• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Among the list are three VIATEC Members: Priologic Software, Plurilock, and Flytographer! see more

    BCTECH Summit's Top 50 Tech Startups announced

    These 50 B.C. tech companies (Click here for list), have been chosen as the most investable startups in their sector by BCTECH Summit's Selection Committee, a group of top-tier VCs and angel investors. Among the list are three VIATEC Members: Priologic Software (HardHat Connect), Plurilock, and Flytographer!

    They'll be pitching in front of local and international investors at this year's Investment Showcase, happening May 15th. 

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The annual three-day summit brings together international venture capitalists and established techno see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Venture capitalists get closeup look at work of Greater Victoria tech firms

    Greater Victoria’s high-tech industry will be throwing open its doors to a record number of international visitors this week as the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council kicks off Experience Tectoria Wednesday night.

    The annual three-day summit brings together international venture capitalists and established technology firms to see first-hand what has shaped and supported the sector, which the industry group said generates $4 billion annually in combined revenues.

    “We started this in 2012 and the whole idea was to make sure really important people around the world got a look and understanding of what we’re doing in the city,” said Dan Gunn, chief executive of VIATEC.

    This year, they are bringing 46 visitors to the city to tour through established and start-up firms.

    “It’s a record number and rather than have them locked in a room and facing pitches [from new companies] we wanted to give them a complete sense of the vibrancy and opportunity here,” Gunn said.

    The event is designed to focus on the more established and successful firms in Victoria and to make sure local tech leadership feels the full benefit of the summit.

    It include tours of local tech firms with hosts who have grown companies in the city. Greater Victoria tech leaders will have a chance to take part in an executive training seminar designed to give them the tools they will need to expand their companies.

    Gunn said that seminar is part of preparing companies for the push to grow the sector to its goal of having its constituent firms more than double their existing combined revenue to $10 billion by 2030.

    Greater Victoria’s tech sector has about 880 businesses and employs more than 15,000 directly. It also counts another 3,000 consultants and 5,000 others who work in tech jobs within larger firms and government. VIATEC’s membership has more than doubled to 560 members over the last two years.

    Gunn said as the sector has grown the message it sends during events such as Experience Tectoria has evolved.

    “We used to talk a lot about start-ups and investing in those, but what we realized is we haven’t been conveying the long history of success and impact of the local tech industry,” he said. “So this year we are focusing more of our time to introduce the [venture capitalists] to some of our more established and most successful companies.

    “It will give them a sense of what’s possible and why it happened here and that way it’s easier for them to see how they might participate or how a small company might grow into something of consequence here.”

    Also a part of this year’s summit are a screening of the film She Started It, which followed young women over two years as they tried to build new companies; a series of origin stories from local entrepreneurs; and a F**k-up Night, where people share stories of failed projects.

    VIATEC runs Experience Tectoria at this time of year to use the Rifflandia Festival as a backdrop, and another example of the vibrancy of the city.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    This report is a collection of snapshots of 22 tech startups located or founded in Victoria BC... see more

    Source: Haro Ventures Startup Report - Intro

    Haro Ventures releases 2017 Victoria, BC "Startup Report"

    What does Victoria’s tech ecosystem look like? And how can sharing this information help all the players involved in building our community?

    This report is a collection of snapshots of 22 tech startups located or founded in Victoria BC, gathered over the last quarter of 2016. We share glimpses into the company market opportunities, directions, go-to-market strategies and unique differentiators. We learn about the entrepreneurs’ vision for the future of their companies, about the times they’ve wanted to give up, and what kept them going.

    The information in this report was gathered using semi-structured interviews with company CEO’s, founders, and team members. Relevant qualitative answers are displayed on the company snapshot pages, and quantitative data has been gathered for an aggregate display at the end of the report.

    We call these insights snapshots because we acknowledge that the information provided could very well change over the next several years, and represents where the companies are at at specifically at this point in time.

    We hope to provide an informative and well-rounded picture of what the tech startup scene in Victoria looks like in early in 2017. This report was created for individuals curious about our awesome city and tech community, potential investors looking for the next big thing, and even entrepreneurs wishing to learn more about their peers.

    To download the full report, click here:

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

    Capital Mission II seeking investors!

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

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

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The first investor workshop of its kind on the island, CIN has partnered with Canada’s NACO. see more

    Capital Investment Network brings nationally recognized investor training to Victoria...

    to help boost investments in local start-up companies

    Victoria, BC (October 26, 2016) - Victoria is seeing a huge increase in startup and related entrepreneurial activity. The Capital Investment Network (CIN) recognizes that far more angel investments are needed to truly support these early-stage companies and move the needle for our region. Growth requires angel investors to buy into good companies but it is easy to lose money in these deals, especially when investors don’t know what they are doing. Angel investing requires an understanding of how deals work and risks are mitigated. CIN wants to educate investors so they can make smarter deals and invest in more solid companies.
    The first investor workshop of its kind on the island, CIN has partnered with Canada’s National Angel Capital Organization (NACO, Toronto), offering a specialized curriculum on Structuring Deals and Term Sheets, created and facilitated by Pieter Dorsman.  Dorsman, President & CEO of Redpeaks Management Inc., will be sharing 15 years of experience in this area and will summarize best practices to mitigate losses and position deals for healthy returns.
    “Upon completion of this session you will have a very solid understanding of how to structure and make angel investments, ensure your investment is protected and get you to a healthy return in what is considered to be a high-risk asset class.” Pieter says.
    This half day workshop, which has been presented all around the world, is essential for anyone making investments in private companies. This is not limited to IT, Biotech, Cleantech or Media. If you want to put money into your cousin's shoe business you need to apply the same deal structuring principles.
    Capital Investment Network (CIN) is a Victoria-based, non-profit organization dedicated to connecting, growing, and strengthening the local angel investor community. CIN’s mission is to offer investor-focused education, resources, and events to increase the level of sophistication and deal flow among local angel investors, explore different investment approaches, facilitate collaboration, and grow the local investment community.
    NACO Academy Workshop: Structured Deals and Term Sheets
    Monday, November 7, 2016.  8:00am-12:00pm
    Fort Tectoria (VIATeC)
    777 Fort Street, Victoria
    Cost: $150.00. Coffee will be available. Seats are limited.
    To register, go to:
    For more information on CIN, including other private investor events, go to or contact Chrystal Phan at

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    VIATEC’s annual event, Experience Tectoria, has a record amount of Investors flying in to learn... see more

    VIATEC’s annual event, Experience Tectoria, has a record amount of Investors flying in to learn about the people and ingredients that make technology our #1 industry.

    Victoria, BC (September 12, 2016) - Experience Tectoria, a gathering of local entrepreneurs with international investors, kicks off its fourth year this Thursday morning. The investor summit brings technology executives from across North America to Victoria, where they will meet with local technology-leaders, tour Canada’s Smartest City, and join local Tectorians for discussions, demonstrations, networking and incredible entertainment. The number of participating investors has doubled this year, proving growing interest in Tectoria.

    VIATEC chooses this time of year for Experience Tectoria in order to take full advantage of the coinciding Rifflandia Music Festival which transforms the city and highlights its innovative self. This year, Experience Tectoria will feature public events on September 15th, followed by private events on the 16th and 17th in order to give Investors more one-on-one time with local companies.

    Local media are encouraged to attend the following events:

    • Launch & Learn (sponsored by RBC Commercial Financial Services)
      When: September 15th, 12:30pm-1:45pm
      Where: Fort Tectoria, Shaw Conference Room (777 Fort St)
      What: Local VIATEC Member tech companies will have 10 minutes each to share their news with attendees and media!
      Participating companies: Agog Labs (SkookumScript), Mighty Oaks, LlamaZOO Interactive, Beanstream, a Bambora Company, Econics, Robot Shark Gaming.

    • Demo Camp
      When: September 15th, 2pm-5pm
      Where: Temple building, main floor (525 Fort St, side entrance)
      What: Meet Tectoria’s brightest tech stars and see their products in action. Companies will be stationed throughout the room to show their existing solutions. Get up close and personal with different products and engage one-on-one with the entrepreneurs that work to make tech the #1 industry in Victoria.
      Participating Companies: Agog Labs (SkookumScript), AXYS Technologies, WhoKnozMe, FunctionFox, Holografyx Canada, Robot Shark Gaming GenoLogics, an Illumina Company, LlamaZOO Interactive, Mighty OakS, FreshWorks Studio and more! 

    • F*$kUpNight VOL. 3 (sponsored by Roy Group)
      When: September 15th, 5pm-7pm
      Where: Yuk Yuks Comedy Club (751 View St)
      What: F*ckUp Nights is a global movement where stories of failed businesses and projects are told, questioned and celebrated. It started in 2012 in Mexico City and we're bringing it to Victoria. 3 "f*ckuppers" will have 6 minutes each to tell their story. What was the project? What went wrong? What did they learn? What would they do differently?

      Speakers: Miles Nurse (Unbounce), Margo Long (Incite Marketing), Al Smith (TicTalking)

    Please confirm your attendance through the media contact below. Please also connect with us if you are interested in covering any of the private events on the 16th or 17th or would like to chat with a few of the visiting guests.

    “Experience Tectoria is an exciting taste of our city and tech as our #1 number one industry.” says Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “We need to drive home just how vibrant our community is and bringing the leaders and opinion-shapers of our industry to our doorstep is the best way to really open their eyes.”

    Visit for more information.


    Dan Gunn

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “It’s an exciting time for our city as our tech sector continues to grow,” said Dan Gunn, VIATEC CEO see more

    Source: Vic News
    Author: Tim Collins

    It’s a common misconception that tourism is Victoria’s biggest economic engine. In fact, while tourism is important, it’s actually the high-tech industry that generates the capital region’s greatest economic impact.

    At about $4 billion annually, the high-tech industry has roughly twice the impact of tourism.

    That’s why last week’s courting of investors from across North America was hugely important, according to Mayor Lisa Helps.

    It all started out as a sort of “reverse trade mission,” meant to attract investors from San Francisco in the wake of last year’s trade mission to that city. But last week’s visits by potential investors and conference planners from across North America exceeded all expectations.

    “It was an amazing response to our event,” said Helps. “We had 30 people attend, representing Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg.”

    The event, hosted by Helps and a prominent group of local representatives, transcended the original goal by far and helped solidify Victoria’s reputation in the competitive world of cutting-edge technology.

    “It’s an exciting time for our city as our tech sector continues to grow,” said Dan Gunn, the CEO of VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council).

    He said he was thrilled so many influential people in the industry had taken the time to visit and learn more about what is driving a “new era in Victoria’s economy and community.”

    Attendees started their visit at Fort Tectoria where they heard why Victoria is the ideal place to visit, work, play and invest. They heard presentations by Helps, Amril Virk (minister of technology innovation and citizen’s services), United States Consul General Lynne Platt, and Tim Catlin, vice president of engineering at

    But perhaps the presentations that made the greatest impact were those made by the dozens of Victoria start-ups — all pitching Victoria as the ideal place to invest and do business.

    “With our three T’s — talent, taxes, and time zone — our reputation as a desirable place has created world wide appeal,” said Virk. “But we’re also renowned as an educated, creative and talented community.”

    He said it all combines to attract investors to the tech industry and to help fuel the region’s economy.

    “It was just awesome,” said Helps. “Some of these people had no idea that Victoria even existed. But they were just thrilled. It created a buzz… a vibe. We know that these people will go back home and tell their associates about Victoria’s innovation economy. It’s a big win for the city.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Giftbit accepted into Founders' Co-op family see more

    Source: CrashDev

    Giftbit is a Victoria, BC company that helps large-scale issuers of digital gift credits (think brands like Starbucks, Amazon and eBay) and volume buyers of those credits (pretty much any digital brand that uses gift credits as a promotional incentive in their online marketing campaigns) work together to effortlessly transact, distribute and manage those campaigns. The team came to Seattle last fall to participate in Founders' Co-op "Techstars Seattle" class of 2015, one of two Canadian companies that joined them for that class. (They have two more Canadian teams in this year’s class of nine companies, one from Ottawa and one from Toronto, and are loving the easy cross-border flow of talent and ideas between Seattle and our neighbor to the north).

    Founders' Co-op knew they wanted to invest almost from the moment Giftbit arrived in program, but they also knew they’d need a bigger raise than they had the capacity to lead. In addition to promoting their regional and cross-border startup ecosystem, another part of Founders' Co-op's mission is to develop entrepreneurial opportunities that attract capital from great investors outside the Pacific Northwest. Not only does this help them fund more strong companies here, it also introduces new investors to the Cascadia market and increases the overall availability of risk capital in our ecosystem. They introduced the Giftbit team to some of their favorite seed-stage funds in Silicon Valley — firms that had shown an appetite to invest in this region even at the earliest stages.

    One of these firms — Freestyle — had already raised their hand by leading the Seed round for TrueFacet, a Techstars Seattle 2014 company also backed by Founders’ Co-op and Maveron. Freestyle partner Jenny Lefcourt is a friend (and fellow Stanford GSB ’99 dropout), and she dug deep on the Giftbit team and opportunity before deciding to lead the round and join the company’s board.

    Founders' Co-op is thrilled to back another Canadian startup and Techstars Seattle graduate, and doubly thrilled to be doing so alongside a great, founder-led Bay Area seed fund with a demonstrated appetite to invest in the Pacific Northwest. Congrats to Jenny and the Freestyle team on another great raise, and to Leif, Peter and the Giftbit team on lining up such a great investor syndicate.


  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    This year’s event brought over one hundred companies, investors and university researchers together. see more

    Source: CHEK TV

    Victoria, BC - February 19, 2016 - High tech in Greater Victoria has evolved into a four billion dollar per year industry.

    “Discover Tectoria” is held every year to showcase the region’s technology sector.

    This year’s event brought over one hundred companies, investors and university researchers together.

    Organizers say while the industry has a huge local impact virtually all of its products are exported.

    “Techtoria” allows people the opportunity to find out what is going on in Greater Victoria.

    Dan Gunn from VIATEC says “A lot of people want to find out what does a career look like in that sector what does investing look like in that sector. Some people are just curious because we don’t sell a lot of tech products in Victoria. We are here for lifestyle and research labs and universities and colleges. So we are selling our products all around the world and most people don’t get to see it so this is chance for them to take a closer look at what's going on in their own back yard.”

    Organizers say Discover Tectoria is helping attract international investors to Victoria’s tech sector.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Victoria's biggest industry wants to get bigger – and it is inviting international investors. see more

    Source: CTV News

    Victoria, BC - February 19, 2016 - Victoria's biggest industry wants to get bigger – and it is inviting international investors to purchase a piece of the pie.



  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The founder of Flytographer will appear on CBC TV’s business reality show Dragon’s Den on Wednesday see more

    Source: Times Colonist

    Victoria’s Nicole Smith has made a pitch to the Dragons. The founder of Flytographer will appear on CBC Television’s business reality show Dragon’s Den on Wednesday in a pre-recorded episode.

    Her company has a downtown Victoria office, where staff work with about 300 photographers in 160 cities around the world. Flytographer lines up photographers for customers who want memorable photos for everything from honeymoons to holidays.

    Dragons’ Den participants are not permitted to reveal the results of their bid for money. Business people appear before a panel of entrepreneurs to seek funding for their ventures.

    If a verbal deal is struck on the show, the business person and the entrepreneur enter into discussions, to try to finalize a formal agreement. That may or may not happen. 

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Experience Tectoria, a chance for the rest of the world to dive into the local tech scene. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Photographer: Darren Stone

    Three days of high-tech hoopla kicks off today as the Victoria Advanced Technology Council opens up Experience Tectoria, a chance for the rest of the world to dive into the local tech scene and for firms to strut their stuff.

    The three-day conference and networking event has seminars, workshops, pitch opportunities and entertainment for tech firms and the public.

    Dan Gunn, executive director of VIATEC, said the event serves a number of audiences.

    “We bring in what we call VIPs — investor types, tech bloggers — basically people of influence from markets that are important to our members,” Gunn said, adding it is also a chance for firms to take in seminars on how to better run their companies, raise capital or find talent.

    There is a broad creative component, including music at Rifflandia, speaking with artists about the creative process and a question-and-answer session with comedian Nathan Fielder (lead actor in Nathan For You on Comedy Central).

    “But the most important thing is the great networking opportunity this is,” said Gunn, noting the events bring together sector leaders and mixes them with local companies.

    An economic impact study commissioned by VIATEC and released last year shows the sector has a total annual impact of $4.03 billion on the local economy. Total revenues generated by high-tech's 900 local companies is $3.15 billion annually.

    The sector directly employs 15,000 people as well as more than 3,000 consultants and advisers, and another 5,000 individuals working in technology for companies outside the high-tech sphere.

    Many of the events at Experience Tectoria are open to the public and tickets are still available online at

  • VIATEC posted an article
    Expose your company to investors, thought-shapers and even potential customers! see more

    Experience Tectoria is coming up on September 17th & 18th and we are looking for more companies to participate in our Demo Camp and Showcase Showdown events.  We've already locked in Nathan FielderRyan Guldemond and Paul Singh for other parts of the ET agenda, and now we've set our sights on our local talent! 


    Reasons to participate in Experience Tectoria's Demo Camp and Showcase Showdown 

    (spaces in both events are limited)

    Demo Camp (Thursday September 17th @2pm) - 17 spots available
    (like a tradeshow, but more fun, and with beer)
    • Every participant receives a VIP pass to Experience Tectoria (includes VIP pass to Rifflandia)
    • Chance to get introduced to / speak 1on1 with international investors, thought-shapers, potential customers and other local companies
    • Be the face of Victoria's tech industry & help us demonstrate what makes Tectoria world class 
    Showcase Showdown (Friday September 18th @2pm) - only 8 spots available
    (Pitch competition where the audience determines the winner and a panel provides colour commentary. Work your way up the ladder with 2min pitches to become champ!)  
    • Winning company gets to name an offering from Fort Tectoria's Ground Control Cafe, and their logo will be featured in the cafe too (both for 1 year)
    • Every participant receives a VIP pass to Experience Tectoria (includes VIP pass to Rifflandia!)
    • Winning company will also receive an additional 4 VIP passes to Experience Tectoria
    • Chance to get your name out there, earn bragging rights, and have a great time!


    If interested, please contact

  • 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 for more information.


  • 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.”