TechTalk Blog
We’re looking for a new Collaboration Centre Coordinator for our conference facilities in Victoria BC

Do you have a passion for building relationships with people and providing excellent customer service? Are you keen to use your problem solving, multi-tasking and organizational skills to help others on a daily basis? Are you definitive yet tactful when responding to a situation? Do you enjoy being the person who holds the answer to just about anything? Do you wish to become part of the Greater Victoria Technology Community and join VITP’s Team? If you have the skills, initiative and experience to work with our team to drive VITP’s vision and goals, we′d like to meet you.

The Vancouver Island Technology Park is looking for an experienced individual to oversee our Collaboration Centre and Operational Health & Safety practices. At the core of VITP’s values is Service – our creation of an integrated social and physical space and our attention to the unique needs of our clients enables their and our success. As an integral member of the VITP team, you will greet all tenants, clients, contractors and guests at VITP, and help them with all their event needs. As a form of gatekeeper your tasks are vast but on a daily basis you will assist our tenant’s guests to sign in and direct them on where to go, book the Conference and Boardroom for internal and external events, assist contactors and sign out keys when necessary and issue access cards to new employees. Lastly, and most importantly you will be first person to greet VITP’s including local tech rock stars, politicians and our industry’s leading entrepreneurs.

The role requires the individual to possess: self-directedness; keen organizational skills; sound judgment and discretion, in order to balance competing priorities. You must be able to work independently and as an integral member of a dynamic team. A summarized list of specific accountabilities below:

The VITP Collaboration Centre Coordinator is accountable for, but not limited to:

(more…)

25 finalist companies of the BCIC-New Ventures Competition moved on to Round 3

Last week, the 25 finalist companies of the BCIC-New Ventures Competition moved on to Round 3.

Three of the 25 companies come from Victoria and Vancouver Island: Backyard BC, a Victoria based company that encourages BC residents to travel within their own province by offering exclusive rates on their website, has made it to the third round of the BCIC-New Ventures Competition. VIATeC Awards finalist MediaCore Technologies and Nanaimo’s Pixton Comics also advance.

The 25 companies are (in alphabetical order):

3D Gateway Solutions Inc
Backyard BC
Big Mama Student Services Ltd
Contract Tailor
ESL Explorer
EVT Power Inc.
Kairama Inc.
Mazza Innovation Ltd.
MediaCore Technologies Inc.
MobiSafe Systems Inc.
MyBestHelper
NaviDent Technologies Inc.
NeuroMash
NFC Interactive Inc. (Formerly Smart Button Technologies Ltd.)
PayrollHero.com
Pixton Comics Inc.
Pug Pharm Productions Inc
semiosBIO Technologies Inc
Shared Desks (AppQii Technology Inc.)
SterileCare Inc.
Then.ly Network Inc.
Twothirds Water
Warranty Life
WTFast
ZellChip Technologies Inc.

These 25 companies will now work with their mentors to develop a condensed business plan in response to specific questions posted by competition organizers.

The 10 finalists advancing to Round 4 will be announced September 4, 2012. The 12th Annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition Awards Ceremony will take place September 26, 2012 in Vancouver.

Each year, more than 150 B.C. business leaders—entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, academics and professionals—donate their time and expertise as mentors and judges.

To date, more than 1,400 aspiring B.C. entrepreneurs have entered the competition, with 36 winning major prize packages. Most winners have continued on to form viable companies, raising more than $100 million in financing and creating more than 600 jobs for British Columbians.

Tectoria’s own SendtoNews Opens New York Office

This just in from Tectoria’s own SendtoNews:

New York, Victoria, B.C., June 12, 2012 – Online multimedia distribution platform SendtoNews today announced the opening of a New York City sales office to call on ad agencies, brands, publishers and sports organizations in Manhattan’s Madison Avenue area.

“Recent distribution agreements with sports leagues and major media outlets have rapidly expanded our offerings for advertisers looking to link their brand with premium sports content consumed by millions of viewers in virtually every major North American market,” said SendtoNews’ CEO Greg Bobolo. “We felt that it was important to open a New York City office close to the media and advertising hub of Madison Avenue and the Flatiron District.”

Since SendtoNews began as a cloud-based multimedia distribution service trusted by thousands of newsrooms and reporters, the company has entered into distribution agreements with a growing roster of major sports leagues and media outlets.

Today, SendtoNews’s Video Ad Network gives brands the opportunity to make annual or seasonal buys for sports content destined for specific local markets, paying only when the video is downloaded by media and broadcast or posted online. Major advertisers gain access to an unprecedented inventory of premium sports content paired with a distribution network that reaches from continent-wide to hyper local. In-video branding using an embedded logo delivers unique ‘PVR-proof’ brand exposure to millions of traditional broadcast and online viewers.

“Our New York location will help us spread the word about this fresh opportunity for blue chip brands to gain access to coveted local markets with scale,” said Bobolo.

SendtoNews’s New York City Office is located at General Assembly, a campus for technology, design and entrepreneurship located at the intersection of Broadway and 20th Street in the heart of the Flatiron District:

902 Broadway

4th Floor

New York, NY 10010

Serving as SendtoNews’s key representative in the new office will be the company’s recently named Executive VP, Sales & Strategic Partnerships, Philippe Guay.

Mr. Guay will be responsible for defining strategic sales objectives and action plans, and for working with major brands and agencies in New York. He will be working closely with SendtoNews’ CEO, setting up distribution deals with print and broadcast media partners, as well as delivering major national brands for advertising sponsorship.

About SendtoNews

SendtoNews is a disruptive, cloud-based technology company that is changing the way the world shares its news. A digital clearing house for sports video highlights that connects sports leagues, news outlets and leading brands.

SendtoNews has a proven, performance-based advertising model that is unique and leverages a new inventory of content distributed across all traditional and digital mediums.

The company debuted at the 2010 Winter Olympics and today popularity among sporting organizations and international sporting events is quickly turning SendtoNews into a leading digital sports video news agency.

Headquartered in Victoria with affiliate offices in New York and San Francisco, SendtoNews is a go-to for broadcast-quality sports footage for over 900 hundred news desks internationally. For more information, call toll free 855-590-1991, follow @sendtonews or visit www.sendtonews.com

Media Contact

David Davies

1.855.590.1991

david.davies@sendtonews.com

 

UVIC INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS HELPS TO SECURE US PATENT

The founders of Plurilock Security Solutions, a company created through the support of University of Victoria Industry Partnerships, have earned US patent approval for a new technology that can tell who is using a computer by the way they use the keyboard and move the mouse. The biometric profile it creates for users has the potential to revolutionize network security and has raised the interest of the defence sector and the Government of Canada.

UVic associate professor Dr. Issa Traore, who along with his former PhD student Dr. Ahmed Ahmed, spent the last decade bringing their technology solution to market with the support of UVic Industry Partnerships, explains what makes the solution unique: “Instead of a more traditional biometric system, like retinal or fingerprint recognition, that requires expensive hardware and is limited by users only being able to access the network from a specific computer, our system can be used by anyone from any location.”

The technology captures user behaviour and creates a profile that is unique, ensuring no other user is accessing the computer or the network. It tracks keyboard strokes and mouse movements, and uses the profile to constantly monitor the user, locking out any users who don’t meet the behavioural criteria at any point during the session. With ongoing testing of nearly 200 users, the system is now performing with a 98-per cent success rate.

“This kind of innovation is just the sort of success story we like to celebrate,” says UVic Industry Partnerships CEO Brent Sternig. “It takes a lot of support to work through the wrinkles of bringing research innovation to market. Our role is to support this kind of innovation every step of the way. This group has been successful at getting patents approved in the US and Canada and we are very proud of their work.”

Traore, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Coordinator of the Information Security and Object Technology Research Group, led the research that resulted in the innovative security protocol.

“Because this system allows for constant monitoring of the user, it is more robust than a system that only requires a single login interface,” Traore says. “If a user is called away from the computer and another user tries to access the system, it will immediately recognize that this is someone else and lock them out. It also provides a forensic complement that can identify any user who has accessed the system.”

The US-based Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently called for innovative technologies that can bypass the use of non-intuitive passwords which are difficult to remember and don’t always meet the high level of security required.

“Since my background has been in avionics and defence, I created something that is robust and can be used in very high security environments. Working under such a high standard has helped create a very secure and reliable system that provides more security than may be required in less sensitive environments. With the number and level of security breaches happening on the Internet these days, there is no such thing, in my opinion, as too much security.”

Media contacts:

Beverly Duthie (UVic Industry Partnerships) at 250-721-6502 or email bduthie@uvic.ca

Phil Saunders (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or email psaunder@uvic.ca

The Vancouver Island Technology Park is an Enterprise of the University of Victoria.  UVic Industry Partnerships and VITP work closely together in partnership.

 

 

VITP Annual Health and Wellness Fair

On Wednesday June, 20th, the annual VITP Health and Wellness Fair will be taking place in the VITP Conference Room!  We have some great vendors lined up for this year’s fair, and are excited to get all VITP employees involved. VITP hosts the annual Health and Wellness Fair in an effort to promote physical well-being and a healthy workplace – all while further strengthening the strong community that exists at VITP. “This fair holds numerous benefits for both the employees and the employers,” says VITP President, Dale Gann.  “Our investment lies in the bright individuals of these companies, and in doing so, we have been able to create an environment where the level of job satisfaction is high.” There will be a silent auction at this year’s fair, music, and prizes!
The fair starts at 11:00 am on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012… we hope to see you there!
Read more and check out the vendors who will be participating here!

 

Greg Conner advises on how to handle common workplace issues

HP Advanced Solutions VP of Human Resources, Greg Conner was featured again in the Globe and Mail’s NINE TO FIVE Column.  Being a human resources executive responsible for over 400 employees means that Greg has dealt with a plethora of complaints and issues.  The NINE TOO FIVE Column features questions, concerns and issues raised by anonymous workers ranging from “How do I make my cubicle neighbour be quiet?” to “How do I deal with a boozy boss?” In this edition Greg responds to “My co-worker dates the boss and gets paid more than me”.

Excerpted to the Globe and Mail, June 11, 2012.

The Question:

I currently work in a team where my manager is in a relationship with one of his subordinates, who is also on my team. They did come as a package deal and my boss, who is above my manager, told us to keep it quiet. But with our company, I wouldn’t put it past human resources knowing, too, and turning a blind eye. I really like working with both of them and they are good people who don’t act particularly like a couple, but the conflict of interest is a big deal. One point of contention is that my salary is way below the person who is dating the manager (I found out accidentally) even though I have more education, just as much experience and am just as good – if not better – in our same roles. I find this really unjust. I’ve gone to my manager’s boss to ask for a raise to no avail. I feel like my only option is to leave the company, even though I love the people I work with and I am comfortable here. What do you think?

The Answer:

Greg Conner

HR vice-president at HP Advanced Solutions

Yikes! You are certainly caught in a sensitive situation.

I encourage you to escalate the matter, as no one in your shoes would be happy with the status quo as you describe it. First, take your concerns to your human resources department and ask for their advice and assistance. HR has a professional responsibility to ensure employees are treated fairly. I would suggest you remain dispassionate and avoid any reference to the relationship in question, rather focus on factual information such as your work performance, education, experience and salary. Request that you receive more equitable compensation, similar to the other person performing the same role. If HR turns a blind eye, as you suggest they may, then shame on them. You then must take it to the next level of management and include copies to your manager’s boss and HR. Companies that recognize the value in individual performance (those that are interested in surviving) will maintain equitable practices as a means of retaining talented, productive employees. If after taking these steps nothing changes, ask yourself: “Does this company and its leaders reflect my beliefs? Is this a company I’m proud to represent?” If the answers are no, update your résumé (it is always easier to find work when you are working), and start seeking a career with a more progressive company that does put its employees first.

Read the full article here.

 So what do you think? Do you agree with Greg’s response?

 

The Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion: the importance of community

VITP’s own Dale Gann was proud to receive VIATeC’s Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion at the 2012 VIATeC Awards last week. With its innovative Star Wars theme, the Tech Awards was a goofy, sometimes raucous but always entertaining evening, and Dale’s acceptance of the Colin Lennox Award provided Victoria’s tech sector with a chance to reflect on how far they have come over the past decade as a community.
Here’s what some key folks in Greater Victoria’s tech community had to say about Dale’s ongoing efforts as a technology champion:

Colin Lennox played a strong role in helping foster tech companies in Greater Victoria. Although he passed away in 2004, Colin is still fondly remembered by many, many people in Victoria’s technology industry, including many people present at the Victoria Tech Awards last week. Colin was a great supporter of, and mentor to, dozens of Island tech companies for over a decade, and lent helping hand to many, many companies – especially startups.

Read more about Colin Lennox here (scroll waaaay down to the end).

Dale was very touched and honoured to receive the 2012 Colin Lennox Award from VIATeC. Here’s what he had to say when he won the award:

As you all know, most things are best achieved working in a team. I believe all of us here tonight are on the same team, and if we aren’t, we should and must be. We must have a shared vision of growing our knowledge community. Someone who shared this vision was Colin Lennox.

Colin Lennox understood the importance of collaboration, sharing knowledge and the significance of community in growing small businesses. And with this, I am so honored to receive this Award.

I’ve always believed it takes a neighborhood to build a community.  Our neighborhood of Tech Workers has 2012 VIATeC Colin Lennox Awardaccomplished a great deal. I’d like to take a moment to look back on the past ten years and a number of amazing milestones.

Barely six years after its founding, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals capped a meteoric rise through Canadian biotechnology ranks by cashing in on a 915-million dollar deal. We have seem the remarkable rise of companies like Vecima Networks, Beanstream, Genologics, TeraPeak and AbeBooks, to name a few. Most recently Microsoft Entertainment Division has established Microsoft Studios in Victoria.

So where do we go from here?

I think we can look at the city of Waterloo – an internationally recognized intelligent community, that produces fortune 500 companies, sees two new start ups a month, attracts multinational companies like IBM and RIM, and boasts three post secondary learning institutions.

We too have three post secondary institutions, a technology park, major research platforms such as Venus/Neptune and STEHM, a recently launched accelerator center, a technology association and a plethora of start-ups and savvy entrepreneurs. So what makes Waterloo so successful? What sets it apart?

Each component- government, academia and industry – share a vision and work together, rather than in silos, to achieve their mutual goals. They are entirely engaged population. Working as one has enabled a successful reinvention within 100 hundred years from a farming community to a high technology Mecca.

2012 Colin Lennox Award winner

So how are we going to blow Waterloo out of the water in the next ten years?

I believe it starts with the K to 12 system. 

Are teachers today educating for the jobs of tomorrow? Is our education system producing the talent we need? Companies need great people to grow but to attract this talent we need to offer them great opportunities.

Obviously Victoria is an amazing place to live.

The lifestyle, the lack of traffic (in comparison to Waterloo, anyways), direct access to the Bay area, travelling from sea to sky in less than a day, the only thing preventing Victoria from one of the largest cities in Canada is the real lack of opportunities. 

We need to work together. We, like Waterloo, need to be an entirely engaged population, focusing on creating and facilitating these opportunities and adapting when necessary.

They say two heads are better than one, imagine what we could do with a city of brilliant minds?

I stand here and I looking back on all the accomplishments we have collectively achieved in the last ten years and I challenge each and every one of you to take an active roll, working together in making the next ten, even better. 

“Escape Your Everyday” brought to you by Tourism Victoria

Tourism Victoria has joined forces with Eclipse Creative to launch an innovative new campaign promoting Victoria as an escape from their every day lives. Appropriately named, “Escape Your Everyday,” the campaign encourages area residents to break away from their day-to-day routine and visit Victoria and experience all the wonderful sites and scenes it has to offer. “Escape Your Everyday” emphasizes importance of the work-life balance and how easy it is to achieve as Victoria is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away.

The comprehensive campaign includes a Facebook contest, billboard advertisements in Vancouver and Seattle, flash mobs and ambient media with the placement of “handcuffs” in various downtown locations. Enter to win 1 of 5 dream escape packages by ‘Liking’ their page on Facebook.  Check out the commercial and billboard advertisement below.

But the best part is this: all these great escapes are located right in our back yard. The campaign not only promotes the amazing things Victoria has to offer to those visiting but reminds Victoria residents of all the amazing activities and opportunities we are so lucky to have. Victoria isn’t just a great place to visit, it is also a great place to live and work.

Well done, Tourism Victoria and Eclipse Creative for bringing more people to see and experience the beautiful city in which we are so lucky to live. Eclipse Creative is the Vancouver Island Technology Park’s preferred supplier for creative services.

Nikki de Goey is the Manager of Culture and Corporate Relations at Vancouver Island Technology Park.


 

VITP Community Garden – Our Own “1 Meter Diet”

Just in time for summer!  In a continued effort to increase sustainability at Vancouver Island Technology Park, a community garden is being developed at the back of the Boiler House for employees.  Employees of the Park will have an opportunity to buy in to the garden for an annual fee.   We anticipate great interest in this initiative, and as a result, expect the 28 plots to be snapped up quickly. Plot ownership will be determined by those that sign up and deliver payment on a first come first serve basis.  If there are more than 28 people interested, a wait list will be created.  Once the success of the first year has been evaluated, additional plots may be added next Spring.  Details of the gardens are as follows:

Cost: $25 annual fee (cash only).  This cost will go towards the purchase of gardening supplies.  The Park will be donating most equipment, but minor supplies will be required. The garden will be watered once daily by the installed sprinkler system.

Plot size: 4’x8’

Maintenance requirement: Plots will be monitored for usage.  If it is determined that a plot is not being used or has been abandoned, the owner will be contacted, and the plot may be sold to another employee.

If you are interested in participating in this fantastic initiative, please contact Nikki de Goey, VITP Manager of Culture and Corporate Relations, at ndegoey@vitp.ca

How can I get my cubicle neighbour to shut up?

Excerpted from the Globe & Mail: NINE TO FIVE

Greg Conner, VP of Human Resources of HP Advanced Solutions Inc. has taken on a new role as Globe and Mail NINE TO FIVE Expert!  Check out the column below to hear what Greg has to say about cubicle living and how to handle a chatty neighbour. HP Advanced Solutions Inc. has been a tenant of the Vancouver Island Technology Park for seven years.

Globe and Mail Update
Published 
Last updated 

 

THE QUESTION

My cubicle neighbour is driving me crazy. She never shuts up. She’s either asking me questions or spouting off about something or she’s loudly talking on the phone to clients, colleagues and friends. I’ve resorted to wearing headphones and listening to music so I can get work done but sometimes I need some peace and quiet to do my job. How can I deal with this? Shut her up? Tell my boss? Move desks? Help!

THE FIRST ANSWER

Greg Conner

Vice-president of human resources, HP Advanced Solutions Inc.

Let’s face it – we live in a cubicle world and it’s here to stay.

Assuming telecommuting is not an option and your employer doesn’t supply the materials required to construct an office during coffee breaks, here are some steps to consider.

Talk to your co-worker. Many “talkers” don’t realize they’re causing their colleagues grief. Let her know you’re trying to concentrate and suggest she take scheduled work and personal calls somewhere more private, such as a vacant meeting room. Or, when you have a deadline to meet, seek out places where you can work quietly.

If your co-worker attempts to engage you in a conversation which you have no interest in – or time for – politely let her know you have work to complete and suggest that you get together during a break to chat.

If necessary, ask your manager to intervene. Your manager may first choose to remind all employees to keep noise level, chatter, and personal matters to a minimum, or may opt to talk to the employee directly. The relationship between you and your colleague will help determine the best approach.

If you have a good relationship, you’ll probably find her receptive to your request. If not, manager intervention may be the better route. Either way, it’s important to be honest and to do whatever is needed to get your work done. Most people will respect your honesty and be happy to accommodate.

THE SECOND ANSWER

Sheila Copps

Former deputy prime minister

Every office has one: a chatty Cathy who is oblivious to the deaf ears who don’t hang on her every word.

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, do your homework. Your co-worker may truly have a hearing problem, which could explain the dialled-up volume of her speech.

You should quietly take your boss aside and explain that noise pollution is affecting your productivity. Your manager needs to find out just what is causing this cacophony.

You also mentioned that your cubicle buddy is asking lots of questions. Are they of a business nature? Is she new? Can you, and/or your boss, help smooth her transition in a way that will create a more calming atmosphere for everyone? Perhaps this conversation overload is prompted by the insecurity of not knowing what her own job is and how she fits into the work environment.

Your boss may want to designate a specific site for daily group discussions. A half-hour morning briefing in an adjoining workroom could set the tone for less cubicle conversation.

At the end of the day, the solution is not in your hands. It is your supervisor’s responsibility to facilitate a tranquil workspace.

But noise levels in a cubicle environment will always be challenging. Absolute silence is impossible in these circumstances. You may need to work on better personal focus, too. Training your own mind to stay on track means concentrating on the job at hand, not on your neighbour’s conversations.

If music ear buds have been already been successful in calming your workspace, you might consider sound-muffling stereo phones sans music.

When all else fails, there is a simple answer: relocation, relocation, relocation.

Are you facing a burning issue at work? Need help navigating that minefield? Let our Nine To Five experts help solve your dilemma. E-mail your questions to ninetofive@globeandmail.com. Confidentiality ensured. Weigh in with your view at tgam.ca/careers.