tectoria.

    For the full Program and Exhibitor Map, click here.

    [Exhibitor Directory 2018]

    [2017 Video Recap]

    [2017 Photo Gallery]


    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Dan Gunn
    CEO, VIATEC
    dgunn@viatec.ca
    250-882-2820

     

    www.DiscoverTectoria.com


    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. www.viatec.ca

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Main takeaways from Friday’s exhibition of Victoria’s emerging and established companies. see more

    Source: LimbicMedia.ca

    Five Takeaways from Discover Tectoria 2018

    VIATEC’s 2018 Discover Tectoria event was a friendly and engaging introduction for Limbic Media’s new marketing team. Having seen Victoria’s vibrant tech sector with fresh eyes, here are our main takeaways from Friday’s exhibition of Victoria’s emerging and established companies.

    1. Interactivity is king

    Nestled in Discover Tectoria’s Creativity Hub, most foot traffic seemed to flock to booths with elements of interactivity. Limbic Media’s Aurora tent invited visitors of all ages into a meditative, darkened space to make music and translate their creativity into a visual experience. Next door, FIRST Robotics BC opened up a floor space for people to engage with robotic vehicles. The most intriguing sound over the event’s wall of voices came from Monkey C Interactive. With little instruction, the interactive Registroid forced people to explore sounds and become their own artist. Also present in the Creativity Hub was Studio Robazzo, helping bring forward the role of technology in art, emphasizing how tech and art are really one and the same. Discover Tectoria succeeds in creating more avenues for audiences of all ages to participate in the creative process.

    2. Tech is a kid-centric industry

    Even though Discover Tectoria provides ample opportunity to network whether you’re an investor, an existing tech company, or looking for a new career, Discover Tectoria builds on elements of interactivity by involving kids and their role in tech. Outside the Creativity Hub, Discover Tectoria focused on edutainment in The Combustion Chamber by showcasing technologies and experiments for families through presentations and audience involvement, and Engineering for Kids took a more of an industry-specific approach to kick-starting young interest in tech. Discover Tectoria is a venue that recognizes the importance of getting young minds churning early, and highlighting tech that all ages can relate to.

    3. Victoria’s tech industry is becoming ever more visible 

    Discover Tectoria is widening the industry’s audience not only for kids, but for all walks of life. Even just four years ago, the influence of the tech industry in Victoria’s economy wasn’t necessarily all that obvious. Unless you were looking for it, the number of vibrant technology companies gracing downtown office space wasn’t visible—but in a short time, the sector has emerged as the city’s top industry, and events like Discover Tectoria are making that fact widely known to the public. The average tech conference bustles with entrepreneurs, startups, press and VCs. Discover Tectoria stands out by making the public of all ages its primary audience. It encourages people to participate and discover what goes on in our city behind the long-standing face of tourism and government.

    4. We need to start thinking of Victoria more as a city and less as a town

    Victoria is a tight community, and its tech community is even tighter-this is part of what makes Victoria so appealing. However, it also puts us in danger of staying in a “tourist town” mentality by telling the same old Victorian story over and over. Because of rapid growth in recent years, both in population, real-estate, and industries like tech, Victoria is going through growing pains and developing new identities. We are no longer the flowery city of the newly-wed and nearly dead. Discover Tectoria makes it clear that the tech industry is helping change the face of our narrative, putting us on the map globally as a city on the forefront of technology and culture.

    5. Victoria’s various sectors need to strengthen their partnerships 

    Speaking of tourism and the growth of Victoria’s industries, an audience member posed a pertinent question during the Innovation Theatre talk on Creative Storytelling: What are some examples of how the tech and hospitality industries have collaborated in Victoria?

    Although there have been a number of initiatives bridging tech and tourism in Victoria in the last couple years, the ensuing pause said a lot about the visibility of that collaboration, especially between tourism and Victoria’s authentic cultural and arts scene. According to the speakers, Victoria’s various industries often feel like they’re in still competing in spite of newly formed partnerships. Discover Tectoria provided a public forum that clearly has open arms to outside industries, given the opportunity to join forces. The overall message was simple: ”Come talk to us. We have lots of ideas and we can make them happen.”

    Whether or not last Friday’s exhibition was your first Discover Tectoria, the event had something new for everyone—from toddlers interacting with tech edutainment, to investors checking out emerging local companies, to Limbic’s marketing team getting familiarized with our city’s vibrant tech community. Victoria is a unique climate of rapidly growing industries, and Viatec’s event was an inviting summary of the potential 2018 has to bring for our city’s tech sector.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The event features tech companies of all stripes and stages, from start-up experimental technology.. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Tectoria showcase opens tech sector to community

    Crystal Garden will be brimming with life, both actual and virtual, on Friday as Victoria’s technology sector pulls back the curtains for what has become its annual open house, Discover Tectoria.

    The one-day event organized by the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council will welcome up to 4,000 people of all ages into the showcase that has become a recruiting tool as much as it is about showing off the tech sector.

    “It used to be, back in 2003, that no one believed there was a technology sector in Victoria, so we had this thing that was an opportunity to see it all in one place,” said Dan Gunn, chief executive of VIATEC. “But as the sector has grown and demand for people has increased - It’s morphed into a career-profiling, day-in-the-life kind of thing.”

    The event features tech companies of all stripes and stages, from start-up experimental technology firms to established gaming and engineering outfits.

    Almost all of them are growing and in need of people and investment to expand.

    Victoria's tech sector has set a new goal for itself — to have its constituent firms more than double their existing combined revenue to $10 billion by 2030. Currently, it collectively has just over $4 billion in annual revenues from its 904 companies and employs about 20,000 people.

    “There are big career elements at Discover Tectoria. Companies are hiring, picking up co-op students for work terms and even listing what kinds of things you should be taking in school if you want to work in their space,” said Gunn, noting the event is deliberately held on professional development days in the school district to encourage students to explore what’s possible.

    “Most students don’t know what a tech career looks like because you don’t see that on TV, but this is a chance to meet people face-to-face see what they make and find out how they got there.”

    It’s also a chance for anyone interested in the sector — be it someone considering a career change, just curious, media or policy makers wanting to understand the sector. “There are lots of people who have been hearing about the tech sector in Victoria don’t see it first hand because we don’t sell a lot of product here, so it’s an opportunity for the curious, no matter what age or stage of career to come out and get a better sense of it all,” he said.

    Discover Tectoria has 76 company booths on two floors, trade show, panel discussions, science demonstrations, virtual reality exhibits, a jam hut and samples from Victoria Beer Week. There is also start-up alley for new firms finding their feet, research projects from the University of Victoria, and interactive experiences to try. The showcase is open to all 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at Crystal Garden. There is no admission charge.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    NACO will hold its Regional Summit in Victoria in February of 2018 as a direct result. see more

    Capital Mission Nets Big Results

    VICTORIA, BC (April 21, 2017) – The City of Victoria’s 2017 Capital Mission has already started producing significant returns on investment for the region’s technology sector.

    The Capital Mission is an opportunity for angel and venture capital investors with an interest in early stage innovative technology companies to visit Victoria. The event was held in February for the second consecutive year hosted by the City of Victoria, VIATEC and the Capital Investment Network (CIN).

    As a direct result of the mission, the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) will hold its Regional Summit in Victoria in February of 2018. The Summit is expected to attract 100 Angel investors and NACO members to the city exposing those investors to Victoria’s thriving and dynamic tech industry.

    “It is thrilling to see that in only two years our Capital Mission has attracted national and international attention”, said Mayor Helps. “We look forward to a large mission next year with the 100 investors at the NACO Summit kicking it off.”

    "Through our accelerator and building on three decades of developing strong investor relations and awareness of Victoria’s tech sector, VIATEC was well positioned to expose hundreds of startups applying to the program with investors from far and wide,” noted Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC.  “In recent years VIATEC, now 552 members strong, has benefitted greatly from the added support of our city.  We are pleased that these efforts have culminated in a vital organization like NACO recognizing the vibrancy and potential of our region," added Gunn.

    NACO is excited to join the Capital Mission in Victoria with the 2018 Western Regional Angel Summit.  “This is an opportunity to continue our work to improve access to risk capital for early-stage Canadian companies.  At the Summit, Angel investors meet face-to-face to share experiences and best practices,” says Yuri Navarro, NACO’s CEO.  “Those conversations lead to meaningful connections that are imperative for building community and fueling the local and regional startup economies.”

    "Angel investing is increasingly common and more accessible through education and connecting investors,” said Peter Elkins, Co-Founder of CIN.  “Adding NACO as a partner for Capital Mission 2018 is an honour for Victoria."

    Invitees for the 2017 Capital Mission experienced first-hand the city’s highly sought after quality of life, including how easy it is to travel to and from Victoria, the vibrancy of our innovative business community and the depth of our local deal flow. This year was fully subscribed once again, and 100% of attendees said they would refer the mission to someone in their network.

    For more information on the Capital Mission visit www.victoria.ca/capitalmission

    For More Information:

    Rebecca Penz
    Citizen Engagement Advisor
    City of Victoria
    Office: 250.361.0263
    Mobile: 250.661.0085

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Discover Tectoria is the Island's BIGGEST Tech Expo and it’s taking over the Crystal Garden 02/24 see more

    Discover Tectoria to show off local tech with one-day expo

    VIATEC puts their FREE tech expo on at the Crystal Garden Feb 24, 2017 from 11am to 6pm

    Victoria, BC (February 22, 2017) - Discover Tectoria is the Island's BIGGEST Tech Expo and it’s taking over the Crystal Garden from 11am to 6pm on February 24th with tech companies, gadgets, inventions, drones and more. The expo, organized by VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council), will feature a:
     

     

    • Main floor Tradeshow
      (local tech companies demonstrating products, hiring staff, or co-ops)

    • Video Game Lounge
      (local companies allow you to test drive their inventions)

    • WorkBC Startup Alley
      (get a sneak peek at the future of Tectoria)

    • UVic Research District
      (see some amazing projects post-secondary students have put together)

    • Innovation Theatre, sponsored by BMO & Royal Roads University
      (a line-up of great panel discussions and a Keynote Address from Jesse Brown of CANADALAND)

    • Benevity Combustion Chamber
      (Science Venture demos for the kids!)

    • PLUS: Robot battles, flying drones, a Victoria Beer Week lounge and a WildPlay Element Parks prize package

    VIATEC is taking full advantage of the tri-district Pro-D Day scheduled on the same day and is encouraging parents to bring their kids to enjoy a full day of exploration. Post secondary exams will also be wrapped up, so it’s a great event for students to make connections.

    Youth get a glimpse into a future working in tech, post-secondary students and job seekers get to meet potential employers, local and visiting investors can check out some up-and-coming businesses, and tech companies get to showcase their products and services to over 3500 attendees.

    “We created this event to showcase the innovation taking place right here in Victoria,” explains Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “Discover Tectoria gives our local tech companies a platform where they can be seen and heard by investors, media, job seekers and youth. There’s no better way to inspire our future tech workers than filling a space with over 3500 people, robot battles, drones, creative minds and limitless imaginations.”

    Simultaneously, VIATEC, the City of Victoria and the Capital Investment Network are hosting the Capital Mission II for a contingent of visiting angel and VC investors from February 22 to 24. Invitees will experience first-hand the city’s highly sought after quality of life, including how easy it is to travel to and from Victoria, the vibrancy of our innovative business community and the depth of our local deal flow. It all kicks off tonight at Fort Tectoria with the Welcome Night. The trip will finish with a visit to Discover Tectoria.

    Media are encouraged to attend Discover Tectoria and also get in on multiple tech story ideas for the future. The event is the ideal place for media outlets to capture the vibrancy and diversity of the local tech scene all in one room. Please contact VIATEC below if you would like to attend and if you need help arranging interviews or photo-ops.

    For the full Program and Exhibitor Map, click here.

    [2016 Video Recap]
    [2016 Photo Gallery]

     

    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Dan Gunn
    CEO, VIATEC

    dgunn@viatec.ca
    250-882-2820

     

    Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 10.52.15 AM.png

    www.DiscoverTectoria.com


    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 recently 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. www.viatec.ca

     

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    There were robots and rockets and a talking glove, oh my! see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Michael Reid

    Around Town: Geeking out at Discover Tectoria

    There were robots and rockets and a talking glove, oh my!

    It wasn’t just super-cool technological crowd-pleasers like these that made Discover Tectoria, the high-tech showcase that packed them into Crystal Garden on Friday, such a blast.

    As one visitor remarked, almost as impressive as the high-tech doodads was that there were so many We’re Hiring signs displayed by dozens of local technology companies that participated.

    While this family-friendly event did to some extent have the feel of a hiring fair, it was a predominantly educational and entertaining showcase for the region’s thriving tech sector.

    “What is Tectoria, anyway?” was one question overheard from those not already in the know about the catchy moniker created by VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council) in 2011.

    To quote its playful slogan, Tectoria, the umbrella title for the capital region’s tech sector, is “home to 100 killer whales and 1,500 killer apps.”

    To describe the products and opportunites on view as mind-blowing would be putting it mildly, whether you were marvelling over the fun and games or the scientific applications.

    Popular draws included Victoria Hand Project’s low-cost 3D-printed prostheses, used in developing countries where amputees have limited access to prosthetic care.

    Another eye-catcher was Tango, the revolutionary glove designed to overcome the communications barrier between deaf and hearing individuals by using a glove equipped with sensors and a microcontroller.

    A user’s hand gestures correspond to phrases or letters that, via Bluetooth, appear on a smartphone screen in a text format that can be output as a digitized voice.

    Kamel Hamdan, Alaa Dawod and Abdul-Rahman Saleh head the development team for the University of Victoria project, working in association with Coast Capital Savings’ Innovation Centre.

    Other highlights included LimbicMedia’s interactive blinking-light installation; VRX Ventures’ massive racing simulator; and the Holografx station’s Instagram photo booth.

    “We’re creating a new prototype, our biggest screen at 49 inches,” said Anamaria Medina, a Colombia-raised electrical engineer who works at the Esquimalt-based company.

    The tech firm develops innovative holographic tools used to showcase products, services and company logos, she said.

    “We did the Instagram photo booth because this is what teenagers do now,” she said, pointing to giant hashtags and other social media tools.

    Matthew McCormack said he joined a capacity crowd for an afternoon seminar on Victoria’s video game sector in the Innovation Theatre to learn about employment opportunities.

    “I want to know how to get into the video game arts. What’s the best route to get my first job, to skip over working at the grocery store and get right to where I want to be working?” the Claremont student said.

    McCormack, an avid gamer who plays Rainbow Six, a first-person shooter, and the futuristic vehicular soccer game Rocket League, learned being a fan isn’t necessarily enough.

    “It’s a highly competitive industry. We don’t just hire you if you’re really into games,” said Eric Jordan, CEO of Codename Entertainment, with a smile.

    “You’ve got to be really good at art, or marketing, or businesss or programming, depending on what we’re hiring you for.”

    Jordan offered the crowd some pointers, including VIATEC’s Student Video Game Work Experience Program, which gives students a chance to work in a gaming studio.

    Moderator James Hursthouse of DigiBC got a few laughs when he asked if “there is something in the water here” to explain why so many tech types come to Victoria.

    “I think it’s where people want to live,” said Magda Rajkowski of Kano Apps. “It’s beautiful here, and there’s a lot of creativity.”

    Even before you entered Victoria Conference Centre, it was hard to miss UVic Centre for Aerospace Research’s sleek carbon fibre-and-fibreglass drone parked outside.

    “This is our workhorse, an aircraft designed to carry payloads, conduct research for companies or collaborators who want to test equipment,” explained operations manager Eldad Alber.

    One software developer, for example, asked the team to design wings that would be flexible based on their software designed for such a purpose.

    “Hopefully we’ll get more students interested in aerospace,” said Alber. “A master’s program for aeronautics is going to be available soon, so it would be nice to see more exposure and people applying for it.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Join three days of investor events including investor education sessions, a pitch breakfast... see more

    Capital Mission II seeking investors!

    Last year's mission was a success, so your second mission has arrived... 

    INVESTORS: Join three days (Feb 22-24) of investor events including investor education sessions, a pitch breakfast at the Crystal Garden prior to Discover Tectoria, and many networking opportunities. Forge new relationships, exchange ideas, deal flow and information with invited investors from the US and Canada. Strengthen ties with the local investment community. Learn about and invest in great early stage companies. CM2 culminates with Discover Tectoria, VIATEC's one-day exposition of more than 70 Greater Victoria technology firms and research organizations. Click "TICKETS" here to check out and register for some or all of the mission events. SPACES ARE LIMITED. *FOR ACCREDITED INVESTORS

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Eric's passion and voice for the video game sector HAD to be heard in The Zone... see more

    Source: TheZone.fm
    Author: Jon Williams

    Talking Victoria’s video game industry with Eric Jordan

    I first met Eric Jordan at the Discover Tectoria event in Crystal Gardens last year. The Boss said I was going to broadcast The Midday Zone from the event for four hours, and good luck trying to meet all the amazingly talented people that will be gathered there.

    He was right! What an amazing event, that I might add is completely free to attend. Discover Tectoria is a one-day exposition of more than 70 Greater Victoria technology firms and research agencies [which is this February 24th].

    Eric Jordan is the head of Codename Entertainment. Doesn’t he look good in that kilt :).

    His passion and voice for the video game sector had to be heard in The Zone. So as we approach the Discover Tectoria 2017 event, I had to get him in for a chat about his world, and how others can get involved in it.

    AUDIO CLIP

    Here’s our natter.

    With regard to our chat, here is some further information that Eric sent me...

    Student Work Experience Program Details
    Runs: April – May 2017
    Each week placement will run Mon – Thur.
    Hours will be 9:30 am – 3 pm
    Open to grade 11 and 12 students only.
    Details HERE.

    Tsukino Con – this is an anime convention at UVic on Feb 17-19. Eric will be moderating a panel discussing working in the video game industry.
    Details HERE.

    LANTasy is a local gaming convention that takes place at Perks Arena on Mar 18-19. There will be a panel discussing working in the video game industry, plus there will be a booth which once again showcases various facets of the industry in Victoria. Details HERE.

    In terms of local resources that folks can check out, Eric suggests IGDA Victoria. This is the local chapter of the International Game Developer Association. They have regular events (several a month), plus 2 big game jams a year: Global Game Jam and OrcaJam. Details HERE.

    In terms of tech stats, according to VIATEC’s 2014 Economic Impact Study, tech in greater Victoria has $3.15 billion in annual revenues from 884 local tech companies which employee a total of 15,000 people, plus another 8,000 people who work to support the tech industry or in tech focused jobs in other industries. Details HERE.

    Recently (last week), C Stat’s released their “Profile of the British Columbia Technology Sector: 2016 Edition”. This showed that for the first time the total number of people working in technology has exceeded 100,000 (which is more than the employment of all natural resources combined). Combined tech revenue reached a new record of
    $26.3 billion and the tech industry average salary is 75% more than the average BC wage. Details HERE.

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Jon

     

     
  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    There have certainly been a lot of firsts for Rob in the last 5 years of working with VIATEC! see more

    Source: Gustavson School of Business
    Author: Rob Bennett

    I’ve had a lot of roles over the years from co-founding Municipal Software and Datamat Services, angel investing in Teampages, Oprius and Simation, to my role as a BCIC accredited mentor and my participation in the Gustavson School of Business mentor program. The two common themes in my varied roles has been coaching and working with a wide variety of stakeholders – two things that have prepared me well for my work at VIATEC. And speaking of my work at VIATEC…

    One day, the then Chair of VIATEC, Art Aylesworth, stopped by the office and saw me hanging a disco ball from the ceiling. He asked me how I was doing. I responded, “Really well, Art”, which I think Art took as a pat response. So he pulled in closer to me and said, “Rob, no, really – how’s it going?” I said, “Art, every day I do something I’ve never done before, and will never do again!”

    Whether it’s dressing up in a foam finger at a golf tournament declaring that “Tech is #1”, or as Darth Vader welcoming guests at VIATEC’s Tech Awards and leading the World’s Largest Indoor Light Sabre Battle, or as Jolly Old St. Nick during VIATEC’s Member Christmas Party, there have certainly been a lot of firsts in the last 5 years of working with VIATEC!

    But here’s the amazing part – even the serious days are truly remarkable. I get to work with a number of very successful, insightful and generous people in our community who are interested in seeing entrepreneurs and their companies grow. Through programs like ICE at UVic, or working with the faculty and staff at the business school or the Faculty of Engineering, or our own Accelerator Programs, there are some incredible people who offer sage words of advice for entrepreneurs that are dedicated to their dreams. These people have “been there, done that;” they get involved because it is the right thing to do, and also sometimes because they’re willing to place a financial bet on the entrepreneur and their team. It’s quite humbling and mind-blowing all at the same time, and I continue to learn from these very accomplished people on a daily basis.

    And then there’s the entrepreneurs – from every walk of life. Their passion is inspirational, and the energy they put towards their ventures is awesome. These people want to change the world, and we have a community of others that wish to help them. Is there anything better than that?

    Oh yeah, one more thing that just has to be said. Events. VIATEC EVENTS. There’s a bit of a reputation that VIATEC has built over the years about having kick-ass events. From the VIATEC Technology Awards to Discover Tectoria, from multi-day events held annually like Experience Tectoria to one-evening events like the monthly VIAfest meetings, or the many festivals that we support around the community. There is always something happening – an excuse to meet people, get caught up and learn from each other. Although there is always a serious thread to every event, fun is the priority. A tremendous amount of work is done by the very accomplished team at VIATEC and our events typically go off without a hitch. To be part of Team VIATEC is an amazing experience unto itself – it’s truly remarkable what such a proficient – and prolific – team accomplishes.

    Today I’m preparing for five companies to come and interview with our crack Executive-In-Residence team to get access to our Accelerator Program. We’ve met with all five already, and I’m quite excited about what each of these companies has to offer. The mere thought that one of these companies, or one of the alumni from the program, could grow to become the next Hootsuite or Shopify makes one pause to think a bit. And to be someone that has perhaps said something or done something to help along the way makes this one of the most fulfilling roles I’ve ever had!

    Rob Bennett is the Chief Operating Officer and Program Director for VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), and it’s the best “job” he’s ever had!