• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Application Deadline is January 10, 2018 see more

    Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) Initiative Accepting Applications - Spring 2018 Cohorts (February–June 2018)

    Application Deadline January 10, 2018 - Apply Here

    The Canadian Technology Accelerator Initiative (CTA) helps high-potential, high-growth Canadian technology SMEs seeking to expand to the U.S through a 5 month program of workshops, events, mentorship and business introductions. More information is available here.

    The Trade Commissioner Service developed the CTA initiative in response to the need for Canada’s high potential, small technology companies to access global business opportunities. In four years of programming, 467 companies have participated in the CTA.

    CTAs presently operate in 6 cities, covering 3 sectors: life sciences, cleantech and digital technologies (ICT).

    The CTA targets different sectors and coordinates events in cities where those sectors are most prominent.

  • JEA Pension System Solutions posted an article
    "JEA plays an essential role in the pension administration system at OPTrust," --OPTrust President see more

     TORONTO, July 6, 2017 /CNW/ - OPTrust today announced a strategic investment in James Evans & Associates (JEA) Ltd., a leading provider of pension administration services in Canada and the U.S., and one of the pension plan's long-standing service providers. JEA's pension engine, which OPTrust believes is the best product offering in its category, is a key component of the pension plan's administration system.

    "JEA plays an essential role in the pension administration system at OPTrust," said OPTrust President and CEO Hugh O'Reilly. "Our investment in JEA represents a strategic investment with a valued provider that fits within the plan's approach to innovation, strategic relationships and serving our members."

    "We are delighted to strengthen our long-standing relationship with OPTrust. This strategic partnership will support JEA as we continue to offer leading-edge pension solutions and help shape JEA's products to fulfill market needs, which will benefit all of our clients. For more than 38 years, JEA has provided  software solutions to the pension industry and we look forward to the opportunities that will undoubtedly come about as a result of this agreement," said Jim Evans, President & CEO of JEA.

    Given that OPTrust employs the JEA pension engine, a natural synergy exists between the two organizations. This investment represents a strengthening of the relationship between OPTrust and JEA, which has been ongoing for two decades.

    About OPTrust
    With net assets of $19 billion as at December 31, 2016, OPTrust invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with almost 90,000 members and retirees. OPTrust was established to give plan members and the Government of Ontario an equal voice in the administration of the Plan and the investment of its assets through joint trusteeship. OPTrust is governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees, five of whom are appointed by OPSEU and five by the Government of Ontario.

    About JEA
    JEA, a Victoria, British Columbia-based company, is one of Canada's leading pension software firms. JEA's solutions are used to administer over 1.5  million individual member pensions across public and union plans in Canada and the United States.  JEA provides solutions that enable organizations to operate their pension plans with great flexibility, using configurable rules-based solutions capable of managing the most complex, defined benefit pension plans. Offering solid, reputable and easy-to-use technology coupled with people who have extensive pension knowledge, JEA offers full-service pension software, solutions and consulting services.

    SOURCE OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust)

    For further information: Media Contacts: Claire Prashaw, Manager, Public Affairs, OPTrust, +1 (416) 681-3617,; Sheree Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, JEA, 416-407-3312,


  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Greater Victoria has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 3.8%, a level last seen in 2008 see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Carla Wilson

    Greater Victoria leads Canada with lowest unemployment rate

    Greater Victoria has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 3.8 per cent, a level last seen here in 2008.

    The number of people working full-time in the capital region moved to 143,400 in March, up from 137,900 in the same month in 2016, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Part-time employment climbed to 46,200 from 41,500 over the same period.

    Employers are turning out in force at job fairs in the hopes of hiring workers in sectors ranging from hospitality and technology to construction. The Canadian Coast Guard recently announced a hiring blitz and is using social media to attract staff while a tourism job fair attracted a healthy crowd last weekend at Ogden Point ahead of what is expected to be a record season for visitors.

    Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate tightened up from 4.4 per cent in February, Statistics Canada said in its monthly labour report.

    Quebec City is in second place nationally at 4.1 per cent, with a third-place tie between Vancouver and Brantford, Ont., at 4.7 per cent.

    With an election approaching on May 9, B.C. is holding onto its status as the province with the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. That’s despite the fact it moved to 5.4 per cent in March from 5.1 per cent in February.

    “B.C.’s labour market maintained a positive trend through March, but showed mild signs of deceleration with slower employment growth and a slight uplift in the unemployment rate,” said Brian Yu, deputy chief economist at Central 1 Credit Union.

    Total provincial employment rose by 0.2 per cent from February. The medium trend forecast “still points to a strong pace of hiring in B.C.,” Yu said.

    Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate was last at 3.8 per cent at the end of 2008 when the global financial crisis exploded. The region’s rate had been even lower, at 2.8 per cent, in May of that year, but it began climbing as the recession set in.

    Another bright spot in Greater Victoria was the increase in youth (15 to 24 years) employment as numbers rose to 31,100 last month, from 26,200 the year before.

    Employment in the age 25-to-54 group climbed to 119,000 from 112,900 year-over-year.

    There was a slight drop in the 55-year-old plus category with 38,700 working last month, down from 40,300 a year ago.

    Phil Venoit, president of the Vancouver Island and District office of B.C. Building Trades, said the construction sector is becoming stronger all the time. “Things are starting to ramp up around the city, so it is positive,” he said, pointing to major office and multi-family projects that are going up. He is looking forward to the jobs created by the upcoming $765-million sewage treatment plant.

    Employment in the capital region’s construction sector rose to 15,600 in March, from 12,100 the same month a year ago — an increase of 28 per cent, a Statistics Canada official said.

    Building permits in Greater Victoria in February fell by 37.2 per cent to $77.8 million from 124.7 million in Feb. 2016. However, those figures reflect only what happens in one month, not the overall construction activity underway in a particular region.

    Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing experienced a 33 per cent leap in jobs year-over-year to 10,400 from 7,800. Public administration jobs climbed by 26 per cent to 20,800 from 16,500. Business, building and other support services also saw a 26 per cent boost, to 9,600 last month from 7,400.

    There were few job categories with major losses. Education dropped by 17 per cent to 12,800 in March, down from 15,400 the same month in 2016.

    Greater Victoria’s technology sector has been performing well, although job numbers slipped somewhat year-over-year to 18,100 from 19,600.

    The nation’s labour market stayed hot last month, pumping out another 19,400 net jobs — and the vast majority of the new work was full-time, Statistics Canada said.


    A quick look at March employment (previous month in parentheses):

    Unemployment rate 6.7% (6.6)

    Employment rate 61.5% (61.4)

    Labour force participation rate 65.9% (65.8)

    Number unemployed 1,313,700 (1,286,100)

    Number working 18,308,000 (18,288,600)

    Youth (15-24) unemployment 12.8% (12.4)

    Men (25 plus) unemployment 6.0% (5.9)

    Women (25 plus) unemployment 5.4% (5.2)


    Newfoundland 14.9% (14.2)

    Prince Edward Island 10.1 (10.0)

    Nova Scotia 8.6 (8.1)

    New Brunswick 8.4 (8.9)

    Quebec 6.4 (6.4)

    Ontario 6.4 (6.2)

    Manitoba 5.5 (5.8)

    Saskatchewan 6.0 (6.0)

    Alberta 8.4 (8.3)

    British Columbia 5.4 (5.1)


    St. John’s, N.L. 8.9% (9.1)

    Halifax 6.5 (6.1)

    Moncton, N.B. 8.0 (8.2)

    Saint John, N.B. 6.7 (7.9)

    Quebec 4.1 (4.3)

    Trois-Rivieres, Que. 6.6 (6.6)

    Montreal 6.6 (6.7)

    Ottawa 5.0 (5.1)

    Kingston, Ont. 6.1 (6.1)

    Oshawa, Ont. 6.0 (5.7)

    Toronto 7.1 (7.1)

    Hamilton, Ont. 5.9 (5.9)

    Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. 5.6 (5.5)

    Brantford, Ont. 4.7 (4.2)

    London, Ont. 6.0 (6.2)

    Windsor, Ont. 5.2 (5.1)

    Barrie, Ont. 6.8 (7.2)

    Sudbury, Ont. 7.4 (7.9)

    Thunder Bay, Ont. 5.8 (6.0)

    Winnipeg 6.5 (6.7)

    Regina 4.8 (5.2)

    Saskatoon 7.5 (7.0)

    Calgary 9.3 (9.4)

    Edmonton 8.4 (8.3)

    Kelowna 6.4 (7.4)

    Abbotsford 6.3 (6.1)

    Vancouver 4.7 (4.7)

    Victoria 3.8 (4.4)

  • 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
    The Ministry of Technology and Infrastructure (MOTI) is looking to create an enhanced camera and... see more

    Ministry of Technology and Infrastructure seeking IoT Developers


    The Ministry of Technology and Infrastructure (MOTI) is looking to create an enhanced camera & sensor information system. Within the ministry, a trial program has been created to evaluate the use of open source technology for Internet of thing (IoT) software stacks to provide a connectivity layer for sensors and communication interfaces for applications. Focus is on building and evaluating an open IOT platform approach for collecting, managing and distribution sensor data.  The end goal is to replace a set of existing camera and sensor systems with a flexible IoT platform that is more responsive to changing business needs and technology advancements.

    The immediate need is to build an IoT demonstration. This will be done by leveraging the open source Kapua/Kura IoT platforms from the Eclipse foundation, the project team will be demoing the flow of the data from a source sensors (simple simulated sensor data, open 511, weather sensor data, camera images) using websockets and MQTT communication protocols into the Kapua platform.  The project team will also be demonstrating the consumption of the data from the Kapua platform and into a database for a dashboard to illustrate the data movement.


    Developer will assist in the development and configuration of virtualized devices that communicate with an IoT broker to simulate the creation of data into the IoT Platform.  Sources of the virtualized devices may range from random data to existing data sources (web services, CSV files, text files, JSON, etc).

    Developer may also assist in the development and configuration of APIs that utilize the data in the broker and expose the data through a user interface, such as a dashboard.

    Skills list:

    • Programming Languages: Java, C# (.NET Core)
    • IDE: Eclipse, Visual Studio
    • Database: PostgreSQL, NoSQL
    • Web Services (RESTful interfaces, SOAP, etc.)
    • Swagger for creating APIs

    All developed code will be treated as open source.


    Peter Giese
    Project Manager | IMB

    Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Office: (778) 698-3089 Mobile: (250) 480-9466

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    BCSC invites anyone involved in the BC Tech industry to complete the survey see more

    BCSC Seeking Input from BC Fintech and Tech Firms

    Vancouver - The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) today released an online survey, published a new tech industry webpage, and announced a dedicated Tech Team as a part of its ongoing outreach aimed at BC fintech and tech companies as well as other stakeholders active in these sectors.

    "The BCSC supports innovation and the adoption of new technologies in the financial services sector," said Brenda Leong, BCSC Chair and CEO. "We understand that early-stage companies need access to capital and a clear regulatory framework to operate in. Through our Tech Team's active outreach, we will broaden our knowledge and understanding of the impacts of regulation, and provide fintech and tech companies with resources and information to help them succeed."

    The BCSC invites anyone involved in the BC Tech industry to complete the survey. We are interested in hearing from all those willing to contribute their ideas and experience in an effort to learn more about this dynamic sector. The survey will be open until February 21, 2017. The BCSC will use information gathered from the survey and its ongoing outreach work to determine next steps.

    Fintech is growing in British Columbia and together with the broader tech sector is developing innovative approaches to delivering financial and other services. The online survey and new webpage build on the work the BCSC has been doing to support emerging investment advisory services, crowdfunding platforms, and online marketplace lenders.

    Currently, the BCSC has registered 10 robo-advisory firms, exempted seven firms from registration as crowdfunding portals, and registered a further nine portals as exempt market dealers. The BCSC also works with other Canadian securities regulators to support fintech industry growth by facilitating timely and harmonized reviews of registration and exemptive relief applications.

    "Our aim is to work with stakeholders to provide flexible and balanced regulation for innovative business models," Leong said. "We also need to assess whether securities regulations are keeping pace with the evolving tech landscape." 

    Those interested in taking the survey will find it on the new tech industry page, which consolidates guidance and resources the BCSC has produced over the years, and provides contact information for BCSC's Tech Team. The webpage is a good starting point for those seeking to learn more about how securities regulation intersects with BC's tech sector.

    About the British Columbia Securities Commission (

    The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

    • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
    • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

    - 30 -

    Media Contact:
    Alison Walker

    Public inquiries:
    604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    There’s a ton to dive into here. A past that will tell a thousand stories, and during all of my... see more

    Author: Wyatt Fossett

    It’s early afternoon, and many entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts are moderately rested and ready for a long night of great music and amazing people at the Rifflandia Music Festival in Victoria, BC — the culmination of three long days of demos, pitches, and pub nights at Experience Tectoria. But first, the entrepreneurs are gathering for an event to conclude the entirety of the experience: a roundtable discussion about Victoria’s vibrant tech sector.

    Experience Tectoria serves to explore and highlight some of Victoria’s brightest and most promising tech startups. VIATEC—an accelerator program—is the product of an amazingly underrated technology scene that lives on Vancouver Island. The Experience event provides an opportunity for investors and media to congregate around a demo night, funding pitches, loads of food, and plenty of mingling.

    Overall, the event is about selling the Victoria lifestyle to a group of talented people that the city would benefit from.

    When you walk through the streets of downtown Victoria, on a blustery day—one that started with a thick fog, and a curtain of rain —there’s a strong presence of history, and the quieter streets, in an otherwise bustling tourist town, feel welcoming. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, dates back to 1862, and today (mostly due to vertical building regulations, and being surrounded by water) has a small population of roughly 80,000.

    There’s a ton to dive into here. A past that will tell a thousand stories, and during all of my wandering, I was listening. Before the arrival of the Europeans in the 1700s, Vancouver Island was a thriving community of Coast Saalish People. Fort Victoria played a major role in the Great War, and the city has always been one of the first lines of defence for the Canadian Navy. But it’s now a peaceful and highly artistic city.

    On the corner of Pandora and Wharf is the Swan’s Hotel, right near the bridge to the West Bank of Victoria. She’s old, and classic. Gathering in the penthouse suite—a three story dream with a full rooftop deck currently owned by the University of Victoria—are the who’s who of the tech world and their counterparts in investment.

    Sean Silcoff from the Globe and Mail led the roundtable discussion that probed both visitors and locals alike about what makes Victoria a great place to be, an ideal city to start, or a top-tier location to move to.

    Two consistent themes cropped up in a constant show of pride by Victorians, which perked up those in the room looking to invest in the companies there.

    What makes Victoria so successful?

    Living in the shadows

    People often don’t realize that Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, and not the little sister of Vancouver as its perceived. One of the things that has helped Victoria grow, succeed, and make exits with their companies is this shadow. According to the Victoria Angel Micro VC Fund Analysis, exits in the past five years total $217 million, including companies like MediacoreGo2mobiEDOC, and Procura

    A list arose during the discussion. One that included names like Santa Cruz, California; Boulder, Colorado; Austin, Texas; and even Canadian destinations like Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. There is one thing that all of these blossoming cities have in common: above everything else, they live in the shadow of a more “popular” town. And maybe it’s this sense of being ignored that make it a more fruitful atmosphere.

    In a “sister-town”, rent is cheaper, most of them have large postsecondary schools, and the general population of the world isn’t paying any attention in their direction. As creators, it’s far easier to attempt the unpredictable when people aren’t looking at your activities through a microscope.

    A step ahead in gender equality

    The report also stated that the wage gap between men and women was at 18 percent, meaning that women earn just 82 percent of what men do in identical roles.

    According to an internal compensation study from Viatec however, Victoria boasts a rapidly rising percentage of around 30 percent female representation in technology roles (this study is only available for purchase through VIATEC). Impressively still, more than half of startup management or senior roles are held by women, in what can only be described as those in the room “as the way it should be” — though the room, which was mostly filled with men, didn’t reflect the diversity that they were eager to brag about.

    Taking a look back at the history of the Tech Awards in Victoria, four of the past five winners in the Executive of the Year category were women, and five out of the past six companies that won the pinnacle Company of the Year award have female CEOs.

    On top of progression made in diversity, the wage gap is also monumentally only at three percent. Victoria has an immense stash of talent, and those in hiring roles seem to have the right mindset when it comes to hiring the best available candidate without bias.

    But inside the room was a ten-to-one margin of men, and a twenty-to-one margin of people of colour. Victoria is ahead of the curve when it comes to diversity, but after these conversations and pats on the shoulder in celebration, it’s ironic that I was in a position to ask the coordinators of the event how they think they can make rooms like this more diverse.

    Youth in revolt

    There’s a tendency to view millennials as a nuisance, or the death of an established balance within business. But this isn’t something that is bred in Victoria’s culture. As old as the city may be, great schools like the University of Victoria provide strong and hungry youth. That’s exactly who’s responsible for shaking up a lot of this rusted system. And it shows in Victoria when startups likeBlastworks, Codename Entertainment, Flytographer, and Tellwell Talent are standing at an impressively young age pitching for investments, or winning big awards like the VIATEC Technology Awards.

    Victoria’s future

    Seats needs butts

    “How do you get more people to come to Victoria, invest in Victoria, or stay in Victoria?” asked Silcoff.

    The consensus was that people just have to come. Once. It’s hard to be put-off by a city that shows so much life, and art, and beauty. Just getting them to put their boots on the cobblestone streets of the second-highest rated creative city in Canada, according to Martin Prosperity Institute director Richard Florida.

    In tandem with the beauty of British Columbia is the consistent government support. With a recently announced $100 million dollar venture capital fund, and near industry leading tax credits, there are financial benefits to living and working out of stunning BC.

    A shrinking wage gap

    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a report stating that Victoria, BC is the best place in Canada to work as a woman. Citing comparisons of income and unemployment, relative to the male population, Victoria scored first overall, and took the top rank in Economic Security, and Leadership.

    Victoria’s wage gap between men and women was the smallest of the 25 major cities in the study that included Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and Calgary, at just three percent. Among promising statistics in employment is the fact that Victoria was the only city in the study where women outnumbered men as elected officials, including holding five of nine seats on city council.

    Given the fantastic statistics that support a strong atmosphere for women, there’s no doubt they can draw in more as the years go by.

    Big names and golden tenants

    A few people brought up the idea that most places known for their technology industry have one thing that put them on the map: a household name. As of right now, the downfall to the young entrepreneurs in Victoria is a lack of staying power. More than the majority of exits by these small, young tech startups have happened well before they needed to, and many times the culprit is wanting to move on and do something else.

    Victoria needs a Google, Salesforce, Slack, or Shopify. A name and a logo in the skyline that instills a solid foundation of business. A company that puts Victoria on the map permanently. One flagship resident can work wonders for the popularity and relevance of your town.

    Once that happens, it will no longer be a city that needs to convince you to show up, but rather a place that is begged to accept more tenants.

    Victoria is a place I can confidently say is one of the most underrated tech cities in Canada (maybe even North America) and will soon be a go-to technology destination. Every burgeoning metropolis is seeking growth, and the good ones never slow down. So while Victoria has a lot of work to do, they’re in an amazing spot. By improving on their successes and solving their shortcomings, Victoria might just take over Canada’s tech community.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    In this Game Changer article, Vanguard would like to highlight Scott Dewis, CEO and Co-founder... see more

    Source: Vanguard Magazine

    In this Game Changer article, Vanguard would like to highlight Scott Dewis, CEO and Co-founder of RaceRocks 3D Inc., a technology company that is leveraging its media and gaming expertise to provide innovative learning services and solutions to Royal Canadian Navy, the government and private sector.

    1) How did you start out in this industry and how has it brought you where you are today?

    I started out with a Visual Effect and Video game business that was invited into defence by a company looking to increase the fidelity of its simulations. Trainers couldn’t understand why their multimillion dollar simulator didn’t look as good as their kid’s Xbox. From there I attended CANSEC in 2011 and saw a major opportunity to bring Hollywood and gaming into the defence industry. Strong relationships built between then and now with advisors, government, clients, and partners have brought us where we are today.

    2) What is your role in your organization today?

    I’m one of the Founders and the CEO. My role is to chart the company’s course, advise clients on future training strategies and emerging technologies, be the client’s voice within the company, lead business development, oversee creative, and conduct final QA of products.

    3) What was your most challenging moment?

    As a small company, cash flow is king, and payroll can sometimes be a white knuckle event, add to that the climate in Canada – no support for innovation other than R&D, and the climate in the West – no financial support for business other than the lowest tax, rightly believing that viable companies will simply succeed. So during the slow times over the last three or four years, as our competition was financially subsidized by various regional agencies and Ottawa, we had to pivot and make hard decisions; ultimately those decisions lead to a lean and sustainable business that can offer huge cost savings, and the sustainable long term contracts we are executing today, but there were definitely a few sleepless nights while we were first navigating the industry!

    4) What was your a-HA moment or epiphany that you think will resonate most with our reader, tell us the story?

    We started out believing that the only way to work in Canadian defence was to subcontract to foreign primes and pursue IRB’s, but after realizing IRB’s were paid lip service, and talking with end users RaceRocks implemented a new business strategy and started responding to RFP’s and working directly for the crown. We carved out a great piece of business for an SME as a trusted supplier to the Royal Canadian Navy. This lead to partnerships instead of subcontract relationships with companies like Boeing and Federal Fleet Services that really believe in economic impact and supplier development in Canada regardless off offsets.

    5) What is the one thing that has you the most fired up today?

    Project Resolve and the RCN have given RaceRocks the opportunity to help “imaginer” what Future Naval Training will look like, on the first clean slate Canadian naval platform of the digital learning age.

    6) What is the best advice you received?

    When you jump off a building, make sure to celebrate every window on the way down… That and when you are in Ottawa, where a suit in a solid color, blue, grey or black – no patterns or stripes, patterns are radical, and that makes you look rouge, rouge means insurgent.

    7) What is a habit that contributes to your success?

    Building strong relationships throughout our supply chain – advisors, contractors, clients, and partners. Contributing to advance our industry and constantly learning.

    8) What is your parting piece of advice?

    Never give up, or give up right away, everything in between is a lot of hard work.

    9) What people or organizations do you believe best embody the innovation mindset?

    Boeing, (one of only 12% of companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1955, still on the list today.) Elon Musk, Apple.


    1) How is your organization changing the game within your industry sector?

    RaceRocks believes learning should be entertaining, and aligned with the way people think work and play. We understand the demographics of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and know how to engage learners with the same media and technology they use in their daily lives. We are forging partnerships with like-minded small Canadian companies such as Modest Tree and Marine LMS to give CAF trainers and subject matter experts (SME’s) access to best in class Technology Enabled Learning (TEL)

    2) What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in our industry sector?

    The biggest impediment to innovation in Canada is how Canada defines the innovation it can invest in. Canada loves to support Scientific Research and Development, but R&D is only a small part of innovation. Innovation takes place across the entire value chain from corporate vision through to how you market your product. R&D by nature often fails, and although it can create IP or a new Widget, it takes innovation to a company to create a vision, hire Canadians, commercialize the successful R&D and market and sell a product. R&D can create a new form of strong malleable metal; innovation turns it into the first paperclip. Canada needs to invest in innovation at all levels including commercialization, not just R&D. Innovation creates jobs.

    3) How has innovation become engrained in your organization’s culture and how is it being optimized?

    Our mission to make learning entertaining, and aligned with the way people think, work and play, was born in visioning sessions that included every employee, and purposely makes no mention of a single technology, because tools will change with every generation and technological advancement. RaceRocks looks at all sectors to find innovation that will enhance our learning products. For instance, Hollywood has perfected information transfer, video games have mastered engagement, and social media has revolutionized the sharing of ideas. New technologies are embraced if they can make learning better like Modest Tree’s software, not because of hype. We are tools agnostic, because who knows what technology will be available in 10 years, or 20.

    4) What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

    I believe that in the short term, emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will drive the biggest changes in our industry, but long term, trinkets always give way to great content. Great content is driven by story and the innovative use of technology to make learning more engaging, and more like life. Technologies that “get out of the way” of learning are the key. From a business perspective, I think top heavy companies that try and tell their client what they should think will give way to more nimble supporters and enablers like RaceRocks, that give their client access to the tools and support they need to transfer their knowledge and culture. The CAF members are the subject matter experts, they know how to train, and they simply need access to the creativity and technology of the industry.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Experience Tectoria 2016 was an investor summit that brought local entrepreneurs and visiting... see more

    Experience Tectoria 2016 was an investor summit that brought local entrepreneurs and visiting investors together from Sept 15-17, while participating in some very unique events that showcased our local talent and everything else it has to offer! Below is a video created by Gradio Media, capturing the entire event.

  • Just in time for summer, the District of Saanich’s new website has been released into the wild. see more

    Some may say that we are bloomin’ crazy at Atomic Crayon - and we might even agree - but we love to change the landscape of municipal web design. Just in time for summer, the District of Saanich’s new website has been released into the wild.  


    The District of Saanich is the largest municipality on Vancouver Island with more than 110,000 people and without a doubt one of its most beautiful. The community cultivates urban and rural neighbourhoods with 169 parks, more than 100 km of trails, four recreation centres, numerous beaches and amenities for all ages.  It truly showcases the island's incredible natural beauty at its finest.


    When the District let us know we'd won this project, we didn't beat around the bush. We dove right in, pruning the information architecture to make a lean website that would still be able to easily grow in the future.   


    The design team focused on the mixture of urban, suburban and rural elements and cultivated one of our freshest designs to date. The new site also showcases a wealth of powerful features, including a new harvest of our expansive modules that is saturated with award-winning accessibility, social media integration, online submissions, District spotlights, event calendar, tender opportunities and much, much more. This is no garden variety website!


    We also integrated of a number of custom applications, including a Carbon Fund Calculator, Webcam integration, Online Submissions and Searchable Libraries.


    The website utilizes our enterprise-level content management system, ElementCMS. After providing the District staff training on this robust CMS, they are now able to update the website themselves, thereby ensuring content is fresh as a daisy.


    The site is live and our work is done. Time to hit the hay!



    This project brought to you by Atomic Crayon

    Press release available here

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Dec 18th Deadline for #BCTECH Summit $400 Delegate Discount and B2B Meeting Applications! see more

    Technology is reshaping how we do business, transforming customer experiences and driving growth across all segments of our economy. The #BCTECH Summit is a two-day event (Jan 18-19) that will showcase BC’s vibrant technology industry, build cross-sector opportunities for businesses and explore the latest ideas that will drive a competitive advantage for BC.

    This event is for entrepreneurs, investors, industry buyers, researchers, students and government officials. It will allow them to come together to make new connections, nurture existing networks and exchange fresh ideas!

    To get the VIATEC Member discount code please contact by this Friday (Reg Early Bird Price is $499... You only pay $399). Please note there are a limited amount of discount passes available!

    Also due this Friday are applications for the #BCTECH Summit B2B Meetings. The #BCTECH Summit’s B2B meetings offer outstanding opportunities to build your business. These facilitated meetings match BC companies with customers, potential suppliers and government procurement specialists. Apply now for the opportunity to meet one-on-one with people who can accelerate the growth of your business. Click here for more info and to apply.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Latitude has received Transport Canada CAN-TSO-C159b approval of the company's DL150 SDU. see more
    Victoria, BC Canada - December 1, 2015 - Latitude Technologies, the premier global supplier of flight data management, flight following, and Satcom solutions for fleet operators, has received Transport Canada CAN-TSO-C159b approval of the company's DL150 SDU (Satellite Data Unit) built to Technical Standing Order C159b "Next Generation Satellite Systems (NGSS) equipment." The DL150 SDU utilizes the Iridium(R) satellite network to provide global pole-to-pole coverage and also meets the component fitment requirement of AC 20-140B "Guidelines for Design Approval of Aircraft Data Link Communications System Supporting Air Traffic Services (ATS)." The company has begun taking orders for immediate shipping of the DL150 SDU to channel partners across the world.
    Commenting on the C159b approval, Latitude President, Mark Insley, noted, "Our DL150 FANS Datalink SDU is the first product to have gained Rev b. notable for its more complex MOPS (Minimum Operational Performance Standards) testing than was required with prior versions.  It is wonderful to also acknowledge the close cooperation between the FAA and TCCA that occurred prior to the design approval being issued by Canada.  Our DL150 is one of the first TSO applications to be part of the international treaty synchronization between civilian aviation regulatory agencies FAA (USA) and TCAA (Canada), including EASA (Europe), to harmonize and therefore recognize each country's TSOs."
    The DL150 SDU is a solution for business and commercial jet operators looking for a lightweight, multi-function, cost affordable Iridium Data Link device to complete their FANS 1/A+ installation. Approved to CAN-TSO-C159b, the DL150 is also qualified for ARINC GLOBALink and SITA AIRCOM networks. DL150 qualification includes RTCA DO-262B, DO-178C DAL D, and DO-160G. The DL150 supports ATS notification, ACARS and CPDLC messaging, and ARINC-741 and ARINC-618 protocols. The DL150 also supports optional autonomous flight-tracking, 3-axis acceleration monitoring, Arinc-429 messages and has discrete inputs and outputs for optional event reporting.
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    About Latitude Technologies
    Latitude Technologies Corp., headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia, is an accredited aerospace parts manufacturer and provider of flight data monitoring, flight following, and satellite data and voice communications equipment and services. Latitude's SkyNode® products are the most versatile and economical-to-operate aeronautical communication devices in the world. The company's IONode™ is the industry's first lightweight flight data recorder and advanced data acquisition unit, capable of real-time event and exceedance alerts and automated post-flight wireless data transfer. Latitude's DL150 FANS 1/A+ Data Link is the first lightweight multi-function SDU on the market. Latitude provides reliable and secure aviation data and communication options for crew safety, fleet logistics, and operations and maintenance efficiencies with the WebSentinel™ flight tracking and Latitude Flight Data Analytics™ web-based data management platforms for desktops, dispatch centers, and mobile devices.
    For more information about Latitude's flight data and satcom solutions, visit or call 1-888-966-5599.