Chilliwack’s First Hackathon Proves to be a Huge Success

Event Date: March 24th & 25th, 2017

Sixteen participants registered for the “build a tech company in 24-hours” event, and 12 of the 16 completed the process. Four teams pitched and demoed their new tech companies to three judges: Jason Lum from Myriad ITS; Raymond Szabada from SRCTec; and Fieny van den Boom from the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.

The winning team, Let’s Play Team, was awarded to Gilbert Comeau, Raymond Kobes, Joy Penner, and Coulter Peterson. Let’s Play Team is for managers of pickup-leagues, such as recreational hockey, who need a simple way to manage who is playing and collect payments to cover the facility rental.

An honorable mention was awarded to the PetBNB team, with Thomas Alain, Rishab Manocha, Sam Wolfe, Janshar Teja, and Trevor Yong. PetBNB helps people find pet sitters, a bed and bath, in their area that they can leave their pets with.

The event was organized by the http://Chilliwack.Tech community group, part of the Chilliwack Innovation Network. Supporters of this initiative included the University of the Fraser Valley’s EPIIC program (Entrepreneurship and Process Innovation Centre), UFV’s Computing Student Association, SRCTec (Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech), Community Futures South Fraser, Chilliwack Economic Partners, and the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.

Taking place at the Downtown Business Centre, participants started with a networking session late Friday afternoon to get to know each other, then received a one hour education session that introduced how to use three common tools to validate new business ideas. Those who showed up with existing teams and/or ideas gave a quick pitch to attract additional team members, which resulted in three teams to start, which later morphed into four teams. Those teams worked on both the business plan and the technology for 20 hours, iterating and “pivoting” as needed. The PetBNB team did a completed 180, pivoting to the final idea overnight, putting a time crunch on getting ready for the pitch and demo that started at 3PM Saturday.

All teams also received two two-hour mentorship sessions along the way. One session early Friday evening to help validate the ideas, and another Saturday morning to help ensure they would be ready for the pitches and demos. The mentors where Wim Kerkhoff from Kerkhoff Technologies Inc., Dave Leger from Loop Energy Inc., Tim McAlpine from Currency Marketing, and Colin Schmidt from Cnawlece Incorporated.

The winning team, Let’s Play Team, was awarded their costs of incorporation sponsored by Chilliwack Economic Partners, Community Futures South Fraser, and Patten Thornton law firm. They are also awarded six months of office space at the Downtown Business Centre.

All three judges were impressed with the quality of what the teams presented, and spoke to the entire group after the judging was done. Szabada commented that “I felt it was a solid cause for donating my time …well done”. The feedback from participants, judges, and sponsors clearly indicated that this should become an annual event for Chilliwack.

Any questions about this event, or the Chilliwack.Tech community in general, can be directed to Colin Schmidt at colin.schmidt@cnawlece.com 

Pictures of the event can be found here:

https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/timmcalpine/33521552351/

CoderDojo: Help us Help Kids Learn to Code

    

SRCTec has partnered with another local non-profit – Mission Literacy in Motion – to deliver a free STEM program in Mission. The program is called CoderDojo, the first session ran in the fall of 2016 and was very popular. The program is targeted at children ages 7-11 and gives them exposure to, and challenges in coding. The program is going to start again in February 2017, but the program faces a couple challenges in delivering new sessions.

The first challenge is:

  • a lack of hardware

During the first session we used borrowed laptops, and this limited the number of participants. Due to the popularity of this FREE program, we aren’t able to take in as many new kids without
additional hardware. The hardware required has limited requirements:

  • a browser and a text editor – so any laptop will do

The second challenge is:

  • volunteer mentors

CoderDojo is a worldwide movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. In order to deliver on the CoderDojo movement and philosophy, in Mission, mentors are the key to our success. The program coordinator is responsible for:

  • community support/networking
  • registration

The program facilitator is responsible for:

  • developing a lesson plan
  • delivering the lectures/lessons

The mentors provide:

  • guidance in learning some coding fundamentals
  • programming support
  • answering questions from curious youngsters

It is important to note – you don’t need to be a programmer to be a mentor. If you are technologically proficient with computers and have a logical mind and a desire to contribute to a worthwhile effort in tech education – please let us know.

We’re reaching out to the tech community and the community at large to raise support and money needed to create 12 new seats for kids to take the program as well as some funding to support ongoing program delivery. It is facilitated by volunteers and will be difficult to sustain without future funding. The magnitude of support needed is not large:

12 new workstations – developed and deployed by SRCTec’s volunteers will cost $3,600 total. And the program only costs just over $2,000 per 8 week session to run. Our goal is to get enough funding to run the program for several sessions – the estimated total is: $9,600.

We are reaching out for donations in the form of:

  • monetary donations
  • laptop donations
  • or other ways that the tech community can get behind the kids in this really innovative and worthwhile program

This is a great opportunity for you to add your name alongside some other really great people and organizations that are doing amazing things for the development of the technology community in
Mission. It is a small and simple program, but you should see the look of the kids when they get their first code program to run!

You can support us at our crowdfunding page here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/missionliteracy-association/

All questions should be directed to Mission Literacy in Motion or SRCTec at the contact info below.

SRCTec
Rocky Blondin – Coder Dojo Campaign Lead
rblondin@srctec.org

Mission Literacy in Motion
Candie Thorne – Community Literacy Outreach Coordinator
cloc@literacyinmission.org

High-Tech Hackathon


High-Tech Hackathon

Downtown Business Centre at 9240 Young Road from Friday, March 24, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. until Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Chilliwack, BC – Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be part of a high-tech start-up? How do you test ideas, prototype technology, get buy-in, and start a company? What resources and support systems are available for high-tech start-up companies operating in the Fraser Valley?

The Chilliwack.Tech Hackathon is the place to not only learn, but experience all of this in a highly compressed 24 hour period.

This event is specifically targeting business and high-tech college and university students in the Fraser Valley, but is open to anyone over the age of 18 who would like to get involved.

If you don’t have a business idea, no problem! The event will start by playing match-maker between people and teams, and teams and business ideas. If you have an idea you want to explore, bring it to the table!

Although each team will be able to follow their own path, they will be given a recommended process to follow. This process is based on the first parts of the BC Innovation Council (BCIC) Market Validation Program, run by the Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) and other venture accelerators in BC.

There will also be a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, business development experts, and technical experts to help you throughout the event. Each team will be given a certain number of mentorship credits and can choose how they spend those credits among the available experts.

Three all-star judges (Jason Lum, Brenda Dehn and Raymond Szabada), each with a different business and industry background, have been selected to apply the published judging criteria to each team.

The first place team will receive over $1,000 in prizes to help them get their winning start-up off the ground. Incorporation costs, office space, meeting rooms, and mentorship are all included.

Registration is open until March 22, 2017. Registration cost is $10 and includes refreshments throughout the event. You may bring your own meals or order them in.

The event will take place at the Downtown Business Centre at 9240 Young Road from Friday, March 24, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. until Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

To register, please visit http://chilliwack.tech/Hackathon.

The Chilliwack.Tech website and monthly meetup exist to set and maintain the beat of the local tech start-up community. We facilitate inter-organization collaboration, and can act as a first point of contact feeding people into larger programs at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), SRCTec, ACETECH, etc.

We are part of the Chilliwack Innovation Network, in partnership with UFV EPIIC, SRCTec, ACETECH, Community Futures South Fraser, and Chilliwack Economic Partners, and are hosted by Cnawlece.

Contacts:

Colin Schmidt
Cnawlece
1-888-792-1117
info@cnawlece.com

Brian Coombes
President, Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation
604-792-7839
coombes@chilliwackpartners.com

KPU teams with SRCTec to advance sustainability


KPU teams with SRCTec to advance sustainability

Langley, BC—Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and the Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRTec) have planted a seed.

KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Horticulture and SRTec have signed a letter of intent recognizing the complementary nature of their respective work, and pledging to consult in areas of mutual interest, including agriculture and agri-food technology.

“We are thrilled to work with SRTec to advance our mandate of supporting a higher level of sustainability and environmental responsibility in agriculture, horticulture, and urban landscapes,” said Dr. Deborah Henderson, director of the institute, and LEEF Regional Innovation Chair.

The Institute for Sustainable Horticulture at KPU facilitates and conducts applied research through partnerships with industry and KPU’s surrounding communities, and engages students for experiential learning and skill development which are highly valued by future employers.

Meanwhile, the not-for-profit SRCTec is a coalition of local government, higher education, and industry partners who work to attract tech-based investment into the Fraser Valley as a region. Specifically, SRCTec provides support, resources, and advice toward technology-led economic and educational development including innovation and incubation, research and tech transfer and industry-driven skilled technical training.

“The LOI we now have with KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Horticulture further catalyzes our work to promote and support agri-innovation in the Fraser Valley, and achieve a globally competitive agri-foods sector in B.C.,” said Raymond Szabada, chairperson and CEO of SRCTec.

BC’s technology sector is the third largest contributor to the province’s economy, making up to 7.6 per cent of gross domestic product and producing $23.2 billion in annual revenue.

For more information:

Mike Manion
Program Director
AG Tech Venture Acceleration
T: 778.837.3809
mmanion@srtec.org

Corry Anderson-Fennell
Manager, Media and Communications
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
t: 604.599.2840
c: 604.828.5232
corry.anderson-fennell@kpu.ca

It’s universal theme of acceptance is about Madhu, a retired transgendered sex worker who is asked to “look after” a young girl who has been trafficked into the notorious red-light district of Bombay and train her for what’s to come.

Agritech program promotes innovation and market growth.

 


Agritech program promotes innovation and market growth

NEWS RELEASE

Ministry of Agriculture
For Immediate Release
2017AGRI0003-000040
Jan. 10, 2017

 

MISSION ʹFraser Valley agritech entrepreneurs will meet with Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick today to share a first-hand look at innovative developments in the agritech sector.

The AG-Tech Venture Accelerating Program (AVAP) is supporting agriculture technology by providing training and mentoring to maximize commercialization opportunities and accelerate growth in agritech companies.

Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) is partnering with BC Innovation Council (BCIC) to promote agriculture technology innovation and commercialization in the Fraser Valley through AVAP. Four local agritech companies, Vitalus, Novobind, Picker Drones Inc. and Nutriva Group, are participating in the next session of the intensive four-day acceleration program where they will receive mentorship and coaching, training and networking opportunities.

AVAP was launched in 2014, with 32 Fraser Valley agritech companies completing the program to date. Since its launch, provincial benefits have included job creation and increased company revenues and investments in the B.C. agritech industry. AVAP aims to foster innovation and drive skills training in local established and new tech companies, as well as identifying opportunities and overcoming challenges faced in the rapidly changing market. The program is providing the skillsets and insights needed to succeed in the emerging agritech sector.

British Columbians have the opportunity to learn more about B.C.͛s agritech industry on Jan. 26 -28, at the 19th Annual Pacific Agriculture Show 2017. SRCTec͛s booth is featuring the latest in Ag sensors, pathogen protection and new farming methods. The event is showcasing the latest and most-innovative equipment and technology for the agriculture industry to help enable B.C.͛s agritech sector to remain competitive and promote long term growth.

The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.͛s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia͛s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.


Quotes:

Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture –

“͞The B.C. government supports innovation across the province͛s agritech sector and the AGTech Venture Accelerating Program is promoting commercialization opportunities and accelerating growth in the Fraser Valley. Programs such as AVAP will help drive our sector͛s competitiveness and long term growth as we work towards increasing B.C. agrifood and seafood sector revenues to $15 billion per year by 2020.”


Marc Dalton, Maple Ridge-Mission MLA –

“͞By supporting programs like AVAP, we͛re ensuring that B.C. agriculture is informed and equipped with the best farming methods available. The participating organizations will also benefit from the additional training and networking opportunities, setting them on a path for long-term growth.”


Simon Gibson, Abbotsford-Mission MLA – 

“I’m glad to see that four of our Mission based organizations are benefitting from the AVAP program. Technology is rapidly changing how we live our lives. By supporting agritech, we are attracting new talent, creating jobs, and ensuring that B.C. agriculture remains ahead of the curve.”


Mike Manion, executive in residence, Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech – 

Accelerators such as SRCTec guide entrepreneurs with knowledge, wisdom, and experience to ensure innovative agricultural technologies achieve commercialization.


Carl Anderson, president and CEO, BC Innovation Council – 

“Innovation is the transfer of technology into vital sectors like agriculture, fueling their success and growth. The AVAP is key piece of BC Innovation Council͛s Innovation Exchange which helps agritech innovations reach traditional industries and regional communities throughout the province and create jobs in B.C.”


Learn More:

Find out more about the AG-Tech Venture Accelerating Program: http://srctec.org/avap/

Click here for full details about the 19th Annual Pacific Agriculture Show 2017:
http://srctec.org/19th-annual-pacific-agriculture-show-2017/

Learn more about Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech: http://srctec.org/


Media Contacts:

Jill Milne
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
778 676-4460

Mike Manion
Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech
778 837-3809

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

 

 


 

Innovation Day 2017 at the “Loft” at the Pacific Tradex

Please visit us upstairs at the “Loft” on January 27 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm and have a chance to view some of the latest projects our local Ag tech entrepreneurs are working on as well as listen to two dynamic speakers on how Precision Ag might impact you. Sensors that will reduce your pesticide applications to robots that will reduce your manhours.

  • 2:00 – 2:15 pm Ray Szabada
    Update from SRCTec
    Ray is a serial entrepreneur and current CEO of SRCTec
  • 2:15 – 2:45 pm Don McCabe
    A Farmers View of Where Tech and Ag Collide
    Don McCabe is former President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and active cash crop farmer from near Sarnia, Ontario.
  • 2:45 – 3:15 pm Timothy Kendrick
    How Tech is Impacting Food
    Timothy is the President of BW Global Greenhouse Structure focused on evolving the production of food and plants in controlled environments.

 

SRCTec and TMFox Incubator

The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec), Fraser Valley’s hub for tech companies and entrepreneurs, has added additional resources to help local tech innovators and expand their reach into Chinese and international markets.

At their international headquarters in New Westminster, TMFox Incubator helps link high tech start-ups and the investment world together. Essentially the “matchmaker” of the tech world, TMFox Incubator has over 800 companies they work with to initiate business development overseas.  These companies help with prototyping and manufacturing, giving Fraser Valley tech entrepreneurs the capability and competence to become valuable in markets that are hard to get in. The partnership with TMFox Incubator will help enhance start-ups in this region with regard to staging of commercialization and scaling up business.

With innovative products and technologies coming out of SRCTec’s venture hub, TMFox recognizes that some of these are applicable to China’s consumers, giving ventures a chance to align with Chinese business and markets. With SRCTec’s introduction and involvement, TMFox intends to work with the local businesses in finding partners in Chinese markets and positioning our local technology products and or facilitating technology transfer.

 

“As a new comer to the local high tech and business theme, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to develop deep and long term working relationships with the local incubators such as SRCtec. With the joint effort of SRCtec and TMFOX, we will bring strong benefits such as capital investment, manufacturing capability and Chinese market access to the Canadian businesses, helping them grow and be successful. Thank you, SRCtec to make us feel welcomed.” – Vicky Kang, TMFox

 

Logo_TMFOX_Incubator_CA_V[1] copyAbout TMFox

At TMFOX, we truly put our focus on technology and innovations that can potentially change people’s life.
– We never carelessly negate any business opportunities and ideas.
– We discover entrepreneurs that can make things happen.
– We respect the passion and desire of success from the entrepreneurs.
– We be their capital for starting the new business and be their assistant for innovation.

 

With a well-established network of communication and a professionally designed and executed workflow. We establish a relationship with the entrepreneurs that is full of trust and cooperation.

With the contribution and influence of TMFOX, we wish to make the business we have helped becoming the darling of the capital market and respectable company.

 

 

 

 

Launching a Start-Up? Consider Reverse Vesting

When launching a start-up, the founders of the company are typically allocated a certain percentage of the initial shares of the company. While the allocation of shares is expected to compensate each founder for their expected contribution to the company, circumstances can change over time and it is important to address expected contributions and the consequences of early departure amongst the founding team up front. As an example, if a founder decides to leave the company for another opportunity, in the absence of a reverse vesting arrangement, the departing founder does not have a legal obligation to return any un-earned portion of his or her shares to the company. This can leave the company and the other founders in a difficult position because: (a) the other founders are forced to work for the disproportionate benefit of the departed founder, and (b) the company and its shareholders will have to incur further dilution in order to provide equity as an incentive for another person to replace the departed co-founder’s skillset.

A reverse vesting arrangement sets the expectation for how long a founder must stay engaged with the company in order to earn his or her shares, and gives the company the contractual right to repurchase any un-earned shares at a nominal price if the founder leaves the company prior to fulfilling his or her full commitment to the company. As an example, in a typical four year reverse vesting arrangement, if a founder leaves the company after two years, he or she would be obligated to return half of his or her shares to the company. A typical reverse vesting term is three to four years, and, while most arrangements call for pro-rata vesting over the entire vesting term, some arrangements will have a “cliff” which requires a founder to remain with the company for a certain minimum period of time before the vesting begins.

Overall, a reverse vesting arrangement allows each founder to maintain legal ownership of their shares from the outset and as the company grows, which results in favourable initial tax treatment, long-term capital gains treatment and voting rights. This is accomplished while still protecting the interests of the other founders and the company in the event of early departure of a founder. As part of their due diligence, investors will also often look to see if reverse vesting arrangements are in place, and having arrangements in place in advance of a first financing gives the company and founders a better chance to dictate the terms rather than having terms imposed upon them by investors.

 

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Ally Bharmal is a Partner and business lawyer at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. His practice focuses on corporate and commercial business advice for a variety of clients, with an emphasis on the technology and agri-business sectors.   For more information about reverse vesting arrangements or other legal matters, contact Ally at abharmal@fasken.com

 

Hope BC Embraces Innovation for Experiential Travel

HOPE, BC – Responding to the trend of experiential travel, AdvantageHOPE has partnered with award-winning augmented reality tech company, QuestUpon, to create an interactive walking tour for visitors and residents of the community.

“We wanted to develop a fun, modern, and family-friendly way to help our visitors learn more about Hope and its history, while also being a leader in bringing this innovative technology to the tourism industry,” said Tammy Shields, Executive Director of AdvantageHOPE. “Many of our guests are only in town for a short time, and this self-guided walking tour gives them something to do while they are here, experiencing some of our local attractions and history – including Rambo – in a fun and interactive way.”

The Heroes of Hope quest takes the visitor on an interactive GPS-guided tour through downtown Hope, navigating to various points of interest. Some of these include wood carving scavenger hunts, trivia, travelling time to see history come alive with buildings that are no longer standing, seeing a sternwheeler come up the river, a gold panning game, taking photos, and more.

“With experiential travel on the rise, we wanted to provide a wide variety of activities or missions that educate and entertain,” said Tammy Meyers, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of QuestUpon. “We blend animated 3D augmented reality into a real world scavenger hunt with geocaching, thereby delivering a compelling experience into the palm of the traveler’s hand, using their smartphone. It’s a fun way for people to enhance their visit.”

The Heroes of Hope quest is easy to use and fun for families and kids of all ages. Get started by downloading the free app, ‘QuestUpon’, on iPhone or Android.