Reuben Mann and The Media Store Continuing Growth in the Okanagan and the Fraser Valley


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, the City of Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Maple Ridge, and the Township of Langley).


MISSION – The Media Store, led by Reuben Mann, is a brand marketing consultancy that assesses, produces, and implements digital marketing campaigns for national restaurant franchises, entertainment venues, and not-for-profit organizations. In addition to end-to-end branding, web development, graphic design, social media, search engine marketing, and print solutions, The Media Store consults with and aligns an organization’s values with a modern and effective online presence aimed at nurturing business leads, community engagement, and building brand value.

The Media Store, one of SRCTec’s ventures, has been busy securing contracts and opportunities for the future both locally and province-wide. Locally, the company has recently launched a publishing platform for the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association, organizing a community event expected to attract over 20,000 visitors to the downtown core with notable sponsorships from Aldergrove Credit Union, Fortis BC, City of Abbotsford, BC Strawberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Councils and secured $120,000/year in funding from Google to use towards Google ads for the organization.

“The Media Store has been building a strong foundation for themselves in the Okanagan. The company has secured their first one-year contract with “The Liquid Zoo” and have also been working with other organizations including Sapphire Nightclub. Their work with Pita Pit Kelowna boosted their sales ranking from 12th to 4th in BC. We look forward to assisting Reuben and his team in their plan” noted Ray Szabada, CEO, SRCTec.

The Media Store has also recently hired a BCIT marketing graduate who has been working with them during practicum to fill the role of social media coordinator.


Learn More:

The Media Store:


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

Canadian AgriChar Working With Local Universities to Perform Tests On Their BioChar Product


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, Cities of Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Maple Ridge, and the Township of Langley).


MISSION – Canadian AgriChar, an SRCTec AVAP venture, is a Canadian based company located in British Columbia whose main focus is the manufacture and distribution of “biochar” for use in soil remediation and growth enhancement. The company’s product, Char+ BioChar, remineralizes soil to maximize plant growth, hold moisture and prevent soil leaching.

Beginning in November 2016, Canadian AgriChar had been working with The University of the Fraser Valley to perform trials in order to determine the optimum amount of BioChar to use in any soil. The trials proved to be a great success and the results indicated that 10%-15% of Char+ BioChar in the soil was the optimum amount.

Following these trials, the Canadian AgriChar team has now been working with Kwantlen Polytechnic University to perform further tests on Char+ BioChar at different rates from 0% to 20% in their BioSoil Mix and also in a leading competitor’s ProMix. The trials have been carefully monitored, beginning earlier this year, and a final report on the results will be completed in the coming weeks.

In addition to these exciting trials, the company has been gaining international interest at numerous trade shows and as a result, the management team has begun working on building an export division to continue growth and cater to their future international clients.

Ken Bowman, president of Canadian AgriChar, said “after going through the SRCTec program, and with help from Mike Manion, SRCTec’s AG Tech EIR, we feel that the foundation work for Canadian AgriChar is almost complete”.

Bowman also noted that the testing at UFV and KPU is a result of the market looking for proof. The tests and trials will provide support and evidence, when selling the product, that Char+ BioChar is becoming a leader in the industry.

Mike Manion added “The international interest that Canadian AgriChar has gained is impressive, especially at such an early stage. We believe that Ken and the Canadian AgriChar team are taking the right steps in developing an industry leading product and a strong corporate foundation to continue to build upon in the coming years”


Learn More:

Canadian AgriChar/Char+ BioChar:




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

Eleos Robotics enters contract to receive investment of $165,000


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, City of Chilliwack, District of Maple Ridge and the Township of Langley).


Mission, BC, June 21, 2017 – Eleos Robotics, one of SRCTec’s latest start-ups, has signed a contract to receive an investment of $165,000 and they have recently received their first $35,000 of this investment. Eleos Robotics designs, engineers and integrates advanced robotics and artificial intelligence technologies to “create high-tech solutions to low-tech problems.” Their vision is to one day see hundreds of thousands of acres of crops chemical free because of Culture Bot, the automated pest management system and “the future of pest management”.

For growers who need to lower their crop protection expenses, Culture Bot technology reduces labour and pesticide spraying costs significantly. Unlike integrated pest management, Culture Bot is fully automated and unlike pesticides, it’s 100% sustainable.

Learn more about Culture Bot here:

“We have a task force of engineers led by the founders: myself, Elisabeth Van Essen, and Emanuel Pop. We have been doing the technology planning and Ai research up to this point because of the lack of funds for robotics equipment” noted Yahoel Van Essen, co-founder of Eleos Robotics.

Eleos Robotics has experienced a seed round of funding from a prominent NBA player. They raised approximately $170,000, and most of that is going towards technology development and launch preparations. Having some cash of their own also makes them “less risky” for government funders, increasing their odds of getting a grant.

“The SRCTec team is very excited for the future of Eleos Robotics and we’re looking forward to continuing to help them grow their company. Start-ups like Eleos Robotics that have a unique idea, a clear vision and the drive to build a successful company are becoming increasingly common in the “Region” and it gives some insight into what the future holds for the tech sector in the Fraser Valley.” noted Raymond Szabada, CEO, SRCTec.



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

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:




SRCTec Clients Win Two of Four Agritech Innovation Challenge Awards

MISSION – The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) is proving to be fertile ground for innovation in the agricultural technology sector. Two of the four Agritech Innovation Challenge awards recently announced at the #BCTECH Summit went to graduates of SRCTec’s AG-Tech Venture Acceleration Program.

Ecoation Innovative Solutions ( won the award for Pest Management and Loss Reduction, and Boost Environmental Systems ( won the award for Nutrient Management. Each company will receive $20,000 to further develop solutions to agricultural challenges in BC.

Raymond Szabada, Founder and Chairman of the Board of SRCTec, says “the awards are a demonstration of the organization’s positive impact. Finding local solutions to local problems through applied technology is what we’re all about. By assisting such ag-tech startup companies, we’re helping to improve the entire agricultural sector; bringing new jobs, new resources, and new economic growth to BC,” says Szabada.

SRCTec is a not-for-profit organization based in Mission, dedicated to facilitating innovation and entrepreneurial ventures BC wide, since inception of the program in early 2015, SRCTec has now supported more than 30 ventures with validating their respective technologies, training and on-going mentorship.

For more information about SRCTec, please visit


Mike Manion
Manager, AG-Tech Venture Acceleration
(778) 837-3809

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 

Pictures of the event can be found here: