2014 VIATeC Technology Awards Winners Announced

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Tectoria, BC – June 20, 2014 – Tonight 13 winners of the coveted VIATeC Technology Awards were revealed in front of a record-breaking crowd at the Victoria Conference Centre (see photos here).

The sold out, 756 attendee number wasn’t the only record broken at the VIATeC Technology Awards, a gala event known across the province for its recognition of innovation and excellence in Victoria’s advanced technology sector. This year a record number of 100 nominations were made to the VIATeC Technology Awards.

“We’re thrilled to see the technology awards move from strength to strength,” says Dan Gunn, Executive Director of VIATeC. “This is the 13th anniversary of the awards, and interest remains very high – not only in nominating the innovative individuals and companies who make our sector strong, but in attending the awards to connect with the movers, shakers, doers and makers in Victoria’s imagination economy.”

The awards celebrate the achievements of technology companies responsible for making Greater Victoria the fastest growing technology region in British Columbia. The awards provide well-deserved recognition for some of Victoria’s most innovative firms and a great opportunity for the local technology community to gather and celebrate each other’s successes.

Known for innovation in the crowded pantheon of business award galas, the VIATeC Technology Awards ceremony is noted for actually entertaining the 700 plus technology community members, investors, government decision-makers, academics and media who attend.

2014 VIATeC Technology Awards Winners

The winners of the 2014 VIATeC Technology Awards are:

Technology Company of the Year: CAMACC Systems

Emerging Technology Company of the Year: Red Brick Media

Recognizes a Greater Victoria company that has the greatest potential to demonstrate excellence in innovation and a commitment to the technology community while embracing sound business fundamentals. This category is reserved for operations that have been established for less than three years.

Executive of the Year: Tammara Kennelly – FriesenPress

Recognizes an individual who has had a significant impact on the success of an organisation as a direct result of their leadership. For this award, executives are considered to be those that hold typically senior titles.

Innovative Excellence: AML Oceanographic

Recognizes a company that has researched and designed an innovative service, process or product that is expected to revolutionize a sector, method of business or way of life.

Strategy of the Year: PlusROI Online Marketing

Recognizes the best strategy implemented by or for a Greater Victoria organization. Nominated companies are required to provide a letter of support clearly explaining their strategy and milestones. The judges will consider impact and results achieved from the underlying strategy.

Product of the Year: Go2mobi

Recognizes a company that has achieved success in the commercialization of an innovative technology product (e.g market acceptance and sales).

Team of the Year: Tutela Technologies

Recognizes a team in the technology sector who demonstrates outstanding initiative and service delivery, and has had a significant impact on the company for which they work.

Employer of the Year: KANO/APPS

Recognizes a company that has demonstrated its commitment to staff and provides a pleasant workplace. Finalists will be chosen from a survey given to current staff. Nominated companies will be required to provide staff email contact list.

Start-up of the Year: TinyMob Games

Recognizes a company less than 2 years old that demonstrates significant potential to generate revenue, raise investment, or to have significant social benefit. Five finalists will be chosen to provide a 45-second video pitch and the winner chosen by audience vote.

Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion

The Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion goes to Owen Matthews.

Member of the Year

The VIATeC Member of the Year is Limbic Media.

For Education Champion, two winners this year are:

  1. Danita Stewart – School District 62 Sooke
  2. Jake West – Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry

A HUGE thank you to our sponsors, who have made this event possible!

About VIATeC

The Victoria Advanced Technology Council (VIATeC) is the conduit that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow a successful technology sector in Greater Victoria.

The organization was founded in 1989 to promote and enhance the development of the local advanced technology industry. With only a handful of known technology companies, the ambitious mandate to facilitate the development of our region as a global centre of excellence for advanced technology was set.

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Tectorian of the Week

AXYS Technologies began in 1974 with a consulting contract with Environment Canada. They were asked to conduct a study on waves that eventually resulted in several marine technology devices. From there they never stopped and eventually AXYS was designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing sensors not only across Canada but also the world. Their sensors can be found on Canada’s  ‘Marine Weather Buoy Network’ as well as buoy networks in Italy, Columbia, Spain, Portugal, the United States and Brazil.

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HydroLevel Mini was developed to accurately measure water levels from a buoy.

Recently The Chronicle Herald, out of Nova Scotia, published a story that provides a real world example of AXYS Technologies sensors saving lives and providing real economic benefits to Eastern Canada. The ‘SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy’ project was completed using AXYS sensors designed to tell, among other things, if a storm is approaching. For harbour pilots, who themselves assist other ships in dangerous and congested waters, it can literally be a lifesaver. One safety concern in particular, harbour pilots getting on and off ships via rope ladder, should get much less dangerous. There are about 3,000 such transfers per year which typically result in at least one fatality per season. This project has been a 10 year undertaking, involves a network of buoys, associated AXYS sensors, a website and of course the many dedicated professionals in the Nova Scotia marine industry. The project is projected to save taxpayers $2.6M per year due to less ocean related accidents and fatalities.

Arctic Lake Monitoring System deployed in Noell Lake to collect data year-round.

Arctic Lake Monitoring System deployed in Noell Lake to collect data year-round.

AXYS also just finished filling an order for an Oceanographic Ocean Institute in Ecuador. News like this, after 40 years in business, is actually starting to become common place. They continue to push, developing new products, markets and revenue streams. Many people outside of VIATeC wouldn’t even know this company, based out of Sidney, even exists. Yet there they are, day after day, quietly getting things done on a world stage. They continue to successfully compete head to head with some of the biggest companies in the world while being an inspiration to all of us here at home. AXYS – our hats are off to you and your entire team.

SXSW – Tectoria House is a GO!

SXSWWe’ve done it again. We’ve found accommodation that will house lots of Tectorians at SXSW. Last year three local tech firms joined us and we hope you’re among them this year. We assume that you know what SXSW is, but if you don’t, check it out HERE. Tectoria House is less than 3 miles from downtown and we will have a rental car to shuttle people daily. We have something for just about every budget – from King beds to sleeping bags on the floor. So if you are ready to head to the tech/film/music event of the year to take in keynotes, network your face off or spread the word about what you’re working on, send Robbie a note and book your spot: raylesworth@viatec.ca

Check out the accommodations here.

Where Do We Go From Here

CollageIt’s been almost two years since VIATeC moved closer to downtown. The move has been great and allowed us to further our mission to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector. Having a location closer to the core increased accessibility and exposure for our membership, Accelerator clients and those who attend our many events. The move also allowed for the creation of a more open concept which helps us foster a collaborative environment for people to work and connect. As great as our time in the Scott Building has been, VIATeC has its eye on the future. The present lease agreement runs out in one year, and now is the time to start thinking about where we want to be next.

A location right in the downtown core has a lot of appeal and is something our membership has told us is a priority. The tech industry is the backbone of our economy and we want VIATeC to be at the heart of the city – bringing further exposure to our events, membership and Accelerator clients. We’ve learned that even by moving to the north end of the downtown core, our presence and top of mind awareness has increased considerably and we expect a location in the heart of the action will compound this benefit even further.

We have visited a lot of tech spaces over the years and we have a vision to offer a space that offers a great gathering place for innovators and entrepreneurs. A place where people can drop in and use meeting or event spaces, a place where you can get a cup of coffee or maybe even a glass of beer and set up for a day working in a space surrounded by other like-minded individuals. We have seen great benefits by offering affordable and flexible space to early stage tech companies and we would like to continue and expand this offering.

While building on what has been good about being in our current location, a new location would also provide the chance to address any deficiencies that have become apparent. Ground floor access and street front signage would improve our visibility within the city. A larger, permanent event space would enable more gatherings promoting the work being done by member businesses.

This is a very exciting time to be a part of the VIATeC community. We have the chance to grow and create a permanent place to call our own. A place to connect with each other and to the rest of the world. There are important decisions to be made. The board and VIATeC management are focused on making the best choice for our future and everything from long term leases to a building purchase is on the table.

We’ll share more details as soon as we have them.

B-Side – For Those in the Know

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We are excited to announce a new marketing effort designed to continue to raise awareness of the local tech sector. Starting today, every concert ticket distributed by Atomique Productions will feature an ad promoting Tectoria and a new web site that will be launched next week.

The campaign, we are calling The B-Side of the Ticket, will run for the next two years and aims to get every concert goer in the city to learn more about Tectoria and the amazing Imagination Economy we all benefit from. B-Side will have its finger on the pulse of Victoria events and venues that are creative, original and inspiring – and perhaps a little hard to find. We will also feature contests for tickets to upcoming shows as a way to keep people coming back to learn more about the cooler things around town and how technology is shaping our community.

The idea comes from the days when vinyl (with two distinct physical sides) – featured record company favourites on the A-side and ‘filler’ on the B-side. Filler like: I Am The Walrus, Ruby Tuesday, Unchained Melody, Maggie May, Born on the Bayou, Hey Hey What Can I Do & many others.

The B-Side, as you can see, was a place that true fans learned to pay attention to. The parallel, as we see it, is simple. The old vinyl B-Side, like the Victoria tech sector, represents something not everyone is aware of. We recognize the B-Side for what it is: a place for creatives, innovators, leaders & those that can produce original & inspiring work.

Those in the know always check the B-Side. Stay tuned for next week’s big launch.

Food Bank Challenge Winners

While every company involved deserves a solid pat on the back, special congratulations go out to the five companies that made the 2013 Food Bank Challenge Podium. As previously mentioned, the names we announced as the winners last Friday night were, shall we say, less than correct. For this we truly apologize.

Now, we present to you THE REAL WINNERS of the

2013 VIATeC Food Bank Challenge:

Greatest Overall Contributor

1) Schneider Electric

2) Helm Operations

3) Seeker Solutions

Greatest per Employee Contributor

1) Quimper Consulting

2) Smart Dolphins

3) Helm Operations

Their creativity and dedication have truly made a difference in the lives of their Victoria neighbours, and they’ve once again proven how vital the tech sector is to our city.  Well done folks, well done!

A Look Back at Discover Tectoria

Discover Tectoria

We were aiming for a big crowd but were blown away by the 4,500 people that came through the doors at Discover Tectoria 2013. The event was a massive success no matter which way you measure it, and it’s a testament to the profile the sector now enjoys and how fascinating the services and products created here really are.

With so much to do and see, chances are you weren’t able to see everything Discover Tectoria 2013 had to offer. So here are some of the top recaps of what turned out to be an iconic day in Tectoria history……

Official Recap by UberVideo

Discover Tectoria Recap Video

A selection of photos from the event:

Discover Tectoria Photo Album

Prefer a written recap? No problem, among many others, both TechVibes and the Times Colonist published articles about the event.

Thanks again to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, organizers, and volunteers. You’ve set a very high standard for Discover Tectoria 2015.