TechTalk Blog
Tech News: Cisco targets Amazon with new cloud computing push

Tech News article featuring VITP Tenant Cisco Systems!

As seen in the Globe and Mail 
View the original article here

Cisco targets Amazon with new cloud computing push

Cisco Systems Inc. plans to offer cloud computing services, pledging to spend $1-billion over the next two years to enter a market currently led by the world’s biggest online retailer Inc.

Cisco said it will spend the amount to build data centers to help run the new service called Cisco Cloud Services.

Cisco, which mainly deals in networking hardware, wants to take advantage of companies’ desire to rent computing services rather than buying and maintaining their own machines.

The company said it plans to deliver the service with and through partners including Australian telecom service provider Telstra, tech distributor Ingram Micro Inc., and Indian IT company Wipro Ltd.

“Customers, providers and channel partners … want to rapidly deploy valuable enterprise-class cloud experiences for key customers – all while mitigating the risk of capital investment,” Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s president of development and sales, said in a statement.

Cisco’s plans were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Enterprise hardware spending is dwindling across the globe as companies cope with shrinking budgets, slowing or uncertain economies and a fundamental migration to cloud computing, which reduces demand for equipment by outsourcing data management and computing needs.

Microsoft Corp. last year said it was cutting prices for hosting and processing customers’ online data in an aggressive challenge to Amazon’s lead in the growing business of cloud computing.

View the original article here


OFFICIALLY introducing Victoria Makerspace and Biobit Enterprises to VITP!

We are happy to finally be able to announce that Victoria Makerspace and Biobit Enterprises have taken up residence at VITP! After some building construction to bring the Innov8 Hub up to code (you may have noticed the new staircase on the front of the building!) and some major renovations to two of our suites, these two companies now officially have a home. You can expect to hear a lot about Victoria Makerspace over the coming months as the community becomes aware of everything this place has to offer.

The Victoria Makerspace is a member-run non-profit toolshare collective. They maintain a shared workshop of woodworking, metalworking, electronics, biology, and other light manufacturing tools. They teach classes and the workshop is available to members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They exist to help their members develop and use technology to support everything from hobbies to startup businesses.

Biobit Enterprises offers clients computer and biotechnology consulting services. With a full microbiology lab and state of the art genome engineering technology, Biobit can assist in everything from bioinformatics and pure research, to creating newly engineered organisms with specifically engineered characteristics.

We hope that employees at the Vancouver Island Technology Park will check out our new tenants and hopefully continue to get involved in all of the exciting activities taking place. Check them out on our website: Victoria Makerspace and BioBit Enterprises!

Tech News: Girls Raising Establishes New Platform For Female Entrepreneurs and Investors in Canada

As seen on
View the original article here!
Written by Elliot Chan

Girls Raising Establishes New Platform For Female Entrepreneurs and Investors in Canada

Girls Raising, a community based around assisting and fostering the growth of women founded startups, in addition to all like-minded entrepreneurs and investors, originated from New York and has since expanded to San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.

The empowering organization is dedicated to opening doors, creating an audience for established and up-and-coming female innovators and influencers and bridging the tech-sector’s gender gap.

For many years, the skewed ratio between men and female workers has formed a barrier for emerging female talents. There simply wasn’t enough resources, platforms and opportunities committed to helping women achieve their goals.

Men conduct business in certain way and women conduct business in another way; it’s not about which is better—it’s about how to nurture both forms of communication effectively so that entrepreneurs and investors of either gender can develop the best work possible.

“There is this whole concept of ‘you can’t see what you can’t see’,” says Vanessa Dawson, cofounder of Girls Raising, “so we need more visibility for women leaders and entrepreneurs who are entering startup companies, because then it’ll inspire other women. We are getting there now and there is more.”

The initiative starts with getting promising founders and entrepreneurs out and interacting, sharing resources and developing new ideas. On March 27, Girls Raising will be hosting another event from their Presentation Series in Vancouver. The private event will showcase presentations and panelists, featuring women entrepreneurs and investors that have overcome the gender gap and found success as leaders in the industry. The events are just another actionable step towards supporting, educating and encouraging females to choose tech for a career option.

“The Presentation Series started out as an event series, but it is so much more than that,” says Dawson. “It’s helping more women raise capital for their ventures and get some really good feedback and advice for which direction to take it, and we are building a community around that.”

The event in terms of presentation will cover two specific areas: the finance of a business and the founding of a business. Two women specialist in each of those fields will present, offering tips to raise a company into the green. The event will also see a preselected group of entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to an established panel and receive feedback and potential investment opportunities.

“The quality [of startups] that we bring to the table has been pretty high at all of our events,” says Dawson. “That often leads to acceptance of an accelerator or a follow up investment or some leads that are good for the business. And we share it all with an audience of attendees who are founders, investors, new entrepreneurs and community members.”

Girl Raising caps their active events at 100 people in order to keep the quality of interaction high and insure that everyone gets something out of it, whether they are there as an attendee, panelist or a presenter.

The tech-ecosystem can often be too vast and intimidating for many, but Girl Raising supports the adventurous attitudes of entrepreneurs and understands that there is going to be challenges and adversity, regardless of your gender.

“Be as exploratory as you can,” offers Dawson. “Don’t be afraid to try something, rather than just thinking about it. Women tend to put a lot time into thinking whether they should do this or thinking whether they should do that, and they don’t act. You learn the best lessons and you learn what you want to do and what is the best fit from actually trying something.”


TED 2014 Conference Live Streaming at VITP!

All 12 sessions of TED 2014 will be streaming live in the VITP Conference Room throughout the week of March 17th – 21st. Feel free to drop in and join us to watch an amazing lineup of over 60 intriguing and inspiring speakers!

Full Schedule:

Monday, March 17th

Session 1: Liftoff. 6:00pm – 7:45pm

-Nicholas Negroponte (Tech Visionary), Chris Hadfield (Astronaut), Elizabeth Gilbert (Writer), The Educational Reformer

Tuesday, March 18th

Session 2: Retrospect. 8:30am – 10:15am

-Bran Ferren (Technology Designer), Marc Kushner (Architect), Yoruba Richen (Documentary Filmaker), Mark Ronson (Music Producer and DJ)

Session 3: Reshape. 11:00am – 12:45pm

-Matthew Carter (Type Designer), Amanda Burden (Urban Planner), David Kwong (Cruciverbalist), Gavin Schmidt (Climate Scientist), Peggy Liu (Sustainability Catalyst)

Session 4: Wish. 6:00pm – 7:45pm

-Zak Ebrahim (Peace Activist), Melinda Gates & Bill Gates (Philanthropists), Charmian Gooch (Anti-corruption activist)

Wednesday, March 19th

Session 5: Us. 8:30am – 10:15am

-Nancy Kanwisher (Brain Researcher), Rob Knight (Microbial Ecologist), Joe Mooallem (Writer), Geena Rocero (Model and Activist), David Chalmers (Philosopher), Charlie Rose (Conservationalist)

Session 6: Wired. 11:00am – 12:45pm

-Margaret Gould Stewart (User Experience Master), Del Harvey (Security Maven), Chris Kluwe (Punter and Author), Jeremy Kasdin (Planet Finder), Avi Reichental (3D Printer), Stephen Friend (Open-Science Advocate), Hugh Herr (Prostheticist)

Session 7: Why? 6:00pm – 7:45pm

-Wendy Chung (Geneticist), Helder Guimaraes (Magician), Allan Adams (Theoretical Physicist), Jason Webley (Musician), Jim Holt (Writer and Philosopher)

Thursday, March 20th

Session 8: Hacked. 9:00am – 10:30am

-Marco Tempest (Techno-Illusionist), Keren Elazari (Cybersecurity Expert), David Epstein (Sports Science Reporter), Ed Yong (Science Writer), Michael Laberge (Plasma Physicist)

Session 9: Signals. 11:30am – 1:00pm

-Sara Lewis (Firefly Specialist), Deborah Gordon (Ecologist), Ray Kurzweil (Inventor, Futurist), Randall Munroe (Cartoonist), Andrew Connolly (Astronomer), Will Marshall (Space Scientist), Louie Schwartzberg (Filmmaker)

Session 10: Passion. 5:00pm – 6:45pm

-Ben Saunders (Arctic Explorer), Sarah Lewis (Writer), Mellody Hobson (Investment Expert), Masarat Daud (Rural Education Campaigner), Isabel Allende (Novelist), Shaka Senghor (Author), Blood Orange (Musician, Producer)

Friday, March 21st

                Session 11: Unstress. 9:00am – 10:30am

-Raspyni Brothers (Jugglers), Jennifer Senior (Writer), Sarah Jones (Polymorphic Playwright), Simon Sinek (Leadership Expert), Kevin Briggs (Golden Gate Guardian)

Session 12: Onward. 11:30am – 1:00pm

-Joi Ito (Relentless Mind), Shai Reshef (Educational Entrepreneur), Andrew Solomon (Writer), Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly (Gun Law Activists), Julia Sweeney (Actor, Comedian, Playwright)

View the TED website for full details and bios on the speakers!

VITP tenant Cisco Systems in the Globe and Mail

As posted in the Globe and Mail, written by Tavia Grant
View the original article here.

Cisco taps Toronto as one of four global innovation hubs

Cisco Systems Inc. has chosen Toronto as one of its four new global innovation hubs, a move it says represents an investment of $100-million in the city over 10 years.

Canada’s largest city joins Songdo, South Korea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and another as-yet unnamed location that have been slated as centres for innovation, the company said Wednesday.

Cisco said in December it plans to expand in Ontario, announcing investment plans for up to $4-billion to build research and development facilities in the coming decade, with the Ontario government agreeing to kick in up to $220-million. Today’s announcement marks the first stage in that plan.

“This North American hub for thought leadership and experimentation will bring together start-ups, technology and services partners, academia and customers to rethink and transform the status-quo,” the San Jose, Calif.-based company said in a release.

The world’s largest maker of computer-networking equipment says it will focus on opportunities around the so-called “Internet of everything,” helping start-ups and established companies “while fostering Canadian-based innovation.”

Many will welcome the news, given that Canada has lagged its peers in measures of innovation, particularly in venture capital investment and business R&D spending.

Toronto’s innovation centre marks a $100-million investment in design, infrastructure, staffing, technology and operational costs over 10 years. It will occupy about 15,000 square feet of office space in Oxford Properties’ RBC WaterPark Place, due for completion in the spring of 2015. The building will also become Cisco’s new Canadian headquarters.

The release didn’t say whether provincial or municipal governments are contributing to its Toronto investment plan.

The new centre “will reaffirm Toronto as an information and technology leader,” said deputy mayor Norm Kelly in a statement. It will also make the city “an even better place for entrepreneurs and innovators to do business.”

It comes as Ontario has grappled with the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the past year. Eric Hoskins, the province’s minister of economic development said new facility “cements Ontario’s position as a global leader in high-tech and innovation.”

Cisco said in December its expansion plans could lead to the creation of up to 1,700 high-tech jobs in the coming years. The government’s contribution sparked a debate over whether the province should be funding a profitable, multinational company.

The Internet of everything refers to the ability to connect devices such as heart monitors, cars and thermometers to the web, and monitor them in real time. Cisco sees it as a $19-trillion opportunity in the coming decade, including $500-billion for public and private-sector organizations in Canada.

Tech News: Canada Leads with Startup Communities

Posted on
Written by Barbara Balfour
View the original article here

Tech News: Canada Leads with Startup Communities

Twenty-four-hour access to a 3D printer. Made-to-measure women’s boots. A festival celebrating entrepreneurism in Atlantic Canada. What do they all have in common?

They’re some of the success stories sprouting from communities across the country as Startup Canada continues to link entrepreneurs, mentors, and resources under one virtual roof.

A grassroots, entrepreneur-driven movement, Startup Canada is the first organization of its kind in the world. Its rapidly growing membership includes entrepreneurs from every conceivable industry and demographic—from fashion designers and filmmakers to chefs and computer programmers.

Because entrepreneurship can be an isolating, solitary endeavour, Startup Canada partners with local community organizations and institutions to provide networks, mentorship, and meeting spaces to exchange ideas and build relationships. Regular events include in person and online networking opportunities, seminars and weekend conferences, where people keep connected within and beyond the boundaries of their geographic regions.

For the network to drive innovation and economic growth in a city, entrepreneurs and communities must learn from, and feed off, each other. Last May, Startup Canada launched 15 pilot Startup Communities in cities ranging from Langford, B.C. to Charlottetown, PEI. Another five were added last November, including Calgary, Niagara, and Waterloo. These communities have led to connections between 250 businesses, 500 entrepreneurs and 70 enterprise partners.

Startup Communities will continue to be an important theme for Startup Canada in 2014 and beyond. In just a short time, the effects of like-minded individuals working together have been exceptional: Startup Smithers is creating a venture capital fund with BC Forest Council to invest in rural entrepreneurship. Startup Winnipeg has created a downtown space that provides round the clock access to equipment like a high tech 3-D printer and scanner to enable companies to finish prototypes.

The idea of supporting entrepreneurs within the community and from the ground up first became popularized through a 2012 book written by Brad Feld, a Boulder, Colorado-based entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist. The book, Startup Communities, outlines the four essential characteristics of a startup community, which Startup Canada is embracing.

Firstly, only entrepreneurs may lead the community. While they will rely on the support of partners such as government, the media, and investors, those partners play only supporting roles.

Second, leaders must be willing to commit for 10 to 20 years, put the interests of the community ahead of their own and be prepared to donate ideas, time, effort and money without knowing whether they will receive anything in return.

Thirdly, to remain sustainable over time, startup communities must be all inclusive, allowing people and ideas to move freely.

Finally, the startup community must hold activities and events that will engage and bring people together all the time – from coffee meetings and showcases to competitions and conferences that attract thousands in attendance.

As new communities are being recruited on an ongoing basis, the vision of Startup Canada is for every city in Canada to have a Startup Community. Startup Canada is leading the way both nationally and globally as a bridge-builder between entrepreneurs.

“Just as we need roads for transportation and broadband to connect to the Internet, networks are vital for entrepreneurs,” says CEO and co-founder of Startup Canada, Victoria Lennox. “Soon Startup Communities will be as much a cultural staple as a post office, library or community centre.”

UVic Media Advisory – Business beat: General manager of Swans Suite Hotel and Brewpub





Feb. 11, 2014

Business beat: General manager of Swans Suite Hotel and Brewpub

Peter Kuran, CEO, UVic Properties, today announced that Theresa Dickinson has been hired as the new general manager of UVic’s Swans Suite Hotel and Brewpub. She joins UVic Properties on Feb. 24, 2014 and will be responsible for providing effective leadership and direction for the operational and financial performance of the Swans hospitality assets managed by UVic Properties. The Swans property includes a boutique hotel, brewpub and restaurant, brewery, liquor store and the Wild Saffron Bistro.

UVic Properties is responsible for management of: Heritage Realty Property, which includes Swans Hotel and Brew Pub and other downtown residential and commercial property bequeathed to the university by Michael Williams; 194,000 square feet at the Vancouver Island Technology Park and 41,000 square feet at the Marine Technology Park; as well as other off-campus holdings such as the Queenswood and Dunsmuir properties.

Media contacts:

Peter Kuran (UVic Properties) at 250-483-3217 or
Tara Sharpe (UVic Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6248 or

Follow us on Twitter: @uvicnews

UVic media releases & resources for journalists:

UVic is hosting two upcoming events at VITP!

The University of Victoria continues to collaborate with the Vancouver Island Technology Park in hopes of showcasing the many benefits and opportunities they have to offer.  UVic has a variety of resources that the tenants and employees of VITP could find extremely useful and we are happy to continue to host information sessions to help get the word out.

On Tuesday February 18th, UVic Co-Op coordinators present “Adopt a Co-Op Student 101” with presentations by both the business school as well as engineering and computer science co-op programs to re-introduce the program to VITP. A light lunch and learn will take place in the conference room from 12-1pm and we hope to get as many tenants and employees out as possible to learn about this excellent program and how it can benefit your company.

The following week on February 25th, another one hour “lunch and learn” in the boardroom from 12-1pm is a UVic MBA information session. Learn how the University can help you advance your career and education!

Check out the details on the signs below, and please RSVP as soon as possible. These are events you don’t want to miss, and why not get involved in activities around your workplace!



Looking for Volunteers!!

In conjunction with last week’s post and GSW tour, we are looking for volunteers to help bring this project to life! For a refresher, click here.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in volunteering some time, please contact Hoke.


RBC offering banking advice and lunch at a VITP-hosted session!

Who: RBC Professionals
Where: VITP Boardroom – 4464 Markham Street
When: Tuesday, February 11th. 12:00pm – 1:00pm
What: Join an RBC team for lunch and learn more about how everyday banking advice can help you reach your goals!

Presentations by:
Simon Miller, Sr. Account Manager, Small Business, RBC
Bonnie Hunchak, CFP, Investment & Retirement Planner, RBC
Ron Schell, CGA, Schell & Associates
Lena Simmons, Account Manager, RBC

RSVP by contacting Simon Miller at 250.356.4732 or by February 7th, 2014