The 16th annual Canadian Financing Forum took place last week in Vancouver and a former BCIC New Ventures competitor was recognized as the Best Presenting Company in the Cleantech and Advanced Technology category. Read more
2006 first-prize winner RFind Systems has been acquired by the Trapeze Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Constellation Software Inc. (TSX:CSU).
“We’re excited to have found a new home with Trapeze,” said Sharon Barnes, CEO of RFind. “Trapeze has an outstanding reputation for innovation and experience in passenger transport solutions. The combination of our product offering with the Trapeze enterprise makes this an all around win for our customers, our employees and the passenger transport industry.” The first major transit project RFind landed was initiated in Calgary in 2010 on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. RFind’s technology will enable Trapeze to expand their transit enterprise solution offering with real-time location systems for vehicles and moveable assets. Read more
2006 New Ventures BC competition Hydro Sustainability prize winner Energy Aware Technology is front cover news in the August edition of BC Business magazine. Energy Aware’s President and CEO Janice Cheam is profiled and interviewed in an article titled Is Small Business Bad for BC?.
Energy Aware was conceived as part of an entrepreneurship course at UBC, and Cheam admits that at first she never intended to turn it into a real company. Instead she applied for jobs at Vancouver’s biggest consulting firms upon graduating in 2006. But her early experiences with Energy Aware kept coming up in the interviews, and after a particularly in-depth three-hour session, she recalls, her interviewer pulled her aside and levelled with her. “When we did our one-on-one, he was like, ‘I don’t think what we can offer you is going to be on par with what you’ve already just experienced.’” It was a classic moment of self-discovery, and Cheam quickly called up her old classmates and convinced them to help build a real company.
In the well-written piece Cheam talks about Energy Aware’s early struggles which included two problems common to most new entrepreneurs: obscurity and lack of funds. Be sure to have a read.
This week the BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) announced the finalists for the 2010 Technology Impact Awards (TIAs) and a past New Ventures BC competitor is among them.
2006 second place prize winner Terraprobe Geoscience is one of three finalists in the Most Promising Pre‐Commercial Technology category and is up against Icron Technologies Corporation and Whitenoise Laboratories (Canada) Inc.
Under the awards theme of ‘BC’s Mark on the World’, the 2010 finalists reaffirm British Columbia’s status as a global leader in technology areas such as wireless and RF technologies, clean energy technologies and innovative software solutions.
RFind tags big clients around the world
Manufacturers around the world are beginning to catch on to RFind Technologies’ radio-frequency identification tags for tracking assets in real time.
RFind, the 2006 first-prize winner, secured a Canadian patent in 2009 for its wireless tag-to-tag communication technology, which lets manufacturers track inventory in warehouses, plants and outdoor lots.
“When a vehicle rolls off the assembly line into a parking lot, it can take a while to find it again among a thousand others that look exactly the same,” says CEO Sharon Barnes. “Unless it has an RFind locating tag.”
That’s why Volvo Group is using RFind’s technology. Ditto for two of North America’s top auto manufacturers.
The tags are also finding favour with companies such as Delhaize Group, which is a major European grocery chain, Calgary Transit and a mid-western U.S. aluminum manufacturer.
“With our technology there’s no need to invest in huge infrastructure, run wires or develop expensive retrofits,” explains Barnes. “Just stick RFind’s tags to the asset—it really is that simple.” The tags then communicate with reference tags placed elsewhere in a facility that wirelessly communicate with a server to determine where the item is located.
The Kelowna company has raised $2 million in equity financing and a further $1.5 million in debt. Barnes expects to turn a profit by this fall.
RFind, which manufacturers its product in B.C., has increased its staff from four in 2006 to 12 today, with plans to hire three or four more employees this year.
Highlights over the past four years:
- Employee growth: 4 to 12
- Investment: $2 million in equity, $1.5 million in debt
- Acquisition of Canadian patent
- Market value: five-fold increase
This month’s BCTIA Impact event is full of New Ventures BC connections – not really a surprise considering the topic: Start-ups that are Built to Last.
Even after identifying a unique business opportunity and commercializing a product, a lot of dedication and talent is required for an organization to secure its future.
Our guest speakers Janice Cheam, President and Co-founder of Energy Aware Technology Inc., David Helliwell, Co-founder of Pulse Energy, and Jonathan Bixby, President and CEO of Strangeloop Networks Inc. have demonstrated significant potential in their early stage companies for sustainable long-term growth.
Come hear how they got to where they are today and how they plan to lay a path of success well into the future.
The Impact monthly speaker series features the winners and finalists from the the BCTIA’s 2009 Technology Impact Award (TIAs). This month features the winner and finalist of the “Most Promising Start-up” award category.
Start-ups that are Built to Last is on November 17th from 5:00pm to 7:30pm at the SFU Segal Graduate School of Business. Register online.
The BCTIA hosted their annual Technology Impacts Awards (TIAs) at the new Vancouver Convention Centre tonight and they were a sold-out affair.
Sierra Wireless was named Company of the Year and recognized for a phenomenal year that included developing the world’s first data devices for the HSPA+ standard, further penetrating the M2M market with the acquisition of Wavecom S.A., increasing their BC-based employees to 250 and, for the first time in company history, surpassing half a billion dollars in annual revenues.
The highlight for fans and followers of New Ventures BC was when 2006 finalist Energy Aware Technology picked up the award for Most Promising Start-up. Co-founders Janice Cheam and Lauren Kulokas accepted the award and acknowledged the New Ventures BC competition in their speech.
All three finalists in the Most Promising Start-up category had a New Ventures BC connection. Finalist Pulse Energy is a subsidiary of Small Energy Group, a finalist in the 2008 NVBC competition and Strangeloop Networks is headed by NVBC presenter Jonathan Bixby.
Energy Aware Technology helps improve demand-management energy conservation using an In Home Display (IHD) that communicates with the utility’s smart meter to continually monitor and notify residents of their power usage and associated costs.
nextMEDIA Banff is finished searching for the hottest emerging digital properties across Canada and has announced the finalists for their “Digital Hot List” for the nextMEDIA Banff Conference on June 5 – 7th.
The competition was open to content portals, social media groups, websites, newsletters, blogs or any digital media property that can demonstrate a loyal and growing fan base that provides a tantalizing vehicle for advertisers.
2008 New Ventures BC competitor Protagonize has been named one of five nominee finalists and could be named the Hottest Canadian Emerging Digital Brand
As as result, Protagonize’s Nick Bouton is receiving a half price pass to nextMEDIA Banff where he’ll get face-to-face time with advertisers actively looking for partners, as well as extensive promotional opportunities with nextMEDIA and the recognition as one of Canada’s hottest digital properties.
Congratulations to Protagonize!
The Georgia Straight’s Janet Smith sat down with Rollout Custom Wallpaper‘s Anita Modha in this week’s issue and the 2006 New Ventures BC participant credited the competition with giving them some much needed mentorship and a serious business plan.
This is not your grandmother’s floral wallpaper, which is exactly the point. Two local entrepreneur-artists are resurrecting a once-dead décor item, injecting it with a little indie spirit, and making it hip again. Through custom designs and stock prints by local and international artists, Rollout Custom Wallpaper’s graphics are popping up everywhere from Vancouver restaurants to New York design houses to Australian museums. And the duo behind it say they’re only beginning to upend the art form.
“Especially when you look at wallpaper in the ’80s, it was all flowers, but now there’s this whole area of subversive wallpapers,” explains CEO and cofounder Anita Modha. She and fellow founder and creative director Jonathan Nodrick are taking a rare break on the rooftop deck of the Railtown artists’ building where Rollout has its studio. “People are seeing that you can choose something more graphic—they’re seeing that it doesn’t have to be a simple repeat pattern. It’s a whole different way of looking at home space.”
Partial credit for the company’s multifaceted success goes to Nodrick and Modha’s unique mix of expertise. He studied at what was then Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design; she has an undergrad degree in psychology and a master’s in environmental design, and is fascinated by emotional responses to graphics. They’ve also been blessed with excellent timing: after years of sparse minimalism, trends are turning toward statement wallpaper again.
But technology has been one of the biggest factors in starting Rollout. A few years ago, when the couple was still living in their hometown of Calgary, artist Nodrick was given a large-format printer. “It was a good way to get your hands dirty and see what’s possible,” he explains. “So we got the technical aspects down, and then we found a material that worked really well.” He’s referring to the thick, high-quality paper the company uses.
With the technology and art down, the creative pair entered the 2006 Telus New Ventures B.C. Competition, which gave them mentorship and resulted in the development of a serious business plan.
The BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) announced the finalists for the 2009 Technology Impact Awards today. Marking the award’s 15th year, the 2009 finalists reaffirm British Columbia’s status as a global leader in innovative software solutions, mobile communications, and energy conservation technologies.
Among the nominees is 2006 New Ventures BC competitor and finalist Energy Aware Technology Inc. in the “Most Promising Startup” category.
The TIAs are broken into three distinct groups: Technology Awards, Company Awards, and Personal Recognition Awards. This year’s finalists in the Technology and Company categories are:
Excellence in Product Innovation
- Sophos Inc.
- Strangeloop Networks Inc.
Best Application of Technology
- ACL Services Ltd.
- Maximizer Software Inc.
- Sempa Power Systems Ltd.
Most Promising Pre-Commercial Technology:
- Heart Force Medical Inc.
- MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates (MDA)
- Switch Materials
Most Promising Start-Up
- Energy Aware Technology Inc.
- Pulse Energy Inc.
- Strangeloop Networks Inc.
Emerging Company of the Year
- Avigilon Corporation
- Elastic Path Software Inc.
- Nexterra Energy Corp.
Company of the Year
- PEER 1
- Sierra Wireless
Team of the Year
Winners will be announced on June 17th at the Technology Impact Awards Celebration, at the new ancouver Convention Centre, where more than 700 celebrants will extend well-deserved recognition and congratulations to the leaders who are helping to build and drive British Columbia’s economy.