VIATEC and partners to launch an accelerator program for women entrepreneurs in tech see more
VICTORIA, BC (December 12, 2019) - VIATEC is honoured to announce that it has, with partners, secured a $475,000 CAD investment from the Digital Technology Supercluster to pilot a Women’s Entrepreneurship Program.
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program will be a dedicated set of three accelerator cohorts created by women, for women, to increase the support for and the presence of women founders in the rapidly growing tech-sector. The program intends to strengthen the capacity of organizations elevating women entrepreneurs by ensuring they have the business support they need to start or grow a business.
This collaborative project including Accelerate Okanagan, UVic’s Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre, Purpose Five, and CDMN/Communitech, will see three cohorts of women entrepreneurs created; one in Kelowna and two in Victoria. If successful, this pilot project has the potential to evolve into a nation-wide offering.
"Typically, 10% or less of tech companies have a female founder. This pilot project is aimed directly at empowering women to build a program that works for them,” said VIATEC’s CEO, Dan Gunn. “It’s important that any program feels welcoming and supportive to entrepreneurs considering participating. It’s also vital that the participants feel a sense of belonging and identify with others in the program through shared perspectives. Most accelerator programs were developed by men and we’ve learned that those programs aren’t always the right fit for women entrepreneurs. We’re proud that we have been able to bring together this group of experienced partners with the funding needed to empower some of the trailblazing women in our communities to build a program that will better serve and support current and future women founders in tech.”
The VIATEC cohort will be helmed by Shelley Voyer as Program Manager. Voyer, currently an Executive in Residence for VIATEC’s Accelerator Program, will take on the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program.
“Throughout my career, I’ve witnessed the unique challenges women in business face - especially when launching and scaling their own company. I felt this first hand when I launched my tech start-up”, said Voyer. “While the rigours of growing a successful business aren’t unique to women, the support they need is. I’m thrilled to be a part of this essential initiative to provide an environment where women can thrive and ultimately strengthen our community for everyone.”
"Tech has been the #1 industry in our region for over a decade and it’s well on its way to $10 billion in annual revenues,” continued Gunn. “However, there is plenty of evidence that women continue to be underrepresented in the sector and leadership roles in particular. In order for our companies and communities to reach their full potential, we need to take steps to engage, involve and empower more women which will both make our companies stronger and also help address the talent crunch. Supporting women to build an accelerator program that works for them is a step in that direction and I expect that not only will this assist women entrepreneurs, but it will help evolve accelerator models in general."
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program aligns with VIATEC’s values and current focus on developing new projects, programs, and partnerships aimed at supporting existing and future women leaders in the Greater Victoria tech sector. This project announcement comes on the heels of the VIATEC Foundation’s donation of $30,000 in funding towards the Gender Equity Fund and VIATEC’s sponsorship of HR Tech Group’s Diversity & Inclusion Tech Project.
VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. Our mission is to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector (Technology is Victoria's #1 industry with a $4.06 Billion Annual Revenue, a $5.22 Billion Economic Impact and over 16,775 employees across 995 high-tech companies - and growing!)
The Digital Technology Supercluster consortium, led by Founding Members MDA, Microsoft, Telus and global leaders such as D-Wave Systems, LifeLabs, MDA, Teck Resources Limited, and TimberWest, and in collaboration with BC’s leading post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations including Accelerate Okanagan, British Columbia Institute of Technology, BC Tech Association, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), and other Members including Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, LlamaZOO, and Terramera. (a full list of Members can be found here) aims to position Canada as a global leader in digital technologies and solve industry’s and society’s most challenging problems. The Supercluster co-invests in ambitious technology solutions to improve sustainability and competitiveness of our natural resources, healthcare and industrial sectors and energize the economy. By leveraging the strengths and diversity of small and large companies, research organizations and government agencies, our approach aims to deliver an impact with the speed and magnitude that no single organization could achieve on its own. The Supercluster manages the investments provided by the Government of Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative and the public and private organizations which constitute its membership. www.digitalsupercluster.ca.
About the Capacity Building Program
The Capacity Building Program aims to develop a diverse pool of digital talent to ensure we have a workforce prepared for the jobs of tomorrow with a focus on improving the inclusion and participation of under-represented groups, including Indigenous Peoples and women.
For media inquiries related to VIATEC
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FUBAR is Back with New Plotlines in an Epic Clicker Game Now Available for Pre-Registration on Google Play!Canadian indies join forces to bring a cult classic from the big screen to your mobile phone see more
VICTORIA, BC (December 6, 2019) - In a truly Canadian production, Kano (Victoria, BC) has partnered with East Side Games (Vancouver, BC), and BT Productions (Calgary, AB) to bring cult favourites, Terry and Deaner, back for their first ever mobil game, FUBAR: Just Give'r.
FUBAR: Just Give'r picks up where the movies left off, with Terry and Deaner embarking on a quest to beat the world record for longest part streak all while warding off antagonists like cops, landlords, and ex-girlfriends trying to kill their buzz.
FUBAR: Just Give'r is a narrative clicker idle game with card collection mechanics. With an extended storyline, new characters, and weekly in-game events, there will always be something around the corner for players to be excited for.
Players will help Terry and Deaner expand on their money-making schemes through building and upgrading businesses in Terry's house and hiring other characters to run them. Players will take part in events, complete challenges, and earn big bucks as a result. Once they have earned enough cash for the day, it is time to party! Keeping the upgrades they have made, players will continue to grow their businesses in the subsequent days to keep the streak alive!
As Terry and Deaner say, "Remember, there ain't no participation ribbon! At day's end, you gotta give'r to your liver!".
FUBAR: Just Give'r is now available for pre-registration on Google play and will launch worldwide on January 8, 2019. Follow the game on all socials to stay updated: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and play now! Just Give'r!
Victoria-based Aurinia Pharmaceuticals doubles valuation to US $2 billion see more
Author: Mike Kozakowski
VICTORIA, BC - December 5, 2019 - A Saanich-based pharmaceutical company saw its valuation double in early market trading this morning following the results of a clinical trial.
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals rose to a US $2 billion market cap at $22 per share more than doubling its $11 trading range seen earlier in the week. The stock is currently trading in the $16 range representing a market valuation of $1.5 billion.
The company's trial drug voclosporin showed promising effects during an AURURA Phsae 3 clinical study involving individuals with lupus nephritis (LN), an inflammation of the kidney caused by lupus erythematosus.
“This extraordinary pivotal data confirms voclosporin’s ability to achieve statistically significant improvements in clinically meaningful endpoints for this complex disease, with a comparable safety profile to the current standard of care,” said Neil Solomons, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Aurinia. “This data represents a significant advance for people living with LN, which can lead to irreversible kidney damage, eventual kidney failure and death.”
In a global study involving 357 patients with active LN were enrolled, met its primary endpoint of Renal Response rates of 40.8% for voclosporin vs. 22.5% for the control (OR 2.65; p < 0.001). Additionally, all pre-specified hierarchical secondary endpoints achieved statistical significance in favor of voclosporin, which included Renal Response at 24 weeks, Partial Renal Response at 24 and 52 weeks, time to achieve urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio (“UPCR”) ≤ 0.5, and time to 50% reduction in UPCR, the company disclosed in a statement.
The robustness of the data was also supported by all pre-specified subgroup analyses (age, sex, race, biopsy class, region, and prior MMF use) favouring voclosporin.
Aurinia plans to submit an application to the Federal Drug Administration by mid-2020.
Located at Saanich's Vancouver Island Technology Park, a key real-estate holding and technology incubator of the University of Victoria, Aurinia is a major player in the B.C. Capital's technology and pharmaceutical industry.
Two Victoria tech companies recognized by Deloitte Technology Fast 50 see more
VICTORIA, BC - November 12, 2019 - Two Victoria technology companies have been recognized by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 awards. SendtoNews was recognized as one of the Deloitte Fast 50, and Checkfront was listed as one of Deloitte’s Companies-to-Watch.
The Deloitte Canada Fast 50 program lists Canada’s fastest-growing tech companies. It was created to recognize “innovation, rapid revenue growth, and entrepreneurial spirit.” The awards feature four categories including the Companies-to-Watch awards, and the North American Technology Fast 50 ranking.
For SendtoNews, the largest digital sports video platform in North America, this was the third year in a row they made the Fast 50 ranking.
“Sustainable growth at these rates is a testament to the quality of our offering combined with the hard work and dedication of our team along with our publishing, content and advertising partners,” says Matthew Watson, CEO of SendtoNews. “Perhaps, most exciting is the fact that in many ways, we are just getting started.”
Checkfront, a cloud-based booking managment application and e-commerce platform, was awarded its spot in the Companies-to-Watch list in recognition of its strong growth and potential to earn future Fast 50 recognition.
"The entire Checkfront team is proud to be named one of Deloitte Canada’s Companies-to-Watch,” said Checkfront’s CEO, Jason Morehouse.“As the industry continues to mature, more travel brands look to list their experiences online, making this an exciting era for Checkfront. It is wonderful to be recognized for our achievements so far, and we will continue our commitment to sustainable growth, innovation and excellence in the work we do every day.”
Overall, BC firms held 10 of the 50 spots in the Fast 50 rankings, evidence of the rapid development and success of the west coast tech scene.
Interview tips from a FreshWorks developer see more
Author: Rachit Khare
My name is Rachit and I’m a developer at FreshWorks Studio working from our offices in Victoria, BC (we actually have three offices now - the others are in Vancouver and Seattle, so sometimes I’m there too). If you’ve never heard of us before, we’re software developers specializing in iOS and Android apps (follow us on Facebook and Twitter!). We’re constantly growing, and always in search of passionate developers to join our team, but sometimes some really amazing people come in for a tech interview and don’t really know what to expect. Since I’ll be the one testing your technical know-how from a developer perspective, I thought I’d share what we’re looking for in candidates, so that when you get the call, you’ll already have an idea about how to wow us. Ready to learn the inside secrets to how we‘re making a kick-ass team with some of the best and brightest in the business? Here’s where it starts:
The FreshWorks Hiring Process
Like most companies that want to make sure they’re hiring the right people for the job, FreshWorks has 4 hiring rounds: a pre-screening call, a technical interview, a take home selection test and then a final interview with our HR Manager and one (if not both) of the founders. We take the time to really get to know those who interview with us, and we really try to make sure a potential new member is introduced to a few team members during the interview process because we want you to be as excited about us as we are about you, and we want to make sure both parties feel the fit is right before any contracts get drawn up.
I personally tend to jump in at the technical interview stage to provide feedback and decide if you’re ready to be sent a technical project for a web application.
And since you need to impress me in order to show off your skills on a technical project, I thought I’d share how I, a developer, approach tech interviews along with some tips on how you can really shine during the process:
1. Show That You’re Ready to Become Part of a Team
We’ll be spending a lot of time together on some really cool projects, so I always ask myself this question during the interview: are you someone I can work with?
Collaboration is key at FreshWorks, and that starts right in the tech interview. Don’t turn our time together into a Q&A! Rather, ask for clarity on questions, follow up and expand on ideas, and get engaged. Think of the interview as a conversation with lots of back and forth.
Also, show you are malleable and humble. There may come a time when you and your interviewer might disagree (sometimes passionately) on a topic. Different perspectives are always encouraged (in the end, seeing things from different angles end up helping us solve problems and find innovative solutions), but keep an open mind that humility is a core value at FreshWorks.
If you are a technical candidate, don’t forget to put a link to a sample repository on GitHub/Bitbucket on your resume. I will get a copy and I will look for this! I’ll work to validate what you’ve written in the interview and I prefer to do as much pre-research on you as you’ve done on us. It will give me a good idea of where to start and what questions to ask, and you’ll know coming in that your sample repository will be part of the conversation, which will take some pressure off of wondering where the interview will go and what might be covered.
Another core value at FreshWorks is excellence. Whatever you give us, whether it’s a resume or a project, make it easy for us to absorb. If your resume is targeted more towards the pre-screening with HR (as it should be) your Github repo is the chance to make an impression on your tech interviewer. Clear instructions in the README.md and comments on your code will go a long way. In fact, if you just do those 2 things, I’m personally 70% of the way there to recommending you to the next round. Now, how easy was that?
2. Know What Your Role Entails
I’m typically involved in hiring Junior and Intermediate developers. If you come across 2 job postings, one for each of those positions for full stack development, and don’t know where you quite fit in, keep in mind this is what I end up looking for:
I look for enthusiasm in junior programmers. Show me you’re inquisitive. If I bring up a technology you haven’t heard of before, ask me about it. I’d love to tell you more. We’re passionate about tech at FreshWorks and we’re specifically looking for people who are excited about technology and ready to ask questions (and collaborate!) as they learn and grow.
When it comes to intermediate developers I’m looking for both breadth and depth of knowledge. At the intermediate level, I’m looking for you to know your stuff across the software development cycle. I may not be expecting you to know specific technologies or stacks but I will expect you to know which realm they’re in. For example: If you don’t know much about docker, you should at least know about virtual machines. You don’t need to know anything about Laravel and Eloquent but you need to know what an MVC framework or an Object Relational Mapper (ORM) is and you should have used one before. On the front-end side of things, if you haven’t worked with one of React/Angular/VueJS, get ready for an uphill battle.
3. Know How to Answer Questions
Interviews can be stressful, and sometimes interviewees try to hurry through, or don’t take the time to expand on their knowledge to give me insight into how they think or what they know.
I learned something valuable from our HR manager that I think interviewees can really benefit from when stepping into any interview: always answer questions using the STAR approach. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. For example, if I ask if you have developed a full MVC application before, you could answer with a simple “Yes”. But a better answer might be: “Yes, I built a blog app using a MEANstack”.
If you really want to impress me, try for a STAR answer:
“Yes. When I was applying for jobs and writing my resume, I took the time out to make a sample project to showcase my abilities and stand out from the competition. I chose a blogging application which captures the basics of what I wanted to demonstrate like CRUD operations, authentication, and authorization. I used a LAMP stack and deployed it on AWS. My MVC Framework was Laravel with VueJS and Bootstrap 4 on the front-end. I began by defining the data model with associations and then incrementally built up the Controllers and Views as I went along. The project includes RESTful API’s along with Unit Tests using PHP Unit. You can view it on Github — the link is there in my resume.”
Now that’s an answer we can have a real conversation about! What I like about this is that it takes care of some of the other questions I would have asked such as “Have you worked with AWS before?” but more importantly now it’s a chance to dig deeper into your experience. A range of opportunities has presented itself for us to carry on from this point. I can talk about unit testing, or thoughts on VueJS. If I were to look at your repo right now I might have an idea of where I’m most likely to find bugs, and so much more.
It may take a bit more time and preparation, but get ready to answer questions in depth, with examples, so we can really dig into your knowledge sets. It will make things much more interesting for both of us.
4. Be Ready to Also Ask Questions. Lots of them.
I always give time at the end for an interviewee to ask me any questions they may have. This is your opportunity to make an impression; and if the interview went badly, to salvage things. But don’t feel you have to hold all of your questions until the end - also feel comfortable enough to ask questions along the way. For me, the best questions are those that are beneficial to the both of us. They also don’t have to be strictly technical in nature. I’ve had many people ask me about “how is it like working there?” or “what do you love most about working at FreshWorks?” These are good questions and I’ll answer them enthusiastically.
I love working at FreshWorks, and I want to continue to grow a team that’s as passionate about putting out the best work in the industry – and that starts with open communication and a readiness to grow and collaborate together in a supportive, fun environment. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you know absolutely everything about every program under the sun, I’ll be assessing if you have what it takes to be a part of our team – and if you’re excited about what we do.
In summary, if you’re reading this as a first step in prepping for your interview, don’t forget to:
Treat our meeting like a conversation,
Understand the role you’re applying for and approach our conversation accordingly,
Use questions as an opportunity to tell stories about your past work, and
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions yourself.
Good luck, and I’ll see you soon!
Plurilock announces new defence contracts see more
VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA - November 7th, 2019 - Plurilock this week announced that it has been awarded new contracts by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Canadian Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF).
DHS CONTRACT TO ADVANCE MACHINE-TO-MACHINE AUTHENTICATION, ANOMALY DETECTION
The DHS contract, signed earlier this month, tasks Plurilock with continued development and delivery of machine-to-machine (M2M) anomaly detection technologies to enable future Internet of Things (IoT) authentication in certain federal networks.
The contract is funded through the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) and represents the next phase in an ongoing collaboration between Plurilock and DHS in a program in which Plurilock is one of only three non-U.S. companies, and the only Canadian company, represented.
“Our behavioral, anomaly detection, and AI capabilities,” says Plurilock CEO Ian Paterson, “give us a head start in developing machine-to-machine authentication tools. We think this technology will become more and more critical as the ‘internet of things’ era matures, so we’re excited to continue to collaborate with the Silicon Valley Innovation Program. Obviously, DHS and SVIP are world-class partners to work with.”
DND CONTRACT TO ENHANCE APT DETECTION AND RESPONSE
Plurilock’s new Canadian Department of National Defence contract, signed in July, tasks the company to advance the state-of-the art, real-time cyberattack detection and advanced persistent threat (APT) prevention.
Under the contract, Plurilock will leverage its technology and expertise in anomaly detection and machine learning to improve the detection of ongoing cyber-attacks as well as the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of Canadian federal agency responses to them. DND selected Plurilock in response to an Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program call for proposals.
The project commenced at award time and will run through late 2019, with further stages to potentially follow once DND/CAF confirms a successful collaboration.
“It’s hard to overstate the need for real-time threat detection and response in today’s critical systems,” says Paterson. “Plurilock will significantly enhance this capability, and we’re excited to be able to demonstrate our leadership across multiple kinds of security-driven anomaly detection in our work for DND and IDEaS.”
ADAPT DRIVES STRONG REVENUE GROWTH
Plurilock’s federal contract wins come during a period of record revenue growth for the company following February’s launch of Plurilock ADAPT, a next-generation multi-factor authentication solution. ADAPT enables risk-based login security using a combination of behavioral-biometric and contextual identity signals, and is unique in its ability to significantly increase the security of login workflows while remaining entirely invisible to users.
“Breach rates continue to climb and frankly, the market is really hungry,” says Paterson. “Companies are frantically looking for a way to deploy MFA without harming delicately balanced user experiences or bottom lines, which is what we offer with ADAPT. It’s amazing to see such rapid uptake just as we ink new deals with federal agencies. It’s an exciting time at Plurilock.”
Plurilock is the leader in advanced and continuous authentication for standards and regulatory compliance. Plurilock’s software leverages state-of-the-art behavioral-biometric, environmental, and contextual technologies to provide invisible, adaptive, and risk-based MFA solutions with the lowest possible cost and complexity. Plurilock enables organizations to compute safely—and with peace of mind.
For more information, visit https://www.plurilock.com.
SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions. SVIP reaches out to innovation communities across the globe to harness commercial research and development for government applications, co-invest in, and accelerate the transition of technology to the commercial market. Companies participating in SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 of non-dilutive funding to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.
For more information on current and future SVIP solicitations, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/svip or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program fosters open innovation to provide creative thinkers with the structure and support to encourage solutions which will assist in solving some of Canada’s toughest defense and security challenges. The IDEaS program is broken into several components, designed to advance defense technologies in Canada. Innovations are eligible for funding up to $200,000 during Component 1a and up to $1,000,000 during Component 1b. Innovations that are promising for Canada can receive non-IDEaS Program funding up to $20M to continue development up to Solution Readiness Level 9.
AML Oceanographic posted an articleLocal ocean tech company to equip one of the most modern research vessels in the world see more
Local ocean tech company AML Oceanographic is pleased to announce that a Moving Vessel Profiler is being installed on one of the most modern research vessels in the world, the Swedish vessel “RV Svea.” The newbuild Swedish vessel, owned by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), will be used by the university and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) for a wide variety of environmental surveys, from monitoring ocean acidification to assessing fish stock.
By including a Moving Vessel Profiler (MVP) on their new vessel, the scientists expect to gain a clearer understanding of the oceanographic dynamics encountered in the Baltic Sea, such as strong halocline layers and anoxic waters. Furthermore, the high data density that MVP can provide will improve the data quality from the many hydroacoustic measurements conducted on RV Svea and make SMHI’s oceanographic models substantially more accurate. The MVP200 will collect CTD, Dissolved Oxygen, Chlorophyll A data continuously and in real-time while the vessel travels at 10-11 knots.
“Until now we have only been collecting profile data from the water column by conducting traditional CTD casts where you need to stop the vessel to make a cast. Ship time is very expensive, and the vessels are often on a tight schedule. On top of that, the staff is already busy and doesn’t have a lot of time for extra work. So it is not easy to collect several extra CTD-profiles during a cruise. However, with a MVP200 we expect to be able to significantly increase the number of profiles without adding cruise time or extra work,” explained Daniel Bergman Sjostrand, Oceanographic Engineer at SMHI.
AML Oceanographic provides ocean sensing solutions for hydrographic, environmental, and research applications. Headquartered in Sidney, BC, the company has clocked an average annual growth of 20% over the past 8 years and added footholds in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Aberdeen in the UK. Due to strong demand for MVP, AML has expanded their Nova Scotia operations and relocated to a new customised production facility to accommodate a higher volume of builds. Learn more about AML at https://amloceanographic.com.