• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Between $1,000 and $5,000 grants to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses see more

    Author: Amira Zubairi

    Startup Canada and Evolocity Offering up to $5,000 Grants to Women-Led Businesses

    Startup Canada, in partnership with Evolocity Financial Group, announced that it is offering micro-grants to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in Canada through the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund.

    The fund, which launched in August 2016, will provide between $1,000 and $5,000 grants to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Women receiving the grants will also be featured on, receive a guest-spot on THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs, and get a VIP Pass to Startup Canada Day on the Hill taking place in Ottawa on October 18.

    To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be women entrepreneurs or women-led businesses. They must also be working in the STEM field and be based in Canada. Startup Canada said the applicants will be judged based on a number of criteria, including the applicant’s impact statement on the use of funds, a proven business model, and confirmation that the opportunity would be missed without the investment. The applicants must also agree to leverage the hashtag #StartupWomen and recognize sponsors throughout marketing efforts.

    “Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for economic growth in many countries. Equally as important is the critical role that women play in the growth of an economy,” Startup Canada wrote in a post. “Startup Canada has partnered with Evolocity Financial Group to invest in women-led companies in STEM…providing micro-grants to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in Canada to help them start and grow their businesses while accelerating gender parity and further unleash the economic potential of women.”

    Past recipients of the fund include Eve Medical, which received funding through Ontario’s Health Technologies Fund in January 2018; and Awake Labs, which is using AI to care for brain and mental health disorders.

    Those interested in the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund have until August 31 to apply.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    This juried grant will deliver $572,000 to 12 successful B.C. companies see more


    12 BC Companies (3 in Victoria) to Initiate Digital Media Projects through BC Arts Council – Creative BC Collaboration

    VANCOUVER B.C. (March 28, 2017) – Today, the BC Arts Council and Creative BC are pleased to announce the recipients of the latest round of funding through their Interactive Fund partnership. This juried grant will deliver $572,000 to 12 successful B.C. companies that will leverage the funds for development of their original, creative, interactive digital media and software applications.

    This marks the seventh round of funding through this increasingly competitive program, which contributes to B.C.’s culture of growth in technical creative innovation. The Interactive Fund serves the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development’s Creative Economy Strategy, the BC Arts Council’s Strategic Plan, and Creative BC’s strategic objectives as the economic development agency for B.C.’s creative industries. Through strategic collaboration, culture and commerce are uniting to grow the creative economy, attract new investment, and stimulate the creation of new jobs and career opportunities in B.C.

    British Columbia is recognized as a hub for digital entertainment and the province attracts large global media companies. Hundreds of smaller B.C.-owned companies are flourishing, creating everything from innovative video games, mobile apps, virtual reality and augmented reality, to animation, visual effects, social media, interactive marketing and e-learning tools, all of which are part of the creative industries that Creative BC serves.

    The following individuals are this year’s successful recipients, and each will receive a grant of up to $50,000 for the development of their submitted projects:

    1. Agents of Discovery, Kelowna ($50,000)
      Discovery Agents Portal is a move-to-learn mobile game that teaches kids about the natural world through interactive experiences.
    2. Electric Company Theatre, Vancouver ($35,000)
      A suite of five virtual reality shorts by Electric Company Theatre as part of its new film/theatre hybrid production, A Good Death. Enter the story from behind the eyes of the characters.     
    3. Hololabs Studio Inc, Victoria ($50,000)
      Wollstonecraft Detective Agency Online: is the portal to a girl-powered adventure series featuring Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley in books, games, puzzles and more. 
    4. Luminawesome Games Ltd., Vancouver ($50,000)
      Lumote: A tough, beautiful, glow-in-the-dark puzzle platform.    
    5. Mashup Machine Inc., Vancouver ($50,000)
      Whatever!: Films re-imagined as an interactive create-your-own-story game for the Snapchat generation. Follow the narrative, or create and share your own.
    6. Monkey C Interactive, Victoria ($37,000)
      Sonic LED Tiles area modular, multi-user interactive system of illuminated playable tiles that allow users to create music and play games.
    7. Paisley Smith, Vancouver ($50,000)
      Unceded Territory VR: Lawrence P. Yuxweluptun and director Paisley Smith take you to a colourful, bold, interactive art world in virtual reality.        
    8. PWRFL, Vancouver ($50,000)
      Lightwork empowers artists to think outside the grid with their LED creations. It's a public installation, a free software framework and an education platform.      
    9. Stephanie Khoury, Victoria ($50,000)  
      Mubric is a touch-based interactive listening system that uses real-time feedback and gamification to learn music.         
    10. The Goggles, Vancouver ($50,000)
      Chasing The Sun is an immersive online story about climate change, the Arctic, and how an uncertain future arrives here first.    
    11. The Mindful Garden, Vancouver ($50,000)
      The Mindful Garden software/hardware platform supports positive health outcomes for patients with dementia/delirium.
    12. Voxiter Technologies Inc., Vancouver ($50,000) is the world’s first transcript-enabled podcast player for easy sharing and accessibility.

    Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development: “Artistic skill and creative activity are integral to B.C.’s creative economy. These 12 Interactive Fund recipients exemplify the social, cultural and economic value of supporting creative workers, including those in our tech sector. Congratulations to all!”

    Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour: “British Columbia’s digital media sector is growing, thanks to the hard work of the approximately 16,000 people working in areas like video games, visual effects, software development, and animation.  The Interactive Fund is a great example of how innovation in the creative sector is opening the door for new opportunities, and I look forward to seeing the unique and creative projects that these successful recipients design.”

    Merla Beckerman, Chair, BC Arts Council: “The BC Arts Council is pleased to partner with Creative BC again this year with a program that spurs interactive and digital media innovation through multi-disciplinary collaborations. It is inspiring to see how effectively artistic excellence combines with technology in these projects to benefit British Columbians.”

    Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC: “The Interactive Fund is intent on supporting creative courage across B.C.’s digital and interactive media industry. It’s essential to our global competitiveness that we foster imagination, experimentation and encourage cross-sector networking within the creative economy.”

    For more information on the Interactive Fund, visit Creative BC’s website at



    The BC Arts Council supports arts and cultural activity in communities across the province. From professional dance companies, to art galleries, local museums and music festivals – the council works to support artistic excellence and to enrich the lives of all British Columbians. Drawing upon the expertise of B.C.’s arts and culture community to provide an independent peer-review adjudication process, the council supports a range of activities that includes funding for professional artists and arts organizations, community initiatives, training and scholarships.


    Creative BC is an independent society created and supported by the Province of BC to sustain and help grow BC’s creative sector (film and television, digital and interactive media, music, and magazine and book publishing industries). The society delivers a wide range of programs and  services to expand BC’s creative economy. These include the administration of the provincial government’s tax credit programs for film and television; development funding and export marketing support; and motion picture production services to attract inward investment and  market BC as a destination for domestic and international production. The society acts as an industry catalyst and ambassador to help BC’s creative sector reach its economic and creative potential both at home and globally.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A bit of change could turn into a pocket full of cash for one of the elder statesmen of Tectoria. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    A bit of change could turn into a pocket full of cash for one of the elder statesmen of the Victoria technology scene.

    Quester Tangent, which turns 33 this year, has high hopes a change in its product lineup, more than two years in the making, could increase company revenue. “We have invested $750,000 to improve our product offering,” said Quester Tangent chief operating officer Bill Collins, noting they have developed a new wrinkle that will pair well with the company’s existing line of monitoring and diagnostic systems for train vehicles.

    “The same buyers and procurement guys buying systems from us have another scope of supply — the communication side of trains,” he said. That means systems that govern passenger information, broadcast signals, automated passenger announcement systems and passenger emergency intercoms.

    “For us it was a natural expansion of our product line, to add those either as part of a monitoring and diagnostic system or as a standalone technology,” Collins said. “It’s the same route to market, and we now have an opportunity to add 150 per cent to our revenue stream.”

    Quester has had a team of engineers working on the project, funded in part by a National Research Council grant, for the last 18 months. The new products will be launched at a large rail conference in Berlin this year.

    Innovation and change is nothing new for Quester, which started life in 1983 as a developer of ocean mapping equipment.

    And the company has done well as it evolved into a leader in the development of train monitoring systems. Last year, Quester booked contracts worth $20 million to deliver components to four major transit authorities, and Collins expects they could match that figure this year.

    Collins said it takes time for those contracts to turn into revenue, but is heartened by the initial sales after two years of “plateauing.”

    “This year is a transition year for us and we’re getting new technology into the marketplace,” he said. “We have invested a bunch of money and we hope we will see the fruits of that investment pay off over the next five years.”

    Collins, who noted Quester does 90 per cent of its business in the U.S., said with the American economy starting to tick along more steadily and state governments starting to spend money on major projects the company is in a solid spot to take advantage.

    “We are seeing more infrastructure projects getting funding and when that happens we kick in,” he said.

    The company has not yet been able to take advantage of a low Canadian dollar as it can take 18-24 months to actually win a contract. But even when they get that advantage, it may be tempered by having to deal with strong protectionist policy — buying American — in the U.S.

    Collins said they have $100 million in bids that have been entered for various contracts. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see [us win] $15-million-plus this year, and that’s part and parcel of our growth plan,” he said.

  • VIATEC posted an article
    An employer-driven, cost-sharing program that helps employers invest in training see more

    Canada-B.C. Job Grant:  

    The Canada-B.C. Job Grant is an employer-driven, cost-sharing program that helps employers invest in training for their current or future employees. The Grant assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training, with the employer contributing one-third of the cost of training. 

    Canada-B.C. Job Grant Funds

    The CJG program targets training investments to following streams: 

    The Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) program has allocated up to $500,000 to a CJG New Canadian Fund.  The Fund is open to applications from eligible organizations and employers to train refugees, protected persons entitled to work in Canada, and new immigrants (arrived in Canada within the last five years) for new or existing jobs.  For information, application instructions, and application forms, please check here.

    The Refugee Fund has made $1 million available to applications from industry/sector and employer associations wanting to work with employers to deliver job readiness, job match and job specific skills training to refugees arriving in B.C.  Employers must contribute one-third of the cost of job specific training, with government covering the other two-thirds.  For information, application instructions, and application forms, please check here.

    The CJG is open to applications from BC Jobs Plan Priority Sectors, with targeted funding of up to $3million. For information, application instructions and application forms, please check here.

    • On January 18, 2016, BC announced the #BCTech Strategy 2016.  $500,000 has been allocated to the CJG program to assist employers in the Technology Sector to provide training to new and existing staff.  For additional information, application instructions, and application forms, pleasecheck here.
    • On January 14, 2016, BC announced an additional $250,000 will be dedicated to supporting training of existing employees and new hires in the contract logging industry. For information, application instructions and application forms, please check here.


    The Construction Sector will remain open to applications until allocation targets have been met.  For information, application instructions, and application forms, please check here.


    All training MUST start on or before March 31, 2016.


    What is the Canada-B.C. Job Grant?

    The CJG goal is to increase participation of British Columbians in the labour force and help them to develop the skills necessary to find and keep a job. 


    The Canada-B.C. Job Grant is an employer-driven, cost-sharing program that can help employers invest in training for their current or future employees. The Grant assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training, with the employer contributing one-third of the cost of training.


    The maximum government contribution is $10,000 for each employee trained. Employers can apply directly or an Eligible Organization can act on behalf of employers.


    How can the CJG help me?

    The Canada-B.C. Job Grant will provide direct financial support to employers who wish to purchase training for their current or future employees. An employer is required to contribute at least one third of the training costs, with the remaining two thirds, up to $10,000 per participant, coming from the CJG. The employer must have a job for the participant at the end of training. Eligible training costs include: tuition fees; mandatory student fees; textbooks, software and other required materials; and examination fees.


    How do I apply?

    Employers or organizations interested in applying for a Canada-B.C. Job Grant should review the CJG Fact SheetCJG ChecklistCJG FAQ, and CJG Criteria  before submitting an application.  Further information about eligibility, application instructions and forms are found under each funding stream webpage (see above).


    Delivery Partner Program

    The B.C. government has engaged organizations to act as Delivery Partners to maximize the benefits of the Canada-B.C. Job Grant program for employers, particularly small business employers, as well as current and future employees. Information on the Delivery Partner Program can be found here