Blogs

  • 09 Dec 2014

    On the night of December 4th, DigiBC held its 2014 Holiday Party at the headquarters of HootSuite. Over 150 people from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland’s technology industries came out to party, network, win prizes, be merry and eat festively.

    This was our second year holding the Holiday Party at HootSuite. Thanks to the assistance of over a dozen owls, as well as with the help of volunteers from AIESEC, the raffle team from POF, our party sponsors and the DigiBC companies that furnished great door prizes, the event went smoothly and was a great success!

    Gifts & Room Destinations

    We handed out over $4,000 worth of raffle prizes this year, a record! Some of the amazing prizes that winners walked away with included a pair of interactive snow goggles (courtesy of Recon Instruments); Canucks hockey tickets (thanks to Disruptive Publishers, PwC & Fasken Martineau); a sweet prize basket stuffed with DVDs and movie swag (thanks to our pals at Sony Pictures); a beer-themed gift basket (courtesy of Steamworks Brewery); a video game bundle (Electronic Arts Canada); and so much other goodies.

    Just that alone would have made it a fun evening, but when Carly, Kelsey and I started planning this year’s Holiday Party, we wanted to go all-out. We reached out to attract sponsors so we could bring in “destinations” throughout the room, to give our guests more to do. And we had three great companies step up to become Silver Sponsors of our party:

    • Cologix, a North America-wide provider of co-location & cloud services, sponsored the Oculus Rift gaming display made by CDM students
    • Fusion Projects, the interior design team that made HootSuite’s incredible working space, sponsored our photo booth
    • BenefitDeck, an extended health & worker benefits company that specializes in covering the employees for tech companies, brought us the Oxygen Bar

     

    Throughout the night each of these three room destinations were consistently busy. Every time I would glance over at the Oculus Rift, there was a line-up of people waiting to try on the virtual reality glasses. People were putting on wacky costumes and having their group’s photo taken, while there was always only standing room around the oxygen bar.

    Food & Beverages

    It also looks like our choice of Roaming Dragon as the night’s provider of snacks and light meals also went over well. Red Truck Beer Company also partnered with us on the night’s suds, while Erik & Dave from Vancouver startup Indiloop came through by delivering a full night’s worth of DJing and cool tunes.

    Also, a thank you should go out to Vitay from Billy Bob’s Jerky. Vitay had a table by the snack table, and judging from the number of beef jerky wrappers I spotted people holding, it seemed that there was a lot of nibblers of Vitay’s snacks.

    With all this activity going on, it’s almost easy to forget that people can come to the Holiday Party to network with other tech company owners and employees. And while that’s a great attraction to this annual DigiBC event, our team wanted to expand and make this a fun event that offered many different activities for everyone. We hope that we succeeded and surpassed your expectations.

     

    For the people that missed out on going to this year’s party, our humble apologies. With more than a week to go until the event, we sold out of tickets. For 2015 we’re planning more social events throughout the year, and if demand remains high we’ll have to look for larger spaces to accommodate everyone. Keep in the know by signing up for our newsletter or following us on social media (Facebook, Twitter) so when we make those announcements, you’ll be among the first to know.

    On behalf of Howard, Carly, Kelsey and myself, thank you again for being a part of DigiBC and for making our Holiday Party a great time!

    – Patrick Sauriol, Executive Director

     

  • 28 Oct 2014

    For over 20 years British Columbia has been a leader in making video games. Whether its triple-A titles or breakout indies, games made in BC have captivated audiences worldwide with their innovative gameplay, dazzling graphics and superior art and sound.

    While Vancouver is perhaps the best known quadrant of BC known for game creation and employment, other regions in BC are rapidly gaining in reputation and visibility. One such community is BC’s capital city, picturesque Victoria. In several ways Victoria’s gaming industry is establishing its own unique identity, with young companies sprouting up fast to take advantage of the local talent and enthusiastic community support for games.

    Have a look at this infographic released by VIATeC (Victoria Advanced Technology Council) which breaks down the city’s gaming scene as of mid-2014. Some eye-catching details that stand out:

    • After the government sector, the next largest group of employed workers is in Victoria’s technology space.
    • $24 million is spent in Victoria by the gaming companies (on employees salaries, R&D, goods & services, etc.)
    • 64% of all employees working for game studios were local residents of Victoria.

    With events like Gottacon attracting thousands of people and emerging studios like Code Name Entertainment, TinyMob Games, GameHouse Canada and Metalhead Software making releases for browsers, social and PC platforms, this “City of Gardens” is quickly emerging as a hotbed for cool video game culture and industry.

    Keep up the momentum Victoria!

    [See larger image here.]

     

  • 14 Oct 2014

    It’s my second week on the job, and it’s time for a new blog post.

    My name is Patrick Sauriol and I’m the new Executive Director for DigiBC. One of my main duties is to help promote and support the many different companies, both established and starting up, across our province. I’m also here to build value and show you the benefits that come from being a member and sponsor of DigiBC, and how my organization can help you achieve your goals.

    Have no fear: Howard Donaldson will continue to be involved with DigiBC as both a board member and its’ President. I’m coming in to build on the amazing work that Howard has done over these past three years. He’s leaving big shoes to fill, and I don’t want to let him down.

    I also don’t want to let myself down. Let me explain:

    I’m a lifelong resident of Vancouver and I love both this city and the province. Since I was old enough to hold the joystick of an Atari 2600 (old school gaming shout-out) or learn to code on an Apple II, I’ve loved technology. Games, software applications, new energy technologies, smart machine intelligence research, online marketing, machine automation, smartphones…all of these things are now a part of our world and cultural identity.

    I’ve had my own experience carving out a living and a career in tech, first as a fanboy that owned his own bulletin board system (BBS, another old school shout-out) and then as the creator of a website that grabbed the attention of Hollywood. I’ve had the opportunity to be interviewed by Vanity Fair, Wired, The New York Times and other publications about my online accomplishments. I’ve worked at several Vancouver start-ups doing marketing, SEO, content creation, web series producing and growth hacking. Immediately prior to joining DigiBC, I served as the Creative Director for a Burnaby-based digital marketing agency for five years.
     

    Why Join DigiBC?

    There are a few reasons why I accepted this opportunity:

    Look around BC and you’ll see a tremendous level of talent in what I refer to as the “digital industries”. Whether it’s gaming, marketing, content producing, software/hardware development, bootstrapping a killer app idea to its launchpad, this is the place to do it. The people here have the talent, the creativity, the tenacity but most importantly the vision. We don’t have to be another Silicon Valley; we can be something just as innovative and successful on our own terms.

    Like yourself, DigiBC is a fighter and a dreamer. Our organization is an advocate for yours. The world is rapidly changing to a digital society, and it’s our mission to help support and grow your digital business. We’re educators to the public, to the government and to potential investors and talent looking for you. We share your vision of bright, fully realized future of opportunity, and we’ll help your business get there.

    To make a difference. Howard and his team have done so much but they will be the first to admit that there’s still a lot to accomplish. I want to help promote and celebrate what BC’s digital industries have created, but more than that, I want to help make things even better. We can be a global superstar for all things digital. We can attract the biggest companies and brands to set up a home in British Columbia. I also believe that we can give birth to new brands, forms of media and business leaders that will be known throughout the world. The next Apple or Facebook or Tesla Motors won’t be born here sometime in the future; it already has. I want to help the creators of those companies make their grandest vision become a reality.

    I’ve spoken with many successful C-level business owners as well as startup founders, and they all share one thing: passion for their companies. Working with leading edge digital leaders and their companies is my passion, and here with DigiBC and at home in BC is where I want to be.
     

    Stick Around

    I’ve been privy to what’s going on behind the curtain here at DigiBC and I can safely say (without fear of violating any NDAs and sending a drone after me) that some truly creative and amazing events, actions and plans are afoot. A few you already have seen, like last spring’s inaugural NextBC showcase and awards night. Others are coming and will start to be announced very soon.

    Make it a plan to sign up for the DigiBC newsletter and follow us on our social media streams (Facebook here, Twitter here). And keep your eyes on this blog for more insight into the stories behind the trends, companies and forces shaping our industry’s future.

    Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me with you thoughts, opinions, ideas or concerns at any time at patrick [at] digibc.org.
     

    Best Regards,
    Patrick@DigiBC

  • 25 Apr 2014

     

    DigiBC is excited to announce the Top 25 Showcase companies for NextBC: The Showcase for Technology Innovation in BC that will Shape our Future.

    Congratulations to the Top 25 Finalists

     Avigilon

     Build Direct

     CapTherm Systems

     CineCoup

     Cognilab

     Conquer Mobile

     D-Wave Systems

     Electronic Arts Canada

     EchoSec

     Elix Wireless

     Fusion Pipe Software Solutions

     Gener8

     General Fusion

     HootSuite

     IoT Design Shop

     Medeo

     MTT Innovation

     Payfirma

     PayWith

     PHEMI Health Systems

     POF

     Recon Instruments

     Trulioo

     Urthecast

     Vision Critical

    Thank you to all the companies that applied to showcase at NextBC. Stay tuned for announcements about the distinguished panel of judges and the topic for Andrew Harries, former Co-Founder, Sierra Wireless keynote presentation.

    Secure your tickets for NextBC before they’re gone.