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Register NOW for Cisco Connect!!

CiscoConnectSave the Date for Cisco Connect!

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of Cisco Connect which will be travelling across Canada starting October 2013 in 9 participating cities.

Cisco Connect brings the best-in-class education and networking opportunities you expect from a Cisco event – with special emphasis on the issues, challenges, and solutions that matter most to the local IT community.

At Cisco Connect you will:
-Hear the latest insights from Cisco experts on the latest cutting-edge technologies and trends
-Take advantage of an in-depth technical education and training
-Expand your professional network – engage with your peers, companies, and experts

Make sure to attend our technical sessions to learn about technologies that are revolutionizing how business is done including:
-Fuelling collaboration through simplicity
-Data Centre Unified Computing System Architecture
-What’s new in wireless

There are many more sessions waiting for you – please visit our Cisco Connect site

Join us and other IT Decision Makers at Cisco Connect.

Register NOW!

 

 

Tech News: Canadian Teenager Wins a Top Prize in Google’s Global Science Fair

Not just any Canadian girl, she’s a Victoria girl! Proud!

Posted on techvibes.com
Posted by Knowlton Thomas
View the original article here!

Canadian Teenager Wins a Top Prize in Google’s Global Science Fair

In June, we reported that four Canadian students had made regional finals in the Google Science Fair.

Among them was 15-year-old Ann Makosinski from Victoria, who later that month made the final round, the only Canadian among 15 worldwide finalists.

Today the Canadian teenager won the top prize for a project creared by a student aged 15 or 16. Her project was The Hollow, a thermoelectric flashlight that operates solely from the heat of the human hand.

“Using four Peltier tiles and the temperature difference between the palm of the hand and ambient air, I designed a flashlight that provides bright light without batteries or moving parts,” she explains. “My design is ergonomic, thermodynamically efficient, and only needs a five degree temperature difference to work and produce up to 5.4 mW at 5 foot candles of brightness.”

Her two-minute YouTube video, which was published in April to little fanfare, now has nearly 1.5 million views.

Check out another aticle on Ann Makosinski in the Times Colonist.

Tech News: Canada Post Partners with Canadian Retailers to Roll Out Same-day Delivery for Online Shopping

Wouldn’t this be crazy?!?

Posted on techvibes.com
View original article here

Canada Post Partners with Canadian Retailers to Roll Out Same-day Delivery for Online Shopping

Canada Post is partnering with Best Buy Canada, Wal-Mart Canada, and Indigo Books & Music to test same-day delivery for online shopping.

The service launched this week to four million people in the Toronto area. The pilot project will allow consumers to order products online by midday and have the products delivered at their homes that evening. The test will run until the end of the year.

Canada Post is aiming to build its parcel business as snail mail continues to cost the Crown corporation money. The organization’s postal service lost more than $100 million in the last quarter alone.

“Mail is going down and that’s not going to be the growth engine,” Rod Hart, Canada Post’s general manager of domestic parcels and e-commerce, told The Globe and Mail in an interview. “We are prepared to invest where it makes sense, and parcels make sense for us.”

Canada lags the US in e-commerce adoption, studys show. Only 4% of purchases are made online in Canada, while in the US, 8% of purchases are made online. However, even in the US, same-day shipping services remain relatively unsuccessful niches.

Tech News: Four Tips to Help You Vest up for Investment

Originally posted on techvibes.com
Written by Shahrzad Rafati
View the original article here.

Four Tips to Help You Vest up for Investment

“Growth” is that buzz-word that has never really left the back of my mind as an entrepreneur. But I’ve always found that the term doesn’t accurately speak to businesses. The message is too complacent, especially in the fast-moving tech industry. Too inactive.

Real growth in business isn’t something that sprouts out of the ground and bears fruit—it requires effort. It does need to feel natural, however, and searching for an investor to kickstart this progression isn’t any different.

It needs to be the right fit for both sides of the equation. As the BroadbandTV team examined our recent investment from RTL Group in June, we have found them to be an ideal fit as they encouraged our continued growth and innovation. As a reflective entrepreneur, I find myself asking the question: what makes a good fit, and what are some general lessons that can be helpful to entrepreneurs looking for investors?

It’s not an easy question to answer at first glance, but it’s definitely worth examination. I’ve narrowed down four key elements that I believe are essential to help find a compelling investor match:

DON’T FIT—COMPLEMENT

This seems like a no-brainer, but there really is a big distinction between the two. Like a good handshake, it’s not just a couple of organizations coming together, it’s an agreement of mutual benefit.

You have both put a lot of thought and scrutiny into your strategies, and neither of you are looking to make major sacrifices. So why should you? Truly complementary strategies reinforce each other without either side having to drastically adapt.

Ultimately, this comes down to research on both sides. What kinds of investments are they making? Where are they taking their business? What kind of specific expertise can they provide in your industry? How would they enrich your meetings with new and valuable perspectives? What is their presence in the media?

Find out how your strategy complements that of your investor, and make sure to discover and reinforce the elements of their approach that benefit you. The more you benefit, the more sound their investment. A good investor will do similar research, and should a handshake ultimately happen, both sides will be better for it.

DETERMINE YOUR SCOPE

Canada is famously known for its strong variety of viable angel investors, and it was a great place to start as we did our research. Despite being a proud Canadian business ourselves however, the right investment fit for us ended up being overseas. Our lesson here was twofold:

1. As a global business ourselves, we would benefit materially by having a global investor with its own substantial network of distribution.

2. The right fit isn’t always local and the right fit isn’t always a pure investor that is just looking for ROI alone.

Make sure that the scope of your investor is true to the scope of your business. If you’re looking to grow locally, definitely look for a local investor that fits your needs and shares a knowledge of your regional demographic. This also helps for a more natural union, and helps ensure that everything else lines up more seamlessly.

Looking to grow globally? Expand your scale and look for an investor that’s in the right position to help you effectively. They may be right here at home after all, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look next door or down the block before you make a decision.

THE HYPOTHETICAL ELEVATOR CLICHE

We’ve all painstakingly tweaked and re-tweaked our “elevator pitches” in one way or another. If you were in an elevator with your potential investor, think about your 30 second pitch. Does it communicate enough of your vision and market opportunity to set up the ensuing conversations?

The initial pitch sets the tone and serves to attract interest and pull investors into a conversation where key issues are investigated. Do your visions align? Do your mission statements conflict? This is about more than complementary strategies, this is about fundamental outlooks, beliefs, and desired outcomes. The bare bones of “them” and “you.”

You should be comfortable talking business with your investor. Uncover their perspective. Get a sense their corporate vision. You can even sift through some of their advertising materials for their outlooks, and figure out how they fit within your own business ethic. If everything matches up at a fundamental level, beyond complementary strategy and appropriate scope, you’re now eye-to-eye with a potential investor.

IF THE CULTURE FITS, WEAR IT

Companies are often spotlighted by their business cultures, and an investee needs to fit nicely with the culture of its investor. Why? Again, it comes down to the fundamentals of doing business. You and your investor need to connect and interact in a way that is natural, positive and efficient—just like an ideal client relationship. If any of these parts are missing, you are both swimming upstream and not getting the full benefit out of the partnership.

We define our businesses in two ways: in part by goals, vision, scope and strategies; but the rest of it is ultimately defined by our people. If people don’t align, a positive business relationship will never get off the ground.

VITP Blood Donor Clinic & Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

BloodDonorClinicVITP is hosting another blood donor clinic in the Conference Room on Tuesday, September 17th from 9:30am – 2:30pm. We can’t emphasize enough how important this cause is, and every donation makes a huge impact on someones life. Not only is it important to continue to give blood on a regular basis, but September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and this clinic will be part of the gold ribbon compaign.

Book your appointment now, to save a life.
Online: www.blood.ca
Phone: 1 888 2 DONATE (1.888.236.6283)

*Donate blood to honour childhood cancer survivors and to remember those childhood heroes who lost their lives.

The last clinic we held had the highest number of donors ever from VITP, so let’s try and top that number again!

Drop-in appointments are also available but they fill up fast, so to ensure your spot make sure you schedule an appointment.

Check out this video for more details on the Gold Ribbon Campaign.

Tech News: Report Names Canada a Top Five Country for Entrepreneurship, Funding Still Lagging Behind

Posted on techvibes.com
Written by Joseph Czikk
View the original article here

Report Names Canada a Top Five Country for Entrepreneurship, Funding Still Lagging Behind

Ernst & Young has released its G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer today and Canada ranks in the top five countries.

In fact, the report states that Canada’s levels of new business activities and startups are well above the G20 average. Canadian entrepreneurs support each other, the cost of launching is low, startups are spending less time on their tax affairs than their peers in other nations and they enjoy lower labour costs.

Canada has emerged as a real leader in fostering an entrepreneurial culture,” said Colleen McMorrow, leader of Ernst & Young’s Canadian Entrepreneur Of The Year program. “There’s an emphasis on research and innovation in this country, and we value the role of entrepreneurs in job creation. All these factors are combining to really promote the growth of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship from coast to coast.”

Like any report that celebrates Canada’s entrepreneurial status, the notorious elephant in the room was sure to be given attention: accessing funding continues to be challenging. In fact, the report found that nearly three in four Canadian entrepreneur’s struggle to find funding.

McMorrow said that while the number may be strong compared to the other G20 countries, it actually presents a mixed picture. “The ratio of private equity activity to GDP in&nbsp Canada is now higher than in any other G20 nation, except Australia. So private equity and venture capital are improving, but bank financing remains a challenge.”

The funding environment may be poor, but it is improving at rates quicker than any other G20 country. “While there’s no denying access to funding remains a barrier to growth, 45% of entrepreneurs in Canada say it has improved, compared to only 35% across the G20 as a whole,” said Ernst & Young partner Charles-Antoine St-Jean. “Canada’s government has been highly supportive of entrepreneurs, providing regulatory and tax regimes that have enabled start-ups and growing companies to flourish.”

While Canadian entrepreneurs possess the lowest insolvency costs in the entire G20 (or the lowest inability to pay back debts), 36% of them said that business failure is a barrier to future business ventures, above the national average.

This could be from high expectations, and given our proximity to the never-ending “bubble of false positives” that finds its way north from Silicon Valley, it isn’t surprising. According to the report, Canadians may “expect greater levels of assistance and support, and could be prone to disappointment during tougher times.”

Of interesting note, St. Jean also said that entrepreneurs in the Great White North are often critical of the country’s incubators, accelerators and mentor networks.

Despite the shortcomings, the fact remains that Canadian entrepreneurs are scoring consistently high in nearly all categories of the entrepreneurial environment, particularly in their support for each other. “Looking ahead, all these strengths should support growing levels of new business creation, with one report predicting the net creation of 150,000 new businesses in the coming decade — a resounding endorsement for Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” read the report.

MTC Tenants Industrial Plankton featured in Hatchery International Newspaper!

Industrial Plankton, tenants at the Marine Technology Centre have been featured in this months “Hatchery International” newspaper! View the article here: IndustrialPlanktonArticle

This brother/sister duo is definetly one to keep an eye on!

 

Tech News: Why All Startups Need an Operating Plan

Posted on techvibes.com
View the original article here
Posted by Robert Simon

Why All Startups Need an Operating Plan

You have raised your first round or seed round of financing and you’re off the races. You are deep into hiring and product development. One of your investors may ask about an Operating Plan. You shrug your shoulders and say, this is a startup, an Operating Plan is not worth the paper it is written on. But you would be wrong in that conclusion.

You replay “It’s a startup, we don’t know what our revenues are going to me and when. It’s not worth the time to put together a plan.” Well, that’s a cop-out and a load of baloney.

Your primary job as CEO is to not run out of money. And to help you achieve that job, and maintain your own job as CEO, the operating plan tells you when you run out of money so you know the timing of your next fund raise.

It is true you don’t have a history of customer sales to help predict timing and size of revenue. No problem. And it is true you don’t know how long product development will take. Again, no problem. But you would be surprised at how much you do know or can estimate within a range that is highly valuable.

Again, the goal of an Operating Plan is to tell you when you run out of money, because we DO NOT want to run out of money. I like initially an 18-month plan because that is the usual period between early stage financings.

First let’s start on the revenue side. You know that revenue in your first year is likely to be modest. Your investors know you are running a startup and revenue will be scarce in the initial years. Take advantage of that leeway. You don’t get extra credit for a higher number, but you do get penalized for coming in below your forecast. Only count revenue you know you have in the bag. And if nothing is imminent, assume revenue is zero for the period. If you do get some revenue, you look like a hero.

On the expense side, you should know quite a bit. Your largest expense will likely be headcount. You have a rough hiring plan and that will drive your expense section. You may not be able to precisely predict the timing of certain hires, but you will likely know the headcount to within 20%. When forecasting expenses, again error on the conservative side and bring expenses in earlier. If hiring takes longer and you end up spending less, again you are a hero.

Resist the temptation to over-promise. Your secondary goal as CEO is to develop confidence and credibility with your board and investors. You do this by creating a plan and achieving that plan. “Make a plan, meet the plan.” It matters less what are the metrics of the plan, it matters more that you meet the plan.

You win if you are able to stretch your funds to the point of the plan.

You lose big for many reasons if you underestimate when you run out of money.

So, it should be worth the time to develop your plan. Good luck.

Tech News: How to Sell Me What I Already Want

Posted on techvibes.com
View the original article here
Written by Lucy Leiderman

How to Sell Me What I already Want

For the past few weeks I’ve been having a bit of a weird problem.

There’s a technology I know I want. I’ve done my research. The price is right and the value is there. However, every sales person I’ve spoken with has only dissuaded me.

I’ve looked into three different companies, all offering the same service. Each one of them has failed to convince me I would be dealing with capable, responsive and knowledgeable people. So I started thinking: how is this possible? How can I keep getting sales people that are either indifferent, defensive, or – more often than not – just don’t know the answers to my questions?

In order to provide some buyer feedback for any burgeoning sales people out there and their employers, I’ve put together this short and simple guide on how to sell me what I already want.

To the sales person who kept telling me he doesn’t know

According to Forbes Insight, 58% of buyers report sales people can’t answer their questions. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have a sales person tell me he doesn’t know than lie to me, but best of all, I’d like to get someone who knows enough about the product to speak confidently about it.

My questions aren’t unusual, but they do transcend business, marketing and technical capabilities. So, salespeople and employers, please make sure you’re familiar with your products. It’s disheartening to hear a long “um” at the other end of the line during a sales call.

Maybe the answer is to have more people doing less – assigning each individual less products so that he or she can know them inside and out. That way, when I ask a compatibility question followed by an analytics question, they’ll be able to make me believe this company knows its stuff. Or, since 42% of sales reps report feeling like they do not have the right information before making a sales call, more hands-on training may be the answer. And no, by hands-on training I don’t mean more marketing materials. According to the New Rules of Sales Enablement, 90% of those one-pagers don’t get used.

To the sales person who told me that maybe the product just isn’t for me

Someone once told me that sales people are natural problem solvers. That same person proceeded to put me into a three-day intensive sales training course, which I whined about for weeks. However, today I’m grateful, because he was absolutely right.

Being adaptable and thinking on your feet are key traits of excellent sales people, and constant training keeps you on your toes. Maybe that’s why 91% of salespeople either don’t have or don’t follow a formal customized approach. And if it works for them – great. But sometimes it doesn’t.

Recently, when I voiced concern about certain features of this product that I want during a sales meeting, I was faced with a salesperson that immediately crossed his arms across his chest and told me that if I was worried about that, then maybe this wasn’t for me. The problem here is that when someone presents a problem to a salesperson, that person is usually looking for a solution. Not a stony-faced look of pointed indifference. Salespeople getting defensive is not a pleasant experience and makes the rest of the conversation terse and awkward.

Employers, please provide training for your sales people. Or, if you go out into the field with them, don’t assume you’re a top-notch salesperson just because you manage a team. Your management skills have little to do with your sales skills, so keep them sharp with workshops that (as intuitive as it may seem) train you on how to deal with push back and difficult clients.

To the salesperson who kept changing his pitch

It’s frustrating enough to have to ask the same question several times. It’s even more frustrating to receive several different answers.

I had the experience in the past few weeks of being taken on a whirlwind sales call where I received a bunch of different pitches in a short period of time. Instead of delving deeper into the details and functionalities of the product, or telling any kind of succinct story, I was introduced to the product in a series of different and increasingly confusing ways.

In a world where over 25% of all B2B sales take about seven or more months to close, I do believe that often clients are to blame. However, salespeople need to perfect their pitches and approach with a story. From concept to in-depth analysis, relaying your knowledge to the buyer is the best way I can imagine to make them feel invested and ready to adopt.

Don’t approach a product pitch like a tether around a pole – there’s no need to dance around something you don’t know or don’t want to talk about. Have a strategy. According to DemandGen Report, 90% of business buyers say they’ll find you when they’re ready to buy. That means they want you to assure them. Knowing how to approach them is vital, and when they’re sitting in front of you, they may already be sold.

There’s no such thing as the generic pitch, and trying 10 of them until the buyer agrees with you is not going to work. Getting defensive and giving up isn’t going to work either. And saying (or sounding like) you don’t know? Well, it doesn’t make me (the buyer) feel awesome.

Trace your leads, adjust your methods, and please: learn what it sounds like when all I want you to do is to sell me something I already want.

50/50 Challenge at VITP!

5050Are you up for a challenge? VITP wants to see who can come closest in guessing “how many bricks will be laid in phase 1 of the parking lot upgrades?” And what’s a better prize then cold, hard cash?

Details:
Visit the security desk to enter the draw and make your guesses.
$2 per guess or 3 for $5.
There is no limit to how many guesses you can make!
The winner will be announced once the project is complete and we have an exact total.
We expect this to take place in September – so there is plenty of time to make some guesses!

The closest guess without going over will take home half the pot, with the other half being donated to the Power to Be Adventure Therapy Association.

Get the calculators out and let’s see who can come closest!!!