entrepreneur

  • The Frosty Pop Corps posted an article
    Local indie dev featured in App Store. see more

    Today, The Frosty Pop Corps launched their new game Walls & Balls, a golf-pinball-pong hybrid with a Swiss design aesthetic, only on the Apple App Store. 

     

    The first game in founder Faisal Sethi's ball trilogy, Walls & Balls is currently featured in "New Games We Love" sections of the Apple App Store, and is featured in over 440 App Store lists accross the world. 

     

    This is The Frosty Pop Corps's 10th feature on the App Store, and the first from their new home in Victoria, British Columbia. 

     

    "It's exciting to be living in such a vibrant gaming community here in Victoria, " said Sethi. "Although I am new on the scene, at some point I hope to represent the Victoria gaming community on a global level with the same creative reputation as Kano Apps, Tiny Mob, Codename, and many, many others."

     

    Walls & Balls can be downloaded at: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/walls-balls/id1083708143

     

     

     

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Tech enthusiasts gathered at Fort Tectoria to hear from a panel of entrepreneurs in YYJ's tech hub see more

    Source: CBC All Points West

    Tech is a $3B industry in Victoria, with 900 companies responsible for 2,200 jobs

    Tech enthusiasts gathered at Fort Tectoria Friday morning to hear from a panel of entrepreneurs in Victoria's burgeoning tech industry, hosted by CBC British Columbia as part of its Inspiration Series.

    CBC Radio One's On The Island host Gregor Craigie and All Points West host Robyn Burns asked three panelists about startups and Victoria's future as a leader in the tech world.

    "With 900 tech companies, 22,000 employees and over $3 billion in total revenue, it's hard to deny: the old stereotypes are dead," said Craigie.

    The panel discussion, called Victoria 2.0, covered topics ranging from gender imbalance in tech companies to the impact of a low Canadian dollar on local businesses.

    Why Victoria?

    The three panelists had a range of experiences and came from a variety of backgrounds, but when it came to talking about why they chose Victoria as a place to live and work, they all agreed: Victoria is a close-knit community and that's good for startups.

    "One of the great things about Victoria is it is a smaller community, you're able to really make those deep connections," said Nicole Smith, founder of Flytographer.

    Best of all, the city is affordable, she said.

    "And you're actually able to afford a house."

    Smith worked in Vancouver and Seattle before moving back to her hometown on the island seven years ago.

    Charles Lavigne moved to Victoria three years ago from the Lower Mainland.

    "It really came down to the community. It was just so inviting and so supportive," said the co-founder and CEO of LlamaZOO.

    "I think Vancouver is a lot bigger, so it's more dispersed."

    Entrepreneur Brad Van Vugt said choosing between the Silicon Valley and Victoria was easy. The small B.C. city offers something other places don't, he said.

    "You have this incredibly tight community, incredibly dedicated, smallish group of founders, but they're trying to do big things," said Van Vugt, co-founder and CEO of Sendwithus.

    "If you go to a larger city you're going to get a lot more noise."

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    VIATEC turns 25 see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    The organization charged with promoting and advocating on behalf of the Victoria high-tech sector turns 25 today.

    And age seems to suit the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, the oldest tech association in the province, which may look more vibrant now than when it was first formed in 1989.

    These days the organization boasts more than 400 members and speaks on behalf of a sector that has seen incredible growth -- when last measured in 2014 it had an economic impact on Victoria of more than $4 billion.

    According to current chief executive officer Dan Gunn, who has been with VIATEC for 15 years, in the early days the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre, as it was then known, worked more closely with government delivering programs to the industry.

    “It did have memberships and there was a mandate to be an industry association but a lot of the budget came from program funding from the province and that shaped priorities for the organization,” he said.

    That has evolved over time into the current model, which prides itself on both getting the word out about what is now Victoria’s largest and fastest growing private industry -- helping it attract new companies, investment, and potential employees to the city -- while establishing programs to help small and medium-sized companies grow.

    Those new incubator programs were built on some of the early mentorship programs VIATEC established in the 1990s under Bob Skene, Bill Cook and Colin Lennox.

    Eric Jordan, currently the chief executive officer at video game developer Codename Entertainment, agreed, noting VIATEC’s work with young companies over the entire 25 years has been a huge boon to the industry.

    He recalls plenty of support from both Lennox and Cook when he was starting software firm PureEdge Solutions in 1993.

    “Now they are building on it, now they do so much more for the whole spectrum of companies,” he said.

    VIATEC evolved again when government funding for programs all but dried up around the same time of the dot-com bubble around 2000-01.

    Gunn said the organization took some time to find its feet and determine what it was going to look like In 2005 it decided to dedicate itself to the industry, making the priorities and interests of the tech sector its sole purpose.

    “We spent five years re-establishing our connection with industry, and then in 2010 we got more ambitious and I think came into our own,” he said.

    In the last five years, on top of its programming and advocacy work, VIATEC has significantly expanded its footprint with its own physical downtown base at Fort Tectoria (777 Fort St.), has reached out into the arts and hospitality communities and other groups to partner in festivals, conferences and building the community.

    All the while it has sung the praises of the companies growing in the city and beyond.

    The result has meant there are few decision makers that don’t realize tech is the region’s largest industry -- 900 companies, employing 22,000 people with revenue of $3.2 billion and an economic impact of more than $4 billion.

    “VIATEC has played an important role in the community by bringing together programs that facilitate and encourage technology, entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Alex Mendelev, co-founder of design studio Tiny Mob Games. “With VIATEC, every technology venture in Victoria not only has access to resources, but an opportunity to engage and connect with a rich network of professionals.”

    Gunn said VIATEC’s growth and that of the local tech sector is a product of timing as much as anything else.

    “I’m confident in saying VIATEC has played a key role in raising awareness of the importance, impact and vibrancy of the sector and that has led to more investors looking at the region, more employers and potential employees looking at the region,” he said.

    The change is pretty incredible since the early days.

    The Times Colonist in 1994 quoted Skene as saying there were 125 tech companies in the region, with as many as 300 on the Island. The Island tech industry’s combined revenue at the time was estimated to be about $200 million.

    “It’s been such a transition,” said Jordan, noting he grew up in Victoria and for years all anyone ever heard about was the impact of tourism on the region. “Now the unquestioned statement is that tech is our largest industry.”

    Jordan said that messaging is due in large part to VIATEC’s work to promote the sector and unite the various groups within it.

    Gunn believes the city has also played a big role.

    “I feel in the last eight to 10 years Victoria itself has become more entrepreneurial, exciting and innovative,” he said. “That’s partly because of demographic shift and definitely due to industry shift, and that plays into the hands of a growing innovation sector.”

    Gunn said VIATEC’s next strategic plan includes some new wrinkles, including more focus on established companies, helping to bring together investors and growing firms and perhaps establishing a foundation to connect tech companies with the local community’s needs.

    Elton Pereira, co-founder of ParetoLogic, said VIATEC has been a strong supporting partner that has “engaged the local and international communities promoting technology, innovation, job opportunities and diversity in the workplace.

    “It has been a big year for VIATEC, in particular, they have had success as an incubator for young tech startups and ambitious entrepreneurs. They have some great momentum and I look forward to hearing more success stories coming out of their program.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Jim Treliving will be speaking in Victoria on Oct. 14 in the David Foster Foundation Theatre. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Darron Kloster

    Jim Treliving, one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs known for his role on CBC’s hit television show Dragon’s Den, will be speaking in Victoria on Oct. 14 in the David Foster Foundation Theatre at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

    Treliving will speak about his business career, values-based approach to decision-making and the importance of community involvement. The event is presented by Leadership Victoria Society and supported by Telus, The Oak Bay Beach Hotel, University of Victoria, the Times Colonist and Hothouse Marketing.

    After the presentation, an exclusive VIP reception will give some attendees a chance to meet Jim and Sandi Treliving in a more informal setting.

    Treliving reflects on how his early life lessons from his father shaped his approach to life. “Success is measured by taking in the big picture,” he says. “You look at the health and happiness of your family and friends and what you’re contributing to your community.”

    Treliving and George Melville created the Boston Pizza Charitable Foundation, which has raised and donated more than $20 million to charities across Canada and around the world.

    Bringing Treliving to Victoria to speak is a big moment for Leadership Victoria. Executive director Susan Low views Treliving as a role model for community leaders. “Mr. Treliving's approach to business and philanthropy is an inspiring example. We believe Greater Victoria’s spirit of community makes it a logical place for him to talk about how business and community leadership go hand-in-hand.”

    Leadership Victoria is a non-profit that develops and supports leaders who make Greater Victoria a vibrant, healthy community. Funds are being raised to support the operation of the Community Leadership Development Program and grassroots leadership workshops on topics ranging from collaboration to social innovation.

    Telus Victoria Community Board chairman Mel Cooper was instrumental in making the event happen, said Low.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Thinklandia Festival is 7 days of creative speakers, artists, CEOs, physicists and storytellers see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

     

    Thinklandia Festival Speaker Line Up 2015
    September 11 to 17
    Yates St. Parkade Rooftop • 575 Yates St.
    NIghtly • Doors at 5:00pm • Event at 7:45pm • Free

    Brought to you by Telus, Rifflandia, the City of Victoria, Atomique Productions, VIATEC, InterArts, Fort Properties, and Stream of Consciousness
     

    ABOUT

    Thinklandia Festival is 7 days of creative speakers, artists, CEOs, physicists and storytellers sharing their creative experiences and wisdom in an interactive venue created from converting a parkade rooftop in downtown Victoria. Events are bright, vibrant, open, and entirely free, with dozens of speakers sharing thoughts and conversations with thousands of engaged people.

    Check out a huge new interactive environment by Scott Amos & David Parfitt (Money C), audio visual installations by Toni & Arya of EMP Productions, incredible speakers nightly, the launch of the inaugural Mayor's Medal, unveiling new arts installations and exhibitions, beer by Phillips, food, music, and a new kind of creative festival in Victoria.

     

    FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 11

    "Public"

    Featuring

    Jill Doucette • Synergy Enterprises
    Rande Cook • Visual Artist
    Lisa Helps • Mayor of Victoria
    hosted by Iain Russell

    Plus we will present the inaugural Mayor's Medal Awards (nominations open now at www.thinklandia.ca/mayorsmedal)

     

    SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12

    “Edge of Knowledge”

    Edge of Knowledge is an exploration spanning through of years and billions of miles, from ancient wisdom known and taught for generations, to emerging notions of reality and the nature of existence, to aspects of reality that elude us still.

    Featuring

    Derek Muller • Veritasium, Australia
    Dr. Heather Berlin • Neuroscientist, NYC
    Baba Brinkman • Rapper, NYC
    hosted by Joey MacDonald

     

    SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13

    "Illegal"

    ILLEGAL explores the contingencies, eccentricities, and everyday actions that exist outside of the typical realm of law, as well as the motivations and barriers experienced by those actively operating outside of the system.

    Featuring

    Stephen Reid • Author, bankrobber
    Sarah Smith AKA Ginger Kittens • PEERS, Burlesque dancer
    Hector Espinosa • Street artist, Mexico
    hosted by Ken Gordon

     

    MONDAY SEPTEMBER 14

    "Stories We Tell"

    A conversation among luminaries, mediums of history, crafters of culture, and interpreters of truth. This panel focuses on the power of storytelling, its role in history, the joys and dangers of fiction, and

    how the past informs the future through stories.

    Featuring

    Roy Henry Vickers • Visual artist, storyteller
    Susan Musgrave • Author, poet
    hosted by Missie Peters

    Also featuring Story Slam - an open invitation to submit your 4-5 minute story, and tell it to everyone at Stories We Tell. Got a fantastic story? Send us a note at ideas@thinklandia.ca and tell it at Story Slam.
     

    TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 15  

    "Perspective" 

    PERSPECTIVE explores the ability to approach common problems from an independent frame of reference, and the incredible new ideas generated from the simple practice of seeing differently. Perspective aims to reframe emerging discussions around broader opportunities for communication.

    Featuring

    Bif Naked • Musician, activist
    Rae Spoon • Musician, activist
    Jason Verners • Illusionist
    hosted by Sarah Kramer

     

    WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 16

    “Creativity”  

    Featuring

    Jordan Bower • Digital Storyteller
    Shaun Verreault • Wide Mouth Mason Lead Singer
    TEDxVictoriaSalon • Tiffany Poirier, a Vice Principal in SD61 • Jeff Hopkins, Founder of the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry
    hosted by Iain Russell

     

    THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 17

    Concurrent events:

    “Building A Creative City”
    Thinklandia HQ • 1001 Blanshard St
    Doors at 4:30pm • Event at 5:00pm • Free

    Featuring

    Jessica Hopper • Senior Editor, Pitchfork Magazine
    Kathryn Calder    • Singer/Songwriter
    Leeroy Stagger • Singer/Songwriter

     

    “Entrepreneurship”

    This event is in partnership with Experience Tectoria

    Yates St. Parkade Rooftop • 575 Yates St.
    Doors at 5:00pm • Event at 7:45pm • Free

    Featuring

    Peter Nowak • Award Winning Technology Journalist, Syndicated Blogger & Columnist
    Lauren Friese • Founder, TalentEgg.ca
    hosted by Ian Hoar

     

    Contact Details

    Joey MacDonald
    Creative Programming Director, Thinklandia
    programming@thinklandia.ca

  • VIATEC posted an article
    Startup Basics Program supplies participants with the tools and resources to accelerate their idea. see more

    Accelerate Okanagan has expanded its program offering to further support the BC Southern Interior tech community. Developed for early stage entrepreneurs and career-changers, the Startup Basics Program supplies participants with the tools and resources to accelerate their idea to the next stage in their entrepreneurial journey. 

    Startup Basics is comprised of weekly sessions and seminars occurring from September to December 2015. Sessions are presented by community organizations, as well as Accelerate Okanagan Executive in Residence mentors, partners, clients, and alumni. Each session is designed to educate the entrepreneur on the fundamentals essential to developing their startup. 

    “Delivering the building blocks of a solid business foundation, our Startup Basics program comes out of our Community Development team as a way of providing helpful resources to the BC Southern Interior startup community. With the addition of our webinar feature, we have made this program easily accessible and formatted to suit any stage of startup. Accelerate Okanagan is fortunate to have a broad spectrum of expertise in our Partners and EiRs; with their participation in this initiative we are able to help startups thrive with competence, connection, and community,” says Pilar Portela, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan.

    Sessions Include:

    • Entrepreneur Support Ecosystem
    • Startup Basics: Legal & Accounting
    • Value Proposition and Customer Discovery
    • Turn your Idea into Reality: Prototyping and Testing
    • Startup Basics: Project Management
    • Legal and Insurance: Protecting your Business
    • Product and Market Fit  Startup Basics: Metrics
    • Hiring Contractors and Creating Contracts
    • CEO vs. Co-Founder
    • Funding Mechanics for Startups
    • Perfecting Your Business Pitch
    • Introduction to the Business Model Generation

    For only $25.00/session, get inspired and learn how to take the next step with your business idea. Please click here for session schedule and registration information. Space is limited, so please register early! Can’t make it to Kelowna? Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. Register to watch a live webinar of each scheduled session. 

  • VIATEC posted an article
    Seeking interested companies and entrepreneurs to join "Team Victoria" and take over San Francisco! see more

    Seeking interested companies and entrepreneurs to join forces and take over San Francisco!

    VIATEC will be joining other community stakeholders as part of "Team Victoria" to engage with San Francisco-based entrepreneurs, investors and other key individuals on September 28th and 29th.  

    The objectives of Team Victoria’s mission will include the following:

    1. Showcase and connect Victoria companies to investors and investment firms based in the Bay Area
    2. Target corporate meeting clients that align to the region’s Corporate Meetings Strategy
    3. Engage talent
    4. Engage with and connect to any potential academic partnerships that will enhance Victoria’s “education” brand or institutions.

    Reasons to be interested:

    • The final agenda will be tailored to participant interests and needs
    • Ample time will be available for participants’ own private meetings, and a few shared meetings will be available too
    • The trip will climax with a reception for all participants, to celebrate what makes Victoria such a unique and destined location to live and build a company 
      • This evening will be highlighted by a conversation with some very special guests!

    We're inviting any companies and entrepreneurs that are interested in joining us to contact Rob Bennett at rbennett@viatec.ca for more information.

    TEAM VICTORIA - ASSEMBLE!

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    "This place has a very entrepreneurial attitude.” see more

    Source: Globe & Mail
    Author: Sean Silcoff

    Burgeoning tech companies are on the rise in Canada, attracting funding and IPO buzz in hubs across the country. The Globe & Mail's occasional series explores how each locale nurtures its entrepreneurs, the challenges they face and the rising stars we’re watching.

    Owen Matthews found the perfect way to convince his father, Ottawa tech pioneer Terry Matthews, to invest in a startup in his home base of Victoria: The company, Echosec Systems Ltd., can track social media postings by their geographic origin, so to demonstrate the power of the tool, the younger Mr. Matthews showed his father what had been posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram in the vicinity of his house. What showed up during the demonstration eight months ago shocked the billionaire: 15 pictures, including one of his grand-daughter, on his property. The first thing the elder Mr. Matthews did was track down the posters to get them to remove the pictures. The next thing he did was invest. “I like this tool, it clearly has a lot of value,” he told his son, who noted that the technology is already used by military and law enforcement agencies.

    While Terry Matthews is known as one of Ottawa’s most prominent tech investors, he and his son have also poured money and time into Victoria, another government town with a surprisingly buoyant tech ecosystem. Victoria does not have any big tech companies, but it has enough small and medium-sized firms that the sector – not government or tourism – is the top employer in the metropolis of 344,000 people. The Victoria Advanced Technology Council says there are 900 technology companies employing 15,000 people in the area, generating $4-billion in economic impact. “Most people go to Vancouver and miss Victoria because it’s a cute government town,” Owen Matthews says. “But this place has a very entrepreneurial attitude.”

    Mayor Lisa Helps argues that Victoria’s climate, abundance of restaurants, local beer and coffee, rental units and pleasant lifestyle options (“work here ends at kayak o’clock”) make it a magnet for startups. “What works in our ecosystem that makes us unique is small companies that grow rapidly and punch away above their weight on the world market,” she says.

    It’s certainly helped by the Matthews family: Owen Matthews, 43, came to University of Victoria to study computer science and psychology and never left, starting a telecommunications software company in 1998 and selling it to Vancouver’s CounterPath Corp. in 2007 (the Matthews family owns close to 30 per cent of the stock).

    He’s since helped develop the local startup scene by convincing several government and industry bodies, along with his alma mater and father, to fund the creation of the non-profit Alacrity Foundation, dedicated to helping nascent entrepreneurs get on their feet.

    Owen Matthews argues that the first six to 12 months of an entrepreneurial enterprise is too early for serious investors to commit financing. So the foundation offers training, space, mentorship, access to industry players and expense money to help get B.C.-based business and engineering graduates on their feet as entrepreneurs. The idea is that if they flourish at Alacrity, there may be investors ready to jump in after a year.

    Sure enough, several companies that have graduated from the program have landed seed investments, from the Matthews family and others. They include telecommunications software startup Tutela, online marketing firm Pretio and Echosec.

    Karl Swannie, a former partner of local geospatial technology firm CloverPoint who heads Echosec, argues that “you have to be good in Victoria to survive. Your software has to be good enough to make it off the island. Because if you don’t do well, you die.”