Blogs

  • 08 Aug 2019 by DigiBC

    The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) in Japan is offering a week-long roadshow for selected Canadian digital media companies from September 3 to 6, 2019. If you are involved in the video game industry, offer solutions in augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) or volumetric/video capturing and are interested in exploring the Japanese market, the TCS will introduce you to leading gaming companies in the Japanese market.

    Japan is the second largest video game market and continuously offers opportunities for Canadian companies to be part of the Japanese companies' value chain. TCS will organize a value-added business program for Canadian video game SMEs on the margins of the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference (CEDEC) 2019. CEDEC is a conference promoting the improvement of technological strength and exchanges of knowledge and information for people connected to computer entertainment (mainly games) development, business, and research and development of related technologies and hardware, etc, and is considered the Japanese equivalent of Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

    In addition, the TCS team in Japan will organize pitch sessions for participating Canadian companies with potential Japanese partners in Tokyo, Fukuoka and Sapporo. Through these targeted company meetings, the TCS team in Japan aims to provide Canadian delegates with a unique opportunity to discover new business trends emerging in the Japanese digital media market.

    Potential Program

    • Minimum 4 company visits to leading game companies in the Tokyo area.
    • Workshops with university students and game developers and 1-2 company visits in Sapporo and Fukuoka (optional).
    • Walk-around the CEDEC for ad-hoc meetings on site.


    Who should attend? 
    Canadian SMEs in the digital media industry that are developing products, technologies, or solutions using innovative technologies such as augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and volumetric/video capturing.

    Contact
    If you are considering participating in Canada Game Roadshow in Japan in conjunction with CEDEC 2019, please contact Kimihiro.Iwao@international.gc.ca by August 9, 2019. Due to the nature of multiple visit programs and logistics considerations, participants will be limited to a maximum of 6 and chosen on a first come first served basis. Funding support may be available.

     

  • 24 Jul 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC hosted a video game leadership dinner on June 18th at Blue Water Café. Sponsored by PWC, the event was an opportunity to have some direct conversation about the state of the industry and what we, as the most significant stakeholders, can do to improve our business environments. In attendance were more than 20 studios, employing 5,000+ employees. In order to set the tone for the discussion and ensure our time together was well utilized, DigiBC sent out a pre-dinner survey to industry CEOs. The results were quite consistent and showed that while the industry has some serious concerns, overall, we remain somewhat optimistic as to the future of video game creation in British Columbia.

     

     

    Studio heads were also asked to rank the challenges they are facing in the industry in B.C. Not surprisingly, low tax incentives relative to other Canadian jurisdictions was the primary challenge, followed by access to talent and rising business and infra-structure costs in B.C. Regional development, retaining IP in B.C., and bridge financing were also of concern.

     

     

    Lastly, studio heads were asked to share what gave B.C. a competitive advantage, if we do in fact have a competitive advantage.

    • A long-established gaming industry
    • Where we live is where people vacation, people want to move here.
    • There is some legacy/critical mass here for games in particular, but we have squandered that a bit. With the cost of living and relatively low wages, it is now difficult to say that there is a competitive advantage for BC.
    • It is a wonderful place to live, (both Canada and the West Coast).
    • Weak currency. Strong talent pool.
    • Regional appeal and talent pool.
    • The existing talent pool
    • Attractive to international candidates - livable city, health care, etc. Reputation for having best in class existing talent and a good deal of choice of studios/Corp cultures for incoming talent.
    • Having a video game 'micro-climate' with a track record of success and a 'big gorilla' in Electronic Arts, which brings talent into the Province.
    • Canada has a great brand around the world for fairness and creativity. This is a great place to do business, and BC is the best place for basing international partnerships. I'm not sure we hold competitive advantages like we once did, our presence in the games industry is slipping. If we formed a strong "entertainment" industry focus that integrated games, animation, VFX... then we would have a unique position of talent, training, and creativity. We sell ourselves as a "creative" shop... this has been our competitive advantage.
    • Attractive place to live, beautiful & safe reputation, access to western seaboard & Asian gateway.
    • We have a strong talent pool from decades of video game success.
    • Canada and calm climate

     

    Additionally, we asked what competitive advantage we would like to have in B.C.

    • Incentive to grow being priority 1.
    • Better cost of living ratio for staff. Our people are paid well nationally, but housing and childcare create large economic burdens.
    • Cost of living and tax advantages

     

    The final question asked if there was anything studios wanted to share that was not yet asked. Two strong answers from this question that got discussed further in the dialogue were:

    “Any inbound investment to Canada would, on purely economic reasons NOT invest in B.C. This is crazy and ought to be remedied to make us the playing field level. Also, access to capital for game companies is a real issue. There are not many providers in the market who play in this space.”

    “We have an amazing opportunity in a growing international industry... yet on our current trend we will see fewer people working in our industry in BC in 2020 than in 2019. We do not have an internationally competitive agenda... as a local industry we are not growing fast enough, others are taking our place. Not one international industry event here for gaming, non-competitive incentive infrastructure for business, lack of marketing talent, limited capital sources. As players in this industry, we need to benchmark ourselves against the best in the world, and this is what I don't see prevalent in our BC industry right now.”

     

    All in all, a great evening (thank you PWC and Ian Heine), and DigiBC now has its work cut out! The information shared at this event will help guide our government relations work going forward to the next B.C. budget.

  • 19 Jul 2019 by DigiBC

    About BTG Forums

    BridgingTheGap™ Forums are curated events that connect emerging young talent with influential executives and impact investors to build their careers and solve community challenges. They believe in empowering future talent and businesses to thrive in the changing marketplace. BTG works to equip emerging talent for success by forging positive community relationships and opportunities to develop lifelong learning skills. Together, they can harness the creativity of the next generation to make the world a better place.

    On Wednesday, August 21 they will be in Vancouver to host the following two seminars at the Library Square Conference Centre.

     

    Future Ready Executive Forum (3:00PM-5:30PM) - REGISTRATION LINK

    • A B2B audience interested in actionable strategies to recruit and retain Millennials and Generation Z talent
    • Participants will be invited to complete a workplace assessment about their current workplace culture and challenges as part of a national research and development project to create BridgingTheGap’s Future-Ready Employer Index—a tool to analyze workplace gaps and opportunities for Canadian businesses to adapt and thrive in the future of work
    • Aimed at business owners, HR and management professionals, innovation firms and local investors with an interest in digital transformation and becoming future-ready as a business

     

    Youth Innovation Mastermind (6:00PM-9:00PM) - REGISTRATION LINK

    • A mixed audience of executive mentors and emerging young talent aged 18-35 designed as an innovation mastermind to solicit ideas and solutions for the Government of Canada's National Strategy for Sustainable Development
    • Participants will receive access to MyEffect, a mobile app and online platform that unites people with partners—nonprofits, brands, and influencers—to take action for a shared cause and tracks everyone’s impact, skill development and experiences
    • Aimed at young talent interested in building their career and/or young entrepreneurs looking to scale their ventures (a portion of which will be from underserved groups like young women entrepreneurs and other minority groups in innovation)

     

  • 12 Jul 2019 by DigiBC

    A Thinking Ape's co-founders, Wilkins Chung and Kenshi Arasaki, were working as engineers for Amazon before deciding to break out on their own. In 2008, they secured funding through Silicon Valley’s YCombinator for a multi-source chat engine dubbed, Chatterous. Noticing that chat groups were forming in the engine around social web games, they decided to create their first game on top of the platform. This would be a proof-of-concept that they could bring to other mobile gaming companies. Kingdoms at War was never meant to be a success but it was profitable within a few months of launch. The game is still going nine years later, and much of this is due to the communities that have built strong relationships through the chat feature. After this success, former Facebook developer, Eric Diep, came on board and together they started ATA with a focus on mobile game development while retaining the core principle of building communities. ATA has been profitable every year since it started and the founders have huge plans for future growth.

    ATA is one of the top-grossing developers on the Apple and Google App Stores with four live mobile game titles, Kingdoms of Heckfire, Party in My Dorm, Kingdoms at War and Casino X. The communities within these games are a powerful, hilarious and colourful illustration of their mission. The connections made in-game have been the catalyst for marriages, group vacations, and even precious DNA mixtapes (aka babies).

    ATA is working on a fifth title that’s in the early stages of development and scheduled to launch worldwide in early 2020. The team has taken what they learned from the success of Party in My Dorm and Kingdoms of Heckfire to guide the production of this game, and are currently working with the marketing team to validate their creative concepts. Meanwhile, the Party in My Dorm team has recently launched a secret feature that no one knows about yet. Instead of announcing it, they’ve decided to only tell a few players and see how far it spreads through word of mouth alone. They want players to have the fun of blowing each other’s minds when they show their friends.
     

     

    Over the years, ATA has put a lot of focus on cultivating a culture that is supportive of each individual and offers a workplace where everyone can feel free to be their true self. This hard work has recently been recognized as they featured at number five on the 2019 list of Best Workplaces™ in Canada <100 Employees. In 2018, they were awarded a place on the list of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures and Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers. They’ve also been featured as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces™ for Mental Wellness.

    ATA’s core values are: Ownership, Have Wonderful Arguments, Keep Growing and Best Ideas Win. These values help the team create the ideal environment for building ambitious things. It’s a place where brilliant and inspiring people can come together and build games that make millions of players happy. ATA realized that they needed to find incredibly talented people and get out of their way, that’s why they don’t believe in the traditional hierarchy structure. Why would they hire the best people if they’re not going to give them the ownership to make decisions? This is not to say that they don’t have a leadership team, in fact, their leads are integral in creating a supportive work environment where their employees can function at their highest potential. Leads inspire their teams towards new levels of growth and achievement by ensuring the mission and core values inform their leadership style.
     

     

    The team at ATA is fascinated by human behaviour and creates games where powerful social communities can grow and thrive. They believe great communities only become stronger when they are set in compelling universes that they’ve created... in other words, original intellectual property or IP. Their strategy to only build games using original IP, gives them full control over how they grow their communities and allows them to reinvest their profits in new product development and cultivating their team as they continue to scale.

     

    Fun Fact: Every team at ATA is named after a sea creature, real or mythical. This began with Project Squid, as the founders began exploring different areas of growth for the company (just like a squid’s tentacles reaching out in different directions on the ocean floor). Currently, the five teams are Leviathan, Kraken, Narwhal, Dolphin and Otter.

     

    ATA is growing and currently looking to fill the following roles: 3D Marketing Generalist, 2D Game Artist, Senior 2D Game Artist and Software Engineering Lead. They would love to chat with people who share their values, believe in building communities, and can add to their awesome culture. Check out their Careers page for further info and to apply.

     

  • 21 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    We had such a blast at the RockPaperScissors tournament + networking mixer this past Wednesday. Mr Scotty Patey sure knows how to host a show and keep the crowd engaged from start to finish. The combination of his background in improv, acting, and stand-up makes for a night of non-stop laughs and fun! Huge thanks again to our wonderful sponsors, A Thinking Ape & eStruxture Data Centers, for helping make this event possible. We’d also like to thank the AnzaClub Vancouver, East Side Games, PayDay Productions and A Thinking Ape for donating some amazing prizes, and shout out to Juliana L for winning the door raffle grand prize which was an Oculus Go (courtesy of eStruxture Data Centers). Unfortunately, Ryan D was unable to defend his title this time around. However, we ended up with an all-female showdown in the final where Colleen A was able to edge past Andrada T and be crowned the winner.

     


    No need to fret if you missed out on this as we’re already looking to plan more events for later on in the year. This one, in particular, is quite popular so we’d love to host it every couple of months and will be looking for sponsors. Sponsorship is a great way to connect with industry professionals and promote your brand to decision makers in the creative tech sector. Please contact us (team@digibc.org) if you are interested in sponsoring the next one and we can provide you with further details. In the meantime, be sure to join our mailing list so you can stay up-to-date on the creative tech sector in BC.

     

     

     

  • 18 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    Are you a B.C. video game studio with products or services targeting China's video game market and are you planning to attend ChinaJoy 2019? If so, you may want to connect with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service as they will be organizing a series of business activities to support participating Canadian companies. This will be taking place from July 31-August 3 in Beijing and Shanghai. The proposed program is as follows:
     

    The Canadian Gaming Seminar (Beijing) July 31:

    This is a unique opportunity to extend the reach of participating Canadian companies at ChinaJoy and connect with local companies from Beijing’s gaming cluster.

    • Morning: all Canadian companies participating in ChinaJoy featured to local Chinese companies. Chinese participants would be invited through the organization, Beijing Animation & Game Industry Alliance, a body with 100+ gaming industrial members. The venue is the China World Hotel Beijing.
    • Afternoon: site visits to two or three large Chinese gaming companies/distributors in Beijing
    • Evening: potential networking business reception/dinner

     

    ChinaJoy 2019 (Shanghai) August 1-3:

    • August 1: site visit in Shanghai to a major premium game publisher and distributor in China
    • August 2 & 3: the Consulate will host a Canadian Meeting Room at the Kerry Hotel (venue for ChinaJoy conferences)*

    *bookings (30-minute intervals) are available on a first-come-first-serve basis
     

    Participating Canadian companies can use the Canadian Meeting Room for pre-arranged B2B meetings, which could be set up either by companies themselves or by the Trade Commissioners upon request. Trade Commissioner will be onsite at the Kerry Hotel to facilitate meetings and provide support.

     

    Cost & Registration:

    Interested clients are invited to participate in the ChinaJoy and/or Beijing program. Please complete and send the >>> program registration form <<< no later than June 28, 2019 to Ms. Sandra Jiang, Trade Commissioner [sandra.jiang@international.gc.ca]


    There is no charge to participate in the program but all participating companies are responsible for their own travel and related expenses. Companies are also responsible for their own passes to enter ChinaJoy*. There are no fees to be paid directly to the TCS.

    *ChinaJoy Pass is not required to access the Canadian Meeting Room, which is located at the Business Center of the Kerry Hotel
     

    For a ChinaJoy Pass purchase, please visit the official website: http://en2019.chinajoy.net/ and access the purchase app by scanning the QR code. Passes can also be purchased onsite at the entrance.

     
     

    Questions?

    Beijing:

    Bella Qiao
    Embassy of Canada (Beijing)
    bellaxiaotong.qiao@international.gc.ca

     

    Shanghai:

    Sandra Jiang
    Consulate General of Canada (Shanghai)

    sandra.jiang@international.gc.ca


     

  • 18 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiMusic 2019 was a music competition for high school students in BC. It ran from April 2 to May 14 and gave students a small taste of what it’s like to combine creativity and technology. The challenge was to compose music for one or more short clips of video games and animated movies that have been created right here in BC. Entries were then judged by a panel comprised of digital media and music industry experts, and the goal of the competition was to help parents, teachers, and students see that there are viable careers to be had in the creative technology sector.

    DigiMusic gave students the ability to showcase their exceptional musical talents in a creative and dynamic way. Our judges were thoroughly impressed by the depth of sophistication and skill they heard in the compositions and the overall quality was simply outstanding. We have no doubt that many of these students will go on to have successful careers in the creative digital sector should they pursue it.

     


    Participants came together for the finale event on June 3, which was hosted at EA Vancouver, to celebrate the nominees and view all of the submissions. It was an exciting day where the winners were presented with professional sound mixers, provided by Roland Canada, for their school's music room and the event capped off with an exclusive tour of the Electronic Arts campus.

     

    Huge thanks to the following organizations and individuals for making this project possible:

    EA Vancouver, Creative BC, BC Government (Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture), Phoenix Labs, Blackbird Interactive, Yeti Farm Animations, BCMEA, Roland Canada, James Hursthouse,  Zoltan Virga, Brad Justason, Colin Madill, John Morgan, Adrian Talens, Shannon Mason, Caitlin Yu, and Jesse Houston
     

    See here for more info >> https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019TAC0069-001143

     

     

  • 07 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    The BC Trade and Investment office in Los Angeles recently connected with a few investors in California who are interested in making investments in different sectors in BC. If you would like to connect with any of the investors for further discussion, please contact Alana Wagner, Director of the Trade and Investment Office (Los Angeles) as per the following:


    Alana Wagner
    Director, Pacific Southwest
    Trade & Invest British Columbia
    10250 Constellation Blvd, Suite 100c
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    E: awagner@britishcolumbia.ca

     

    1. Investment/Doing Business in US – Expert Dojo is an accelerator in Santa Monica, California. They have just launched their second fund of US$2M. It is an international only fund and they are looking to invest US$100,000 in companies for their Fall cohort (September 1). The cohort will be 3 months in Santa Monica with sessions on doing business in the US as well as connections to VCs in Southern California. They are hoping for companies who are generating revenue. They are industry agnostic on the type of companies who apply. https://expertdojo.com/international/

    2. Investment/Strategic Partnership –Touchdown Ventures manages professional corporate venture capital programs for some of the largest companies in the world. With a team of approximately 20 investment professionals and offices in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, Touchdown partners with corporations to enable them to invest directly in consumer, enterprise, and healthcare businesses across all stages of venture capital. They work with about a dozen corporations and currently seek opportunities in the sectors.
       
    3. Investment/Strategic Partnership – Venture Fuel works with global brands to identify early-stage companies who may be a fit for their needs. Each quarter they send out updates for new technologies that they are looking to connect to global brands. See this link for the current ask. https://www.venturefuel.net/opportunities

     

  • 01 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC Member Companies

    A Thinking Ape
    BCIT
    Biba Ventures
    Blackbird Interactive
    Codename Entertainment
    Demonware
    EA Vancouver
    eStruxture Data Centers
    Explore West Interactive
    Fasken
    Finger Food Studios
    FlowMotion Entertainment
    Go2 Productions
    HTFG @ CBRE
    Hyper Hippo
    Kabam Vancouver
    KPMG
    Next Level Games
    Offworld Industries
    Phoenix Labs
    Red Hook Studios
    Relic
    SkyBox Labs
    The Coalition (Microsoft)
    Time Factory Studio
    Truly Social Games

     

    Animation & VFX Alliance of BC Member Companies
    Animal Logic
    Atomic Cartoons
    Bardel Entertainment
    Cinesite Studios
    CoSA VFX
    DHX Media
    DNEG
    ILM Vancouver
    Image Engine
    Kickstart Productions
    LUX Visual Effects
    Method Studios
    MPC Vancouver
    Mr Wolf
    Rainmaker Studios
    Scanline VFX
    Sony Pictures Imageworks
    Stellar – Creative Lab
    Waterproof Studios
    Zoic Studios

  • 22 May 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC has applied for funding to benchmark the make-up of the creative technology sector in BC. Without good measurements, we are unable to support evidence-based decision making at the provincial and federal levels. Announcement coming soon!

     

    Defining the Future – Leadership Roundtable Dinner for Video Game Studio Heads

    Are you the CEO / GM / EVP / Leader of a video game studio? Join us on June 18 for our inaugural “Video Game Leadership Dinner - a roundtable on defining the future”.

    By invite only, please send an expression of interest to brenda@digibc.org

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Education Update

    DigiBC continues to be very active on the education front and all of our programming supports the objectives we are focused on. These include:

    • Ensure BC students and adult learners know that building an interesting and successful career in the creative tech sector is a viable option in BC.

    Increase the domestic talent pool to continue the success of the sector in our province.

    Support inclusion and diversity of talent who were previously underrepresented, such as women and indigenous people. We also recognize that diversity includes regional diversity and are reaching out to learners in all regions of the province.

     

    Play to Learn
    The rollout into 11 new school districts is in full swing. We are now in the following schools, with an additional 10 schools committed but not yet activated.
     

    Hazelton Secondary School

    COAST MOUNTAINS SCHOOL DISTRICT 82

    Cowichan Secondary School

    COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT 79

    Lake Cowichan School

    COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT 79

    Arbutus Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Central Middle School - Secondary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Colquitz Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Gordon Head Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Oaklands Elementary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Willows Elementary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    St. Andrew's Regional High School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Chase Secondary School

    KAMLOOPS THOMPSON SCHOOL DISTRICT 73

    Uplands Elementary School

    OKANAGAN SKAHA SCHOOL DISTRICT 67

    Eagle View Elementary School

    VANCOUVER ISLAND NORTH SCHOOL DISTRICT 85

    Island ConnectEd

    NANAIMO LADYSMITH PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT 68

    Mount Boucherie Secondary School

    CENTRAL OKANAGAN SCHOOL DISTRICT 23

     

    Additional 10 registered/committed in: 

    Coast Mountain - 1 school

    Kamloops Thompson - 4 schools

    Kootenay Lake - 2 schools

    Greater Victoria - 3 schools

     

    DigiMusic 2019 Competition

    Submissions are now officially closed. Winners will be announced on May 24th and things will wrap with an official finale event to be held at EA Vancouver on Monday, June 3rd.

     

  • 22 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Have you heard of Code Coven? It’s the first video game industry-focused bootcamp for women offering development in technical skills, professional skills, and portfolio. Remote and flexible, women will be able to work with other women at a time that suits their schedule. Founded in 2018 by CEO, Tara Mustapha, it was created in response to the shortage of female developers in the video game world. Code Coven seeks to provide women with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the games industry. Curious to know more? We had a quick Q&A with Tara to get further info on what Code Coven is all about.


    How many types of courses does Code Coven offer? Are they full-time or part-time?
    We are launching with two pilot courses centered on development with Unity, an introductory class for those with no prior experience and an advanced class. All courses are part-time, designed to accommodate those who have full-time jobs, caregivers and more the opportunity to invest in their growth while taking care of their responsibilities.

    Are the courses done online or in person?
    All courses are online, and we use a core hour system which creates a sense of camaraderie and connection within the class.

    How much does it cost?
    Our pilot classes are priced at $549 USD and can be paid in full or installments.

    How are your courses different from the ones offered at other training schools?
    With four principals at its heart (innovation, guidance, empowerment, and experience), Code Coven plans to go beyond being just an online coding bootcamp – the aim is to nurture new and existing talent, create networking opportunities, help participants find employment and most importantly, work towards redressing the gender imbalance in the gaming world. Our courses are holistic, addressing not only the acquisition of technical skill but also the comfort and confidence needed to apply that knowledge. Our programs incorporate on-the-job training, giving the participants' portfolio pieces and game credits for their work with our partner studios. Our goal is to empower woman to achieve their ambitions and drive change in their environments.

    Who would benefit most from taking one of your courses?
    Our beginner classes empower students in gaining a technical foundation to improve communication and efficiency within teams, from producers, artists, designers, and QA. Our advanced courses allow students to apply their knowledge to other projects, giving them the training and confidence to be able to take these skills back to their studios effectively.

    Do students need to have any previous training or work experience is a certain field before signing up?

    Our beginner classes do not have a technical requisite, our advanced classes require either work experience or the completion of a small programming project defined by us.

    Who are the instructors? How do you pick them?

    Our Unity instructor, Francesca Carletto-Leon, has been working in games and technology in a variety of roles including community management and production. Her development work is highly multidisciplinary and includes digital, tabletop, and alternative controller projects. In 2016 She co-founded an independent game studio called Contigo Games. She holds a BS in Interactive Media & Game Development from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MFA in Game Design from New York University. We will be announcing more of our instructors in the next few weeks, all of them impressive and experienced women from games and technology.

    What are some of the possible jobs/career path options someone would have after completing a course?

    This all depends on the student's prior experience, our motivation is that they are able to enter or continue in the career in the games industry and that they see greater success in their career management.

     

  • 21 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Time Factory Studio is located in downtown Vancouver and specializes in problem-solving, design sprints, and rapid prototyping. They are digital experts, productivity nerds, rapid prototype builders, business strategy connoisseurs, user experience enthusiasts, and are here to help BC businesses build better products… faster!

    Have you ever been on a team that was completely misaligned? Worked on projects that were going over budget and time? Or struggled to understand the key features or the main direction of your project? Time Factory co-founders, Julie Puech and Marina Bertoldi have and they decided there had to be a better way. After looking into finding the best ways to develop products and work in teams, they got certified and gained experience in project management, agile methodologies, business strategy, and finally found the ultimate best solution - sprints! The duo is convinced that this is a game-changing process and is now on a mission to transform how teams solve problems.  We recently caught up with Julie and Marina to find out more about the services they provide.

    When was Time Factory Studio founded? What are your backgrounds?
    We officially started Time Factory in 2018, after completing our Master's degree in Digital Media, but we feel it started way before that! The experience and expertise we bring to our business come from our background in engineering, entrepreneurship and project management.

    Julie and Marina met at the Centre for Digital Media while completing their Master of Digital Media degree. Julie moved to Vancouver from France, and her expertise comes in the rare blend of computer science, the arts, and design — she can come up with solutions to complex problems in virtually any domain, and then actually build them. She has a Master in Creative Engineering and has worked on multiple interactive projects including an Augmented / Mixed Reality experience for live music events that won the Gerri Sinclair Award for Digital Innovation. Marina is from Brazil, and in addition to her bachelors in Communication, a business degree and her master’s degree, she’s started and ran multiple successful businesses of her own. She is passionate about business strategy, productivity and what makes products successful. Time Factory is driven forward by our passion for entrepreneurial energy and the digital industry. Who better to solve digital problems for businesses than passionate experts in technology and business?

     

    What does Time Factory do? What do you provide?
    Entrepreneurs and businesses come to us when they are facing a challenge on their projects or business, have an idea they can't pursue on their own, building a new product or redesigning a feature and can’t afford to waste any more time or money. We have the shortcut to solving their problems. We use proven processes to foster innovation, validate assumptions, deliver killer business strategies and build tangible digital solutions for their problems. We provide a smarter and better way to work in teams and develop quickly more successful products.
     

    Why would someone want to utilize your services?
    Most teams are tackling problems the wrong way, and in the process, they’re burning themselves out and wasting time and money to make things that might not even solve the problem. That might sound harsh, but it’s obvious to anyone who's looking critically. Data shows that most products launched in the market ended up not being successful. Projects tend to go over budget and over time. Teams are misaligned and turnover costs are astronomical. Companies just can't afford to have those problems anymore.

    In just four days, Time Factory can get a whole team laser-focused, generate more and better solutions than they do normally for their complex problems and give them a crystal clear path toward solving them. We test the success of a team’s products and projects without wasting any time in development and launching. Making sure that effort, time and money are being used wisely.

    Our clients are big companies that have ideas and opportunities they could leverage but don't have the time to get around to trying to solve them. But also, small and medium companies that sometimes lack the expertise or don't have the manpower to solve their main problems in a smart and digital way. By running a Sprint we help them leverage opportunities by validating their ideas, solving their digital problems and challenges, aligning their teams, generating more and better solutions and saving them time and money.
     

    What type of companies would benefit from using your services?
    Any company, business or team that wants to work smarter not harder and has no time or money to waste! Our processes and services can be adapted to big companies, solo entrepreneurs, and everything in between. It’s more a question of what type of challenge someone wants to solve and how open they are to tackling it in a different way!

     

    Can you describe the process and what happens after you’ve been hired for a project?
    The sprint process started inside Google from the need to produce better and more successful products, faster! A group of productivity nerds started studying and experimenting with what makes some projects so successful and some not. After years of questioning and experimenting they came up with the ultimate step-by-step process to make any project successful and any problem easy to solve: a Design Sprint!

    The process is now called the greatest hits of business strategy, behavioral science, and innovation, and it has spread way beyond Google and into all the big companies like Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, etc. We were taught and certified by the authors of the process and we are on a mission to bring these proven tools and this winning Silicon Valley mindset to BC's businesses.

    A Sprint is a step-by-step process that starts with a 2-day workshop to solve a business problem or streamline a product's success. The team invited for the workshop are members involved in the project from different areas to provide diverse points of view. On the first day, we define the challenge, speak with experts, agree on a common goal and generate better and more solutions. On the second day, we combine the best solutions, plan a user test and design what our prototype will look like. Then our team at Time Factory spends the third-day bending time and space prototyping the solution in just one day. And on Wednesday we put the now-tangible representation of our product/solution in front of real users to be tested. By testing with a prototype we get more valuable and precise feedback than by using traditional user research.

    At the end of a Sprint, our clients get clarity on their ideas, alignment, momentum, and buy-in from team members and stakeholders, a working prototype, tons of valuable feedback from their real users and a killer strategy to move forward! It is the fastest way to know if your project will be successful and the best way to generate ideas! Enough with old inefficient brainstorming, biases and team struggles!
     

    Who are some of your previous clients?

    Our previous clients include RE/MAX Crest, Elevator Strategy, a journalist who worked at the New York Times, and many smaller companies that needed help in their ideation phase.


    What is the best way for someone to get in touch and find out more info?

    You can get in touch with us by sending an email at sayhello@timefactorystudio.com and get more information on our website: https://www.timefactorystudio.com/

    Ready to stop wasting time and money? We are!

     

     

  • 16 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Transport audiences to new worlds created by you at VIFF Immersed 2019.


    The Vancouver International Film Festival is inviting immersive storytellers from around the world to submit their narrative-driven virtual and mixed reality content to the International VIFF Immersed Competition. Have immersive content that is breaking the boundaries of screen-based storytelling? Entries are now open in the following categories:

    • Cinematic Live Action, Virtual or Mixed Reality
    • Animation, Virtual or Mixed Reality
    • Documentary, Virtual or Mixed Reality
    • BC Showcase – A Curated Exhibition (open to BC creators only)
       

    A distinguished panel of international jurors will judge entries and finalists from each category will be featured, and winners announced, at the 2019 VIFF Immersed Exhibition, a week-long public exhibition featuring some of the most innovative experiences and celebrating the best immersive storytelling.

     

    How to Submit:
    Creators can enter work for all categories via FilmFreeway or directly to VIFF Immersed here.
     

    Deadlines:
    Early Deadline - May 31, 2019
    Regular Deadline - June 14, 2019
     

    Questions: immersed.submission@viff.org

     

  • 14 May 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC worked with a consortium of creative industry associations on Creative Industries Week 2019 to promote and grow the creative sector in BC. We’d like to give a big shout out to Everfi and Phoenix Labs for their contributions to our presentations which helped our political partners to better understand our sector. Also, thanks to Tim Tran from Kano Apps for joining us at the Legislature, and to our board members, James Hursthouse and Catherine Warren, for making the trip over.

    The event kicked off for DigiBC with the Creative Industries Showcase in the Reception Hall of Honour (Rotunda) at the BC Legislature Hall. This year’s theme was centered on ‘BC Creators & Job Creators’ to highlight the people who help power our respective sectors. The program kicked off with an incredible freestyle/spoken word performance by Prevail, followed by a number of ‘PechaKucha’ style presentations that told the story of various sector creators. The event then wrapped up with the Proclamation of Creative Industries Week in BC by The Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture. Job growth and career pathways were prominent themes throughout the day and this was highlighted by the attendance of high school students who were given an inside look at some of the exciting careers available right here in our province. DigiBC had a few stations set up showing our DigiMusic competition, a non-traditional video game (Everlove Rose), as well as Everfi demoing the EA Play to Learn platform which DigiBC will be expanding into 60 new classrooms all over the province.

    In the evening, the celebrations moved to the Canoe Brewpub for the night-time reception. A few highlights of the program included a screening of the Oscar-nominated animated short Animal Behaviour, DigiBC’s video on The Creation of a Video Game (featuring Phoenix Labs) and amazing musical performances by country star, Dallas Smith and rising artist, Shawn Austin.
     

    The creative industries are comprised of the film, television, music, publishing, interactive & digital media sectors, and contribute an estimated $6.4 billion to the economy while providing over 90,000 jobs in the province. The government estimates there to be another 13,000 job openings by 2027 in this thriving industry.

     

  • 10 May 2019 by DigiBC

    A message from the Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC. They are independent and promote and protect the information and privacy rights of British Columbians.
     

    Like most businesses, we know you want to handle the personal information of your customers with care and attention to the law. That’s a good thing because British Columbians are becoming increasingly concerned that the personal information they provide to businesses will not be handled properly. And who can blame them? Privacy breaches are becoming a common occurrence in BC. In fact, the number of privacy breaches under BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) reported to my office increased by 56% from 2015-2018. Here’s something else you need to know: you are responsible under PIPA to protect the personal information of your customers and staff. Our new PrivacyRight program is aimed at helping you better understand PIPA.

     

    #PRIVACYRIGHT: Tools to Build Trust

    PrivacyRight is a suite of tools – animated webinars, videos, as well as podcasts and guidance documents – designed by my office to demystify your privacy obligations and highlight the simple steps that can be taken to address them. Each month, we’re launching releases on different themes that will help you become more “privacy right.”

     

    #PRIVACYRIGHT Videos & Podcasts: Putting Privacy Into Practice

    What does the use of personal information and obtaining consent look like in the real world? #PrivacyRight’s animated pop-up videos show some of the everyday PI and consent issues encountered during a routine trip to the dentist’s office: Part 1, Part 2.

    The #PrivacyRight Podcast takes a page out of investigative reporting podcasts like “Serial” to offer an in-depth look into some of the most pressing challenges we face in the world of privacy. In the first episode, a job applicant loses out on a competition after a prospective employer finds unflattering information on social media. What are the privacy implications here? Check out the podcast.

     

    #PRIVACYRIGHT WEBINARS:  Crash Course in BC Privacy Law & Obligations

    The OIPC’s #PrivacyRight animated webinars offer a concise, informative, and engaging look into some of the most common questions people have about the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

    Webinar 1: 10 basic obligations under PIPA

    2a: 10 steps to build a robust privacy management program

    Related guidance:

    2b: How to write a privacy policy

    3: Authority to collect use and disclose personal information:

    Visit the PrivacyRight webpage during Privacy Awareness Week for resources on Notification and Consent!

     

     

    How can you get involved?

    1.    Let your employees know that your organization values privacy. Send out an all-staff email about Privacy Awareness Week or post a story on your intranet site. Suggested content attached and can be downloaded here.

    2.    Get social! We’ll be tweeting all week using the hashtags #PrivacyRight and #PAW2019. Here is a suggested tweet that you can use to show your organization’s commitment to respecting privacy rights! (Graphics to accompany the tweet can be downloaded from our website and a sample is attached).

     

    [INPUT NAME OF YOUR ORGANIZATION] knows privacy is good for business and that's why we're working hard to get #PrivacyRight. As #PrivacyAwarenessWeek gets underway, check out our [link to your privacy policy/related initiative]. #PAW2019

     

    3.    Follow us on Twitter at @BCInfoPrivacy and on Linkedin for future #PrivacyRight updates. We welcome your thoughts on #PrivacyRight. Tell us what else you would like to see as part of the program at PrivacyRight@oipc.bc.ca.

     

  • 09 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Tomorrow's Master of Digital Media Program 

    Tomorrow’s Master of Digital Media Program (TMDM) is a 2-week intensive summer camp designed for students entering grades 9-12 with artistic or technical interests who want to explore educational and career opportunities in the video game and digital media industry. Students will learn rapid prototyping and collaborative techniques and will work in teams to build a playable digital media product at the end of this fun 2-week course. TMDM is running July 8 - 19, 2019.

     

    Why TMDM?

    TMDM gives teens an opportunity to explore digital media in ways that are not offered in the traditional education system. Teens can discover career paths and interests that will help them make informed academic and career decisions.

     

    Teens will learn:

    • Game design and critique
    • How to tell better stories
    • How to choose team partners and work in groups
    • Improvisation and role play
    • The business of the industry
    • Rapid iteration, prototyping, and design essentials 

    These skills are taught by drawing out individual strengths in a strong team-based environment.

     

    Who is a TMDM student?

    TMDM is for students entering grades 9-12 with artistic and/or technical talent. We are seeking an equal mix of girls and boys.

     

    Contact

    Have more questions? Feel free to contact us.

     

    Tuition and Fees

    The cost for the entire program is $1100 per student. Partial bursaries may become available for students who require financial support.

    Unlike other summer camps, TMDM is a competitive entry program. Applicants must write a letter of intent and include a signature from their teachers. Students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

     

    What is Included?

    • Mentoring from MDM faculty
    • Certificate of Completion
    • Graduation event for family & friends
    • Software and hardware
    • TMDM t-shirt
    • Lunch each day

     

     

    Sponsorship Opportunities

    TMDM is a cost-recovery initiative. We rely on sponsors to cover the costs associated with running the program. If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor get in touch with our director of Industry Relations, Dennis Chenard.

     

     

  • 24 Apr 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC hosted a breakout session panel event on the topic of financing on April 17. It was a fun and engaging night where members from the creative tech sector came together to hear from important players in the tech and media finance world. Attendees were split into small groups and rotated through the five panelist stations where they were able to sit and interact with each speaker.

    The event took place at the KPMG Ignition Centre and it was great to see folks engaged and connecting throughout the night. Huge thanks to our generous sponsors (KPMG & Fasken) and our wonderful panelists (Raul Duque from EDC, Caterina Papadakos from Espresso Capital, Stéphane Cosentino from the CMF, Ed Zacharuk from KPMG & Roberto Monteleone from RBC) for making this event possible. We can't thank them enough!

    DigiBC has more events planned for the year, so no need to fret if you weren’t able to make it to this one! Be sure to join our mailing list so you can stay up-to-date. >> http://bit.ly/2IOW6bo

    Photos courtesy of KPMG Ignition Centre

  • 08 Apr 2019 by DigiBC

    Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is a unique library that holds the largest collection of Canadian content in the world. They collect books, magazines, musical recordings, maps and electronic books published in Canada or about Canada. The collection is searchable via their online catalogue and thousands of researchers visit the facilities to consult holdings in person. Building the LAC national collection is a collaborative effort that includes the many publishers and music producers participating in the Legal Deposit program, gifts received from organizations and individuals, as well as selective purchases. More than 20 million items are currently in LAC’s published collection and it grows every day!


    LAC recognizes that Canadians are using new media to create, publish, and share their cultural heritage. To ensure the National Collection is relevant and meets the current and future needs of Canadians, they have launched an informal questionnaire to gather ideas as they consider options for potential selection criteria for Canadian YouTube videos, video games, and podcasts. Your involvement is essential!

     

    How to participate:

    English: http://placespeak.com/LAClibrary

    Français: http://placespeak.com/BACbiblio

     

     

  • 04 Apr 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC Diversity & Inclusion Surveys

    These surveys are open until April 15. We would love to get your input! If you have seven minutes to spare then your voice will be heard. This information is vital in helping us gauge where things currently are at in BC's creative tech sector and seeing what we can do to grow it going forward. We would appreciate your help in participating and then circulating the survey links within your studio.


    Survey #1 - All Employees (inclusion)
    Survey #2 - Studio Leadership (benchmark on equity, diversity, inclusion initiatives)
    Survey #3 - HR Professionals (measuring outcomes)


    Upon completion of a survey, you will be eligible for a chance to win one of five prizes of ARC’TERYX apparel and accessories!
    Click here for contest rules and details.


    Please note that all data collected is anonymous and will not be tracked by studio. DigiBC and WIA will be sharing the resulting report later this spring. Your participation will ensure results worth sharing.


    We appreciate you taking the time to contribute to this audit. Thank you!

     

     

    DigiBC Inclusive Leadership Training

    As part of DigiBC’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, training is being offered across the digital media sector (video games, animation, VFX, AR/VR), in conjunction with Women in Animation (WIA) and Women in Games Vancouver (WIG’eh). This training is ideal for managers and business leaders who are wanting to learn about ways diversity and inclusion can be incorporated and sustained in the workplace. The training is free to DigiBC and WIA members (if you are a member of the Animation & VFX Alliance, you are a member of DigiBC). A fee of $250 will be charged if you are not.

    Saturday April 13, 2019 | 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
    To register, please click here

     

    The session will be facilitated by Alden E. Habacon, one of the country’s leading diversity and inclusion strategists and facilitators. Alden specializes in working with organizations and companies that are historically male-dominated, and his clients include the Vancouver Airport Authority, the Department of Justice, and Clio.

     

     

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