ArticleAttendance ballooned to over 1,100 guests, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in see more
19th Annual VIATEC Awards shine spotlight on Greater Victoria’s #1 industry
VICTORIA, BC (June 15, 2019) – Last night at the Royal Theatre, the VIATEC Awards celebrated the innovation and excellence of individuals and technology companies responsible for making Victoria the fastest growing technology region in British Columbia. 49 finalists were honoured, with 15 recipients receiving newly designed astronaut trophies (designed by local artist Russell Papp), at the elaborate show. Attendance ballooned to over 1,100 guests, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the nation, and VIATEC’s most attended - ever.
Erin Skillen took the reigns for the second year in a row as host for the production, bringing the perfect balance of humour, intelligence and attitude. With a theme of “There’s no place like home”, the night featured local variety show acts from Passion
and Performance Arts Inc, Atomic Vaudeville and a powerful finale accompanied by the resident awards band, in what has become an annual tradition... flying inflatable Killer Whales. The stage was brought to life by immersive video projections from VJ Photon featuring seven flown screens featuring video projection mapping along with four laser banks and five giant disco balls all supported by the incredible stage crew of the Royal Theatre. Everyone continued the celebration at the After Party with local eight piece band The New Groovement.
“It is our honour to produce a show that brings together and entertains our tech community and we relish the opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of our top performing companies and executives,” said Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “Each year gets more elaborate and we cannot say enough about our local arts community and what they bring to make this event the unique and anticipated festivity it is has become.”
Technology Company of the Year (30+ employees):
(Sponsored by: Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP)
Technology Company of the Year (11-29 employees):
(Sponsored by: Lazaridis Institute)
Scale-Up of the Year:
(Sponsored by: KPMG LLP)
Start-Up of the Year:
(Sponsored by: Bambora)
Product of the Year:
(Sponsored by: RBC Commercial Financial Services)
Innovative Excellence - Software or Service:
(Sponsored by: Grant Thornton LLP)
Innovative Excellence - Hardware:
(Sponsored by: Wesley Clover)
Leader of the Year:
(Sponsored by: AbeBooks)
Anita Pawluk, RaceRocks
Emerging Leader of the Year:
(Sponsored by: Roy Group)
Stephanie Thiel, SaaSquatch
Team of the Year:
(Sponsored by: Royal Roads University)
Employer of the Year:
(Sponsored by: The VIATEC Foundation)
NAMED RECIPIENTS (No finalists):
The Colin Lennox Award for Technology
(Sponsored by: Reed Pope LLP)
Erin Athene, Mint CRO
VIATEC Members of the Year:
(Sponsored by: Cox Taylor LLP)
Sang Kiet-Ly, KPMG
(Sponsored by: City of Victoria)
Angel of the Year:
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, www.forttectoria.ca
ArticleAs always, the night was filled with irreverence and a touch of pandemonium. see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Andrew Duffy
More than 1,100 people gathered in the Royal Theatre Friday night to celebrate the brightest lights of the high-tech industry.
The 19th annual Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council awards handed out 15 trophies in what was the largest awards show yet. As always, the night was filled with irreverence and a touch of pandemonium — complete with flying inflatable whales — while the spotlight hit some of the best stories in the industry.
“It is our honour to produce a show that brings together and entertains our tech community and we relish the opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of our top performing companies and executives,” said VIATEC chief executive Dan Gunn.
“Each year gets more elaborate and we cannot say enough about our local arts community and what they bring to make this event the unique and anticipated festivity it is has become.”
Erin Athene was named this year’s winner of the Victoria tech sector's highest award, the Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion. Athene has been a tireless servant to the community having worn several hats including starting the local Ladies Learning Code chapter and serving as a mentor in VIATEC’s accelerator program.
Other winners were Women’s Equity Lab as Angel of the Year; Sang Kiet-Ly of KPMG as Member of the Year; and RingPartner, named Community Champion.
• Tech Company of the Year (30+ employees): Benevity
• Tech Company of the Year (11-29 employees): RingPartner
• Scale-Up of the Year: Tutela
• Start-Up of the Year: Cuboh
• Product of the Year: Limbic Media
• Innovative Excellence, Software or Service: DreamCraft Attractions
• Innovative Excellence, Hardware: RioT Technology Corp.
• Leader of the Year: Anita Pawluk, RaceRocks
• Emerging Leader of the Year: Stephanie Thiel, SaaSquatch
• Team of the Year: Encepta
• Employer of the Year: FreshWorks Studio
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleErin Athene talks about her path and journey so far. see more
Source: Green Planet Blue Planet
A call for more Women in Tech: Erin Athene on Green Planet Blue Planet Podcast
Erin Athene talks about her path and journey so far. Purpose Five and of course Canada Learning Code.
A long career as a Tech Entrepreneur and smart investor makes her a champion in the Victoria tech space. Erins experience goes beyond and simple life habits bare for opportunity. On Green Planet Blue Planet Erin talked about how her 3h daily commute in Vancouver BC turned into one of Canadas largest non for profits on teaching people how to code.
Listen to the episode below!
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleLLC took off with coding workshops and networking events and is now in 22 cities with more than... see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Sarah Petrescu
Photographer: Trevor Ball
Co-ordinating a meeting with three women in different places — a downtown Victoria office, Seattle hotel room and Fairfield living room — is easy when at least two of them are technology buffs. “Let’s meet on Zoom. It’s kind of like Google hangouts, but better,” Erin Athene said of the web-based video conferencing service.
Athene and Christina Seargeant are co-leads of the Victoria chapter of Ladies Learning Code, a national non-profit launched in 2011 by a group of women in Toronto who felt isolated trying to learn computer programming, or coding.
The organization took off with coding workshops and networking events and is now in 22 cities with more than 25,000 participants and a branch for girls.
“I found out about Ladies Learning Code and asked if I could launch it in Victoria. I definitely saw a need,” said Athene, who moved from Seattle in 2013.
She had co-founded the software company Topaz Bridge Corp. and “did everything but the technical stuff,” she said.
“I realized there was a lack of power there and how much more affective I could’ve been with more knowledge on the technical side.”
Athene said being the only woman on an executive team also led her to launch Ladies Learning Code. The chapter got its start at the 2013 VIATEC Discover Tectoria showcase, where Athene set up a booth. More than 50 women signed up.
“It definitely piqued my interest,” said Seargeant from her office in Bastion Square at Workday, a finance and human resources software company.
She said many companies want to support women in feeling comfortable to enter the technology world. “And there’s a war for talent with not a huge pool of people to hire from. So they support building this up on a grassroots level,” Seargeant said.
The two teamed up to plan the group’s first HTML/CSS coding workshop and spread the word about the need for mentorship and skills for local women in the tech world. They needed $1,000 to hold the event and turned to the crowd-sourcing tool Tilt to fundraise.
“We started sharing the link on Facebook and within an hour Dan Gunn [the head of VIATEC] offered to match up to $5,000,” Seargeant said. They raised $11,000 and sold-out the event with more than 100 people attending and 50 more on a wait-list.
The turnout was diverse and included tech newbies, those already working in the tech field wanting to expand their skills, and senior developers wanting to mentor others.
In the three years since, the Victoria chapter of Ladies Learning Code has held more than 20 workshops on everything from building a website to WordPress and gaming. It has 600 members and holds events every month or so. This summer, Girls Learning Code was launched with a camp at St. Margaret’s School, and Athene said the next project will target kids and teachers who want to learn.
“Our goal is not that everyone codes for a living. Our No. 1 priority is to be that first stepping stone. We believe in digital literacy,” said Athene, a managing partner of PurposeSocial, a web development company that commits to having a technical team made up of at least half women and minorities. “I’m a lot more comfortable now in my work, understanding the landscape and what back-end and front-end development do,” she said.
Ryan Stratton has volunteered as a mentor for Ladies Learning Code since the first Victoria event.
“There certainly is a gender gap. When you look at the traditional tech office, it’s about 80 per cent [men] — including ours,” said Stratton, founder of Craftt, a software management company for craft brewers.
“When you build products for men and women you want your team to reflect that,” he said, also noting there are more jobs than technical talent in Victoria.
“For me, [mentoring] is the satisfaction of increasing digital literacy, but also investing in future employees and the community,” Stratton said.
Janni Aragon, a University of Victoria political science professor and the interim technology and society director, said the diversity problem in the tech world is well-recognized and needs to change.
“It’s not just about gender, but racial and ethnic diversity as well,” she said. Aragon has attended most of the Ladies Learning Code events in Victoria.
“At every one, a woman mentor gets up and says, ‘I’m the only woman on my team,’ and that’s why they are there,” she said.
While many computer science programs are still dominated by men, Aragon said she’s seeing an increase in women from other faculties such as fine arts and social sciences pursue technology skills.
“They are good sectors with good pay,” she said, adding students, usually women, in technology and society course say they want to be the change. “They want to be trailblazers and get out into these fields,” she said.