Tectorian of the Week: BC Open Textbook Project


BC Open Textbook Project’s Clint Lalonde

Our Tectorian of the Week is the Tectoria-based BC Open Textbook Project.

The BC Open Textbook Project champions practical innovations in learning such as open-source textbooks, which reduce the cost of postsecondary education. Improving affordability makes education more accessible for everyone. More highly-educated people means more folks to fill the jobs being pumped out by the booming advanced technology industry.

Victoria is the hub of a massive BC initiative that has received relatively little press until BCcampus director Mary Burgess was recently interviewed by CBC’s Michael Enright on Canada’s most popular radio program.

Enright, who has two sons in university, has remarked how astoundingly expensive university textbooks are. Compounding the problem, frequent updates to information and citations mean textbooks are revised and reissued from year to year, making it difficult to recycle them.

And expensive textbooks can be a major barrier to education for cash-strapped students.

So Enright was happy to learn the project has developed 40 openly-licensed textbooks that are available to everyone – the textbooks will be free of charge to students (check out the OpenEd website to see what textbooks are available so far).

As the BC Open Textbook project’s Clint Lalonde notes on his personal blog (and this is a man who still keeps an actual web log of his daily activities):

Spent a morning doing some research on cost of textbooks for students taking introductory mining courses at various institutions in BC – suggested retail price:$108.55 for one of 9 first term courses in this mining program. Add in the $212 Chem book you need in this course and the $165.80 Math book for this one, and your first term costs for textbooks is already close to $500…for 1/3 of the 9 courses you need for your first term…of a four term program. You only have 33 more courses to buy books for (I didn’t go any further).

The solution? Open-source textbooks.

Other key players in the Victoria-based, provincially funded project include Amanda Coolidge and Laurie Aesoph, who both work directly with faculty managing the development side of textbook production.

Brad Payne, the team’s technical analyst, has done some absolutely incredible work on the project including a lot of custom development on Pressbooks and APIs to feed several different applications into what appears as our open textbook site in a seamless way.

Making sure students have access to textbooks is a big deal, since textbooks in college and university typically cost students thousands of dollars.

And by improving access to postsecondary education in BC, Clint and the BCcampus team are helping make sure there will be skilled workers available to fill all of the technology jobs created by Tectoria’s rapidly growing sector.


Tectorian of the Week: Ho Kim


Ho Kim, President and CEO of local tech company CAMACC and volunteer chair of VIATeC’s board of directors, has been named Ernst and Young’s 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year in the Information Technology category for Canada’s Pacific region.

Receiving the award is something to celebrate indeed.

The EY Entrepreneur of the Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.

Ho’s award was announced at a gala ceremony in Vancouver on September 30. Other contenders for the award included Stephane Bourque of Vancouver’s Incognito Software and Jack Newton of Burnaby’s Themis Solutions.

The top award of the night went to the chief executive of Langley’s Leavitt Machinery, Thomas Leavitt, who was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

What Makes Ho Kim and CAMACC So Successful?

What is the secret of Ho’s success?

A lifelong athlete, Ho brings the same dedication that brought him success in basketball, volleyball and other sports to building a successful technology company from the ground up.

Ho believes that creating results on any level comes from developing a culture that motivates and empowers each of its members to succeed.

“At CAMACC we hire for attitude, and train for position,” says Ho.

Ho’s family moved to Victoria when he was a toddler. Four decades later Ho is still here, acting as a Tectoria ambassador to the world.

At CAMACC we hire for attitude, and train for position

Ho says he loves Victoria for the lifestyle and the spectacular natural environment – the same things have attracted tech entrepreneurs and business talent from around the world to make Victoria one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech hubs.

“I can’t think of a better place to operate a technology business,” says Ho.

CAMACC Part of an Elite Class of Companies Transforming Canada’s Economy

Under Ho’s leadership, CAMACC itself is playing a leading role in Canada’s rapidly evolving community of tech companies.

For example, like many other leading technology companies in Canada CAMACC has cultivated a truly international presence. While providing strategic vision and executive direction from Victoria, Ho regularly travels to satellite offices across North America and to CAMACC’s software engineering lab in China.

Just like CAMACC, other EY finalists operate globally and often consistently generate higher revenues from year to year.

EY found that Canada’s 2013 program finalists recorded average revenue growth of 37% year over year in 2012. That’s above the global average of 29% for developed countries. Seventy-four percent operate internationally, compared to 41% of businesses in Australia, a country similar in size to Canada.

A Year of Successes for Ho Kim and CAMACC

CAMACC is indeed recording growing revenues – earlier in September CAMACC was once again included in the VIATeC 25, the annual list of the largest technology companies headquartered or founded in Greater Victoria based on reported calendar revenues.

It’s been a great year so far for CAMACC. Under Ho’s leadership CAMACC won the 2014 VIATeC Technology Company of the Year Award (Ho was also a Finalist for the 2014 VIATeC Executive of the Year).

Congratulations to Ho Kim and his team in Tectoria. We’re looking forward to seeing where CAMACC goes next.

VIATeC 25 Companies Announced

VIATeC 25 2014

VIATeC has revealed the latest “VIATeC 25.” The VIATeC 25 is an annual list of the largest technology companies headquartered or founded in Greater Victoria, based on reported calendar revenues.

The Latest VIATeC 25 Companies…

This is the latest list of the largest technology companies headquartered or founded in Greater Victoria based on reported 2013 calendar revenues.

(in alphabetical order)

Access Point Information Canada Ltd.
Archipelago Marine Research
AXYS Technologies Inc
Boardwalk Communications
CAMACC Systems
Carmanah Technologies
Contech Enterprises, Inc
FTS Forest Technology Systems
HP Advanced Solutions
Latitude Geographics
Quester Tangent
Reliable Controls
Schneider Electric
Scott Plastics
Seastar Chemicals
TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies Inc.
UNIT4 Business Software
Vecima Networks
Viking Air Limited

Use the VIATeC Business Directory to quickly learn more about these companies.

2014 VIATeC 25: $1.16 Billion Combined Revenues

  • The combined revenues of the VIATeC 25 (the Victoria tech sector’s 25 biggest firms, according to revenues, that are founded or headquartered in Victoria) has reached $1.16 billion.
  • This is 20% growth in combined revenues based on 2013 reported revenues.
  • VIATeC 25 companies collectively employee 3,630 employees.
  • On average, a VIATeC 25 company generates $46.3 million annual revenues.
  • The median revenue generated by a VIATeC 25 company is $17.5 million.
Learn more about the economic impact of Victoria’s tech sector here.

Tectorian of the Week: Greater Victoria’s Tech Sector


Our Tectorian of the Week is Greater Victoria’s tech sector.


To mark the launch of Fort Tectoria this week, we decided to crunch some numbers (actually, we went out and spent time surveying local companies and then commissioned an independent professional researcher to collect and analyze the data using a rigorous methodology) about the size and scope of Greater Victoria’s tech sector.

Well, the numbers are in, and we’re astounded by the results:

$3.15 billion in annual revenues

That’s right: 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.

Another astounding number:

$4 billion total economic impact

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

Another astounding number:

$1.16 billion VIATeC 25 combined revenues

The combined revenues of the VIATeC 25 (the Victoria tech sector’s 25 biggest firms, according to revenues, that are founded or headquartered in Victoria) has reached $1.16 billion over the past year.

That’s 20 per cent growth in combined reported revenues to since this time last year!

The latest VIATeC 25 companies are listed here.

What a way to launch Fort Tectoria! And it’s all thanks to the Tectorians like you who power our ever-expanding tech sector.

Ten years of explosive growth for Victoria’s tech sector

VIATeC has been commissioning economic impact studies for the past 10 years, and since 2004 it is apparent growth in the tech sector is continuing to accelerate.

annual revenues greater victoria tech sector viatec

In 2004, VIATeC, with the help of an independent researcher and analyst, estimated tech sector revenues to be about $1 billion.

Five years later, a 2009 economic study that VIATeC commissioned estimated the sector’s revenues had grown to $1.95 billion.

And now in 2014, we estimate the tech sector annual revenues have grown to $3.15 billion.

Estimated economic impact has grown explosively as well.

In 2009, the estimated economic impact of the tech sector was $2.6 billion. And now in 2014, the estimated economic impact has grown to a staggering $4.03 billion.

We want to point out that these are conservative estimates: we’re always wary of statisticians using multipliers to determine economic impact.

Depending on which methodology one uses, the economic impact numbers could be higher.

Greater Victoria tech sector continues to produce jobs

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, and another 5,000 individuals working in technology for companies outside the high-tech sphere.

23,000 local tech professionals

That’s 23,000 people working in the tech sector, making Victoria one of Canada’s more fun and vibrant places to launch a career or a new business.

And that’s why you all are our Tectorian of the Week!

Greater Victoria’s growing tech sector: the latest statistics (as of 2014)

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

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

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

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

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

Explainer: 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.

Tectorian of the Week: Marc Stoiber

What makes Insight, Design, Sustainability, Innovation, and Sociability so critical, and why should your brand harness these key guiding principles?

According to Tectoria’s own Marc Stoiber, these questions form the five pillars esssential for “future proofing” brands keen on seizing the future.

Marc’s book on future-proofing brands is due to launch this fall. To start things off, Marc is going to help us launch Fort Tectoria by speaking at Experience Tectoria next week:


A familiar face at Royal Roads University, Marc writes on brand innovation for Huffington Post, Fast Company, GreenBiz and Sustainable Life Media. He also speaks on the subject from coast to coast, and has been featured at TED.

His work on Mr. Clean earned his team the Procter & Gamble Worldwide Turnaround of the Year Award in 2005.

A Royal Roads instructor, Marc consults for clients including British Columbia Government health care and BC Hydro. Before embarking on consulting, he was vice-president of green innovation at Maddock Douglas, founder of Change Advertising, National creative director of Grey Canada and creative director of DDB Canada.

These days, Marc Stoiber works with our friend Jude Brown as a creative strategist, entrepreneur, green brand specialist and writer, building resilient, future-proof brands.

“I don’t deal with accomplished creative directors of national agencies on a daily basis,” says Jude Brown. “The best thing about Marc is he likes to share. He has a wealth of experience in marketing and business, connections all over the place and sound advice – he hands them all over freely.”

This is important, because Marc advocates building a “global expert network.”

According to Marc, a global expert network is, as the name implies, a network of smart, specialized idea people you can call upon to guide your thinking. In Marc’s case, his global expert network is at the C-suite level, generally entrepreneurial, with strong brand experience.

In short, Marc helps people all over the world forge a more enlightened path forward and helps them guarantee the continued viability of their business.

And he does it all from right here in Tectoria.

We’re so excited to hear him speak next week!




Tectorian of the Week: Nikki Lineham


Nikki Lineham is our Tectorian of the Week.

If you want a job in Tectoria (or any other city where technology powers the economy), science and math education (aka STEM education) is critical to your future success.

The problem? STEM enrolment in universities and college is declining (on top of that fewer women are taking STEM coursework in university), which is contributing to a looming skills shortage in Canada.

Accelerate Tectoria participant Nikki Lineham has a plan to change that.


Nikki’s startup Educating Now aims to transform math education (Nikki will be presenting at the upcoming Demo Camp):


“Educational and brain-based research have both consistently reported that teaching mathematics concretely and conceptually is the best way to ensure students really understand the math concepts,” says Nikki. “However, this way of teaching math is completely foreign to many teachers, as they have never been educated in how to understand mathematics conceptually.”

Her goal is to help middle school and intermediate teachers learn how to teach math more effectively – if middle school students do poorly at math, they will likely never be able to progress to STEM programs in college and university, and our brain drain will never be addressed.

“She’s super passionate about children really understanding math,” says Accelerate Tectoria’s Erin Athene. “Her passion and ability to communicate is really inspiring. Nikki’s gift is to empower intermediate and middle school teachers through professional development to teach mandated new curriculum.”

Nikki will be presenting at Demo Camp at Experience Tectoria – we hope you have a chance to learn more about her startup!


Tectorian of the Week: Greg Gunn

gregg gunn

Hootsuite’s VP of Beards & Business Development Greg Gunn is our Tectorian of the Week.

Why Greg Gunn, and why now?

For one thing, Tectoria veteran Gregg Gunn will be returning home to speak at our brand-new space on Fort Street at the upcoming Experience Tectoria extravaganza on September 11th, 12th and 13th:

The topic of Greg’s speech? “Finding The Next Whale.” Greg will be discussing how Hootsuite is searching for “the next Hootsuite” from within the very walls of their Mount Pleasant offices over in Vancouver.

And what a whale it is: Hootsuite has been speculated to have a value of anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion following its record-breaking $165 millon Series B funding round last year. The company is also looking to fill 100 positions by the end of this year at its new 27,000 sq ft HQ2, an awe-inspiring building located in Mount Pleasant in East Van.

While just a ferry ride away, Hootsuite is a long way from Greg’s beginnings working with early stage, high-growth companies at Vancouver Island Tech Park in Saanich.

A passion for people, technology and data

Now “Chief Harpoonist” and VP of Business Development, Greg Gunn launched the sales team that has made Hootsuite the key tool that major enterprise-level companies such as Coca-Cola, H&M, Tifffany & Co., IBM and more use to manage and measure social media engagement.

It’s all part of what Greg calls his passion: people, technology and data.

“Greg is an energetic and talented leader,” says Anthony Sukow. “He has a great business mind and a pragmatic approach to making money.”

Sukow is well-known in Victoria as one of the founders of Terapeak, like Hootsuite, itself another indispensable software tool used by millions of people all over the world. And Greg Gunn was one of the first employees

“Greg worked with us on developing our business relationships with eBay, growing key enterprise customers, and working on high value projects, services and initiatives,” says Sukow. “We hired Greg right out of UVic and he stuck with us in the early days.”

Today Terapeak has moved to the foot of Fort Street (with offices in the Bay area and Toronto) is the leader in ecommerce market analytics, helping online merchants grow their business and become more profitable.

There’s a bit of Greg Gunn in TeamPages, another technology story that got its start in Tectoria.

And along they way Greg has travelled far himself. He worked for Idea Builders, a Nigerian based NGO focused on poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship and agriculture.

During his time in Nigeria, the UVic Commerce grad forged local and international partnerships to expand programs including micro-credit programs, primary agriculture education, and an award winning “Women Mentoring Women” program.

Coming back to Tectoria

And now Greg Gunn returns to his roots in Tectoria. We’re happy Greg will join us to celebrate the launch of our beautiful new HQ at 777 Fort Street in mid-September.

We hope you come out to welcome Greg back, too!