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  • Article
    Digital (dgtl.link/smallbizhome) is dedicated to helping small businesses. see more

    Canadian Mentorship Challenge Launches to Mentor 10,000 Entrepreneurs

    Ottawa, ON (Wednesday, October 2, 2013) The Canadian Mentorship Challenge is a national initiative that aims to collectively mentor 10,000 enterprising Canadians over the course of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), November 18 - 24, 2013.

    Last year, Startup Canada launched the first Canadian Mentorship Challenge, partnering with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and CATAAlliance, to respond to a call to action from entrepreneurs to increase awareness about the value of mentors and the opportunities for mentorship. This year, the Challenge is being powered jointly by Startup Canada and CYBF to showcase how mentorship’s transfer of knowledge and ideas contributes to the success of startups and mobilizes communities of people to build systems that create profit and prosperity for all.

    “Canada has been recognized as one of the top countries for entrepreneurs and the overwhelmingly positive response we received from participants in last year’s challenge reaffirms the value of mentorship to entrepreneurs,” said Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder of Startup Canada. “Small businesses are an integral part of the Canadian economy and we need to ensure that we are continuing to equip Canadian entrepreneurs with the tools needed to succeed.”

    “Good mentors are often the key to small business success, which is why mentoring is a core component of our program to help young people launch startups,” said Julia Deans, CEO of CYBF. “Mentors give tangible, experience-based business advice, support and encouragement to help entrepreneurs through the realities of starting and sustaining a business.”

    This year’s Challenge will kick off GEW by unveiling Canada’s Top 10 Mentor Rock Stars. These inspiring individuals will be nominated by their communities for their contributions in volunteer work and leadership development. Nominations are being accepted until October 25.

    Last year’s Canadian Mentorship Challenge winner was British Columbia’s Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC), which hosted more than 4,500 entrepreneurs for three days of events. They competed with organizations and individuals across 10 provinces; collectively mentoring more than 10,000 entrepreneurs. At a single event, 400 tweets reached an audience of more than 100,000 people in one day.

    Organizations and individuals can participate in this year’s Challenge by registering a mentorship event at http://www.mentorshipchallenge.ca by October 22.

    Digital (https://dgtl.link/smallbizhome) is dedicated to helping small businesses. We review software and publish a library of resources on everything people need to start and grow a business; from idea and formation to financing, building a website and disaster-proofing systems.

    For more information on the Canadian Mentorship Challenge, other mentor events happening across Canada, or mentorship’s role in business, visit http://www.mentorshipchallenge.ca. Follow the Challenge and contribute to the conversation by searching #mentorscan on Twitter or following @Startup_Canada, @GEWCanada and @CYBFCanada for updates and other entrepreneurship news.

    For more information:
    Matt Seniuk – matthew.seniuk@startupcan.ca
    Paul Gagnon- pgagnon@cybf.ca

    About the Canada Mentorship Challenge
    The Canadian Mentorship Challenge is a nation-wide challenge during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 (November 18-24, 2012) to encourage organizations and groups across Canada to organize mentorship events in their communities in an effort to collectively mentor more than 10,000 enterprising Canadians over the course of the week. The idea for the Canadian Mentorship Challenge was inspired through feedback from entrepreneurs during Startup Canada’s 2012 National Tour. From March to September, Startup Canada visited 10 provinces to consult with more than 20,000 Canadians and brainstorm solutions to the top challenges facing entrepreneurs on local, regional and national scales. For more information on the 2013 Canadian Mentorship Challenge, visit www.mentorshipchallenge.ca

    About Startup Canada
    Startup Canada is a grassroots movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by strengthening Canada’s entrepreneurship culture and ecosystem through: supporting vibrant startup communities; igniting mainstream cultural campaigns; providing a platform to connect the community; and, serving as a voice for entrepreneurs to decision makers. We are proudly supported by Microsoft, Gowlings, Intuit, Scotiabank, LaBarge

    About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation
    The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF’s co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF’s application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs. 

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    PlusROI now works directly with a full Agency Team at Google. see more

    Performance marketing agency PlusROI Online Marketing Inc has been selected as part of an elite group of Priority Agencies in Canada as part of Google's improved partnership model. As a result, PlusROI now works directly with a full Agency Team at Google who provide personalized help with strategic planning, onboarding, training, strategic insights and support for optimizing Adwords clients' account efficiency.

    Google also gives PlusROI personalized assistance with advanced Analytics and measurement tools, as well as troubleshooting support for Google Analytics and all features of Google Adwords. This helps PlusROI’s clients achieve better results with valuable advertising budgets.

    "It's a real honour to have been selected as one of a handful of elite Canadian companies in Google’s new Priority Agency program,” says PlusROI President and founder Rob Cooper. “This builds on the existing Google Partner Program and offers some very significant value to our agency and our clients.” 

    PlusROI’s approach to online advertising is to focus on results and limit client risk. This powerful new program can definitely help us provide our clients with a competitive advantage," says Cooper.

    No strangers to Adwords, PlusROI's current and past clients managed through their Google Client Centre have generated almost 7 million paid advertising clicks, over 100,000 "conversions" (purchases, leads, signups, etc) and over CDN $4 million in advertising spend.

    PlusROI President and founder Rob Cooper has been managing Adwords teams since his introduction to Adwords in the highly competitive downloadable software industry in 2005. Managing Partner Rian Bowden began his Adwords career in Shanghai in 2006, selling English language training programs internationally through Adwords and SEO.

    PlusROI Online Marketing was even the recipient of the 2014 VIATeC Technology Awards Online Strategy of the Year Award for a successful highly targeted national advertising effort.

    Clients such as Company Capital, which provides working capital financing to small businesses across Canada, also have great things to say about PlusROI's Adwords services.  

    "We teamed up with PlusROI to help us grow our on-line leads by 50%," says Company Capital VP of Marketing Bruce Marshall. "Among other things, PlusROI completely re-built our website and re-vamped and expanded our Adwords campaigns. The results have been exceptional – in just 6 months our website visits are up 150% and our on-line leads are up 170%. The most important results are we have increased our new customer counts by 125% over the same period last year."

    PlusROI also helps out on the non-profit front, offering advice and helping non-profit organizations like The Canadian Animal Assistance Team, Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Victoria and the Victoria International Cycling Festival set up and run Adwords campaigns through the very generous Google Grant program.

    *********

    PlusROI Online Marketing Inc was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in beautiful Victoria BC. PlusROI provides online advertising, search engine optimization, web marketing and website development services.

    More information is available through PlusROI.com or Rob@PlusROI.com

    Media Contact

    Name: Rob Cooper

  • Article

    ANDREW DUFFY / TIMES COLONIST

    Surinder Kumar started a high-tech firm and grew it into a global player employing hundreds of people. Now, he has his eye...

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    ANDREW DUFFY / TIMES COLONIST

    Surinder Kumar started a high-tech firm and grew it into a global player employing hundreds of people. Now, he has his eye on repeating the feat, starting in the kitchen.

    Kumar, who left as chief executive of Victoria-based Vecima Networks this year, is about to open a new Indian restaurant called Indyoga in downtown Victoria.

    But Kumar is not content with simply opening an eatery. His goal is to spread his vision for a philanthropic and gastronomic endeavour that will spread around the world.

    “Vecima started with one person and grew, so why not,” Kumar said.

    “I want to use my success in Vecima. It has given me the financial wherewithal to do all this.”

    By all this, he means a vision for a massive chain of restaurants all working from the same playbook — providing a modern take on Indian food, with an emphasis on healthy eating, and using some of the profits to fund charitable endeavours around the world.

    It’s big-idea thinking, but that’s what helped make Kumar a success with Vecima, which designs and manufactures products for broadband access to cable and wireless networks.

    The firm recently posted a profit of $19.2 million for the 2013 fiscal year compared with $13.3 million the previous year. It also reported cash on hand of more than $31 million.

    “I have lots of interests, ” Kumar said.

    “I could have gone another way, but the concept of leveraging the money to help both North America [by promoting healthier eating] and other people in the world [through the charitable giving] is kind of what’s driving me.”

    Kumar said the new restaurant is also creating jobs.

    “I hope this becomes a big operation.”

    He said he has even teased his son, Sumit, who succeeded him as chief executive officer at Vecima, that the new venture could grow to the point he might be tempted to come and work for his father again.

    Kumar wants to expand soon, though he will spend a few months seeing how the concept is working in the flagship Victoria restaurant.

    Kumar suggests that initially half of the profits from Indyoga will be used to fund expansion of his new concept in cities around North America — all of the restaurants will be company owned, with local managers. Other profits will provide a consistent and steady flow of money to charities.

    That philanthropic bent has always been part of Kumar’s makeup.

    For years he has combined two of his passions, philanthropy and food, by putting on Indian feasts to raise money for various charities.

    In 2011, he aimed to raise $10,000 for Horn of Africa Famine Relief through Save the Children Canada with a multi-course Indian dinner for 200.

    And he did the cooking.

    The new restaurant is an extension of that endeavour, he said.

    “And it’s a way to honour my mom in a way,” he said, noting he learned to cook by watching her and marvelling at her ability to squeeze a lot out of a small budget.

    “I saw how ingenious she was, what she could do with very little money to feed a large family [with eight children].”

    Indyoga will offer traditional dishes, Indian fusion items and some recipes inspired by his mother’s cooking that Kumar has tweaked and experimented with over the years.

    Kumar has written out the recipes, designed the dishes and broken down the concept for the 15 staff who will start at the restaurant. He even trained the cooks at his kitchen in his home.

    But Kumar said he will be found only occasionally “playing” in Indyoga’s large kitchen.

    The restaurant, which will seat 60 people, has a simple, modern design with Indian flair.

    The space was gutted after Kumar bought the two-storey building at 1015 Fort St.

    He completely refitted it for the restaurant.

    There is also a completely renovated space on the second floor that could be used to expand the restaurant or leased out.

    “You know the more we do with this, the more I believe in the concept,” Kumar said, as the finishing touches were being put on the seating area Thursday.

    “I’m not nervous or worried just excited.”

    Finishing touches are also needed in the kitchen and washrooms, but Indyoga is expected to be open for lunch and dinner sometime next week.

    aduffy@timescolonist.com

    Media Contact

    Name: Andrew Duffy

  • Article

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author:

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    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Lindsay Kines

    Growing up in Alberta in the 1960s, before the Oilers and the Flames and before the rest of the National Hockey League arrived on the scene, Chris Gainor dreamed of going to the stars rather than becoming one.

    It was the time of the space race and Apollo missions, of Neil Armstrong and the moon landing and one small step for man.

    “Back then, there were a lot of people interested in what the astronauts were up to and I was one of those,” Gainor, 60, says. “I wanted to be an astronaut more than I wanted to play in the NHL.”

    The dream faded over the years, but his passion for space never did. It stayed with him through stints as a reporter at the Vancouver Sun, editor at the Medical Post, and communications officer with the Hospital Employees’ Union and later the B.C. NDP government.

    Even as he toiled in those jobs, Gainor continued to study astronomy and space exploration on the side. He is currently second vice-president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.

    In fact, it was while attending a meeting of space enthusiasts in Toronto a number of years ago that he got an idea for his first book.

    “Unbeknownst to me beforehand, there was a reunion of all these people who had worked on the Avro Arrow and then subsequently worked for NASA,” he says.

    “So I spent a good part of that weekend sitting around listening to these guys.”

    His subsequent book, Arrows to the Moon, told the story of Canadian and British aerospace engineers who went to work on the Apollo missions after the Canadian government killed the Avro Arrow.

    Gainor went on to write three more books and earn a PhD in the history of technology from the University of Alberta before finally getting that long-awaited call from NASA.

    The space agency recently tapped Gainor and a team from Foresight Science and Technology Inc., a global consulting and market research company, to write a book on the post-launch era of the Hubble Space Telescope.

    The team, which includes California writer John D. Ruley, will also gather documents and oral histories for a companion online archive available to future researchers.

    “The deal is that I have three years to work on it and, at the end of the three years, I’m supposed to give them a publishable manuscript,” Gainor said. “Also, along the way I’ll be doing some articles for popular and academic publications relating to the book.”

    It’s a big project, but Gainor’s lifelong fascination with the subject gave him a head start. After he got the contract, he went rooting around in the basement of his Sidney home to see if he had any relevant information. He found a treasure trove of material.

    “I’m a bit of a pack rat, and I was amazed how much stuff I found in relation to Hubble — some of which is actually going to help me,” he said.

    In addition to a number of books as well as videotape of servicing missions, he has the famous Newsweek magazine from July 1990 shortly after NASA launched Hubble only to discover that it had a defective mirror.

    The headline? “Star Crossed: NASA’s $1.5 Billion Dollar Blunder.”

    Gainor said the flawed launch nevertheless made for a compelling story “about how people pulled together and figured out a solution to this problem. And the solution wound up working so well that probably a lot of people have forgotten that the mirror was defective.”

    Today, Hubble is more beloved than ridiculed, having opened up our understanding of the universe and made astronomy a much more co-operative science, he said.

    “When Hubble obtains data and sends it down to Earth, it’s given to whomever the investigator was who proposed it be used in that way. But then, a year later, it becomes public domain, so any scientist can look at that data or anybody in the public.”

    So popular has Hubble become that NASA caused a public outcry when it cancelled a fifth servicing mission in 2003 after the Columbia disaster. The backlash — Gainor still has his “Save Hubble” T-shirt — eventually led to the appointment of a new administrator who approved the final servicing mission.

    “It’s a robot that has a big presence in popular culture and social media,” said Gainor, who will be heading to Baltimore and Washington to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hubble’s launch on April 24, 1990.

    “There are Hubble tweets and Hubble Facebook and T-shirts and dresses and all sort of Hubble products.”

    Gainor hopes his book will be equally accessible to the public, while also serving as a resource for scientists and historians.

    “I would hope that scientists and people like that who come along in the future would use this book as a kind of reference, like ‘Why did they do this’ or ‘Why did they do that?’”

    Sounding like the old newshound he is, Gainor says: “I think it’s a helluva story.”

  • Article

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author:

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    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    May 2, 2015. Victoria, BC - The Greater Victoria Development Agency is angling for a bigger piece of the lucrative international-student market with a new program called Education Victoria.

    Launched Friday in concert with the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Camosun College and Tourism Victoria, the campaign is hoping to bring more international students to the Island as both an economic development driver and community builder.

    “This represents a significant opportunity not only for economic reasons, but it represents our city’s connection to the world,” said the development agency’s Dallas Gislason. “It brings diverse perspectives to the learning environment which deepens the learning experience for all students.”

    Gislason said those students are potential residents and workers in a market that faces a labour shortage over the next 10 years.

    But the big driver is money.

    Gislason noted international student programs represent an $8-billion bump to the Canadian economy and about $1.8 billion in B.C., where it generates about 21,000 jobs.

    The average full-time student will spend $30,000 annually when in the city on tuition, housing, transportation, food and entertainment, he said.

    UVic has about 2,000 international students; Camosun and Royal Roads each have about 1,000.

    All three schools say they have the capacity to see that number grow. To do that, the $40,000 program will piggy-back on Tourism Victoria’s marketing know-how and will focus heavily on social media campaigns, some ads and trade shows.

    There is also a new website (learnvictoria.ca) that went live Friday and lays out the advantages of going to school in Victoria.

    Later this month, the program will be shown at ICEF Montreal, the country’s premier education networking event that connects educators with more than 330 student recruitment agents from around the world.

    Tourism Victoria chief executive Paul Nursey said getting behind the program — offering their intellectual property — was an easy decision and reflects a more collegial and collaborative approach to both economic development in Victoria and selling the city to the world.

    Gislason said after the ICEF show in Montreal, he expects the schools will select specific target markets — likely Vietnam, Mexico and perhaps South Korea — where they will deploy the campaign.

    He said the student recruitment program could become a template to be used to attract companies and investment to the area.

     

     

    Media Contact

    Name: Dallas Gislason

  • Article

     

    Victoria, BC: Gender equality is a hot topic in the tech sector with

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    Victoria, BC: Gender equality is a hot topic in the tech sector with companies, organizations, and government getting behind the Women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) movement. Engenuics, a young tech company in Victoria, is participating by pushing the scope of the dialogue. Women and other gender identities are underrepresented, but so are people from diverse backgrounds, particularly from lower income families. Engenuics has put together a series of week-long summer camps for youth aged 13 and up with unique content, a low student to teacher ratio and access to mentors who are passionate about a variety of areas in tech.

    The course content has been carefully crafted to present students with a non-traditional approach to learning. Studies show that girls tend to use technology primarily for communicating with friends, while boys use it more for playing games. This trend is starting to change as a wider variety of games become more accessible and appealing to girls. In order to appeal to both interests Engenuics has consciously chosen course material that merges communication and games. The course material will be delivered using a combination of traditional teaching styles and will incorporate stories and relatable analogies to communicate abstract concepts. This presentation style is paired with shorter periods of instruction followed by small, achievable exercises to give students more opportunities to practice what they learn.

    Engenuics believes that the tech sector needs people from all walks of life and identities in order to bring the innovation and imagination required to identify and solve current and future problems. Since the learning curve in tech tends to be high and often requires an upfront cost in terms of equipment, the very nature of the industry can be limiting. To address the issue of accessibility, Engenuics is inviting companies to sponsor seats ($299/seat) and will match all contributions. By pushing back against these cost related barriers, Engenuics hopes to captivate more young, creative minds with the possibilities in tech.

    The camps use a circuit board with buttons, lights and wireless capabilities to make an interactive tic tac toe game. Students can learn how to build the board, program it to play tic tac toe, and write an app to connect the board to a smart phone. The company hopes to ignite passion and creativity in youth by giving them hands on experience with engineering tools, such as soldering irons, design software and coding platforms. 

    Media Contact:

    Emily Elias
    Engenuics Technologies Inc.
    778-351-0153
    emily.elias@engenuics.com

  • Article
    Download the 2014 Greater Victoria Technology Sector Economic Impact Study see more

     

    Earlier in 2014 VIATeC decided to commission a study to get some new numbers about the size and scope of Greater Victoria’s advanced technology sector.

    We spent time surveying local companies and then commissioned an independent professional researcher to collect and analyze the data using a rigorous methodology.

    The result was the “2014 Greater Victoria Technology Sector Economic Impact Study.”

    Download the 2014 Greater Victoria Technology Sector Economic Impact Study

    Some notable results of the 2014 Economic Impact Study:

    $3.15 billion in annual revenues

    According to our latest economic impact study, the 884 local companies that make up Greater Victoria’s advanced technology sector now generate an estimated $3.15 billion in annual revenues.

    23,000 local tech professionals

    According to VIATeC’s just-finished economic impact study, Greater Victoria’s tech sector that now directly employs 15,000 people as well as more than 3,000 consultants and advisers, plus another 5,000 individuals working in technology for companies outside the high-tech sphere.

    $4 billion total economic impact

    The total economic impact Greater Victoria’s tech sector has on our local economy now tops a $4 billion ($4.03 billion to be precise; see below for an explanation of “total economic impact”).

    Highlights from the 2014 Greater Victoria Technology Sector Economic Impact Study

    $4.03 billion: Total economic impact of Greater Victoria’s tech sector

    $3.15 billion: Estimated annual revenues of Greater Victoria’s tech sector

    884: Number of tech companies in Greater Victoria’s tech sector

    15,000: Number of people directly employed by technology companies

    $1.16 billion: Combined revenues of the top 25 companies based in Victoria (VIATeC 25)

    Direct Economic Impact Vs. Indirect Economic Impact

    • The direct impact – representing the total output (revenues) directly generated by companies in the sector – is estimated at $3.15 billion.
    • The indirect impact – representing the impact of those businesses who supply inputs to the technology sector – is estimated at $876 million.
    • Combined, the total economic impact of the high technology sector within the Greater Victoria region is estimated to be $4.03 billion.

    Media Contact

    Name: Tessa Bousfield, tbousfield@viatec.ca

  • Article
    The goal of this proposal is to extend the students’ experience beyond the classroom while... see more

    UVic offers up course to improve your requirements collection process

    Gathering, analyzing and communicating requirements is a key activity that can make or break a software project. At UVic we are teaching a course in which the students learn techniques for such activities. They typically apply them in student projects, gaining some insight into the difficulties but also strategies to overcome in the requirements engineering process. The goal of this proposal is to extend the students’ experience beyond the classroom while attempting to benefit the local industry in Victoria. 

    Objectives
    This project:

    1. Provides UVic’s graduates with the opportunity to learn about requirements engineering practices at Victoria’s software companies as well as
    2. Enhances the relationship between UVic’s Software Engineering entity and Victoria’s software industry

    ​Proposed involvement in this partnership
    The UVic students are enrolled in a Requirements Engineering course at UVic’s BSENG Program (Bachelor of Software Engineering) and conduct a course project. 

    In the second part of their project, this partnership allows them to also analyze a software company’s methods/processes to gather, analyze and communicate requirements with their customer base. The students are then tasked to produce a report on these practices. The report (1) reflects upon these practices relative to the techniques learned in the classroom and (2) recommend areas for improvements in the company’s processes/methods. 

    The software company agrees to be contacted by a group of students in the course (typically 5-6 students) and coordinates a number of visits to the company (as appropriate) during which the students learn about their methods/processes for requirements gathering, analysis and communication to their customers. 

    Period of involvement

    The UVic course runs for 13 weeks between January and beginning of April 2017.
    The students will be expected to conduct this study with the software company for about 6 weeks during mid February and late March. The companies are then invited to a final course presentation of all groups in the course and receive their report.

    Software companies who are already participating in this project include: BeanStream, sendwithus, SierraSystems, Checkfront and Referral Saasquatch. 

    We are looking for registrations no later than January 15th. To register, please contact Rob Bennett at rbennett@viatec.ca 

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    Tap for Tap promo gives developers a chance to win a free trip to Casual Connect USA see more

    Victoria based Tap for Tap, an app exchange designed to automate UA and monetization for mobile indie devs, is excited to share the news about a promotion they are running that gives developers a chance to win a free trip to Casual Connect USA in San Francisco August 11-13.

    Now apart of Pretio Interactive portfolio of innovative mobile advertising solutions, Tap for Tap’s new SDK release brings Pretio’s mediated moments-based ads to an audience of developers eager to increase revenue and engagement, while maintaining the precarious balance between in-game ads and user experience.

    Tap for Tap’s Integrate to Win Summer Promo is offering the first 100 developers to successfully launch an app live with their “Achievement Moment”- 1000 free users and a chance to win a Travel Package to Casual Connect in San Francisco. The package includes the developer’s conference badge, airfare, accommodations and an entertainment allowance. As a bonus, the contest winner will receive an automatic submission to Casual Connect’s Indie Prize Showcase, bypassing the initial round of judging.

    The Showcase is a great opportunity for developers to get exposure for their apps, and can drastically increase its chances of success.  Chris Lefebvre, Tap for Tap’s Director of Business development will be sitting as one of the judges for the event.

    Contest details can be found at www.tapfortap.com/winning. For more information please contact Taylor Odgers by email: taylor.odgers@tapfortap.com or phone: 250.634.3222.

    Media Contact

    Name: Taylor Odgers

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    About 24,000 square feet of space is being converted into a specialized lab at Camosun College see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Carla Wilson

    About 24,000 square feet of space is being converted into a specialized lab at Camosun College’s Interurban Campus where students will work on advanced manufacturing requests for industry — a first for a Canadian college.

    “This represents a real game-changer for us,” Tim Walzak, the college’s director of Camosun Innovates, said Thursday. “It greatly expands our space to do some very creative things.

    “Our prime focus is building inter-disciplinary space to allow our students and faculty to work on real world problems with our local industry partners.”

    Two industrial bays will be fitted out for what is called the Interaction Lab by spring 2016. The space is within an area that has been used for trades, but is being freed up now that a new trades building is being built.

    The Camosun lab is receiving $1.5 million in funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada. Another $527,000 is going to the University of Victoria to improve its Centre for Aerospace Research laboratory.

    Industry partners approach Camosun for help sorting out challenges in a number of areas, whether technological or in the marketplace. Partners include Viking Air, Scott Plastics, StarFish Medical and Victoria Shipyards.

    “We then marshal our resources, our expertise, build teams of students and faculty, and try to get the right kind of funding in place to help them solve their problems,” Walzak said.

    Existing equipment at Camosun will form the nucleus of the new lab, he said. “But this particular initiative is brand-new and represents a considerable change for Camosun.”

    When Camosun talks about technology, that includes all applied disciplines, such as business, health and trades, said Tom Roemer, Camosun’s vice-president of strategic development.

    Innovation is a catalyst that helps prepare students for jobs, he said. Industry has said it wants to hire people with a more comprehensive understanding of how a complex business operates and how individual elements interact.

    For example, if a company creates a new product, there’s a business component to it, as well as market analysis, design, prototypes, proof of concept, manufacturing, automating manufacturing and supply chain.

    “All of these things are often overlooked when people get technical training,” Roemer said. The lab will bring all this together “grouped around a project that comes from industry.”

    This is one-of-a-kind facility in Canada, he said. The labs will include 3D scanning and digital modeling, 3D printing, composite-materials mould fabrication, manufacturing simulation, integrated production and manufacturing designing.

    Funds to UVic will see it add equipment and upgrade its laboratory to support the design, development, commercialization and certification of unmanned aerial vehicles and payloads at its aerospace centre.

    Forest-fire management will be one of the applications for the technology, UVic said in a statement. Other anticipated uses for aerial vehicles include wildlife monitoring, applications for agriculture, mining exploration using remote sensing technology and search and rescue.
    UVic has industrial partners such as Bombardier Aerospace, Rigid Robotics, Terra Remote Sensing and Boeing.

    Media Contact

    Name: Tim Walzak

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    VIATEC Board Nominations Open see more

    If you would like to put your name forward as a candidate please click below to complete the nomination form! 

    VIATEC Annual General Meeting Board Nomination Form 

    Please review the expected commitment of VIATEC Board members:

    1. Must be a VIATEC member in good standing
    2. Review all materials sent out in advance of monthly Board meetings and attend meetings as often as possible (75% attendance required)
    3. May or may not participate in at least one Board committee (75% attendance required):
      a. Finance & Audit
      b. Governance
    4. Some board members will be “point” on specific strategic goals
    5. Participate in the annual strategic planning process
    6. Whenever possible, attend VIATEC events (seminars, conferences)

    This year VIATEC’s AGM will be held September 24, 2015 at Fort Tectoria – 777 Fort Street.
    Registration will start at 4:30 p.m.
    Our official AGM notice will be posted on the website the beginning of August, 2015

    Media Contact

    Name: Georgia Cowell

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    Pretio’s overall reward ad impressions increased +42% compared to total impressions in 2014. see more

    Victoria, BC, July 28, 2015: Pretio Interactive, a mobile advertising company that reaches customers with real-world rewards at their most receptive, released the company’s first half results for 2015. The company continues to realize month-over-month (MoM) growth amidst the evolving digital marketing space.

    Revenue
    Pretio reported average topline MoM revenue growth of +13% for January-June 2015. The company’’s 2015 first half revenues grew 300% compared to the 12-months of 2014. The annualized revenue run-rate for 2015 is seven figures coming into the busy second half of the year.

    Impressions
    Pretio’s overall reward ad impressions increased +42% compared to total impressions in 2014.

    Brand Partner Growth
    Pretio’s overall brand partner portfolio has realized a +79% increase compared to 2014.

    “Pretio’s growth in the first half of 2015 is indicative of two phenomena that we don’t see slowing down anytime soon,” said Jim Hayhurst, CEO of Pretio Interactive. “First, we are seeing huge growth in the amount of time consumers spend in apps versus any other digital medium. And second, advertisers are spending a relatively small amount to reach them there.
    That gap is the opportunity that we – and our growing number of publishers, networks and brands — are laser-focused on closing.”

    So far in 2015, Pretio has worked with brands such as Lexus, Krispy Kreme and Pandora to connect consumers with rewards, offers and discounts at key engagement moments in apps and games. In an age where traditional digital ads are becoming less effective (and more disruptive), Pretio keeps brand interactions relevant and tangible. Through Pretio, developers are given a
    simple way to include moments-based advertising where and when it makes sense.

    The first half results come on the heels of Pretio Interactive’s recent recognition as one of Douglas Magazine’s “10 to Watch” and a finalist for VIATEC Award’'s Emerging Tech Company of the Year. In late 2014, the company acquired mobile ad network Tap for Tap and anticipates accelerated growth for the back-half of 2015.

    Based in Victoria, BC, Pretio Interactive is a mobile advertising company that connects brands to consumers through rewards in games and apps. The company is backed by Canadian technology investors Wesley Clover International and Yaletown Venture Partners.

    Media Contact

    Name: Ty Sinclair

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    LifeScience Alley has played a role in growing Minnesota’s Medical Alley for more than 30 years. see more

    Victoria BC—July 28, 2015StarFish Medical, a Profit 500 medical device design and manufacturing company, today announced it has joined LifeScience Alley, a global leader in enabling health technology business success. Founded in 1984, LifeScience Alley has played a leadership role in growing Minnesota’s Medical Alley for more than 30 years.

    “LifeScience Alley welcomes StarFish Medical to our membership community,” states Shaye Mandle, president and CEO of LifeScience Alley. “Members like StarFish Medical represent the critical continuum of services necessary to bring health technology innovation to patients everywhere. We hope to see great outcomes as StarFish engages in Minnesota’s Medical Alley region.”

    “We have long admired the thriving medical device community in Minnesota.  LifeScience Alley membership allows us to engage at a more meaningful level,” notes Scott Phillips, President of StarFish Medical.  “We are an active contributor in every region we serve and I’m confident that LifeScience Alley membership will speed our local participation and integration.”

    Charles Garcia, VP of Business Development, elaborates: “Having lived and worked the past 7 years in Minnesota, I am confident that LifeScience Alley is the best way to strategically connect the innovative designers and engineers of StarFish Medical with their counterparts in Minnesota.”

    About LifeScience Alley

    LifeScience Alley is a global leader in enabling health technology and care organizations to innovate, succeed, and influence the evolution of healthcare. By influencing proactive policy change, leading solutions-based initiatives, delivering vital information and intelligence, and uniting members with critical resources, LifeScience Alley works to ensure that collectively we remain the world’s strongest life science community. The Association’s membership and supporting community extends throughout the world, employing more than 300,000 Minnesotans and many more globally. www.lifesciencealley.org

    About StarFish Medical

    StarFish Medical is a Medical Device Design company with a full complement of design, development, and manufacturing services. We use our Pathfinder™ process to reduce wasted effort and increase success for medical device product definition, technical engineering, and product development. Prototype and volume production are delivered within an ISO 13485 certified Quality Management System with an FDA registered manufacturing and clean room facility. www.starfishmedical.com

     

    StarFish Medical media contact:

    Mike Camplin
    250.388.3537 x210
    mcamplin@starfishmedical.com

    LifeScience Alley media contact:

    Ryan Baird
    Director of Communications & Marketing
    Direct: 952.746.3818 | Cell: 612.251.5617
    rbaird@lifesciencealley.org

     

    Media Contact

    Name: Mike Camplin

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    Codename Entertainment announced the global launch of Crusaders of the Lost Idols. see more

    Victoria, British Columbia, August 4, 2015 - Today, veteran games studio Codename Entertainment announced the global launch of Crusaders of the Lost Idols, the next evolution of idle gaming. The game debuted at number 1 in the Idle Games charts on Kongregate.com - the largest dedicated web gaming site in the world.

    Crusaders of the Lost Idols puts players in charge of a band of fighters set in the fantasy world of Bush Whacker 2. Their mission is to form a mighty group of adventurers to take on waves of enemies as they rid the world of evil-doers, bad guys, terrible T-Rex, irritable escargot and Panda Claw. Yes, that’s right, a giant panda with lobster claws.

    In a unique twist to the new Idle Games category, Crusaders is the only game to include a unique formation feature. Players must now learn to master the art of organising their band into the most powerful formation possible. 

    The position of each fighter in relation to his or her companions will have a significant effect their attack strength. Combined with their equipped buffs and upgrades, this unique feature adds deep complexity to the idle genre.

    Another key feature of the game is the chance to earn the chests filled with rewards. As your heroes clear each level, they'll be matched-up against a boss character. If your Crusaders win, they'll be rewarded with gold, buffs and equipment to level-up their abilities.

    Only those players who develop the best combination of formation, characters, buffs and upgrades will survive.

    “We’re delighted to enable gamers around the world to play our latest game,” said Eric Jordan, CEO of Codename Entertainment. “Our beta player feedback was very positive with some players saying they were losing sleep because they were so hooked. We’re looking forward to more players trying Crusaders and also losing sleep because they can’t stop playing.”

    Currently the top-rated Idle Game on Kongregate.com, the game is available now:

    ABOUT CODENAME ENTERTAINMENT:
    Codename Entertainment was founded in 2008 in Victoria, B.C. by David Whittaker and Justin Stocks with the successful launch of their first title, "Egg Breaker". Egg Breaker's success hatched three successive games, Egg Breaker 2, Egg Drop and the current title in the series, Egg Breaker Adventures. Created in 2010, the classic Bush Whacker appealed to adventurers who were looking to smack some shrubbery and see what popped out. Following its success, Bush Whacker 2 was released in 2012 and celebrated its third anniversary earlier this year with much cake. It was not a lie. In 2014, the company launched Shards of Titan for players looking for an epic role-playing adventure through a fantasy land shattered long ago by a terrible cataclysm. 

    Codename Entertainment, Shards of Titan, Crusaders of the Lost Idols, Egg Breaker, Egg Breaker 2, Egg Breaker Adventures, Bush Whacker, and Bush Whacker 2 are trademarks of Codename Entertainment Inc. All other products named herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

    Media Contact

    Name: Eric Jordan

  • Silkstart Importer posted an article
    The acquisition strengthens Illumina’s industry leading portfolio of genetic analysis solutions. see more

    SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 4, 2015Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire GenoLogics Life Sciences Software, a developer of industry-leading laboratory information management systems (LIMS) for life sciences organizations. The acquisition strengthens Illumina’s industry leading portfolio of genetic analysis solutions.

    "The acquisition of GenoLogics demonstrates Illumina's commitment to drive the adoption of sequencing in new markets and improve the genomic information workflow," said Francis deSouza, President of Illumina. "Adding GenoLogics’ products to Illumina’s portfolio is another example of our continued commitment to bring innovative sample-to-answer solutions to research and clinical labs.”

    Adopted by over 120 genomic labs worldwide, GenoLogics’ Clarity LIMS™ software enables lab efficiencies and improved sample throughput with increased accuracy, fast turnaround, sample traceability, and preconfigured instrument integrations. GenoLogics has a number of current partnerships with Illumina, including the recently launched Clarity LIMS X, an edition of its industry-leading laboratory informatics platform that is optimized for use with Illumina SeqLab to address population-scale genomics workflows.

    “We are excited to join Illumina and carry on the innovative spirit that GenoLogics Life Sciences Software has been known for,” said Michael Ball, CEO of GenoLogics. “Illumina and GenoLogics have had a longstanding partnership and this acquisition will enable us to widen our distribution, accelerate our product development, and provide even greater support to the Clarity LIMS community.”

    GenoLogics will become part of the Illumina Enterprise Informatics business under the leadership of Sanjay Chikarmane, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Informatics.

    The impact of this transaction was contemplated in the updated 2015 financial guidance Illumina provided on July 21, 2015. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of August.

    About Illumina

    Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com and follow @illumina.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, such as the expected closing date of the acquisition. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements include required closing conditions and the other factors detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, or in information disclosed in public conference calls, the date and time of which are released beforehand. We do not intend to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

    View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150804005242/en/

    Source: Illumina, Inc.

    Illumina, Inc.
    Investors:
    Rebecca Chambers, 858-255-5243
    rchambers@illumina.com
     

    Media Contact

    Name: Eric Endicott

    Phone: (858) 882-6822