TechConnex Blog

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  • 05 Jun 2015 9:02 AM | Pamela Montgomery (Administrator)

    Entrepreneurial expertise is thriving in the Greater Toronto Area – Canada’s top tech corridor. With many exciting, innovative, and growing companies at the core of the most enterprising technology region of Canada, it is hard to ignore their accomplishments.

    TechConnex, the only not-for-profit member-directed industry association in the Greater Toronto Area, recognizes the entrepreneurial expertise in the GTA Tech Community. Focused on the growth of small and mid-sized tech businesses and their people, TechConnex will celebrate the success of peer-nominated tech leaders at the 2015 Technology Leadership Awards.

    Nominations for each category were solicited from the community-at-large, the Board of Directors, TechConnex members, and through social media tech community sites covering technology business in the GTA. With over 12,000 tech companies to choose from, the short-list of nominees is a testament to the quality of technology entrepreneurship in the ecosystem.

    And now to the awards…

    2015 Most Promising Start-up
    This award is presented to a Greater Toronto Area based organization that has the greatest potential to demonstrate excellence in their business, and while embracing a commitment to the knowledge-based sector have steadily increased revenue, added employees, and embraced sound business fundamentals including the addition of an advisory board or board of directors.

    2015 Momentum Company of the Year
    This award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated excellence in innovation and a commitment to the knowledge-based sector in the Greater Toronto Area while consistently reaching new customers or delivering new services within an existing customer, increasing revenues, adding employees, encouraging community involvement and embracing sound business fundamentals.

    2015 Market Expansion Leader
    This award recognizes an organization from within the knowledge-based sector in the Greater Toronto Area that has demonstrated market innovation and successful export growth to reach new customers or deliver new services within an existing customer, increasing internationally sourced revenues, adding employees in the GTA while also encouraging community involvement and demonstrating sound business fundamentals.

    2015 Tech Company of the Year
    This award recognizes the organization that has demonstrated business leadership and excellence in innovation and a commitment to the knowledge-based sector in the Greater Toronto Area and possibly throughout Canada. Consideration in this category requires increasing profitability, community involvement and thought leadership, and demonstration of sound business fundamentals. 

    See the News Release of the Finalists

  • 04 May 2015 1:16 PM | Pat Shaw (Administrator)

    Registration is open for the Europe Global Export Forum May 20 in Toronto.

    I had a chance to travel to Europe last fall and can attest to the value of the connections our Canadian representatives make available to industry members!  Several hot leads and a couple deals were done by Ontario ICT firms in the three days we were there.

    The Forum in May doesn't involve 8 hours of flying time but presents a great opportunity to learn about the CETA trade agreement and about successful market entry/expansion strategies in Europe. In addition to practical and strategic information and networking opportunities with high-level speakers, you can arrange for one-on-one meetings with incoming buyers from the ICT, advanced manufacturing, automotive, and life sciences sectors.

    Registration info and fees

    •  Entry to the event is free with registration.
    •  Meetings with incoming buyers - $50.
    •  Meetings with Market Experts - free.

    Visit www.globalexportforum.ca for more information and to register.

    Increasingly TechConnex members are realizing the value in participating in these types of trade initiatives. The Channel and Alliance Peer to Peer hosted by TechConnex is a "gentle" way to think through your business expansion needs.

     If you want to talk to a peer who has experienced the value first hand (gaining leads and several follow-ups) just reach out and I’ll put you in touch patshaw@techconnex.ca .

    Meanwhile, our friends in Ontario Economic Development are finalizing plans for industry partners at CES, RSA, SxSw (and FETC or TCES). Stay tuned or contact mauricio.ospina@ontario.ca to be added to the list for updates.


  • 14 Apr 2015 3:32 PM | Pamela Montgomery (Administrator)

    Moving is a pain but when the discomfort of your current less-than-ideal office space pushes you to the brink, you just have to take the plunge and make a change.  So, what can lead you to that precipice?

    1.    Business is booming, you need to hire more people, and everyone is already bumping elbows.

    2.    Summer is coming and you would love to see the sunshine when you gaze out the window, formulating your next great idea. The basement just isn’t doing it for you anymore. Besides, you’re getting lonely and could use some interaction to spur even greater creativity.

    3.    You work remotely but need to have face-to-face client meetings in a more accessible, professional environment. Starbucks serves up a mean latte, however the ambiance isn’t always conducive to business dealings.

    4.    You have office space with all the amenities you need but are out on the road more than at your desk. You’re wondering, “Do I need to pay rent on all this space every month when I’m not here all the time?”

    5.    You are a social enterprise or not-for-profit looking to reduce your overhead so you can direct more funds to your cause.

    Whatever is inspiring you to look for new office space, it's important to look at all the angles and ensure that it meets your needs.

    TechConnex, the only industry association entirely focused on the growth of small and midsize tech companies in the GTA, has created a co-location office space that will change your challenge into an opportunity. It’s a space that fosters opportunities for companies to collide, share best practices, and grow.

    What do they have to offer?

    The hub is designed as a facility that provides businesses access to needed resources, industry learning opportunities in which their people can participate, and an environment conducive to connecting with others fostering innovation and collaboration. Is it perfect for every business? If you’re in situation #1, business is booming and you’re looking for a larger space, then the TechConnex Hub may not be ideal for you today. However, if your story resembles any of the other reasons for being on the hunt for space, this location may be exactly what you’re looking for.

    Office space, workstations or hotdesk spaces are available. Perks include free parking, high-speed Internet access, bottomless-cup coffee, access to a kitchenette, and professional open collaborative space. Available technology includes an electronic whiteboard, mobile whiteboard and seating when the training room is available. Meeting rooms are also available for rent.

     


  • 26 Sep 2014 10:30 AM | Pamela Montgomery (Administrator)

    TechConnex started its luncheon program series with a great event welcoming technology companies, government and academic leaders on Wednesday September 24th, 2014.

    Special guests included his worship mayor of Richmond Hill David Barrow, city counselor from Markham Howard Shore, and city of Toronto school board trustee candidate Elizabeth Meyer who's day job is with Orion. TechConnex welcomed four new members and provided them with their plaques. New members include Storagepipe, Avetti.com, M/L Software Documentation Inc., Novium Systems Inc.  Click here to see photo

    Several members of the TechConnex board were present including Jinha Chung, Tracey Whitehouse, Camille Peters, Roy Hart, I-Cheng Chen, and Andrew Nunes.

    TechConnex Executive director Pat Shaw provided an update on his recent participation in the government of Canada trade mission to the UK. The trade commission staff was exceptionally well connected and very capable of introducing the corporate participants to viable clients or partners within the UK tech ecosystem. The advances in the negotiations around the Canada European trade agreement spark considerable encouragement for member companies to access very large and diverse customer base. The prime minister himself in fact characterized the new trade agreement as being more significant than the existing North American Free Trade Agreement. Any member company contemplating export or access to foreign markets as part of their growth strategy are welcome to connect with the office for more information. Pat didn't have a chance to mention the recent meeting by board members Shelly Frank, Robert Lane and himself with the Colombian Trade Commissioner who is also eager to assist TechConnex companies to tap into the nearly $15 billion program for "social apps" in his country! Click here to see photo. That as the prelude gave the Minister just enough time to finish his lunch!

    The Honorable Minister Reza Moridi was welcomed by Richmond Hill Mayor David Barrow. The minister acknowledged the important role of small and midsize technology companies in the creation of wealth in Ontario. He noted that 65% of the economic value generated in the technology industry in Canada is from Ontario. In the GTA we really reside at the centerpoint of this technology Corridor. The minister gave a shout out to Open Text for their efforts and commitment and creating new jobs and adding economic growth in Ontario. Mr. Moridi restated the government’s commitment to encouraging small and midsize companies in their innovation and their growth. He drew attention to the youth employment opportunities that the government will continue to support. The minister indicated a strong awareness of the importance of the tech ecosystem. He holds a second ministry - in trade colleges and universities - and his strong commitment is to ensure that students are employment ready upon their graduation. Click here to see photo


  • 11 Aug 2014 2:19 PM | Pamela Montgomery (Administrator)

    Are you a motorcycle enthusiast?

    Well get ready to rev up your engines! TGO Consulting is excited to announce TGO’s annual Ride for Kids event coming up just around the corner on August 17th! Like last year’s event, all funds raised will be donated to the SickKids Foundation. Hop on a bike, or let your motorcycle riding friends know, this will be a fun event for a great cause!

    - See more at: http://www.tgo.ca/blog/dont-miss-tgo-ride-kids-2014#sthash.b0THDHsY.dpuf



  • 20 Jun 2014 11:22 AM | Pat Shaw (Administrator)

    By guest blogger Lois Shaw, co-facilitator Leadership Development Peer Group

    Peer groups provide the opportunity for current and aspiring leaders in small and mid-size tech businesses to learn, share and grow. The concept is brilliant and networking opportunities abound, but it can be a challenge for peer group facilitators to regularly introduce fresh material that will invigorate and inspire participants.

    In our effort to tap into the experience and insights of the Leadership Development Peer Group participants, we schemed to try a different approach...

     This month we opened the session with a rather Socratic question: does the leadership of an organization create/influence corporate culture OR does the corporate culture create/influence the leadership? Co-facilitator Pete Needham set the context and then the group was divided into teams with instruction to prepare for an organized debate. Participants were assigned to a question, which meant they were not necessarily representing the side that they thought aligned with their beliefs.

    As facilitators we had two concerns going in. One, would people simply not be sufficiently awake to engage in the discussion, and two, would it be a bust and we would be finished really early?  Each team had 10 minutes to prepare their statement and supporting arguments.

    Fear not! The result was a spirited and engaging discussion to which everyone in the room contributed. It led to diverse expressions of what leadership really is and the realization that one does not need to be in a designated leadership role in order to exert influence in an organization. Ah now, might there be a debate coming on “Power and Influence”?

    Thank you to members of the Leadership Development Peer Group. We appreciate your candor and value the wisdom and insight you each shared with the group. If anyone is interested in taking a look at the presentation, debate questions and supporting arguments, contact Pam at pamela.m@techconnex.ca.

    TechConnex Leadership Development Peer Group Co-facilitators: Pete Needham of End to End, and Lois Shaw of amplifi

  • 05 May 2014 1:00 PM | Pat Shaw (Administrator)
    Many small or mid-size tech businesses generally think of market expansion to the south to mean entering a specific US market segment.  A friend of TechConnex members, Maricio Ospina (International Trade Branch of Ontario Economic Development) wants you to think broader.  And he is ready to help you make the connection without you having to over-extend your reach!  
    If you are interested in connections with Latin American companies interested in ICT, eHealth or Financial IT then the “Latin America Global Export Forum” in Toronto on Wed, May 28th might just be the ticket for you. See the specific sourcing needs and check out purchaser profiles, along with speakers and agenda for the full event at http://globalexportforum.ontarioexports.com/ (Apply before May 16).  
    Mauricio can arrange one on one meetings with most anyone there if you are interested in that too!

     INFORMATION & COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES (ICT)

    IT security: Cybersecurity, risk management and compliance, security architecture and availability for the retail, corporate, financial, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and government sectors.
    - Biometric technologies
    - Perimeter-based security
    - Networking technologies
    - GPS solutions for people and cargo

    eHEALTH

    Telemedicine/remote medical homecare service such as Health Management (US) and Take Care (Portugal)

    Healthcare: Remote monitoring devices for the elderly, devices to protect children via GPS, notification alerts, e-health systems, billing systems, etc., all with mobile capabilities.

    FINTECH

    Technologies for remote/self-service banking (niche products only) such as Foton (Brazilian) and TCS (India)

    Niche products for improved customer relations (allowing banks to offer more services to clients) and Big Data

    Business Support Solutions and Operational Support Solutions such as Toa (USA) and Amdcs (US)

    Solutions for micro-financing institutions, credit unions and cooperatives

    Connect with one of the most responsive guys in Economic Development: Mauricio Ospina, Area Director, ICT sector, International Trade Branch, Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

    Tel. (416) 325 6151, Mobile: (416) 845 0862
    mauricio.ospina@ontario.ca  www.ontarioexports.com

    You could call me too, but I'm really just going to try harder to convince you to give Mauricio a call directly!  -Pat

  • 24 Apr 2014 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    TechConnex was pleased to have hosted and celebrated with the exciting reveal of the Branham300 Listing for 2014. A big thank you to our guest VC PanelistsCity of TorontoWayne Gudbranson and the Branham Group

    team.  We are pleased to have brought the tech community together to be part of the reveal of the most discerning and recognized listing of Canadian technology company performance.  

    Nearly 200 guests at the TechConnex event were the first to receive the insights on the major Canadian ICT sector achievements. Over 40% of the companies on the listing are from the GTA - the centre point of the Ontario Tech Hub!

    To see the presentation and details of the event please click here:  Branham300 Presentation

    Congratulations to the TechConnex members who made the 2014 Branham300 List

    • Cloud Dynamics
    • Enghouse Systems
    • Nightingale
    • CM Inc
    • Esri Canada
    • Real Matters
    • Complete Innovations
    • Hitachi
    • Smart Employee Benefits
    • Compugen
    • Insite Computer Group
    • TeraGo Networks
    • Doxim
    • Intertainment Media Inc
    • ViXS 
    • End to End Networks
    • Illumiti 
    We look forward to more events that provide meaningful value to the tech community in the GTA. 

  • 15 Nov 2013 12:11 PM | Pamela Montgomery (Administrator)

    If you have people working with you or for you, you need to be aware of the growing mental health concern that exists in the workplace.

     

    With 7 million recorded cases of mental health issues in Canada – that is one in five of us, one has to wonder how many unrecorded cases there are.

     

    According to the National Standard of Canada titled Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, mental health problems and illnesses are the leading cause of short-and long-term disability in Canada. This affects not only Canadian work places, but families and communities as well. There is no doubt that the impact on productivity and corporate culture provide sufficient incentive to prod organizations out of their comfort zone and begin to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and wellness.

     

    This topic initiated thoughtful conversation in TechConnex’s HR Peer Group this week. With member companies ranging in size from sole proprietor to large corporations, participants recognized that this issue could surface anywhere. Through a series of mini-videos within a PowerPoint presentation, various aspects and perspectives of mental health and wellness were presented.

     

    Understanding that the first step is awareness, an important question is, “What constitutes mental health problems and illnesses?” The most common issues are anxiety and depression, something we have all likely experienced; however the significance rests in its severity and duration. Fortunately, there are steps an organization can take to prepare their front-line managers and leadership team to appropriately address this issue.

    The peer group discussion offered interesting insights as to what one can do:

    ·         Help the leadership team to realize they set the tone and need to be involved in reducing stigma

    ·         Offer techniques in work-life balance as part of a lunch-and-learn. Some examples include meditation, managing priorities and personal financial management

    • Download the National Standard of Canada for a systematic approach to developing and sustaining a psychologically healthy and safe workplace

    ·         Watch the HR Peer Group PowerPoint presentation to pick up tips and tactics

    Let’s begin the conversation and reduce stigma. Mental health and wellness is a topic that concerns companies of all sizes.

  • 23 Nov 2011 11:19 AM | Pat Shaw (Administrator)

    This is sent along from a friend who heard Tom Friedman this morning, author of The World Is Flat. Thought you might enjoy:

     "I went back to the first edition of The World Is Flat that I started writing in 2004. I looked in the index, under 'F': Facebook wasn't in it! So when I said 'the world is flat, we're all connected!', Facebook didn't exist, Twitter was a sound, the cloud was in the sky, 4G was a parking place, LinkedIn was a prison, applications were what you sent to college, and for most people Skype was a type-o!"

    Brilliant!   Speaks a lot to why there is such a response to the peer to peer networking that has become a hallmark of YTA membership.

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