tech

  • DigiBC posted an article

    VANCOUVER - Today, downtown Vancouver’s tech scene is welcoming an industry giant to their neighbourhood with the official opening of Sony Pictures Imageworks new global headquarters.

    Imageworks is the Academy Award-winning...

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    VANCOUVER - Today, downtown Vancouver’s tech scene is welcoming an industry giant to their neighbourhood with the official opening of Sony Pictures Imageworks new global headquarters.

    Imageworks is the Academy Award-winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, known for live-action visual effects and dynamic character animation.

    Founded over 20 years ago, Imageworks has worked on over 75 productions to date, including the $4-billion Spider-Man franchise, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, the Warner Bros sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow and Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania. Upcoming projects include Columbia Pictures’ live-action film Pixels, Hotel Transylvania 2 for Sony Pictures Animation, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass and many more.

    “B.C. is thriving because we have a diverse economy and diverse markets - and tech is leading the way,” said Premier Christy Clark. “With a highly skilled talent base, attractive lifestyle and business climate, B.C. is increasingly a global destination for digital media giants.”

    “Imageworks’ move from California to British Columbia is a clear, strong message that the right ecosystem for a technology industry to grow and thrive is right here,“ said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. "For small start-ups to global giants, we have access to talent, venture capital, creative workspace and quality connectivity."

    This addition to the province’s technology landscape strengthens its reputation globally as Imageworks joins the list of major players, like Amazon and Microsoft, choosing to call B.C. their home.

    “Imageworks is proud to call Vancouver home. The opening of this facility is the culmination of a five-year plan designed to ensure that we continue to bring the highest quality visual effects and animation to the big screen,” said Randy Lake, executive vice president and general manager, Sony Pictures Imageworks.

    To keep B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing, since Sept 2011 the BC Jobs Plan has been building on the strengths of the province’s most competitive sectors utilizing our educated and skilled workforce.

    Quick Facts:

    • Imageworks first opened a production office in Vancouver in 2010, with a staff of 80 artists - they now currently employ over 700 artists in Vancouver.
    • 90% of their initial hires were local talent, and they continue to recruit the best Canadian talent.
    • They are currently working on seven different projects with Vancouver crews doing over 90% of the visual effects and animation work on each film.
    • British Columbia’s tech sector employs approximately 4.4% of B.C.’s work force.
    • B.C. is among top provincial performers in terms of growth in technology revenues - outpacing overall Canadian tech revenue growth.
    • The Digital Media and Wireless sector in B.C. accounts for 16,500 jobs at 1,150 companies, providing $3 billion in revenues.

     

  • Article

    November 28, 2016 – VANCOUVER, B.C. – Mixed Reality development firm, Finger Food Studios is adding to its roster of industry transformative work by becoming one of Canada’s first companies to achieve Carbon Positive status.

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    November 28, 2016 – VANCOUVER, B.C. – Mixed Reality development firm, Finger Food Studios is adding to its roster of industry transformative work by becoming one of Canada’s first companies to achieve Carbon Positive status.

    Carbon Positive status requires going beyond Carbon Neutral by making additional ‘positive’ contributions. Finger Food has become Carbon Positive by ensuring that more of its greenhouse gas emissions are avoided or sequestered than are released into the atmosphere. 

    “We are advocates for positive social and environmental change,” said Ryan Peterson, Finger Food’s CEO. “We believe businesses should be a force for good. That is why at Finger Food, we are committing to offset not just our company’s carbon footprint but the footprint of every employee’s household as well.”

    “Finger Food Studios is a vision of what a truly sustainable organization is,” said Jae Mather, Director of Sustainability, Carbon Free Group. “The intent is on changing the game, where commercial strategy is sustainable strategy.”

    Finger Food firmly believes that businesses should both self-regulate as well as benefit their communities and the environment. As part of Finger Food’s Carbon Management Strategy, the company contributed to the Quadra Island Forestland Conservation Project, a project that enabled the conservation of 417.9 hectares of forestland on Quadra Island which would have previously been logged or converted to vacation home developments. A sample of other commitments Finger Food has made as part of their Carbon Positive status, includes:

    • Offset three times the company’s Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 transport emissions annually, through an externally accredited company that only sells offsets that are completed to rigorous standards, and have been validated and verified by third-parties to ensure that the tonnes are real, additional, and permanent.
    • Carry out a ‘carbon emission’ and ‘sustainability opportunities’ audit/assessment annually and externally report on the findings.
    • Source healthy and organic staff food from local, ethical and sustainable providers including Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance products.
    • Take into account energy efficiency performance when purchasing IT and other equipment.
    • Procure from local suppliers and hire local staff whenever possible (Metro Vancouver).
    • Report annually on four indicators: 1. Renewable energy usage; 2. Diversion of waste from the landfill; 3. Purchases from small companies; and 4. Gender equality.
    • Sign the David Suzuki Foundation declaration of interdependence.

    “Finger Food Studios is the first official Carbon Positive company with Offsetters,” said Dawn Hancock, Manager of Client Engagement for Offsetters. “After measuring their carbon footprint, Finger Food wanted to go beyond simply neutralizing their impact on the climate; they offset much more than they emitted, in order to not just neutralize their impact but to have a positive contribution. Offsetters is proud to work with Finger Food Studios.”

    Finger Food’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy is available online here.

  • Article

    Thirty companies were selected to pitch at Startup Riot in Seattle this week. Five won. Two were Canadian.

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    Thirty companies were selected to pitch at Startup Riot in Seattle this week. Five won. Two were Canadian.


    Among of the top five judges' picks were PayrollHero from Vancouver and QuoteRobot from Nanaimo.


    PayrollHero, currently in beta, "optimizes work productivity with happiness." The startup offers consumer friendly time, attendance, scheduling, and payroll in the cloud for web and mobile. It also rates the moods of employees via clock-in photos to establish "an array of business intelligence to your companies companies corollaries between productivity and mood."


    QuoteRobot creates web design proposals quickly and easily. It's a rapid quote generation tool designed for freelancers and agencies who want to send high quality proposals to clients and is versatile enough to work for virtually any industry, not just web design. It's also competitively priced, offering "unlimited everything" for $10 per month.

  • Article

    In February 

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    In February Techvibes covered a Canadian startup with plans to tap the growing co-working and "collaborative consumption" trend by building an office sharing platform. We tagged their plans "Airbnb for workspaces." Today they officially launched in beta.


    Vancouver-headquartered ShareDesk has built as slick platform that includes hundreds of office spaces worldwide—of which 650 are easily bookable online.  


    As far as we know ShareDesk is the only Canadian company tackling workspace rentals online—their biggest competitor is US-based Loosecubes.


    According to co-founder Kia Rahmani, SharedDesk is more flexible than other solutions and allows desk surfers to book multiple days, weeks, or months in a single transaction.


    Nomad workers can search for shared spaces by city or even provide ShareDesk with the address of a convenient location where they would like to work.


    And if you have a spare desk in your office, you can add it to ShareDesk in minutes by creating profile to showcase your space and start accepting bookings