It is considered the local tech industry’s highest honour see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Darron Kloster
UVic professor named region’s tech champion
University of Victoria entrepreneurship professor Mia Maki, who operates Quimper Consulting and is a tireless and passionate mentor in the region’s tech sector, is receiving the Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion.
It is considered the local tech industry’s highest honour and will be presented to Maki during the 17th annual VIATEC Technology Awards gala on June 15 at the Royal Theatre.
“Mia has participated and supported our local tech community since 1993 and she deserves to be held up as an example of what a technology champion looks like,” said Dan Gunn, VIATEC’s chief executive. “From being behind the scenes on some of Victoria’s largest private placements, to starting up the precursor to VIATEC’s CFO Roundtable, working her way up as CFO and COO of IVL Technologies and then starting her own consulting firm — Mia has shown determination, passion and longevity in Victoria’s tech community.”
“Not only has she worked in the tech community and consulted for some of Victoria’s most well known tech firms, but she has also shaped some of our community’s brightest minds and provided major opportunities while teaching entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria,” said Gunn. “If you give me an hour to talk about Mia Maki, it still won’t be enough time.”
The VIATEC awards ceremony will held at the Royal Theatre for the first time, allowing for 1,400 to attend, instead of the prior limit of 800.
The awards celebrate the achievements of technology companies responsible for making Greater Victoria the fastest growing technology region in B.C., as well as the leaders, creators and innovators who have driven the local tech sector to $4 billion in annual sales, creating Victoria’s largest private industry.
After sifting through a record-breaking 181 nominations, 54 finalists from 44 companies have been selected for 11 award categories, and an additional five recipients were selected for awards.
For the first time, VIATEC’s Member of the Year is going to two individuals instead of a company — Jim Hayhurst (Pretio Interactive) and Ian Chisholm (Roy Group), for their dedicated involvement in bringing F*ckUp Nights to Victoria and continuing to champion it.
StarFish Medical will receive the Community Champion award for their outstanding charity efforts throughout the year.
Hannes Blum has been selected by Capital Investment Network as Angel of the Year.
Jim Hayhurst posted an articleCanadian tech company Pretio Interactive: record growth, new platform launch, acquires GravityLab. see more
Pretio Interactive, a technology-driven performance marketing company, is pleased to announce its 2016 results alongside two key achievements in the first month of 2017. The company organically grew key financial metrics by double and triple digits; launched the first version of its Apollo™ programmatic marketing platform; and completed the acquisition and integration of GravityLab Inc.’s technology assets and team.
“2016 finished with strong performance across all groups in the company,” said CEO Jim Hayhurst. “Not only did our Atlas media buying teams produce record revenue and profits, they worked closely with our developers to inform the machine learning capabilities of our first version of Apollo. In so doing, we were able to achieve our goals for the year and confidently act on the unique opportunity to bring the GravityLab team and technology to Pretio in January.”
Year-over-year results included 70% revenue growth; a 5X improvement in gross margins; 40% EBITDA growth; and record overall profitability in the fourth quarter.
In Apollo, the company is now offering a select group of brands the ability to harness the power of programmatic advertising, while paying only for performance. Apollo’s real-time analysis of dozens of key demographic and behavioral attributes automates media-buying decisions to maximize ROI and provide complete transparency to advertisers. Apollo is currently in use by tier-one CPG advertisers and data-driven marketing agencies who need to target better and spend smarter.
In mid-January, Pretio completed the acquisition of assets from GravityLab, including its campaign tracking and optimization platform. In addition, key sales and technology members of the GravityLab team immediately joined Pretio to bolster its internal video campaign capabilities.
“GravityLab built a unique and valuable technology for performance marketers,” said Pretio Founder & COO Ty Sinclair. “More importantly, the team behind it is one of the best in the video advertising space. We were fortunate to be able to integrate this high-capacity group into Pretio in such a quick and seamless transaction. As expected, our team welcomed them with open arms and we have already seen tremendous growth in revenue, profitability and technical insights in the first weeks of 2017.”
Now in its fourth year, Pretio has grown its team twofold in the past 18 months. The team was recognized in 2016 with two VIATEC Awards: CTO Rob O'Dwyer (Employee of the Year) and CEO Jim Hayhurst (Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion).
About Pretio Interactive: Pretio Interactive combines machine-learning and real-time consumer interaction to serve personalized ads that help marketers excel at customer acquisition. The company is based in Victoria, BC, one of Canada’s fastest growing technology hubs, and is backed by veteran Canadian investors Wesley Clover International and Yaletown Venture Partners.
Hayhurst borrowed the Fuckup idea from a group of tech entrepreneurs in Mexico... see more
The Refreshing Brand Strategy of Failure
One of my favorite reads (albeit not in the brand strategy genre) is the Book of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile, founder of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain.
The book, now in its third edition (a runaway success, it seems – not great if Mr. Pile is interested in living the brand) documents people who are brilliant at being abysmal.
As Pile says “It is a grave misreading of the human predicament to think that everything will be a success. Sanity and happiness come from embracing catastrophe and applauding it.”
Which brings me to the worrying subject that inspired this post – our growing cultural need to never be seen as failures.
It was a James Altucher podcast with media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk that snapped me to attention. Vaynerchuk was spitting mad at the legions of self-help gurus who ran commercials showing hundreds of thousands of dollars on their kitchen table, a Ferrari in the garage, and the promise that they could help you, Joe Q Public, achieve the same results.
As Vaynerchuk said, these commercials were disturbing for three reasons:
- They were lies – generally the Ferrari was rented, the fortune borrowed, and the advice dished out by someone who had no real-world experience to back their advice;
- They propagated the myth that success should come effortlessly, and quickly;
- They painted over the disturbing realities facing most risk-taking entrepreneurs – 97% business failure rates and, according to a number of studies, an inordinately high rate of suicide, depression and mental illness (49% of silicon valley founders were diagnosed with depression vs 7% among the general population).
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU FUCKED UP
I work primarily with tech companies. And tech is probably the worst offender when it comes to the myth of overnight, effortless success.
Hayhurst borrowed the Fuckup idea from a group of tech entrepreneurs in Mexico who felt the need to reinstate sanity in their world. The format of the evening was simple – three local tech stars take the stage to present – in the most unvarnished, painfully honest terms – how they fucked up again and again on their road to success.
The event in Mexico proved wildly popular, and has since spread to many cities around the world.
It isn’t hard to see why. First, it’s cathartic. It also provides valuable reassurance to startup founders that their trials and tribulations are entirely normal. And finally, it teaches us to learn from our mistakes, instead of pursuing the insanity of failing fast / forward.
As Hayhurst said “Just as bad as the myth of instant success is the bastardized myth of failing forward. Failing forward was originally all about failing, learning from your failure, adjusting, and incorporating your learnings into your business. But it has come to mean failing without learning, only to fail, fail fail again.”
Hayhurst is quick to add that the myth of instant success is pervasive throughout our society, not just in the tech sector. “Thanks to social media, we’re inundated with images of people who are better looking, happier, more successful than us. If I’m 13 years old and I don’t have as many likes as another kid, I’m devastated. Either I get depressed, or I turn to more and more outlandish ways of getting myself noticed.” We’re living in a world of reality stars who achieved dizzying success by simply debasing themselves into the spotlight. Talent seems a trivial detail. This ain’t healthy, folks.
So how can we correct this? From a brand perspective, I have an idea.
THE BRAND STRATEGY OF JOYFUL FAILURE
Celebrating failure, as Hayhurst pointed out, is useful for a number of reasons. We learn from it, and we build community around our shared imperfections.
Community is one of the key pillars of every successful brand strategy. Could brands build a community of fans by admitting imperfection?
Consider the story of the Bass Pub from the Book of Heroic Failures:
“In 1995 the Polar Bear in Soho was named the worst pub in London by the listings magazine Time Out. Business immediately shot up by 60%. By the time they had erected a banner outside saying ‘The Worst Pub in the West End’ it was impossible to get in.”
Or, on a larger (and more serious) scale, take a look at Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles – a wildly successful program that pointed out the company’s frustrations with the unsustainable way it produced its garments.
Finally, take a look at Apple. Behind the bright white sheen lurk countless errors and failures (remember asking artists to play along with Apple Radio for free for 3 months?) But Apple remains undiminished, because the company isn’t afraid to pivot, or even abort. And it still treats mishaps and gaffes as opportunities to get closer to its fans.
I believe there’s tremendous blue ocean for brands willing to embrace imperfection.
And if you fail, you’ll succeed even more convincingly next time.
As a brand strategy expert, successful entrepreneur, and award-winning author, Marc Stoiber uses simplicity and creativity to help people discover what’s awesome about their business… and then helps them tell the world. For more on creating your company’s value proposition, connect with Marc on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and sign up to his monthly newsletter.
Want to try building your own powerful brand to create unfair business advantage? Try out Marc’s DIY Brand Build Guide – available Nov 1, 2016.
Victoria’s high-tech sector has a new champion — Jim Hayhurst, the CEO of Pretio Interactive. see more
Victoria’s high-tech sector has a new champion — Jim Hayhurst, the CEO of Pretio Interactive.
The announcement was made as the Victoria Innovation Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council released the finalists for its 15th annual tech awards, which will be handed out June 24 at the Victoria Conference Centre.
Hayhurst will receive the sector’s highest honour, the Colin Lennox Award as Technology Champion. The award is named after the mentor to tech companies who died in 2004.
“Any time you get recognized by your peers, it’s super cool. What’s really special about this
is that, though I never met Colin Lennox, I’m told he and I shared a lot of the same values,” said Hayhurst. “He was very much about connecting people and ideas, not just the technology, to grow our community. “He was also a passionate supporter of Pearson College, where I was a trustee for many years. So I’d like to think he’d be pleased with my carrying on some of his work.”
Hayhurst said he was surprised by the award, and was lost for words when he was informed. “Which is not something I’m known for,” he said.
Dan Gunn, chief executive at VIATEC, said Hayhurst has made a point of being active in the community and getting things done.
“Jim Hayhurst has played a key role in our community as a leader of initiatives, a spokesperson, a supporter and a role model. He understands what it takes to shape a strong and vibrant community and we are honoured to recognize him as the Tech Champion he is,” said Gunn. “I think Colin Lennox would have been very proud to see the award named after him bestowed on such a stand-up guy.”
VIATEC has also revealed that Ladies Learning Code will receive its member of the year award.
“Ladies Learning Code have really made a difference in our community in a short time. Their efforts to teach valuable coding skills to women of all ages is playing a significant role in encouraging more [women] to enter the tech sector and to use those skills as entrepreneurs,” said Gunn.
Hayhurst said the technology sector in Victoria has never been stronger.
“But we’re at a critical point. We’re not under-the-radar anymore, so there’s a higher level of expectation. Like any enterprise, getting from start-up to where we are now may seem like the hard part. But scaling even further —and staying true to what makes us unique — will require a clear sense of who we want to be as a sector and how we fit in with the broader community,” he said.
The 15th annual awards show promises to be the biggest yet, given the massive increase in nominations this year — VIATEC received a record 189 nominations for 13 award categories.
To this point more than 600 tickets have been sold, with expectations the event could be expanded to handle as many as 850 people.
2016 VIATEC Award Finalists
• Company of the Year (50+ staff):
• Company of the Year (11-49):
• Company of the Year (1-10):
• Emerging Company:
• Startup of the Year:
Green Sky Labs
• Product of the Year:
Giftbit (Digital Gift Cards)
Codan Radio Comm. (Stratus)
RevenueWire (Constant Content)
Checkfront (Online booking)
Codename (Crusaders/Lost Idols)
• Innovation Software/Service:
• Executive of the Year:
Brad Williams – Redbrick
Brianna Wettlaufer – Stocksy United
Scott Dewis - RaceRocks 3D
Shaun Jamieson – SilkStart
• Employee of the Year:
Aleksey Vorona – xMatters
Aurora Walker and Rob O’Dwyer – Pretio Interactive
Matt Martin – Crowd Content
• Team of the Year:
Archipelago Marine Research
HP Advanced Solutions
• Employer of the Year:
Island Circus Space
Monkey C Interactive
Victoria Hand Project