It’s common knowledge that the B.C. tech industry is booming. Startups abound from Yaletown to Port Coquitlam, and Greater Vancouver companies are hiring faster than any other sector. Ask the average Vancouverite in the street, though, and they’ll struggle to name any of the city’s major players. So what are these mysterious companies—and what do they actually do?
The Technology Impact Awards, or the TIAs, go a long way towards answering those questions. The 1000-guest annual ceremony—now in its 23rd year—honours the province’s leaders and rising stars in 11 categories, and highlights some of the most innovative applications of technology.
B.C.’s tech industry, as you might imagine, is wildly diverse. Creating software for everything from identifying online trolls, getting kids outside with augmented reality playground games, and getting rid of the rent cheque, the prize’s finalists had little in common besides their commitment to problem-solving. Each working on one very particular area—including niches like the legal industry, gaming, or stem cell research—the nominated companies have each provided simple solutions to real-world issues.
A number of firms were recognized in more than one category. Corvus Energy—an organization that makes long-lasting batteries to allow heavy industrial and marine equipment to run off clean energy—went toe-to-toe with MediaValet—a company that permits businesses to manage and share files including images, videos, and even CAD drawings—for the Excellence in Product Innovation and Adoption of Technology prizes. Clio, which manages lawyers’ calendars, note-taking, documents, and billing, got the nod for Team of the Year and Company of the Year, while app development firm Traction on Demand scooped nominations for the Community Engagement and People’s Choice trophies.
“The B.C. tech industry has never been more diverse,” said Bill Tam, president of the B.C. Tech association and host of the evening. “Every year through the TIAs, we celebrate the technology up-and-comers and leaders that are transforming the B.C. tech ecosystem. The calibre of talent of the finalists and winners this year is outstanding, and we congratulate each of them for their accomplishments.”
The full list of nominees is as follows, with the winners highlighted in bold.
Adoption of Technology
- Copperleaf Technologies Inc. (www.copperleaf.com) and
Government of BC (www.gov.bc.ca)
- Corvus Energy (corvusenergy.com) and
Seaspan Ferries Corporation (www.seaspan.com)
- MediaValet Inc. (www.mediavalet.com) and
Canadian Blood Services (blood.ca)
Most Promising Pre-Commercial Technology
- ARTMS Products Inc. (www.artmsproductsinc.com)
- Akimbo Creations (akimbocreations.com)
- Minesense Technologies Ltd. (www.minesense.com)
Excellence in Product Innovation
- Corvus Energy (www.corvusenergy.com)
- MediaValet Inc. (www.mediavalet.com)
- Schneider Electric (solar.schneider-electric.com)
- Allocadia Software Inc. (www.allocadia.com)
- Appnovation (www.appnovation.com)
- Traction on Demand (tractionondemand.com)
Team of the Year
Most Promising Startup
Emerging Company of the Year
- RentMoola Payment Solutions Inc. (rentmoola.com)
- Trulioo (www.trulioo.com)
- Two Hat Security Ltd. (twohat.com)
Person of the Year
- Manny Padda, Founder, New Avenue Capital
- Laurie Schultz, President & CEO, ACL
- Shafin Diamond Tejani, Founder, Victory Square Labs
Company of the Year
- Clio (www.goclio.com)
- Electronic Arts Inc. (www.ea.com)
- STEMCELL Technologies Inc. (www.stemcell.com)
Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Alan Winter
People’s Choice Award: Traction on Demand (tractionondemand.com)
Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays