Entrepreneurship

  • Sadie Evans posted an article
    Douglas Magazine 10 to Watch Awards nominations open see more

    Source: https://douglasmagazine.com/

     

    VICTORIA, BC, October 17, 2019 - Know a great Island business that’s three years old or less? (It could even be your business!) The deadline for Douglas magazine’s 10 to Watch Awards — the popular annual competition that recognizes the very best of Vancouver Island’s new businesses — is November 8, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

     

    The exposure winners receive through 10 to Watch gives them well-deserved applause, builds brand recognition and shines the spotlight on the Island’s spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Past winners include TOPSOIL, Roll Focus Productions, Flytographer, Pretio Interactive, Rumble Energy Drink and 95 other impressive local enterprises. 

     

    The deadline for nominations for 10 to Watch is November 8, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. After the deadline, all qualified nominees will be sent an application form to fill out, which includes details such as a short biography, indicators for success and how the business contributed to the community and/or environment.

     

    Winners of 10 to Watch will be recognized at the invitation-only 10 to Watch Awards Gala in the spring and will be showcased in the April/May edition of Douglas magazine.

     

    Visit https://douglasmagazine.com/10-to-watch/ for the nomination form and more information.

  • How challenging is it to launch a successful tech startup on Vancouver Island? see more

    After helping more than a hundred First Nation Bands across Canada conduct a variety of mission-critical voting events including referendums and elections, one successful First Nations startup based in Victoria is providing safe and secure voting technology to professional associations across Canada.

    Lawrence Lewis and his Victoria-based team behind the successful First Nations technology company OneFeather are getting ready to launch another new software product. SmartBallot is a voting registration and vote management tool that makes it easier for organizations to engage and communicate with membership, conduct mission critical voting events, carry out legitimate decision-making and reduce the costs and strain of administrative management.

    In this interview, Lewis discusses some the lessons he's learned while building technology businesses on Vancouver Island.

    How challenging has it been to launch a successful tech startup (OneFeather) on Vancouver Island?

    Lawrence Lewis (LL): While OneFeather has been able to take advantage of a local Victoria accelerator program for startups, it has been very challenging. Compared to other tech startups, access to capital for First Nations early stage companies and young entrepreneaurs is essentially non existent.

    Going out and raising capital is equally hard. This is because traditional VCs do not understand the First Nations space, and consequently cannot evaluate the very real opportunities that exist in this growing market.

    On top of that, there are just not that many First Nations programmers or other highly qualified technical experts in emerging technologies or innovating new ones.

    How has your team overcome these challenges?

    LL: OneFeather’s approach has been to build our business one client at a time with a solid core product offering and value proposition. It takes a little longer to build up an inventory of clients, but by focusing on individual clients needs we have been able to develop trust and really strong word-of-mouth. We’ve built a service and product our clients will happily refer to others.

    This approach has served OneFeather well, and has kept us lean and focussed on service and product development that truly matters to our clients.

    You already have a successful career as an administrator and community leader. What made you decide to develop, commercialize and market your own software solution?

    LL: At some point I had to make a choice. I had to decide: do I support, or do I lead?

    Either choice makes sense, depending on who you are and what your goals are. But for me, running my own company and building a vision for something I believe in requires a certain fortitude and commitment. And it’s not for the faint of heart because there are a lot of ups-and-downs and mistakes along the way.  You have to be prepared to learn and adjust all the time, and grow both as a person and as a company.

    Building something new and disrupting elections, referendums and governance -- a space that has for the most part continued to oppressed First Nations people through its antiquated processes -- is something I am excited to tackle each and every day.

    What has made your success so far possible?

    Quite simply, building a company around aboriginal values and principles has made our success possible. We strive to lead with integrity. We speak the truth and stay solution focussed. These values not only ensure we provide a valuable service that facilitates sustainable governance and bringing communities together, but also helps us build a technology that customers trust so much they recommend to others.

    What encouragement do you have for people with a First Nations or indigenous background who are considering an entrepreneurial path?

    I am a big believer in hard work. Entrepreneurs must be focussed, and we must be determined.

    Successful technology entrepreneurs must be smart about how we invest our precious, limited time. This means reading everything about the business you’re in, and surrounding yourself with good advisors and mentors.

    We must also not be afraid to fail, which means we always need to be testing assumptions and what is regarded as “truth”.

    Finally, we need to make sure that what we are working so hard toward is something that is inspiring, brings satisfaction and will leave the world or community a better place.


    Lawrence Lewis, a technology entrepreneur based in Victoria, is the CEO of OneFeather. Lewis and his team will soon launch SmartBallot, a voting registration and vote management tool that makes it easier for organizations to engage and communicate with membership, conduct mission critical voting events, carry out legitimate decision-making and reduce the costs and strain of administrative management.

  • Armon Arani posted an article
    UVic’s School of Business has launched a new youth entrepreneurship experience called Kidovate. see more

    Source: Peter B. Gustavson, School of Business

    Kidovate Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative Launched

    UVic’s Gustavson School of Business has launched a new youth entrepreneurship experience called Kidovate. Kidovate aims to develop entrepreneurial skill and spirit among middle school and high school youth by encouraging them to make and sell goods or services at a Kidovate marketplace Saturday May 25th. There is no cost to participate in Kidovate.

     

    Kidovate assists by providing a graphic novel workbook to help youth think through key business decisions, by providing access to UVic student mentors, and by providing access to customers, as Kidovate markets will be hosted by local malls. 

     

    For further details, and to register as a youth, educator, or parent, visit www.Kidovate.ca.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Government is seeking third parties to launch and operate a “women entrepreneurship knowledge hub" see more

    Source: Betakit
    Author: Jessica Galang

    Government Announces RFP to Compile Data on Women Entrepreneurs

    During Montreal’s Startupfest, Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger announced that the government is accepting proposals from companies that could help it collect data on how best to support women entrepreneurs.

    The government first announced its intention to collect “disaggregated data” on women entrepreneurs in Budget 2018, which had a large focus on women entrepreneurs. The budget earmarked $9.5 million over three years for proposals on collecting gender-based data on entrepreneurs.

    Chagger expanded on its request for proposals during the event. The government is seeking third parties to launch and operate a “women entrepreneurship knowledge hub,” which will collect and compile information on women entrepreneurs and inform the development of support tools for women entrepreneurs. “This data will also help us establish best practices that women entrepreneurs can use to further their entrepreneurial journey in Canada.”

    This year’s budget had a major focus on women entrepreneurs; $1.4 billion in loans over five years is being allocated to women entrepreneurs through BDC, with the overarching goal of doubling the number of women entrepreneurs by 2025. Chagger said that the four core pillars of it’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy include helping women-led businesses grow, increasing access to capital, improving participation in the innovation economy, and enhancing data on women entrepreneurs.

    “This is a key area where data is missing and to better understand women entrepreneurs and to help them and support them, we need this data,” said Chagger.

    The Minister made the announcement during one of BDC’s Women in Technology bootcamps, which works to foster business skills and financial literacy for women. The bank’s bootcamps were also part of the initial Budget 2018 announcement, and will take place across Canada.

    The news is timely, as this morning Female Funders announced a new report on the state of venture capital with Hockeystick. The report drew on data from public sources like Crunchbase and data from angel and VC groups, finding that just 14 percent of Canadian VCs are women.

    The deadline for proposals is September 7. More information is available on the government website here.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    An 8 month program designed to enable new technologies to be used, integrated, or commercialized... see more

    Introducing TELUS Technology Accelerator 3

    Powered by Calgary Technologies Inc.

    Accelerating Growth Stage Technology Startups in
    Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba & Saskatchewan

    TTA3 is an 8 month program designed to enable new technologies to be used, integrated, or commercialized by TELUS. TTA3’s reach is bigger and broader than ever, with applications being accepted from start-ups in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. If your organization knows of any entrepreneurs developing technology in the digital health and wellness, industrial IoT, or smart cities space please encourage them to submit an application to TTA3. Submissions are due by May 22nd, 2018.

    More information and details on the application process can be found using the following link: www.calgarytechnologies.com/tta

  • Article
    Songhees Innovation Centre among 45 projects sharing $28M in funding see more

    Songhees Innovation Centre among 45 projects sharing $28M in funding

     The fledgling Songhees Innovation Centre received $93,410 in federal funding on Tuesday, its share of more than $27.8 million being disbursed among 45 projects to support First Nations economic development in Western Canada.

    Other Island projects include the University of Victoria’s Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Artists Pilot Program, which will receive $567,000, and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, which will receive $500,000 to build clean energy infrastructure.

    “These investments will help make Indigenous communities more prosperous, create new opportunities for Indigenous businesses and workers, and also these projects represent the diverse range of economic activities,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of science, innovation and economic development, who was in Victoria for the funding announcement.

    “The Songhees Innovation Centre is fostering a rich idea, to exchange and help Indigenous entrepreneurs take their business to the next level.”

    The innovation centre, a co-working space located within the Songhees Wellness Centre, helps Indigenous entrepreneurs collaborate and grow their operations, Bains said.

    “It really is where people come together, share ideas, network with one another,” he said.

    “It really is a fitting location to talk about strengthening economic development opportunities for Indigenous people.”

    Songhees Chief Ron Sam said the innovation centre has also been helped by the South Island Prosperity Project, Animikii Indigenous Technology, the Victoria Foundation and the Community Micro Lending Society.

    Sam said the federal funding is appreciated.

    “We are grateful and inspired to be the recipient of funding that supports the ongoing success of Indigenous entrepreneurs at the Songhees Innovation Centre,” he said.

    “We are witnessing the emergence of a growing number of impassioned Indigenous graduates and businesspeople, for whom the co-working environment is a natural catalyst for launching and growing entrepreneur-driven enterprises.”

    The centre gives people access to shared office space and resources.

    Early participants include Lawrence Lewis, who is working on voter-registration software for Indigenous communities through a company called OneFeather.

    Songhees Nation executive director Christina Clark said she sees “a growing sense of alignment” among the business community, educational institutions, local governments and First Nation governments.

    UVic’s Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) received $567,000 for its Artists Pilot Program, which can involve established artists or artists considering going into business.

    The pilot is a collaboration between ACE, an entrepreneurship-education initiative, and Tribal Resources Investment Corporation.

    Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business, said the Artists Pilot Program is “an exciting new endeavour,” while ACE graduate Ben Davidson said he is excited to see the program become a reality.

    He said he already had a business before starting the program, which taught him the value of creating multiple revenue streams with his art.

    Bains said that fostering economic growth for First Nations is a priority for the federal government. “As you know, one of the biggest priorities is working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with Indigenous people,” he said.

    “As part of reconciliation, it’s really ensuring full participation in the Canadian economy.

    “In fact, the participation of Indigenous people is absolutely essential to Canada’s economic prosperity,” he said, noting that Canada’s Indigenous population grew 42.5 per cent between 2006 and 2016, while overall population growth was 11 per cent.

    jwbell@timescolonist.com

    Source: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/songhees-innovation-centre-among-45-projects-sharing-28m-in-funding-1.23200590

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    On February 20, 2017 the Tectoria Innovation Station installation was unveiled at the #yyj Airport see more

    Tectoria #InnovationStation unveiling [VIDEO]

    On February 20, 2017 the Tectoria Innovation Station installation was unveiled at the Victoria International Airport. 

    Click the video below to see the recap! Video by Gradio Media.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A portion of Victoria's Airport has been transformed into the “Tectoria Innovation Station" see more

    “Tectoria Innovation Station” to launch at the Victoria International Airport

    Ribbon cutting to take place February 20, 2017 at 11am

    VICTORIA, BC (February 15, 2017) -  A portion of Victoria International Airport’s Arrival Rotunda has been transformed into the “Tectoria Innovation Station,” a new interactive exhibit heralding Greater Victoria’s long history of innovation and entrepreneurship and the thriving tech sector that developed as a result.

    The installation features a mad scientist's laboratory complete with transparent video screens and detailed historical accounts of our region’s innovations all surrounded by intricate pipes, gauges and switches to catch the attention of passersby and draw them in for a closer look. It was developed specifically to give the local technology sector added awareness, airport guests an added experience, and potential talent and investors a place to go for more information, whYYJ.ca.

    VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council) and the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA), have spent the last 10 years informally exploring ways to work together to spread the word about our top local industry, technology. ”When we heard that the Victoria Airport Authority had a potential area that we could utilize to build an intriguing interactive exhibit we jumped at the chance,” Dan Gunn, VIATEC CEO explained. “We quickly started developing concepts on something that would be out of the ordinary and soon after opened discussions with potential funding partners.

    “Technology plays such an integral role in our local economy,” says Geoff Dickson, VAA President and CEO. “We’re pleased to partner with VIATEC and showcase this interactive display. It’s a great way for us to support Victoria’s technology sector and to provide our passengers and the public with a unique experience and opportunity to learn about the positive contributions it makes to the region.”

    The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and South Island Prosperity Project (Prosperity Project) were intrigued and agreed to dedicate some of the funding they had received from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to the project.

    ”It takes a village to raise an economy and we are very grateful to the Victoria Airport Authority and our funding partners for making this possible,” acclaimed Dan Gunn. “With 1.85 million visitors walking through the gates at one of the world’s greatest airports, we are fortunate to be offered the opportunity to build a presence at the primary gateway to our community. Tourism is our best draw and once people are hooked on our island lifestyle many of them want to stay. We believe this exhibit will give the ones that want to move here, the info they need to understand how they might find a job or, better yet, invest in or create a new company here.”

    "We're proud to be part of the team that brought this project to life,” said Emilie de Rosenroll, Executive Director of the Prosperity Project. “The Tectoria Innovation Station is a way to raise the profile of our local entrepreneurial culture, and it will help the Prosperity Project connect with new companies and established entrepreneurs through the whYYJ.ca website."

    “The Tectoria Innovation Station is one of several joint projects that the Greater Victoria Chamber has undertaken over the past three years to support trade and investment,” said Catherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “Thanks to funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada and stakeholders throughout the region, we have been able to bring the right people together to see outcomes, like this one, that will resonate within our community and economy for years.”

    The unveiling will take place on February 20, 2017 at 11am in the Arrivals Rotunda of the Victoria International Airport. Following a few announcements and a ribbon cutting, media and the public are encouraged to take the first steps through the installation.

     

    ABOUT THE DESIGN

    With the vision statement that, “Innovation, entrepreneurship and technology has shaped Victoria’s present, past and inspires our potential going forward.”  VIATEC sought out local designer and fabricator, Russell Papp, to bring a “Mad Scientist’s Lab” theme to fruition. Russell is well known for projects around town including the Phillip’s Beer Wagons and some of Tourism Victoria’s exhibits last October.

    Airport visitors will get to peer into portals containing Holografyx Showcase video displays, press buttons and gears, and flip through drafting table designs containing bits of Victoria’s rich, innovative history. From aviation, to shipbuilding, ocean sciences and education. The first video features short overviews of AXYS Technologies, FTS and Viking Air. The drafting table features are opening with historical overviews of key elements of our economy, and VIATEC is encouraging locals to submit suggested additions and corrections, so that the exhibit is ever-changing and improving. A feedback form on the whYYJ.ca web site will make it easy for people to provide suggested edits and updates.

    EDITOR'S NOTE

    Your readers, listeners and viewers are welcome to learn even more about how to connect with, join or learn more about the local tech scene by attending Discover Tectoria on February 24, 2017 from 11am to 6pm at the Crystal Garden. www.discovertectoria.com

    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Tessa Bousfield
    Marketing & Events Director, VIATEC
    e: tbousfield@viatec.ca, c: 250-896-7668

     

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    There’s a ton to dive into here. A past that will tell a thousand stories, and during all of my... see more

    Source: Betakit.com
    Author: Wyatt Fossett

    It’s early afternoon, and many entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts are moderately rested and ready for a long night of great music and amazing people at the Rifflandia Music Festival in Victoria, BC — the culmination of three long days of demos, pitches, and pub nights at Experience Tectoria. But first, the entrepreneurs are gathering for an event to conclude the entirety of the experience: a roundtable discussion about Victoria’s vibrant tech sector.

    Experience Tectoria serves to explore and highlight some of Victoria’s brightest and most promising tech startups. VIATEC—an accelerator program—is the product of an amazingly underrated technology scene that lives on Vancouver Island. The Experience event provides an opportunity for investors and media to congregate around a demo night, funding pitches, loads of food, and plenty of mingling.

    Overall, the event is about selling the Victoria lifestyle to a group of talented people that the city would benefit from.

    When you walk through the streets of downtown Victoria, on a blustery day—one that started with a thick fog, and a curtain of rain —there’s a strong presence of history, and the quieter streets, in an otherwise bustling tourist town, feel welcoming. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, dates back to 1862, and today (mostly due to vertical building regulations, and being surrounded by water) has a small population of roughly 80,000.

    There’s a ton to dive into here. A past that will tell a thousand stories, and during all of my wandering, I was listening. Before the arrival of the Europeans in the 1700s, Vancouver Island was a thriving community of Coast Saalish People. Fort Victoria played a major role in the Great War, and the city has always been one of the first lines of defence for the Canadian Navy. But it’s now a peaceful and highly artistic city.

    On the corner of Pandora and Wharf is the Swan’s Hotel, right near the bridge to the West Bank of Victoria. She’s old, and classic. Gathering in the penthouse suite—a three story dream with a full rooftop deck currently owned by the University of Victoria—are the who’s who of the tech world and their counterparts in investment.

    Sean Silcoff from the Globe and Mail led the roundtable discussion that probed both visitors and locals alike about what makes Victoria a great place to be, an ideal city to start, or a top-tier location to move to.

    Two consistent themes cropped up in a constant show of pride by Victorians, which perked up those in the room looking to invest in the companies there.

    What makes Victoria so successful?

    Living in the shadows

    People often don’t realize that Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, and not the little sister of Vancouver as its perceived. One of the things that has helped Victoria grow, succeed, and make exits with their companies is this shadow. According to the Victoria Angel Micro VC Fund Analysis, exits in the past five years total $217 million, including companies like MediacoreGo2mobiEDOC, and Procura

    A list arose during the discussion. One that included names like Santa Cruz, California; Boulder, Colorado; Austin, Texas; and even Canadian destinations like Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. There is one thing that all of these blossoming cities have in common: above everything else, they live in the shadow of a more “popular” town. And maybe it’s this sense of being ignored that make it a more fruitful atmosphere.

    In a “sister-town”, rent is cheaper, most of them have large postsecondary schools, and the general population of the world isn’t paying any attention in their direction. As creators, it’s far easier to attempt the unpredictable when people aren’t looking at your activities through a microscope.

    A step ahead in gender equality

    The report also stated that the wage gap between men and women was at 18 percent, meaning that women earn just 82 percent of what men do in identical roles.

    According to an internal compensation study from Viatec however, Victoria boasts a rapidly rising percentage of around 30 percent female representation in technology roles (this study is only available for purchase through VIATEC). Impressively still, more than half of startup management or senior roles are held by women, in what can only be described as those in the room “as the way it should be” — though the room, which was mostly filled with men, didn’t reflect the diversity that they were eager to brag about.

    Taking a look back at the history of the Tech Awards in Victoria, four of the past five winners in the Executive of the Year category were women, and five out of the past six companies that won the pinnacle Company of the Year award have female CEOs.

    On top of progression made in diversity, the wage gap is also monumentally only at three percent. Victoria has an immense stash of talent, and those in hiring roles seem to have the right mindset when it comes to hiring the best available candidate without bias.

    But inside the room was a ten-to-one margin of men, and a twenty-to-one margin of people of colour. Victoria is ahead of the curve when it comes to diversity, but after these conversations and pats on the shoulder in celebration, it’s ironic that I was in a position to ask the coordinators of the event how they think they can make rooms like this more diverse.

    Youth in revolt

    There’s a tendency to view millennials as a nuisance, or the death of an established balance within business. But this isn’t something that is bred in Victoria’s culture. As old as the city may be, great schools like the University of Victoria provide strong and hungry youth. That’s exactly who’s responsible for shaking up a lot of this rusted system. And it shows in Victoria when startups likeBlastworks, Codename Entertainment, Flytographer, and Tellwell Talent are standing at an impressively young age pitching for investments, or winning big awards like the VIATEC Technology Awards.

    Victoria’s future

    Seats needs butts

    “How do you get more people to come to Victoria, invest in Victoria, or stay in Victoria?” asked Silcoff.

    The consensus was that people just have to come. Once. It’s hard to be put-off by a city that shows so much life, and art, and beauty. Just getting them to put their boots on the cobblestone streets of the second-highest rated creative city in Canada, according to Martin Prosperity Institute director Richard Florida.

    In tandem with the beauty of British Columbia is the consistent government support. With a recently announced $100 million dollar venture capital fund, and near industry leading tax credits, there are financial benefits to living and working out of stunning BC.

    A shrinking wage gap

    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a report stating that Victoria, BC is the best place in Canada to work as a woman. Citing comparisons of income and unemployment, relative to the male population, Victoria scored first overall, and took the top rank in Economic Security, and Leadership.

    Victoria’s wage gap between men and women was the smallest of the 25 major cities in the study that included Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and Calgary, at just three percent. Among promising statistics in employment is the fact that Victoria was the only city in the study where women outnumbered men as elected officials, including holding five of nine seats on city council.

    Given the fantastic statistics that support a strong atmosphere for women, there’s no doubt they can draw in more as the years go by.

    Big names and golden tenants

    A few people brought up the idea that most places known for their technology industry have one thing that put them on the map: a household name. As of right now, the downfall to the young entrepreneurs in Victoria is a lack of staying power. More than the majority of exits by these small, young tech startups have happened well before they needed to, and many times the culprit is wanting to move on and do something else.

    Victoria needs a Google, Salesforce, Slack, or Shopify. A name and a logo in the skyline that instills a solid foundation of business. A company that puts Victoria on the map permanently. One flagship resident can work wonders for the popularity and relevance of your town.

    Once that happens, it will no longer be a city that needs to convince you to show up, but rather a place that is begged to accept more tenants.

    Victoria is a place I can confidently say is one of the most underrated tech cities in Canada (maybe even North America) and will soon be a go-to technology destination. Every burgeoning metropolis is seeking growth, and the good ones never slow down. So while Victoria has a lot of work to do, they’re in an amazing spot. By improving on their successes and solving their shortcomings, Victoria might just take over Canada’s tech community.

  • 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
    Commonly referred to as ICE, it will now be known as the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    The University of Victoria’s Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs has a new lease on life and a new name under a partnership with Coast Capital Savings Credit Union announced Tuesday.

    The centre, commonly referred to as ICE, will now be known as the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre (CCSIC) and will expand its services with an injection of $450,000 in cash from the Vancouver-based credit union.

    “This partnership creates new opportunities for our students and faculty to address social and economic challenges, and have impact in B.C. and beyond,” said David Castle, UVic’s vice-president research.

    The CCSIC will now expand its role to include offering seed money for new ventures and prototype developments, an entrepreneurship scholarship, an additional annual business plan competition and co-op opportunities for students to work on ideas.

    Money will also be available for other costs related to developing an idea, such as software, tools, workshop rental and third-party consultation.

    Founded in 2012 by the Gustavson School of Business, ICE has helped launch more than nine companies, brought 21 clients to the “incubation-stage” and met with more than 750 students, staff, faculty and alumni.

    More broadly UVic has helped with the creation of more than 60 companies, received almost 900 invention disclosures and filed more than 400 national and international patents.

    The centre’s new focus will help entrepreneurs develop products or services to a more mature stage before being presented to other incubator programs and venture capitalists.

    “Coast Capital Savings’ partnership with UVic recognizes that young entrepreneurs are not only at the front edge of innovation, but their business success will ultimately result in job creation, economic growth and more financial well-being for all of us,” said Coast Capital president Don Coulter.

    Coast Capital has more than 530,000 members and about $17 billion under management.

  • Kevin Oke posted an article
    LlamaZOO wins Innovation Award at 2016 Greater Victoria Business Awards see more

    Victoria, BC - April 22, 2016 - LlamaZOO Interactive Inc. was named the Innovation Award winner at the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Greater Victoria Business Awards.  This award recognizes LlamaZOO for its efforts to revolutionize education through the creation of an interactive 3D learning platform.

    “Innovation is interesting because it’s constantly advancing.” says Charles Lavigne, LlamaZOO’s co-founder and CEO. “For us, winning an innovation award represents that we’re still on the cusp of innovation. What we’re trying to do is incredibly difficult, and getting recognition along the way feels fantastic.”

    The Innovation category was narrowed down to only two finalists prior to the awards gala held at The Fairmont Empress - LlamaZOO and StarFish Medical.

    “To be alongside an amazing company like StarFish Medical is an honour, and testament to the vibrant high tech industry in our city,” says Kevin Oke, co-founder and VP of Sales.

    In addition to this Innovation Award, LlamaZOO has also been recognized as one of Douglas Magazine’s 10 to Watch in 2016, the only company in BC to receive the 2015 Futurpreneur Spin Master Innovation Fund, and Startup of the Year at the 2015 VIATEC Technology Awards. Having recently advanced to Round 2 of this year’s BCIC New Ventures Competition, LlamaZOO appears on track for even more recognition and success in the near future.

    About LlamaZOO

    LlamaZOO Interactive Inc. has set its sights on revolutionizing education by developing an e-learning platform that marries interactive 3D, with gamification, and teaching methods based on cognitive neuroscience. The first product built using the platform is “EasyAnatomy.” Catering to the fields of veterinary and animal science education, it features a fully interactive 3D canine model that can be manipulated and taken apart, layer by layer, organ by organ, on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.

    Founded in 2014 and privately held, LlamaZOO is headquartered in Victoria, BC, Canada. www.llamazoo.com

    Media Contact:

    Charles Lavigne

    778.996.4202

    charles@llamazoo.com

  • VIATEC posted an article
    Spin Master Innovation Fund invests in 11 emerging Canadian businesses -and LlamaZOO is on the list! see more

    Source: Yahoo Finance

    Date: 29 September 2015

     

    Spin Master Innovation Fund invests in 11 emerging Canadian businesses (and LlamaZOO is on the list!)

    TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Futurpreneur Canada, in partnership with leading Canadian toy company Spin Master Corp. and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), is pleased to introduce the 2015 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund. Eleven businesses were chosen through a highly competitive process that tested the viability and innovative aspects of their business plans. This year's recipients represent industries from extreme sports to online gaming, wearable fitness devices to custom fashion, and online shopping to online learning.

    These 11 businesses will each receive start-up financing of up to$50,000 from Futurpreneur Canada and the BDC, and will be matched with a mentor from Futurpreneur Canada's industry-leading mentoring program. They will also visit Toronto in October to attend a two-day workshop, with networking opportunities and one-on-one coaching from Spin Master's senior executives on topics including sales and marketing, licensing, and talent management to help them propel their businesses.

    "This is our fifth year partnering with Spin Master to deliver financing and mentoring to young, innovative entrepreneurs and, as always, we were blown away by the ideas, energy and strong business sense of our applicants," said Julia Deans, CEO, Futurpreneur Canada. "Since the program's inception, 42 exciting young Canadian companies have benefited from the Spin Master Innovation Fund, which is now seen as a proven way for innovative new companies to make their mark, and is a testament to the power of connecting established executive teams with up and coming business leaders."

    "The success of the Spin Master Innovation Fund has allowed us to give back to young entrepreneurs all across Canada," said Ronnen Harary, President and Co-CEO, Spin Master Corp. "With the impressive recipients who have already come through the Fund, we've been so excited to see the high quality of candidates and the creativity, passion and outstanding character they've demonstrated once again this year. We look forward to coaching them and supporting their continued success."

    "BDC is pleased to once again be a partner of the Spin Master Innovation Fund team with Futurpreneur Canada and Spin Master Corp.," says Steven Oliver, Assistant Vice President, Automotive Group, BDC.  "Working together, we can offer a greater number of resources to these deserving young entrepreneurs and equip them with the tools to make a difference to their growth and success."          

    The 2015 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund are:

    Company: Aorte Fitness Gear
    Entrepreneurs: Robert Omer Carriere
    Location: Oakville, Ontario
    Company Description: Aorte Fitness is a Canadian manufacturing company, specializing in the production of the Kinetic Resistance Apparatus, a specially designed wearable fitness device that provides users with a low impact resistance-training experience. With guided motion-resistant technology, Aorte Fitness maximizes the potential of resistance training by reducing impact and correcting form and posture.

    Company: CertClean Inc.
    Entrepreneurs: Jenise Lee
    Location: Mississauga, Ontario
    Company Description: CertClean is Canada's first and only certification for safer beauty and personal care products. Since there is no governance on the terms "organic" or "natural" within the beauty sector in Canada, consumers are often misled as entire products are labelled natural when only one or some of their ingredients are natural and the remaining ingredients consist of questionable chemicals. CertClean administers the CertClean certification so brands that manufacture products free from harmful ingredients can be instantly recognized as safer beauty and personal care products.

    Company: CORE Renewable Energy Inc.
    Entrepreneurs: Andrea Kraj
    Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba 
    Company Description: CORE Renewable Energy provides renewable energy planning tools and operation management optimization for power projects, incorporating combined renewable energy systems such as wind, solar, biomass; small to large scale storage solutions including batteries, compressed air, fuel cells, and backup diesel generators. The company has technology solutions that optimize the performance of the systems that they design or already exist, so that users can reach maximum renewable generation at the least cost while maintaining no black outs in energy supply.

    Company: Creel Net
    Entrepreneurs: Peter Llewellyn Greene, Alfred Tiutei Schaefer
    Location: Smithers, British Columbia
    Company Description: Creel Net makes fishing licencing and regulatory applications for smart phones, improving the fishing experience and providing fisheries management with important angler effort and catch data. The app includes the following capabilities: enables users to store and purchase licences on their phones; provides user friendly version of the regulations; includes a permanent catch log for enforcement purposes and a voluntary log for personal use; provides fishing tools such as water levels, charts, tide levels, and fisheries indicators. 

    Company: Crik Nutrition
    Entrepreneurs: Alex Drysdale
    Location: Stony Mountain, Manitoba
    Company Description: Crik Nutrition sells protein powder made primarily from crickets – one of the most nutritious and efficient food sources on the planet. Crik Nutrition promotes its protein powder as looking, smelling, and tasting as good - or better - than any other protein powder on the market.

    Company: GamerLink Inc.
    Entrepreneurs: Ryan Figueiredo & Deion Farrington
    Location: Cambridge, Ontario
    Company Description: GamerLink provides online gamers with a powerful, real-time matchmaking service that connects gamers of similar playstyle, personality, demographics and more. The service will support any online game, on any platform, and uses an advanced matchmaking algorithm that takes into consideration all the possible data points about a gamer. GamerLink aims to create better online gaming experiences for everyone.

    Company: Hearshot Inc.
    Entrepreneurs: Sebastian KoperBart Lipski
    Location: Toronto, Ontario
    Company Description: Hearshot is a company founded with the purpose of marrying the worlds of technology, wearables, and extreme sports to improve the ability of users to communicate and interact with the environment around them. Its first product, to be released in 2016, is a wearable communication device that can be used in harsh conditions and in areas without any mobile or WiFi reception. 

    Company: Hexa Foods
    Entrepreneurs: Philippe PoirierMathieu PoirierPaul Shenouda
    Location: Montreal, Quebec
    Company Description: Hexa Foods creates tasty, healthy and sustainable foods made with insects. The company's first product is BugBites: dog treats made with cricket flour and fresh fruits and vegetables. Hexa Foods uses insects because they can significantly increase the diversity of the world's current food system and help solve global food insecurity, while using limited natural resources in a much smarter way. Replacing a 40g bag of dog treats made with beef with a bag of BugBites dog treats saves an amount of water equivalent to more than 200 water bottles.

    Company: Kube Innovation Inc.
    Entrepreneurs: Frédérik Marcil and Juan Antonio Contreras
    Location: Montréal, Quebec
    Company Description: Kube Innovation is revolutionizing the dental industry with disruptive new technology. There is no measuring tool on the market that allows professionals to objectively quantify the average biting force that a patient can apply. The measurement of the biting force generated by Kube Innovation's device is used by denturists, dentists and physiotherapists, enabling them to provide an optimized solution for their patients. Kube has a multi-disciplinary team of young engineers and industrial designers more than ready to lead the next medical revolution.

    Company: LlamaZOO Interactive Inc.
    Entrepreneurs: Charles T. Lavigne and Kevin Oke
    Location: Victoria, British Columbia
    Company Description: LlamaZOO is developing a software platform for educational markets; the platform utilizes 3D visualization and borrows concepts from cognitive neuroscience to improve learning and teaching. The first application for the platform is helping veterinary students learn and master anatomy, using 3D models of animals built from MRI and CT scans. The platform also provides educators with deep analytics into how students are performing and progressing, providing insight into self-directed studies.

    Company: Nathon Kong Tailleur 
    Entrepreneurs: Nathon Kong
    Location: Montreal, Quebec
    Company Description: Nathon Kong Tailleur aims to set a new standard for the convenient shopping experience by offering custom made cloth at a client's work place. It brings a solar-powered truck configured with a 3D scanner, allowing it to get 360-degree measurements of a customer's body in under five seconds. Customers can feel the fabric and design anything in less than 10 minutes. Fit guaranteed and delivered in 3-4 weeks. The service is enhanced with an e-commerce platform, allowing customer to design and re-order without hassle, and balances the speed and convenience of online shopping with the tactility and rapport of traditional retailing.

     

    About Futurpreneur Canada
    Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada's young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,700 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Weekwww.futurpreneur.ca. Facebook: Futurpreneur Twitter: @Futurpreneur

    About Spin Master Corp
    Spin Master (TSX:TOY.TO - News) is a leading global children's entertainment company that creates, designs, manufactures and markets a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products and entertainment properties. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands including Bakugan Battle Brawlers™, Air Hogs®, Spin Master Games™ and the 2015 Toy of the Year, Zoomer™ Dino. Since 2005, Spin Master has received 58 TIA Toy of The Year (TOTY) nominations with 14 wins across a variety of product categories. Spin Master has been recognized with 11 TOTY nominations for Innovative Toy of the Year, more than any of its competitors. Spin Master is among a limited number of companies that not only develop and produce global entertainment properties, characters and content, but also monetize that content through the creation, sale and licensing of products. To date, Spin Master has produced five television series, including the 2007 hit series Bakugan and its current hit PAW Patrol, which is broadcast in over 160 countries and territories globally. Spin Master employs over 850 people globally with offices in Canada, United States, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Bratislava, Germany, Holland, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and Japan.

    About BDC
    BDC is the only bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. With more than 100 business centres and over 32,000 clients across Canada, it offers loans, investments and advisory services. BDC's purpose is to support Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. To learn more, visit www.bdc.ca.

    SOURCE Futurpreneur Canada