Second Annual Hackathon Doubles in Size as Valley Tech Industry Continues to Grow

The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) is a not-for-profit organization governed by a select group of technology executives that form a volunteer board of directors. SRCTec is a coalition of local government, industry partners and high education institutions interested in attracting tech based investment into the “Region” (including the District of Mission, City of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, the Township of Langley and the City of Maple Ridge).

CHILLIWACK – Thirty-two participants, exactly double last year, registered for the 2018 Hackathon, with all six competitive teams plus two non-competitive teams completing the process. The six competitive teams pitched and demoed their new tech companies to three judges: Raymond Szabada from SRCTec and i-Open Technologies; and Netty Tam and Brian Coombes from the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.

The winning team, Gamma Games Interactive Inc., was awarded to Alex Terhart and Josh Zall. Alex and Josh built a 3D Space arcade game that focused on jumping right into the fun, combining modern 3D flight and graphics with game mechanics more akin to older arcade games such as space invaders.

An honorable mention was awarded to Team Tarsier, with Jill Shem Pagcaliwagan, Jess Peter Santos, Jess Luie Santos, Darnell Rosales, Jean Layton, Gabrielle Baul, and Jamela Erice. Team Tarsier created a product named Automated Academic Advisor, which helps students track their college and university graduation requirements and plan accordingly.

New for 2018, existing companies could join the fun. Last year’s winning team, now named Maplespace Inc. and host Cnawlece Incorporated both joined the marathon and launched new products during the final presentations. Maplespace launched a new 3D crossword puzzle game, while Cnawlece took the wraps off Fixpedient; a new system to help land developers underwrite their projects and list them in a marketplace for investors.

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 Computing Student Association, SRCTec (Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech), Community Futures South Fraser, CEPCO (Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation), the Downtown Business Centre, and Cnawlece Incorporated.

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 using three common tools to validate new business ideas. Those who showed up with ideas but not a team gave a quick pitch to attract additional team members. Then all teams worked on both the business plan and the technology for 20 hours, iterating and “pivoting” as needed. Several teams changed up their plans significantly at least once during the event.

All teams received two 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 included Duane Storey from Lindell Media, Wim Kerkhoff from CraftyPenguins, Tim McAlpine from Currency Marketing, Dave Leger from Loop Energy Inc., Colin Schmidt from Cnawlece Incorporated, and Kalvin Morrow from Greenhouse Games.

The winning team is awarded $1750 towards bringing their product to market; sponsored by CEPCO, Community Futures South Fraser, SRCTec, and the Downtown Buisness Centre. They are also awarded six months of office space at the Downtown Business Centre.

Team lead, Alex Terhart of the winning team, before the final presentations and knowing his team had won, commented that “we learned so much more than we expected to! It was awesome.” The feedback from participants in general, judges, and sponsors once again clearly indicated that this annual event for Chilliwack is here to stay.

Raymond Szabada, CEO & Chairman SRCTec and 2018 Hackathon judge noted: “The Hackathon continues to attract young innovative talent, effectively stimulating the entrepreneurial spirit in the Valley. The Chilliwack.Tech community group did an excellent job organising and hosting the event and we look forward to what’s in store for the 2019 Hackathon.”

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

Pictures and public comments on the event can be found on Twitter at:

PWC Business Leaders Breakfast Session Taking Place April 17 at PWC Surrey Office

Register today – limited availability

Is your company’s innovation funding affected by evolving Federal Government policy? Is your SR&ED claim being prepared in line with current CRA expectations?

Innovation is THE new buzzword being used by the Federal Government. With the recent announcement of the 5 successful superclusters, and the recent 2018 Federal Budget providing increased direct funding mechanisms under a more streamlined delivery structure, the latest chapter in Canada’s funding strategy for science and technology promises to be exciting for many corporations.

We invite you to attend our breakfast sessions to hear PwC’s interpretation of current trends and developments for innovation support, and the latest CRA policy application within the centrepiece SR&ED program, to help you understand how each will potentially impact your company’s investment in innovation and SR&ED claims in future. We’ll also introduce new tools to help you navigate this new realm of innovation support.


Ted Bell
Partner and National Leader, SR&ED and Other Tax Incentives
Ted Bell is a partner in the Tax Services practice of PwC. He leads our National Incentives practice, which includes Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED), in addition to supporting PwC’s Climate Change Services team as a technical subject matter expert. Ted has worked with numerous clients to help them apply for and claim a variety of government incentives and to identify, document, prepare and successfully defend their SR&ED claims.

Jason Cheng
Partner, Tax Services
Jason Cheng is a Partner in the Tax Services practice of PwC He leads the technology team in the BC Incentives practice, which includes Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED). He has extensive government incentives and tax experience in many different industry sectors including computer software development, semiconductor design and biotechnology.

George Stefan
Partner, Tax Services
George Stefan is a Partner in the Tax Services practice of PwC. He leads the Fraser Valley team in the BC Incentives practice, which includes Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED). His industrial manufacturing and entrepreneurial experience is helping clients to identify, document, prepare and successfully defend their SR&ED claims. He has successfully defended multi-million dollar claims with CRA offices in several provinces.


Two dates and locations to choose from:
1) Fraser Valley
Tuesday, April 17
PwC’s Fraser Valley Office
13450-102nd Ave, Suite 1400
Surrey, BC
Register for Fraser Valley

2) Vancouver
Tuesday, April 24
Terminal City Club
837 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
Register for Vancouver

7:30 am – 8:00 am Networking and breakfast
8:00 am – 9:30 am Presentations and Q&A

To have somebody contact you about your SR&ED needs, contact:
Ian Bates
Manager, Technology Sector

The City of Maple Ridge to host Code-a-thon and Innovation Day as part of the Innovation in Emerging Cities initiative.

MISSION – In October 2017, SRCTec introduced collaboration between Industry, Government and Education through the Fraser Valley’s first Tech Forum in Mission. As part of the Tech Starts Here initiative, the Forum served as the platform to discuss ways to support and leverage the tech sector for local economic and workforce development within this Region. Leveraging the local momentum and topics covered in the Fall Forum, The City of Maple Ridge has taken initiative and is hosting the Innovation Day on April 4th 2018, featuring panel discussions touching on key topics including “Fostering a Climate for Innovation in an Emerging City” and “Attracting, Developing & Retaining Talent”. The event will also include keynote speakers Dr. Salvador Ferreras (Provost & VP. Academic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and Steve Dotto (Dotto Tech), a long standing celebrity in the BC Tech circles.

In addition to the Innovation Day, as part of the Emerging Cities initiative, The City of Maple Ridge and Esri Canada are hosting an online code-a-thon open to secondary and post-secondary students in the lower mainland as well as business owners in Maple Ridge. The contest is looking for an innovative app, tool or more using the City of Maple Ridge’s open data portal and four winners will each be awarded a prize of $300.

Raymond Szabada, CEO & Chairman SRCTec, noted: “Events such as the Innovation Day are critical to the growing tech sector economy and the development of a local, skilled, technical workforce. Building the tech sector within this Region cannot be done by one organization, the collective efforts of all regional stakeholders is imperative. The SRCTec team fully sponsors Maple Ridge for taking the initiative to organize and host the spring event”


For more information on these exciting developments please click the following links:

Innovation Day

Innovation in Emerging Cities Code-a-thon

2017 Fraser Valley Regional Tech Forum

Tech Starts Here



Erik DiGuistini
Marketing & Communications Assistant
1.877.523.5543 ext 16

2018 Chilliwack Tech Start-Up Hackathon – Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2018 Hackathon! SRCTec is very excited to be a part of this event once again as last year’s event was such a success. SRCTec CEO & Chairman Raymond Szabada will be one of four all-start judges at this event alongside Netty Tam (CEPCO), Steven Tao (Downtown Business Centre), and Helen Yu (Downtown Business Centre). If you or anyone you know is interested, please register for this event by clicking the following link.


SRCTec hosts the Inaugural Fraser Valley Regional Tech Forum with over 200 in attendance.

The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) is a not-for-profit organization governed by a select group of technology executives that form a volunteer board of directors. SRCTec is a coalition of local government, industry partners and high education institutions interested in attracting tech based investment into the “Region” (including the District of Mission, City of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, the Township of Langley and the City of Maple Ridge).

MISSION  –  The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech , in partnership with regional stakeholders, hosted the Inaugural Fraser Valley Regional Tech Forum on October 10th at the Best Western Plus Mission City Lodge. This event included panel discussions and speakers touching on “Local Tech Startup War Stories”, “Fundraising from Angel to Series A”, “Developing and Retaining the Best People”, Pecha Kucha presentations on Fraser Valley initiatives and Denise Hannen as keynote speaker.

The event kicked off with opening remarks from SRCTec’s Chairman and CEO Raymond Szabada, local liberal MLA Simon Gibson and Mission mayor Randy Hawes. Following this, attendees listened to valuable insights from local Tech CEOs who participated in the Startup War stories panel discussion. This panel was moderated by Mike Shields of PWC and speakers included Mike Battistel of Cascadia Windows, Peter Scales of ACI Foods, Robert Humphreys of Predicted Property, Oliver Perez of MultiTrends, and Kalvin Morrow of Greenhouse Games.

Encompassing the second aspect of the event was the panel discussion covering financing topics: Fundraising from Angel to Series A. This panel was moderated by Ted Olak of BDC and included three venture capitalists: Sarah Applebaum of Pangaea Ventures, Michael McGee of Avrio Capital, and David O’Leary of REDDS Venture Investment Partners. This panel let us dive into the world of venture capitalists touching on investment pitches and tips to find not only an investor but the right investor.

As part of the Workforce Development panel, attendees were treated to four fast-paced Pecha Kucha style presentations. Jacqueline Hall, VP of Rick Hansen Secondary, started us off with an inspiring presentation: “Building a culture of inquiry at Rick Hansen Secondary School of Business and Science”, next was Wim Kerkhoff, CEO and founder of Kherkoff Technologies, presenting “A local technology CEO’s perspective on Talent”, followed by Dr. Maureen Wideman, Director of Teaching and Learning at UFV, presenting “21st Century Learning”, and finishing off was Colin Schmidt, CEO and founder of Cnawlece, presenting “Building a startup community in the Fraser Valley”.

Part of the event included Doug Sage, Director-Marketing Business Solutions & Health at TELUS, showcasing to the audience what TELUS is currently working towards, and providing a look into the future of connectivity and Regional Fiber Initiative.


Raymond Szabada, Chairman of the board & CEO, SRCTec, noted: “The SRCTec team would like to thank our corporate sponsors: TELUS, BDC, PWC, UFV and i-Open Technologies for providing the resources and funding to make this event happen. We were thrilled to see over 200 attendees coming together to provide valuable insights, spark important conversations and leave the Fraser Valley Tech community inspired, informed and exposed to the future of the local technology sector; the forum truly validates the need for a Regional Technology Ecosystem”


Erik DiGuistini
Marketing and Communications Assistant


Market Validation Cohort April 2017

Congratulations to the SRCTec ventures in the April 2017 cohort for graduating from the Market Validation Training as part of the Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) and Agri-Tech Venture Acceleration Program (AVAP).


Below are post-graduation photos taken at the SRCTec office in Mission.


(Yahoel Van Essen, co-founder and CEO of Eleos Robotics)

(Ramin Ghodsi, Director of Picker Drones)

(Raymond Kobes: Co-Founder of Maple Force Tech and member of the winning team at the 2017  Chilliwack Hackathon)

Fusion Genomics

*No Image Available*

(Akmal Jameel, CFO of Fusion Genomics)


For more info on these ventures, visit their respective websites below:



Erik DiGuistini
Marketing and Communications Assistant
(604) 768-6052

Agriculture Technology Driving Force in Establishing LOI Between SRCTec and Istuary Idea Labs

Access to China’s Agriculture Technology Industry Offers BC Companies Opportunity to Drive Further Growth in Canada and China

Vancouver, BC, April 18, 2017 – Istuary Idea Labs and the Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) recently signed a Letter of Intent to provide BC tech companies with education, resources and a network to tap into China, most notably in one of the largest agricultural markets in the world. Vancouver-based Istuary Idea Labs views Fraser Valley as a prime testing ground for agri-tech, a $12 billion industry that could not have survived without technology but one that can certainly expand further in China. Businesses that are beginning the commercialization phase and have some of the most promising technology in agri-tech make business sense for SRCTec and Istuary Idea Labs to collaborate.

Michael Liu, VP of Istuary Idea Labs, stated, “We are very excited to work with SRCTec in assisting Fraser Valley technology companies with the ability to access and commercialize in global markets. By connecting promising technologies to our resources in China, we create new opportunities and synergies that wouldn’t have been available to start-up companies. Thus partnering with SRCTec fits perfectly into our vision of cultivating innovation and launching businesses into expanding markets.

The collaboration is a significant boost to Istuary Idea Labs as SRCTec already facilitates innovation and entrepreneurial ventures in the Fraser Valley in the form of partnerships throughout the province. With agri-tech as a new source of innovation, Istuary Idea Labs offers strategic access to one of the biggest agricultural markets in the world and in great demand of agricultural technology: China.

Raymond Szabada, Founder and Chairman of the Board of SRCTec, says “Istuary is a knowledgeable partner that can provide valuable advice and direct introductions to Fraser Valley tech companies to take advantage of resources and markets in China. Access to manufacturing plants in China will allow local startups to build and test prototypes with teams that are highly experienced in moving towards commercialization. There are vast opportunities to create business partnerships to share knowledge of market needs in Asia and North America, as well as joint ventures to share and enhance technologies. We’re very excited about the benefits awaiting Tech companies in our Programs through this partnership with Istuary”

About Istuary Innovation Group

Istuary Innovation Group is a Canadian technology company with a mission to connect local technology to global markets through glocalization for sustainable innovation. Istuary focuses on identifying and filling technology gaps in foreign markets by leveraging Canada’s world class design and engineering talent. Operating in 3 countries, 30 cities, and employing over 1500 employees worldwide, go to for more information.


About SRCTec

SRCTec is a not-for-profit organization based in Mission B.C. dedicated to facilitating innovation and entrepreneurial ventures in the Fraser Valley.  It has formed numerous partnerships throughout the province to connect local tech companies with funding, advice, training, and other business and marketing services.



Erik DiGuistini

Marketing and Communications Assistant

(604) 768-6052

Nutriva Set to Break Ground on Their New HydroGreen Process


Nutriva Group has announced that they will begin using the HydroGreen system in June/July of 2017, with installation beginning on April 10th, 2017. The HydroGreen system is being installed on Nutriva’s demonstration farm, Bakerview EcoDairy in Abbotsford BC, and the company expects this to be the pilot site for HydroGreen in Canada as it’s the first HydroGreen system in the country. Bakerview EcoDairy will also be the site for research trials feeding sprouted grass to dairy and beef cattle and free-range layer hens. Bill Vanderkooi, CEO of Nutriva Group, estimates that the total cost of the installation will be in excess of $1,000,000 and assist farmers to raise local grass fed beef in an economical and sustainable way.



The HydroHGGreen system is a new approach to hydroponically-grown sprouted grass. Grown without the need for soil medium, without pesticides, and with minimal labour, HydroGreen sprouted grass can be produced year-round in a building as small as 800 square feet and producing the equivalent to 20 acres of forage from traditional production methods. The HydroGreen system is fully automated from seed to harvest, uses LED lighting with minimal water consumption, while being extremely energy efficient (can run on a 12v car battery in a power outage).


Please click on the following link to learn more about the HydroGreen System

HydroGreen Video


Photo: Construction of the HydroGreen Facility at Bakerview EcoDairy



Market Validation Cohort March 2017

SRCTec is pleased to announce the graduation of Flex Alert Company and NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics from the Market Validation Cohort, March 2017, as part of the Agri-Tech Venture Acceleration Program (AVAP).


Photo: Market Validation Cohort March 2017 Graduates

From left to right: Mike Manion, Jacek Chrostowski (Flex Alert Company), Hamlet Abnousi (Novobind Livestock Therapeutics), Peter Briscoe


About Flex Alert Company:

Flex Alert Company Ltd. is a technology company based in Ottawa and Vancouver, Canada with operations in The Hague, the Netherlands and East Africa. Its mission is to develop low cost wireless biosensors for detecting pathogens in food grains, perishable fruits, and during wine production to be used with our mobile networks. Most of our current focus is on local precision agriculture reducing human intervention in the field, through developing and implementing infrastructure based on wireless Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

About Novobind Livestock Therapeutics:

NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics is an agriculture biotechnology company developing cost-neutral feed additives that function as alternatives to antibiotics. Their products specifically target and eliminate individual food-borne pathogens like Salmonella from livestock.


Click here for more information on the Agri-Tech Venture Acceleration Program (AVAP)

Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. Closes $1M Seed Financing to Launch Commercialization



MISSION – Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. recently announced the completion of a successful Seed financing. The financing was initiated in November 2016 and closed on March 16, 2017. The Seed financing raised $1 Million and was significantly over-subscribed. Angel investors from North America and the European Union participated including investors from the Creative Destruction Lab and the Vancouver Angel Forum. Many of their investors are entrepreneurs with highly successful company ventures in information technology, artificial intelligence, banking and agriculture who have validated our AI technology and business plan through extensive diligence.

Dr. Saber Miresmailli, CEO and founder of Ecoation Innovative Solutions stated that “we are very excited to have completed our Seed financing with such an experienced and successful group of investors. We look forward to engaging their knowledge and experience as the company transitions from product development to paid field trials and subscription sales of our novel crop health monitoring and prediction system.”

Funds will be used to launch commercial sales starting with greenhouse growers in North America in 2017 and then expanding to Europe and Asia. Key activities include building a world class field services team who will support the implementation and operation of the EIS crop health system. Funds will also be used to expand sales, marketing and intellectual property.


For more information, click the following link to visit their website: