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.

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B-Side – For Those in the Know

b-side-header

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.

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.

Discover Tectoria 2013 – Your Insider’s Guide

Discover Tectoria

Ladies and Gentlemen: Start your Engines…… and robots, and video games, and smoke shows, and………. Oh man this is gonna be epic.

Pay attention and we’ll give you a heads up, an insider’s scoop, if you will, on what to expect, when to be where, what not to miss, and how to win some PRIZES!

Where is this event anyway?

Discover Tectoria is happening at The Crystal Gardens at 713 Douglas St.

What do I need to bring?

We’re raising money for the VIATeC Food Bank Challenge in support of Victoria’s Mustard Seed, so this is how it works.  Everyone falls into one of the following categories.

  • You’re in the know, and you, therefore, downloaded a free ticket.  Great! Please bring your ticket, on paper or your phone, and one non-perishable food item with you.
  • Unfortunately, you missed the download, and don’t have a free ticket. Please bring two non perishable food items with you, then sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss the next one. http://eepurl.com/Jlq99
  • Unfortunately, you missed the download, don’t have a free ticket, and didn’t bring a food item or cash to donate. Come on people! #TechFansGiveCans. But yah, you’re probably still a good person, so we’ll let you in anyway.  Or, you could sing us a song? It’s just a suggestion.

Anyway, moving on:

When should I show up?

The event runs from 11am – 6pm, but if you’d like to be a wee bit more strategic, pay attention to the following:

  • The Keynote speeches by Bob McDonald and Ann Makosinski begin at 3:15pm. If you’ve registered for these speeches, you’ll want to arrive a few hours before that to ensure you see all of the exhibitors as well.
  • Camosun College Presents Mr. Wizard Rocketsauce Show – 11:15am, 12:45pm, 2:00pm
  • Coding for Kids by Mozilla – 12:00pm, 1:15pm
  • If you don’t have tickets to the keynote speeches, I’d highly recommend heading to the event around 2:30pm. You know, ’cause the lines might be a little shorter.

What’s there to do besides the scheduled presentations above?

There’s absolutely nothing to do or see besides the above events.  ARE YOU CRAZY?? There’s so much to do and see:

  • More than 70 exhibitors
  • The Innovation Showcase (all the big, shiny, cool stuff that can’t fit in a booth)
  • Tectoria Video Game Lounge – 19 Victoria gaming companies set to blow your mind
  • and SO MUCH MORE – Check it all out here, if you actually need more motivation

Post, Tweet, Click, and Sign Up your way to Prizes

Here are the keys to walking away a winner:

  • Our social media accounts are going to be in full force, tweeting, posting, tagging, Instagramming and much more. For the latest, up to the second info, and to see what everyone at the event is talking about, log in often, and contribute to the #DiscoverTectoria conversation.  And please, please, please, take a ton of ridiculous, off the wall, insane pics to share with us.
  • To win any of the prizes, you must have signed up for the This Week in Tectoria Newsletter. 
  • Today is the launch of @Tectoriagram – our new Instagram account.  To celebrate, we’re giving away a prize for Best Tectoriagram photo at the event.  Don’t forget to mention us!
  • The hashtag for today’s event is #DiscoverTectoria and we’re giving away a prize for most creative tweet.  Don’t forget to mention us (@VIATeC) and include the hashtag!

Keynote Speakers:

Bob McDonald

Loved by audiences across Canada for making complex scientific issues understandable, meaningful, and fun, Bob McDonald is in high demand. A fixture in broadcasting for more than 30 years, he is currently the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, the award-winning science program that is heard by 500,000 people each week. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, and a member of the Order of Canada.

In addition to hosting Quirks & Quarks, McDonald is a regular reporter for CBC TV’s The National. As a writer, he has authored three science books, and contributed to numerous science textbooks, magazines, and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail. His latest book is Measuring the Earth with a Stick.

McDonald has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science within Canada. He is a recipient of the “Michael Smith Award” from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; the “Sir Sanford Fleming Medal” from the Royal Canadian Institute; and the “McNeil Medal” from The Royal Society of Canada. He also won a 2008 Gemini Award for “Best Host in a Pre-School, Children’s or Youth Program or Series.” He holds six honorary doctorates from Canadian universities.

Ann Makosinski

You may recognize Ann as the 15-year-old Victoria student who won top prize in Google’s annual global science fair this year. Makosinski, whose entry was chosen from among thousands to represent Canada at Google’s global fair in California, created what she dubbed ‘The Hollow Flashlight,’ to show how humans can be a source of thermal energy.

Just last week Ann was also chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 30 People Under 30 Changing the World. She’s only half way to 30 years old!

Ann will speak about her experience at Google’s science fair and how she first came up with the idea of making the flashlight. There will also be a Q&A period where members of the audience can ask Ann their questions.

Food, Glorious Food

A great event needs great food. We’ve got not one, not two, but three of Victoria’s most popular food trucks parking right out front of the Crystal Gardens.

Leave your lunch at home.

Are you coming to Discover Tectoria Today? What are you most excited for? Do you have any questions?

Post your comments, questions, and concerns below.

And if you’re at the event, swing by and visit us at the VIATeC table.

by Steve Hof

Want Some Tectorian Support?

I am Tectorian - Spartacus

Even Spartacus Needed a Little Help from his Friends

Searching for ways to have your story heard throughout the Tectoria community and beyond?

Having trouble making a dent on Twitter, Facebook, and other channels?

Your friends at VIATeC are here to help. We want to scream your story from the top of Mt. Finlayson, but we can’t do that until we hear the story ourselves.

So, how do you go about making this happen?

Help us Help You

Between this tectoria.wordpress blog, our This Week in Tectoria Newsletter, the VIATeC E-Bulletin, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Flickr, we have thousands upon thousands of people to tell your story to.  That doesn’t even include all of our offline channels.

So Send us your Stories Already

Keep in mind, however, that what may be a story to you, could sound like a sales pitch to someone else; and the quickest way to lose an audience is to continuously scream sales pitches at them.

So How do you Know if you Have a Story or Not?

We’re going to keep this very simple. Especially at first, just err on the side of sending us too much stuff.  We’ll wade through everything each week and determine what we feel will work the best.

Lets be clear about something though, by writing this post the way I have, I’m setting myself up for a great deal more work, haha.  Now that’s fine, and could actually be quite wonderful, as long as it serves a purpose.

While we’re here to ensure that all your great Tectoria stories are given the audience they deserve, behaving like the startup who cried wolf by repeatedly sending us SELL SELL SELL material, is a sure fire way to get your stories to the bottom of the pile.

A Few Key Points to Remember

  1. Starting this very second, send any stories / ideas to me, Steve Hof, at shof@viatec.ca
  2. For blog posts, the stories need to be especially compelling, or motivated by a clear intention to help the Tectoria cause.
  3. If you’re on Twitter, mention @VIATeC in a post and include the hashtag #I_AM_TECTORIAN
  4. If you’re on Facebook, post to the VIATeC wall so we know you’re there.
  5. Don’t want to do either of those things? Fine, be difficult. At the very least, however, send me an email listing the channels you’re on and the best ways we can support you.
  6. There’s no ‘h’ in Tectoria.  It’s the little things people.

Is there something I’ve missed? Do you have a mind blowing, or even slightly above average idea for helping us help you?

Post your ideas, questions, and concerns to the comments below.  Lets hash it out.

Okay Tectorians, the ball’s in your court.

I mean, even Rod Tidwell figured it out eventually.

Help me......... Help you.

Help me……… Help you.

by SteveSoon to be Very BusyHof

Growing the Food Bank, by Shrinking our….

Hopping in the Inner Harbour for Charity

Harbour Hop 2013 at Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria, B.C.

We came. We jumped. We lived. We raised money for the VIATeC Food Bank Challenge in support of Victoria’s Mustard Seed.

On Thursday November 28th at twelve noon, roughly one dozen brave souls, myself included, (I use the term ‘brave’ loosely for yours truly) met at the Contech Inc offices and walked down toward Fisherman’s Wharf.

With the Times Colonist and CTV News on hand, the audience of spectators counted down from five, and…… Well, to be perfectly honest, I have next to no recollection of the less than four seconds it took me to get in, and get the heck out.

Many of the veteran jumpers (Victoria Tech firms such as Contech, Starfish Medical, Vigil Health, Telus, and VIATeC to name a few) actually went in a second time just for kicks!

The long and short of it is that we were able to raise money for an extremely important cause.  With one full week to go, it’s not too late to sign up for the VIATeC Food Bank Challenge.  You won’t even have to hop in the harbour.  Well, at least not until next year.  And for those of you there this year, if you have any photos of the event you’d like to share, please shoot me an email so we can post it here and feel warm until next year.

A special thanks goes out to Contech Inc for once again organizing the event, and supplying the trembling jumpers with food and refreshments after the event.

by Steve Hof

steve@pikomarketing.com

Not your Average Room Full of People

Discover Tectoria 2013

Bob McDonald and Ann Makosinski Both Set to Speak.

You’re Welcome Victoria.

With Bob McDonald, host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks; Ann Makosinski, the 15yr old winner of Google’s Global Science Fair; and more than 70 other gifted presenters and exhibitors, Victoria’s Crystal Gardens promises to have the highest average IQ of any building in Victoria this December 13th for Discover Tectoria.

Loved by audiences across Canada for making complex scientific issues understandable, meaningful, and fun, Bob McDonald is in high demand. A fixture in broadcasting for more than 30 years, he is currently the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, the award-winning science program that is heard by 500,000 people each week. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, and a member of the Order of Canada.

In addition to hosting Quirks & Quarks, McDonald is a regular reporter for CBC TV’s The National. As a writer, he has authored three science books, and contributed to numerous science textbooks, magazines, and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail. His latest book is Measuring the Earth with a Stick.

McDonald has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science within Canada. He is a recipient of the “Michael Smith Award” from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; the “Sir Sanford Fleming Medal” from the Royal Canadian Institute; and the “McNeil Medal” from The Royal Society of Canada. He also won a 2008 Gemini Award for “Best Host in a Pre-School, Children’s or Youth Program or Series.” He holds six honorary doctorates from Canadian universities.

Ann Makosinski, of course, is the fifteen year old Saanich student who, motivated by her friend in the Phillipines who was failing school due to a lack of light to study with, invented a hollow flashlight powered by human thermal energy. Her invention and Google Science Fair Award have her in popular demand, with TEDx talks and many other coming opportunities. Yah, that’s the level of talent bursting out of Victoria right now.

For those of you living under a rock, Discover Tectoria is the preeminent Victoria tech showcase that happens but once every two years.  Besides the more than 70 presenters and exhibitors, the local Gaming Studio and Innovation Showcases have some some incredible hands on experiences to offer; think robots, simulators, and everything in between.  Just picture a room packed with geniuses giving you a sneak peek into both Victoria’s, and the world’s future.

by Steve Hof