Open Ocean Robotics

  • Paula Parker posted an article
    Julie Angus, co-founder and CEO of Open Ocean Robotics wins Innovator Award. see more

    Source: Business Examiner

     VICTORIA – Another feather for her cap.

    Julie Angus, co-founder and CEO of Open Ocean Robotics, has been named winner of the Innovator Award in the first annual BC Business Women of the Year Awards. A gala celebration will be held September 28 at the Vancouver Club in Vancouver.

    A panel of four judges chose the winners in six different categories from organizations large and small from across the province. Another Vancouver Island winner was Pauline Stevenson, CEO and founder of Excel Career College of Courtenay in the Leader classification.

    There were runners-up in three categories from Victoria: Toni Desrosiers, founder and CEO of Abeego in Innovator, Origin Bakery co-founders Tara Black and Marion Scott in Community Builder, and Kyla Dufresne, founder and CEO of Foxy Box Wax Bar in Rising Star.

    The recognition is the latest for Open Ocean Robotics, which creates “robots of the sea”. They received a $22,000 BC Resource Industry award last fall for their autonomous, un-manned, un-personned and un-crewed vessels that collect data for ocean research and surveillance.

    Open Ocean Robotics has created two unmanned vessels: The Force12 Xplorer, and the Solar Xplorer.

    Continue Reading Original Article

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    This is about being part of the tech community, and it’s cool to showcase all the incredible... see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy
    Photographer: Adrian Lam

    Julie Angus and her husband, Colin, learned a lot about the ocean during the five months it took them to row from Portugal to Costa Rica.

    Quite apart from determining there’s a reason most people don’t tackle the Atlantic Ocean and hurricanes with only humans to power the vessel, the couple realized just how little is known about the world’s oceans.

    The trip sparked an idea that has become their start-up tech firm, Open Ocean Robotics.

    The two year-old company produces solar-powered, autonomous boats equipped with sensors and cameras that can collect information and relay data in real time.

    “There are huge applications for this, 80% of the ocean is unknown, unmapped,” said Julie Angus, who was showing off one of their boats and showcasing the company at the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council’s Discover Tectoria event at Crystal Garden on Thursday.

    “When you spend a lot of time on the ocean, you realize people don’t know how hard it is to see what goes on out there,” she said, adding when she and Colin faced two hurricanes during the crossing they realized there had to be a better way to go out and explore.

    “The automaton solves those issues. It can go out in conditions no crewed vessel can go out in and can stay out for months at a time,” she said, adding it’s also a more cost-effective way of doing research.

    The company, which has eight employees, is doing a pilot project mapping the sea floor for the Canadian Coast Guard and another for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans relaying real-time data on ocean currents, temperature and salinity.

    The need, said Julie Angus, is immense.

    “If we want to protect our oceans and have industry operate in them, we have to embrace technology,” she said.

    Angus said it was important for the young company to be at Discover Tectoria, a showcase of what makes Victoria’s tech industry tick, to both promote itself and the plight of the ocean.

    “This is about being part of the tech community, and it’s cool to showcase all the incredible innovation we have here in Victoria,” she said.

    At the day-long event, thousands of people checked out the latest in research from the University of Victoria, heard speakers talk about the growth of Victoria’s tech industry and how to get careers in the industry, and saw which young companies are preparing to test the marketplace.

    That included new firms along “Start-up Alley” with innovative twists on office furniture, robotics and marine services such as Wisertech Marine Services, which has 10 employees despite being active for only a few months. Wisertech founder Edward Wisernig said the firm has developed marine products from mooring solutions to augmented reality navigation systems.

    On Thursday, he was showing off the company’s solar-energy capture system for boats, which, he believes, is the only sun-tracking device available. He said its 150-watt solar panel will provide the same energy as five 100-watt flat solar panels.

    The system captures energy through photovoltaic solar panels and by using a stainless mirror and a solar collector.

    Unlike flat panels that only get a percentage of the sun during the day, the system can track and capture energy from full sun through the day, he said.

    “It’s designed to reduce the number of solar panels while getting the same amount of energy,” he said, noting 150 watts would power a fridge, electronics and charge a boat’s batteries.

    Jerome Etwaroo, associate director of the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre at UVic, which helps student entrepreneurs takes ideas and concepts to market, said Discover Tectoria is circled on their calendar every year.

    “It’s great, it brings the community together and showcases some of the great things that are happening,” he said.

    For start-up firms, it’s a chance to build connections and get feedback before going to market. “What better place to get candid feedback than this?” Etwaroo said.

    Industry veterans also see the value in the event.

    “It makes you aware of everything going on in the city,” said Scott Dewis, chief vision officer at Race Rocks 3-D. “Most tech companies don’t sell to Victoria, they sell to the world, so to get them together and see what they are actually doing is pretty neat.”

    Dewis said his company was on the trade show floor because it is always looking for talent.

    Race Rocks hired 18 people last year and expects to grow this year.

    “The trouble is finding people who are available,” he said. “There’s now so many tech firms and every one is growing.”

    The Victoria tech sector, which generates about $4 billion in annual revenue from [955] companies, employs about 20,000 people.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Victoria companies Cuboh and Open Ocean Robotics take home cash prizes. see more


    The results are in: 2019 New Ventures BC Competition winners

    Cuboh takes home 3rd place prize of $35,000 and $10,000 Innovate BC Top Regional Startup prize package, and Open Ocean Robotics earns the $22,000 BC Resource Industry prize package!

    This year our 19th annual New Ventures BC Competition presented by Innovate BC was larger than ever before. They received a record-breaking number of applications – over 200 in fact and after six months of rigorous Competition, they are excited to announce that they have a winner.

    After edging out nine other finalists to collect this year’s $105,000 top prize, Vancouver video creation platform Lumen5 takes home top honours at our 2019 Competition.

    NiceJob, also of Vancouver, took home the $60,000 second-place prize for their reputation marketing application and Victoria-based Cuboh claimed the $35,000 third-place prize for their food order management solution last night at the competition’s 19 the annual awards ceremony.

    “Every year, I’m taken away by the strength of the companies in BC’s tech sector. The diversity of ventures in this year’s top 10 is a true representation of the creativity and innovation we see emerging from all corners of the province,” said Mike Volker, Board Chair of New Ventures BC.

    “We’re proud to be supporting the industry and are looking forward to seeing this group of companies grow and succeed in BC, Canada and beyond.”

    Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Lumen5 is a powerful storytelling tool that helps businesses drive online engagement, turning blogs and content into compelling social video – in minutes. Almost 74% of internet traffic comes from video content, and Lumen5 is making it easier than ever for anyone to create engaging video content and build their online audience.

    In just two years, Lumen5 has grown into a multi-million dollar business with close to 300,000 users including brands like Forbes, The Economist, Translink and the Daily Hive – without raising any capital.

    This year’s competition attracted a record 200 companies developing innovative solutions in sectors including software, robotics, hardware, healthtech and cleantech. For almost two decades, the New Ventures BC Competition has awarded BC-based startups with over $250,000 in cash and prizes to grow their companies.

    The mentorship and education startups receive during the competition has contributed to the success stories of alumni including Aspect Biosystems, a Vancouver-based company 3D printing human tissue, and female-led intelligent dermatology company MetaOptima – standouts in BC’s thriving tech sector.

    Since its inception, the competition has helped 2,700 startups create over 3,800 jobs and raise over $380 million in financing.

    “The New Ventures BC competition once again showcased leading entrepreneurs who are developing ground-breaking innovations that have a tremendous impact on the way we live,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Congratulations to all the winners and nominees and to New Ventures BC and Innovate BC for supporting the next generation of high-tech innovators.”

    In addition to the top three prizes, the competition awards industry-specific prizes honour companies making a significant contribution to specific sectors or markets.

    This year’s winners are:

    • Spectrum (Vancouver, BC): $15,000 Vancity Social Venture prize package
    • Open Ocean Robotics (Victoria, BC): $22,000 BC Resource Industry prize package
    • Cuboh (Victoria, BC): $10,000 Innovate BC Top Regional Startup prize package
    • Plugzio (Coquitlam, BC): $6,000 BC Tech Association Growth Programs prize package
    • Beatdapp (Vancouver, BC): $2,500 People’s Choice Award

    The 19th annual New Ventures BC Competition is presented by Innovate BC, a crown agency helping innovators in all regions of the province launch their ideas and succeed in BC’s competitive tech sector.“Connecting regional communities to funding, resources and support is a big part of Innovate BC’s mandate and vision,” said Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC. “New Ventures BC is uniquely positioned to support startups all over British Columbia, which is why we are thrilled to once again be the title sponsor of this competition.”

    About the organizers:

    About New Ventures BC

    New Ventures BC runs the annual New Ventures BC Competition, the largest and longest-running tech competition in BC, awarding $250,000 in cash and prizes to early-stage startups. The organization also offers a mentored, online Venture Acceleration Program and administers the Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) Grant, offering tech companies up to $10,000 a year to hire a student. New Ventures BC is a non-profit organization that receives funding from both government and corporate sponsors.

    About Innovate BC

    Innovate BC is a one stop service centre to connect innovators — large and small — with B.C. government funding, resources and support. Innovate BC programs and initiatives serve and celebrate innovation in British Columbia, helping our industries grow, while ensuring the benefits of our thriving technology sector are felt by people in all regions of our province. Innovate BC is a Crown Agency of the Province of B.C.

    About the winning companies:


    Lumen5 is a video creation platform designed to help brands and businesses drive online engagement. Using an algorithm and artificial intelligence to identify key messages and find relevant videos, photos and audio tracks in Lumen5’s media database, the platform makes it easy to create videos in minutes.


    NiceJob helps businesses share customer testimonials by automating the collection of reviews and posting them to the company’s website to increase visibility. NiceJob’s reputation marketing platform ensures that businesses can raise awareness and drive sales without having to lift a finger.


    Cuboh saves restaurants time and money by consolidating orders from third-party platforms like Skip the Dishes and DoorDash into one integrated app. By bringing all online orders into an integrated hub, restaurants can ditch the hassle of managing multiple food ordering apps and focus on providing a great customer experience.


    Spectrum is making it easier for doctors to prescribe antibiotics. With easy-to-understand clinical guidelines loaded into the Spectrum app, doctors can input patient information and receive dosage recommendations tailored to the patient’s needs. Spectrum’s partner hospitals have seen up to 90% increases in accurate prescribing.

    Open Ocean Robotics

    Open Ocean Robotics has developed autonomous, wind and solar-powered boats to collect ocean data. Using sensors, cameras and real-time communications, the boats provide a safer, more effective and more affordable way to study the ocean. Open Ocean Robotics collects atmospheric and oceanic data, including air temperature, wind speed, water height and temperature, ocean currents and marine mammal acoustics.


    Plugzio provides an easy, secure charging solution for electric and autonomous vehicles. The company has developed an outlet that only starts the flow of electricity once the user activates it through mobile phone. Once installed, it bills the user directly and the owner of the shared space gets paid. Electric vehicle owners get access to an affordable charging solution, while business owners can easily take advantage of a new revenue stream.


    Beatdapp has developed a custom blockchain application that tracks real-time audited play counts of a song across streaming services. With Beatdapp, music labels can accurately track the number of times a song is played on a streaming service, ensuring musicians are compensated fairly.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The winners will be announced on September 19th see more

    Just 10 companies are still in the running for top prizes in this year’s New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC, and Victoria's own Cuboh and Open Ocean Robotics have made the cut! Winners will be announced at the Awards on September 19th.

    Out of the 196 companies, 20% were from outside Metro Vancouver (3 in North Van, 9 in Thompson/OK, 4 in Kootenays, 22 on Vancouver Island). Out of the top 25 ventures, 5 were regional, although all on Vancouver Island - Kranked in Gibsons and 4 in Victoria: Cuboh, GT Water Machines, SpayVac, and Open Ocean Robotics.

    The top 10 ventures are pitching this week, and 3 are regional - Kranked, Cuboh, and Open Ocean Robotics. Also, while SpayVac did not make the top 10, they finished just outside and nearly made it in!

    The $2500 People's Choice Award voting is on now:

    2019 New Ventures BC Competition Top 10 Finalists:

    In alphabetical order

    Congratulations to all finalists!

    After receiving the judging scores, the New Ventures Competition BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC uses Octothorpe Software for judging analysis. See details here.

    Next Steps:
    In the fourth and final round, each team will pitch to a judging panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors.

    The judges:

    • Natalie Dakers, CEO, Accel-Rx Health Accelerator
    • Andy Edelmeir, Braemar West Capital
    • Bruce Schmidt, Angel Investor
    • David Shore, Co-founder Inc.
    • Geoff Catherwood, BDC
    • Jim Fletcher, Angel Investor
    •  Julien Sellgren, Angel Investor and past NVBC winner (Metalogix 2002)
    • Maria Pacella, PenderFund Capital Management
    • Meredith Powell, Venture Partner, Voyager Capital

    Want to see who wins $250,000 in cash and prizes? Be sure to register for the 19th Annual Competition Awardshappening on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Imperial in Vancouver. Tickets are $5 for BC tech startups, but are limited – be sure to register early.

    This event is a part of Vancouver Startup Week for the fifth year in a row.