A PUBLICATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO RESEARCH + TECHNOLOGY PARK
The Research + Technology Park would like to thank its many partners. These include, amongst others, the federal and provincial governments, the Region of Waterloo, the City of Waterloo, the University of Waterloo, Communitech and Canada’s Technology Triangle. These partners have supported the project since inception and their involvement has been integral to the success of the park. This magazine acknowledges the achievement of this collective collaboration.
©2008 WATCH magazine is an annual publication of the UW Research + Technology Park. All rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission from the UW Research + Technology Park is strictly forbidden.
R + T PARK A technology playground for tomorrow
LOOK AT THE FIELD NOW From cornfields to commercialization
GOOGLE Organizing the world’s information
NAVTECH INC. Navtech software and charts ready pilots for flight
ACCELERATOR CENTRE Take a seat at the table
FROZEN NORTH The indy movement
SYBASE iANYWHERE INC. Revolutionizing the way you shop
CBET Innovation creating momentum
MILLER THOMSON LLP Expert advice for emerging tech companies
OPEN TEXT Taking control of chaos
BILL GATES What’s on for tomorrow
INNOVATION PARTNERS The evolution of a Waterloo idea
TECHTOWN A different approach for the new Waterloo
TECHTOWN DENTISTRY Face your world with a smile
KIDS & COMPANY Stopping the mommy drain
EDUCATION CREDIT UNION Customer service focus
CGI Making visions work
R + T DIRECTORY
LARRY SMITH The economics of innovation
R + T Park A technology playground for today elcome to the first annual issue of Watch – the UW Research + Technology Park Magazine.
CAROL STEWART UW Research + Technology Park
I’d like to introduce you to the young girl swinging from the arch on the front cover of the magazine. Grace Fast is four years old and already has deep roots with the Research + Technology Park and the University of Waterloo. Grace and her family happen to be a compelling example of what the park, and its relationship with UW, can mean on a personal level. Grace’s grandfather, Conrad Brunk, was a professor at Conrad Grebel. Her mother, Marnie Gerster, is a graduate from UW and her father, Paul Fast, is a UW computer science co-op grad. Since his graduation almost ten years ago, Paul has been working fulltime at one of his former co-op work term employers – Sybase iAnywhere. A University of Waterloo spin-off (formerly known as Watcom), Sybase iAnywhere was one of the first technology companies to build in the park. All the tenants within the park today made the similar choice to locate within an environment built to provide as many advantages possible; close proximity to a talent pipeline, strong support from the surrounding community, access to all the resources possible to ensure growth and success and above all, a robust relationship with research and academia. In return, the rewards from success continue to funnel back to the region. In the park’s early beginnings, its development sparked infrastructure improvements that included the extension of Westmount Road, improvements to Columbia and Parkside Drives and a multi-phase commitment to the long-term health of Columbia Lake Environmental Reserve.
Today, the park’s tenants provide new and interesting employment opportunities that attract a continual influx of new individuals to the area and assists with the retention of recent graduates. With the Accelerator Centre’s active engagement of start-ups, there are sound business reasons for new technology enterprises to stay in the region. And always, there are interesting ideas happening here.
There are sound business reasons for new technology enterprises to stay in the region. I do hope you will enjoy the tenants’ stories in this magazine. As a research and technology park, what is happening here today is really about the world of tomorrow. This magazine provided the park’s tenants an opportunity to talk about new ideas and products for the future or how they are doing things differently right now. Their stories are about change. They are also about ideas – the ideas that will help to shape Grace’s future. Today, this playground is where Grace can swing in the air and think about ideas and make up dreams. Tomorrow, it will be a technology playground for her and all her friends. A place where they will have everything they need to take their own ideas and turn them into tomorrow’s technology. Let’s watch and see.
WATCH • R + T Park • 04
AT From cornfields to commercialization nce a massive swath of undeveloped land originally comprised of eight Mennonite farms, the location for the UW Research + Technology Park was acquired by the university in 1963. More than twenty years later, neither paths nor roads had begun to bisect what had become known as the North Campus and much of the land had been leased back to the original farmers.
the fundamentals for the spirit, look and feel and managed progression of the Research Park, careful planning could strengthen UW’s research and teaching opportunities. The entire concept was an ambitious one that took the idea of collaboration with industry to an entirely new level. With the support of provincial, federal, regional and city governments, the University accessed over $40 million dollars in infrastructure grants to open the lands for the creation of the UW Research + Technology Park.
Of the area remaining, a small cluster had developed near the original 1856 farm house of John E. Brubacher. This included the School of Optometry, Columbia Ice Fields and a daycare centre. The development in the For a time, faculty and staff members even had individual park has stayed true to garden plots on this land. But the environmental as UW moved into the 90s, considerations laid out by plans were set in motion for a new type of development that the Master Plan. would finally create significant change to these fields. In 1990 the University of Waterloo commissioned a Campus Master Plan to provide a framework for future campus development and a system for managing growth. But perhaps most importantly was the recognition that it was time to develop a detailed strategy for the long-term development of the lands. In keeping with the University of Waterloo’s entrepreneurial traditions and innovative nature, the University began to launch a series of initiatives that would create opportunities for companies to locate on the North Campus and enjoy access to top students and faculty research. For such an endeavour the Campus Master Plan outlined a flexible approach that could: respond to changing priorities; ensure the retention and control of development via leasehold; and establish an environmental basis for all planning and development decisions. With the plan providing
Four buildings in total house over 35 companies and associations in today’s Research + Technology Park. The fifth and sixth buildings are under construction and will add 173,000 square feet. As per the park’s mandate, tenants either house technology intensive companies that are undertaking applied research and innovation product development in co-operation with UW, or are organizations who service the needs of this distinct industry. Yesterday’s historical Brubacher farmhouse is now juxtaposed by the modern buildings of two of Waterloo’s most famous spin-off companies, Open Text and Sybase. Parking lots hide behind buildings, round-abouts keep the flow of traffic continuous and berms add aesthetic landscape groupings. All of the buildings have been constructed with environmental solutions at the forefront of planning and with full integration of existing parklands. The development in the park has stayed true to the environmental considerations laid out by the Master Plan as well as the spirit of ‘why not?’ attitude known at the University of Waterloo. The undulating landscape of the North Campus continues to flow – as fertile now as ever. WATCH • R + T Park • 06
Google Organizing the world’s information
hy did one of the world's most innovative companies set up shop in Waterloo? In a word: Talent. Ranked as the best company to work for by Fortune Magazine, Google is well known for its commitment to hiring the best and brightest. The search company based in Mountain View, California recognizes the importance of having international offices to meet the needs of their clients and employees. "We want to hire the best people to create the best products for our users. That’s why we've come to an area well known for developing great engineering talent," said Alex Nicolaou, a mobile engineering manager at Google Waterloo. "Waterloo is a globally recognized leader in both the technology business and education. By being physically located here we benefit from close proximity to the University of Waterloo and the city's tech sector." Google has worked to create an appealing work environment and culture. The company fosters a strong sense of connectedness and encourages the open exchange of ideas. It offers its employees opportunities to tackle the toughest problems in computer science and develop innovative products in a collaborative environment. As in all Google offices, Google Waterloo employees work in small, focused teams. Google's location at the Research Park provides exciting opportunities for Canadians to advance the company's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google and the University of Waterloo both share a passionate belief in the value of integrating education with on-the-job training. Being located adjacent to each other will enable them to forge an even stronger bond over time.
The Google employees, or ‘Googlers’, based in the University of Waterloo's Research + Technology Park concentrate on high-profile engineering projects, including applications targeted at mobile devices such as search, mobile GMail and tools for advertisers. For some Waterloo Googlers, it starts with a co-op program that combines dynamic work experience with a world-class education; for others, it is an easy transition after university to simply move across campus to work at Google’s new office. "It's very important for us to develop a strong relationship with the University of Waterloo and its talented students and researchers," said Stuart Feldman, Vice President of Engineering at Google. "We are actively recruiting top engineering talent to join our current team in Waterloo. With Google, they will have plenty of opportunity to work on innovative and challenging products." The UW Research + Technology Park facilities help foster a productive and supportive workplace, with easy access to a fitness center, a dentist and banking. In Google's own office, catered food is brought in daily for lunch, which is eaten in the cafe adjoining the Googler's play space. In addition to creating a productive and fun work environment, Google recognizes the benefits of situating itself in a city that offers a high quality of life to its employees. With continued plans to grow in Waterloo, Google is committed to the community and looks forward to being an important part of the city's success.
WATCH • R + T Park • 08
Navtech Inc. Navtech software and charts ready pilots for flight here’s a very familiar sight for airline travellers just about everywhere in the world; pilots in ones, twos and more carving a swath through crowded airports on their way to pilot a flight. With their tidy uniforms, jaunty caps atop their heads, and a very big black bag held firmly in hand, they are difficult to miss. Some travellers, minds wandering while waiting to check in or board a flight, may have idly wondered something about these pilots. What exactly do they carry inside those big black bags? What is mystery to some may be common knowledge to others. But for the record, the black bag is packed with extremely important en route charts that depict the roads in the sky complete with levels of airspace and geographical markers, as well as airport charts containing every detail of every airport including all landing and take-off data. The pilots pack these black bags before each flight. They are standard issue. And standard requirement. And they don’t get on the plane without the bag. Every time pilots prepare for a flight they sort the charts and operational manuals in their bag to correspond to the route that they will be flying. Corresponding electronic data called navdata, from another Navtech product, is also downloaded to the equipment in the cockpit of the plane. Throughout the flight charts and navdata are cross referenced to ensure accuracy for the pilots amongst what they are seeing as they fly, what their cockpit equipment is saying and what the hard copy chart reads. Only three companies in the world are responsible for the development of the charts that guide every pilot through their flights. The second largest of these companies, Navtech, calls Waterloo home. Navtech and its subsidiaries have been making flight operational software such as aeronautical charts and other related products for over 50 years. Right now, they’re in the midst of redesigning these charts to help make air travel safer than ever.
Working with research results from a US-based aeronautical research institution, the Volpe Institute, Navtech is working on a new design format that will improve their chart design. The Volpe Institute is an internationally recognized centre of transportation and logistics expertise. Their work helps decision-makers define problems and pursue the solutions that will lead transportation in the 21st century. Based on the study with Volpe regarding how humans read charts in a flight deck environment, Navtech made changes focusing on improving the readability and accessibility of information, encompassing changes like enhanced text fonts and using more colour in their charts. Other technical aspects of the product include procedures to improve aircraft operations and flight safety by using more easily recognizable symbology. In the event of an emergency, the ability to read charts and "get the picture" faster can knock split seconds off crucial decisionmaking time to save flights and lives. Updating their enormous body of charts is not an overnight task for Navtech. They have been working on redesigning their products airport by airport throughout the last two years. Recently, they have begun the launch of the new product with some of their existing clients by replacing designs as clients renew their mapping contracts. The changes have been noted by their customers and the response is enthusiastic. What’s next for Navtech? Developers are finalizing state-of-the-art software for airlines to minimize fuel consumption benefiting both the economy and the environment. That project, along with their Flight Planning and Crew Scheduling software, keep their 24/7 Service Desk as well as their researchers and programmers from being idle. Navtech is focused on continuing to develop other products in various markets of the vast world of airspace and travel.
WATCH • R + T Park • 10
Accelerator Centre Take a seat at the table
eet Tim Ellis. An entrepreneur from the area with several startups under his belt, Tim recently joined the team at the Waterloo Research + Technology Park’s Accelerator Centre. As the centre’s Director of Client Programs, Tim is a logical addition for an organization that is all about entrepreneurs. The Accelerator Centre opened its doors in April 2006 with the hopes of being at 50% capacity in the first year. The facility was full within 11 months. Two years later plans are in place to add an additional 10,000 square feet, to be located in the park’s next multi-tenant building, bringing the centre’s total space to approximately 40,000 square feet. The centre’s rapid expansion stands as an outstanding outcome of the healthy growth potential for technology and entrepreneurship in Waterloo.
Tim Ellis Director, Client Programs
There are few centres like this one in Ontario. Unlike most research parks, this one is not about incubation. Rather, as its name outlines, the centre’s mandate is to accelerate emerging technology businesses’ growth and success. To become a tenant, start-ups must be an existing business and already beyond the ‘idea’ stage. Once they apply they are required to go through three to four stages of approval. The entire process can take up to a few months. But ultimately, when entry is secured, clients receive benefits that go far and above just occupying space.
As tenant Steve Basco from Dossierview explains, “A lot of time can be wasted getting an office up and going. And a lot of money goes into paying for that as well - whether time lost or dollars cost. At the centre, costs for high quality space and facilities are shared across other start-ups. We get to make a positive first impression with our potential investors and clients without having to worry about the details.”
Tim also brings something extra to the table with the knowledge he gained from his own entrepreneurial ventures. Easily drawing from his own start-up experiences, Tim handles questions from clients ranging from angel funding to day-to-day operations and everything in between. His open door philosophy is ‘always available’ for the 15 businesses currently located in the centre. And as entrepreneurs attest, ‘There’s never a dull moment.’
In addition to space access, clients are plugged into resources, mentorship programs and more. As Ellis explains, “We want to make sure the clients have all the tools they need to be successful while they’re here and after their graduation. We listen to our clients to find out what it is that they need when. Then we bring in value-add resources – services that cover HR, access to mentors, legal, sales, CTO in residence, book-keeping and more – whatever makes sense.”
Says client Maulin Gandhi, Tangam Gaming, “As an entrepreneur one of the hardest lessons you learn is how to control what feels like bi-polar emotions. You can’t get too high when things go well and you can’t get too low when they don’t. I’ve had a few deals where I’ve been really excited and then it hasn’t come through. I had to learn to moderate my reactions to everything.”
The ultimate goal for the clients is actually to help them outgrow the centre. In October 2007 one of the centre’s clients, Primal Fusion (formerly Terra Path Inc.), left the centre to move into their own space. Says Tim, “The quality and quantity of companies that graduate successfully are the measure of our success. We follow graduates closely and monitor the positive impact they have on our local economy.”
A little bit of counseling fits easily into Tim’s role since, “I’ve been there myself.” As for the next few years, Tim adds, “I plan to take things here to the point where I’ve squeezed out as much value as I can for the clients based on my experiences and connections. You never know, I may end up back in the start-up world myself. It’s an ever-changing world and I love the excitement. I’m having a lot of fun here and I would like to think I’ve got a lot to add yet.”
WATCH • R + T Park • 12
Frozen North The indy movement creative ideas re-energized and then revolutionized what was very recently considered a stagnant market. Explains Julian Spillane, young founder and CEO of local gaming company Frozen North, “The indy gaming movement began in ’98. Something right was going on that set the path for independent development. In some ways, it was the end of one era and the beginning of another. Gaming was stale – nothing was changing in terms of game type or play. At the same time, software was becoming cheaper and schools were starting to teach development skills.”
Frozen North Up & Down game graphic
ot long ago video gaming was considered a ‘geek’ past time. That’s changed. Today, the audience for video gaming includes the demographics it once appeared to exclude: The older generation and females. Now a commonly accepted form of entertainment, the mass appeal of video gaming to a large and composite audience has opened the doors to a rise of innovators. The surprise is, although these innovators are not the big names, they are the force driving both change and revenue. Within the gaming industry is a new subculture of independent game developers - known as ‘indy’ gamers. These typically small yet creative design and development houses have become the industry’s new trail-blazers. Their
“Initially,” continues Spillane, “independents worked away quietly in their basements. But then teams started to take over. With teams, everyone brings a different element to the table and that opens the door to creativity. Ideas were generated that challenged what we claimed games to be. Larger companies started to notice and then question what the indies were doing. Eventually, these companies had to adapt to the changes that indies made and a new gaming reality.” Spillane officially formed his own video game development company, Frozen North, in 2006. But that was more a formality; the group had been working together informally during their school years building their skills as designers. Currently finishing the last stages of development for a game called ‘Up & Down’, Frozen North’s first product is set to hit the gaming market in December of this year. Spillane acknowledges Frozen North’s plans for the game reach far deeper than a one-hit wonder.
build a brand to help tide you over for the next project. The way the market for sales has developed - there’s plenty of room for brands,” explains Spillane. Similar to the DVD industry, video gaming has a market where sales are not an either/or situation. Gamers tend to build their collections by purchasing a game now and another one later. Because developers don’t have to compete over a sale of ‘oneness’, brand development, collaborative efforts and information sharing are commonplace. And that inspires more innovation. But as Spillane is quick to mention, “Pulling ahead of the pack takes more than development. Every team has its own story of blood, sweat and tears. Along with good design you also need good publicity as well as people with influence behind you. Publishers care about bottom line – you can’t sell on innovation alone. That’s something a lot of developers forget to think about.” Not so for Spillane, “I grew up with gaming – and that inspired me to be a developer. But now that I’ve started a company, I’ve learned there’s no manual on being a CEO. I don’t want to be a suit – but I want to lead the company. I guess I’m learning the ropes through osmosis – absorbing things from people around me. I want to be a role model for others someday. We just have to make sure we keep our values and great work environment. We’re confident we’re next on the cusp.”
“Ultimately, the goal is to build a franchise - like Mario Brothers. It’s not enough to just build a game. You have to WATCH • R + T Park • 14
Sybase iAnywhere Inc. Revolutionizing the way you shop
ave you ever looked in the mirror while trying on clothes and wondered if there was a shirt that was a better match for the great pair of pants you slipped on? Or whether you picked up the perfect accessory to go with the whole outfit? Have you ever wished for better service in stores while trying on clothes? A way that would not involve leaving the change room to hunt down the item yourself or finding a sales representative. Most of us at some point become exhausted with the shopping experience and opt to exit the change room. We leave the items behind and chalk it up to yet another failed shopping expedition. There is a new take on this old fairytale, except in this story, there is no Sleeping Beauty. What if you could have the item you wanted brought to you without ever leaving the change room or talking to a sales rep? Imagine if there were actually an innovative solution under development right now that answers to this desire and provides a superior shopping experience. You can say thank you to Waterloobased software developer Sybase iAnywhere for the technology that, working in conjunction with other industry leaders, will someday make your wish a shopping reality. Here’s how it works... Attached to all articles of clothing are Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. These RFID tags contain all the data about the article of clothing to
which they are attached. As your usual shopping experience begins, you select a number of articles of clothing and head to the change room to try them on. With Sybase iAnywhere technology, this is where shopping becomes a whole new experience. RFID readers are affixed behind the mirror’s surface. Once you enter the change room, the reader embedded in the mirror is able to read the details in the tag and all the relevant information including clothing style, colour, size and general description. Then the fun begins...
With Sybase iAnywhere technology, this is where shopping becomes a whole new experience.
By simply tapping on a digital button on the magicmirror™, the mirror will display the coordinating clothing options that are both in the store and in your size. You can find out about shirts that match the pair of pants you have on, more options for pants that match the great sweater you selected or the accessory options that best compliment the outfit. Tap on another digital button and the articles of clothing that you’d like to try
on are brought to you in your size by the sales representative. Sound too good to be true? Right now, this magicmirror solution is becoming a reality for one of Portugal’s premier fashion houses, Throttleman. Sybase iAnywhere is providing the RFID infrastructure which is the backbone to this solution. The RFID infrastructure provides management of the readers, centralized configuration and data integration into existing backend systems. With the implementation of this new technology in their retail business model, Throttleman expects to provide more efficient customer service and eventually attain increased sales. RFID technology has typically been associated exclusively with supply chain management and compliance to mandates. The technology, however, is now being used by forward-thinking companies who are getting real business benefits such as increased customer satisfaction, productivity and ultimately profits. The magicmirror solution is only one example of the innovative types of solutions that are being built with products from Sybase iAnywhere. And the rest of us? Well, we get to look forward to one of those fairytales finally coming true.
WATCH • R + T Park • 16
Miller Thomson LLP
Innovation creating momentum
Expert advice for emerging tech companies
hat started as a dream merely five years ago, the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (CBET) is changing the model of graduate business education in Canada. Located in the heart of the Accelerator building, in UW’s Research Park, CBET’s mandate is to advance the teaching and practice of entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialization. In the last few years, its radical ‘knowing-doing’ programs have attracted students from all over the world and have resulted in the formation of numerous new ventures and spin-off companies.
“We’re the first company in the world that can do this – our technology has the potential to transform the industry.” During the last year Prem and his team have been rolling out their game tracking solutions in North America. They are now focusing their sights and business efforts in Macau, China, arguably the largest gambling centre of the world.”
MTech grew out of a blending of several separate factors. Lorelei G. Graham, Miller Thomson Partner, recognized that there were many young and exciting new businesses springing up in Waterloo Region on a regular basis. She began thinking about how the firm could get involved with this dynamic entrepreneurial energy.
Some of the champions who helped along the way now sit on Tangam Systems’ advisory board. Explains Doug Beynon, Chair of the CBET advisory council and member of Tangam’s advisory board, “MBET Alumni are successful because of CBET’s differentiated approach to educating entrepreneurs. Students are surrounded by, and draw from, a rich innovative culture at CBET which provides the nurturing support and advice young entrepreneurs need.”
“Intellectual property, and patents in particular, drive a lot of business today and Miller Thomson wanted to partner with start-ups to provide both legal and business services. We wanted to anticipate their needs rather than wait for them to come to us seeking traditional legal advice,” says Graham.
Leveraging UW’s technological strengths, CBET’s students and alumni are actively involved in commercializing ideas in such diverse fields as ICT, RFID, nanotechnology, health care, alternative energy and digital media. A wonderful example of CBET’s catalytic effect on business creation is Tangam Systems. Prem Gururajan, a UW systems design graduate, had been developing a specific optical sensing application when he enrolled CBET’s Master of Business, Entrepreneurship (MBET) program in 2004. While in the MBET program, Prem was introduced to many important business contacts. They assisted him in moving his idea forward through its various stages of commercialization. Today, his company Tangam Systems is a high tech start-up company focused on bringing computer vision-based monitoring systems to the casino gaming industry. Tangam's system uses tiny video cameras hidden in the ceiling above each gaming table to track every card dealt, every hand played and every customer who takes a seat at the table. Says Gururajan, 17 • R + T Park • WATCH
Howard Armitage, Executive Director at MBET, has a vision for CBET. Says Armitage, “We aspire to be an internationally recognized Centre for Entrepreneurship that will be known for its success in producing breakthrough new businesses, advancing the state of entrepreneurial and commercializationrelated research, and designing and promoting leading-edge educational programs for students and practitioners that lead to new business formation.” Continues Armitage, “Canada needs innovation to create momentum. At CBET, we’re working with our partners and colleagues in the Research Park to build the business for a healthy Canada.”
DEBORA RITCHIE Business Development Manager Miller Thomson LLP
ith roots reaching back 150 years in the Waterloo Region, Miller Thomson LLP is inspired by a vision of the future from its vantage point in the heart of the University of Waterloo Research + Technology Park. MTech – a technology program put in place by the firm in July 2006 – is one unique aspect of Miller Thomson’s vision. A one of a kind program, MTech took nearly a year to conceive, research and develop. It offers a host of reasonably priced legal services to qualifying emerging businesses. Designed to help new businesses get started and protect intellectual property, the program also provides access to highly qualified national-level legal counsel.
At roughly the same time, Debora Ritchie, Miller Thomson Business Development Manager, attended an entrepreneur’s forum in Toronto during which emerging business people discussed the pitfalls of legal and financial matters for young companies. “As a firm we began thinking this was a direction we could be going and examined how to address these issues and tie them into intellectual property. This opened up a whole new dialogue,” adds Ritchie. Miller Thomson saw a lot of possibilities opening up too. Following her initial observations, Ritchie gathered extensive research by speaking to dozens of local businesses about their legal needs including why and how they chose their lawyers. Says Ritchie, “We found that most of the businesses we talked to had fabulous ideas and great concepts but didn’t know how to turn that into a viable business. We wanted to find a way
to get them to come to us early on and then give them a solid foundation.” When her research was complete, Ritchie came up with a name, logo and marketing concept. Now in its second year, the MTech program includes over 50 business stakeholders in the community. “From the beginning,” says Ritchie, “people at Miller Thomson have been passionate about the program. That in part explains its early and continued success in the community.” Attests MTech client Dr. Jeffrey Turner, CEO of the Toronto -based stem cell company Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics Inc., "Emerging technologyintensive companies require cost effective, leading edge legal services on a timely basis. MTech's innovative quotebased business structure has allowed my company to effectively manage legal costs yet retain sophisticated services." “MTech is just one example of our new ideas,” says Ritchie. “The success of the program has encouraged us to develop other related services and products alternative solutions. In today's technology-based business world, professional services including legal and financial products need to adapt and change to meet the demands of business. Adds Graham, “We’re 150 years old this year, but we’re new and modern too. MTech makes technology work for us and for the community. Moving to the Research Park fits our commitment to – and vision of – the region and the growing technology community. We hope to be there at the next stage of their growth.”
WATCH • R + T Park • 18
Open Text Taking control of chaos
ave you ever heard the term ‘content chaos’? Well if you logged onto your office computer this morning to a barrage of new and urgent email you may actually have experienced some of this first hand. Embedded in the plethora of messages did you also tackle multiple attachments, videos, digital images and other files? Grappling with the content chaos of today’s ‘rich media’ in an organized manner is getting to be more of a challenge every day. For businesses, this challenge can be a matter of the bottom line. Rich media usage has exploded and will continue to expand within corporate enterprise. According to independent research organization GISTICS Incorporated, without some type of management system for rich media files, a typical company will soon spend an average of 2.9 minutes searching for a single file. And often these searches come up empty handed. For competitive companies that hits two sore spots – the pocketbook and the reputation of the company. More and more organizations are recognizing that rich media is a valuable component of their enterprise’s collective intellectual property. At the same time, they also realize the importance of seeking solutions that can help to manage their mounting file types – be it for TV, web, cell phone, or in-store advertising. Waterloo-grown Open Text, located in the Research Park, specializes in connecting people with the information they need to work better, the processes
that make them more efficient and the communities that share like-minded interests and expertise. Open Text came up with a solution for content chaos called Artesia Digital Asset Management (DAM). For many of their clients it has provided the answer they needed to remain competitive. Take one of the world’s leading manufacturers of major home appliances for example. With annual sales of over $18 billion, 68,000 employees, and 5 manufacturing and technology research centres around the globe, it still found itself struggling to establish a distinct brand identity. In order to protect, sustain and expand their worldwide market they needed to know accurate images were delivered in the correct manner to the correct channel. Pre DAM the company achieved this by burning 10 or more CDs per week. This was counterproductive and often resulted in the incorrect distribution of images and model numbers, which in turn often irritated trade partners and confused customers. Dealing with multiple agencies internally and thousands of trade partners externally also meant that image requests often took one to three days to fulfill. The company recognized they needed a robust solution, appropriate for an industry leader, to help them manage their digital files. That meant a centralized and accessible repository for licensed product images and for repurposing images and content. This was critical to convey the message of consistency, reliability and speed-tomarket to their customers.
The company chose Open Text’s Artesia DAM to help them organize, manually retrieve and distribute approximately 48,000 images. The solution also protects over 13,000 product shots representing their entire house of brands. Open Text helped the company create a centralized repository to bring in-house control over product shots and eliminate the cost of image recreation, storage and retrieval. The company was able to provide trade partners with branded imagery according to their market and geographic needs. Departments could offer ‘image enabled’ applications to external customers via a web-based self-service merchandising tool, point of sale materials and product specification sheets as well as print advertising to trade partners and buying group representatives. Thanks to the solution, the company now easily manages brand messaging and is confident accurate images are delivered to the correct destination. Trade partners have access to quality images for branded co-promotions and product demonstrations. That translates into global brand consistency for both trade partners and customers. Ultimately, the organization saved time and money while ensuring a solid brand identity. And that translated to a clear competitive advantage. Making sense out of chaos is often a good idea. But in the information rich world of today, it just makes good business sense.
WATCH • R + T Park • 20
ideas = research + talent + location
Bill Gates What’s on for tomorrow
It is a well known fact that every generation has philosophical differences from the one it follows. How each generation’s beliefs and values impact the world becomes the legacy each leaves behind. Today, we live in an era where the millennial generation’s desire to give back to society is so powerful – it is actually affecting the way businesses must work in order to attract young talented minds.
There is a place where ideas happen. It is in surroundings that encourage leading edge research and have continuous access to a stream of brilliant minds. That place is here in Waterloo. It’s called the University of Waterloo Research + Technology Park. It’s today’s technology playground. The companies located in this park have ready access to everything they need to generate ideas for now and for the next generation. Tomorrow they will welcome the brainpower of our children just as they have already welcomed the minds here now. Watch to see what happens next.
today’s technology playground
February 2008, during his North American tour, Bill Gates made a stop at the University of Waterloo. His only Canadian visit, he delivered some strong messages to the students of the university and 200 hand selected (and lucky) high school students. A big part of the message reflected Gates’ commitment to his own philanthropic work and his understanding that for the millennial generation; well, the times… they are a changing. Gates first drew a picture of a future that promises to deliver an astonishing array of changes that will impact the way society lives and works. He then encouraged students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the world; and not just of the haves but also of the have nots. Explained Gates, “When I was in school I didn’t personally get the big picture. But I’ve learned a lot more since then about the tiers of wealth in the world. I’ve asked myself, of those tiers, how does technology make a difference amongst groups? The top tier is obvious. But in the bottom tier, where people live without
electricity or access, innovation is extremely important but difficult to deliver. This creates a dilemma because when people have no money, they have no voice. And they require external action to help resolve problems. The answer is to find gaps where technology can make a positive impact in spite of the issues.”
“If you could get every business to be as good as the ‘best’ who are already helping, imagine the new technologies that could be developed to help the world.” “When you have a much better awareness of a particular world situation,” Gates continued, “take on an aspect of what you’ve noticed and learn as much as you can about it. Then find a way to give back.” On a business level, Gates encouraged the students to get businesses more involved in finding these solutions. As he noted, “If you could get every business to be as good as the ‘best’ who are already helping, imagine the new technologies that could be developed to help the world.” Refreshing words from a man who has already accomplished so much.
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Innovation Partners The evolution of a Waterloo idea
deas: concepts, abstractions, notions that exist within the mind. All of us have had a few; some of us have had a lot. But how many of our ideas ever get beyond mere thoughts?
So you have an idea...
The Research Park’s five Innovation Partners are there to help individuals develop their ideas into viable businesses. Each one of the partners has a specific and defined role in that journey.
How do you know if your idea is a sound one? If there’s a market for it? If the technology exists? How to patent it? Finding answers takes a lot more than guts and opinion. Your idea’s first stop is the Canadian Innovation Centre (CIC). The CIC conducts the research necessary to find answers on market viability. Explains Josie Graham, Director, Projects & Studies, “People should come to see us very soon after the light bulb goes on. We can help to establish if there is a need before the entrepreneur really starts to spend time and money on further development of the idea.”
From research around idea validation, to sourcing development resources, to connecting funding, mentoring and government assistance when needed most, the partners clear the path that moves ideas from thoughts to words to commercialization.
All systems go...
At the University of Waterloo Research + Technology Park odds that an idea will turn into a patent, product or business are quite good. In fact many ideas are currently along the journey to commercialization right now.
You’ve passed the research stage and there’s a market for your idea. But you can’t work on it during the day (you’re at the office) or you can’t work at it at night (your home pc doesn’t have the capacity or programs) and you need more development before any angel funding. Infusion Angels Innovation Centre sponsored by Microsoft next. A mini-incubator, they provide entrepreneur’s support, services, mentorship and guidance. A free and tapable resource, Infusion has physical workspace including workstations, access to development resources, a technology library, programming guides and more. All you have to do is call and book the time.
Add time and money... It’s almost real and it’s going to work. But the idea needs further research and more resources. In other words, you need money. You’ve heard rumours about government funds and research assistance, but you’re not sure where to begin. Get to know the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). IRAP provides a mix of expertise, referrals, and funding for qualifying startup and early-stage companies. Programs include a range of both technical and business oriented advisory services along with potential financial support for innovative research, development and commercialization of new products and services.
And more time and money... It’s almost real. It’s almost ready. With just a bit more time and money you’ll be on track to take it to market. You can always check out the Ontario Centre of Excellence part of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. A pre-eminent research-tocommercialization vehicle, OCE is great for building strong industry and academic relationships. They specialize in taking ideas to income through support for industrially relevant R&D, the opening of new market opportunities and the commercialization of leading edge discovery.
Take-off time... Seems you have a few employees and an office (not in the basement.) The ink is dry on your first deal. Maybe your idea will be the next one to change the world. You’re poised to be the next name on everyone’s lips. Time to join Communitech: Waterloo Region Technology Association and connect with the region’s technology sector. With mentor programs, peer gatherings, annual conference, connections to every CEO in the region and government involved with economic development and technology, Communitech is the place to meet everybody. Maybe sooner rather than later, you’ll be the next speaker to tell the story of how your idea went from thoughts in your head to a multi-million dollar enterprise.
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TechTown A different approach for the new Waterloo
TOBY JENKINS CEO, Columbia Developments Inc.
So how did you get from there to the creation of TechTown?
So, now that it is here, what is in TechTown?
“The opportunity to build TechTown first came about when local technology CEOs and UW President David Johnston identified the need to provide services such as a fitness facility, healthy food and child care in a single location within the Research Park. I expanded that notion with the idea for a building that would accommodate other professional services - ones that would help people bring more balance to their lives. Other things came into play as well - like the fact that a lot of new people in the area were looking to meet other new people and there was a growing base of professionals who really wanted to network. The opportunity to start a fitness facility that focused on health - not just running on a treadmill - became immediately apparent. I wanted to provide value added services that were not available within a custom-designed facility. That was the key to the business plan and now it’s the reason for our success.”
“We have just about everything you need to take some of the stress out of your life. Under one roof we have Columbia Lake Health Club, TechTown Café, Education Credit Union, Kids & Company - a full service daycare, TechTown Dentistry and Google. Anyone can workout in the morning, grab a cappuccino or protein shake and get cash at the ATM all on the way to the office. All the service businesses in the facility work together to provide premium services that value clients’ time. For example, Kids & Company and Columbia Lake Health Club have a child care arrangement for members and Columbia Lake Health Club and the Café make it easy for members to make quick purchases.”
What came next? oby Jenkins, creator of TechTown, a community services building located in the heart of the UW Research + Technology Park, has accomplished a phenomenal task. Open for business since January 2007, Toby’s facility is the physical embodiment of her vision. We talked to her to find out how she took her philosophy for healthy living and turned it into a viable and thriving business. First of all, are you from the area? “Not originally - but I am a University of Waterloo graduate. I returned 20 years ago to establish a career and I’ve been very busy raising my family. I have three 25 • R + T Park • WATCH
children – 17, 15 and 11 and we love it here. Since my return I’ve watched things change a lot. Waterloo is growing up quickly and is becoming a very dynamic city.” What were you up to before TechTown? “I came to Waterloo as a commercial banker for Royal Bank and I managed a business unit in Cambridge. I left banking in the late ‘90’s to raise my children and volunteer on boards such as Waterloo Ventures, Grand River Hospital and Cancer Care Ontario. The most satisfying work came from my experiences on health care boards. I spent nine years on the Grand River Hospital board finishing as Chairman in 2004.”
What did you take away from your volunteer experiences? “With my work with Cancer Care Ontario, I learned there was a big gap for the average person in the area of health promotion and disease prevention. I saw that there was an opportunity to help people take care of themselves better – while they’re healthy – to maintain good health. An idea started to take shape there had to be other opportunities to inspire greater responsibility in keeping yourself healthy and active. But it took me a while to figure out what that opportunity might actually be.”
“Research! I started by looking for comparable professional services buildings. The first thing I found out was that they don’t really exist! The new building would have to create a sense of place and foster a sense of community – hence the name “TechTown”. It needed the space necessary for events and networking options. For the health club, I visited many fitness facilities in North America. I knew that I needed to offer facilities and services that differentiated us. It was also apparent that the design needed to be open, airy, light-filled and with customized ventilation. My research led to one conclusion - I needed to build something new that fit with my vision.”
What’s different about Columbia Lake Health Club? “Columbia Lake Health Club is neither gym nor franchise. We respond directly to what our members want. We see opportunities and act on them immediately. For example, we recently added an incredibly successful dance program. We have golf, hockey and ski conditioning. We have fitness classes that go way beyond the franchise programs of the ‘80’s. Plus, because I designed the facility for comfort, every room has its own ventilation system. In fact, with each room operating on its own system, we are able to provide a room for ‘hot’ yoga. There are also hardwood floors, lots of natural light flooding in and more. “
What about the café? “Because the café is not a franchise either, we work together to meet our customers’ needs. Not only do we have fresh healthy food choices, we know how important good coffee is to TechTown visitors. So – we have our own coffee roaster. On your way in for your workout you can stop by the café and have our beans roasted to your taste and it’s ready to go when you head out.” Does the ultimate reality match the vision? “Yes! A lot of the members at Columbia Lake Health have turned out to be new people who want to get to know other new people. At the same time, the club also attracts many who have deep roots in this region but were looking for a more comfortable environment with different services and more equipment. We have created a community meeting place for the tenants of the park and the professionals in Waterloo who want to meet and enjoy the company of likeminded people.” Would you do this again? “Would I ever! I’ve discovered a hidden passion inside me that I didn’t know was there. I have become an entrepreneur and it’s very satisfying. I love being “back to work” and believe that it’s important for my children to have a “working mom”. Plus I have learned so much through the whole experience of taking a vision – and making it a building, a community gathering place and a club that promotes a healthy living style. So yes – I’d do it again.”
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Kids & Company
Face your world with a smile
Stopping the mommy drain
In addition to Dr. Jones there are two other practicing doctors at TechTown Dentistry; Dr. Tim Sellner, Dentist, and Dr. Suzanne Cziraki, Orthodontist and Invisalign Specialist. Completing the team is also a number of other dental health professionals. All team members are aligned with the same four core values: kindness, quality, extra mile service and integrity. Together, they create the TechTown Dentistry experience; aptly named ‘The Dental Health Advantage’.
Dr. Doug Jones Dr. Tim Sellner TechTown Dentistry
omething feels very different at TechTown Dentistry. Beginning with the receptionist’s dazzling smile as she greets you on arrival, to your wait in a room that feels like a cozy family gathering place (complete with fireplace), it is obvious that this is not your average dentist’s office. And as the rest of your visit unfolds, it becomes equally clear that the approach to dentistry here is quite unique. Explains visionary and practice owner Dr. Doug Jones, “Our practice philosophy starts with a very specific end goal in mind - to treat each and every one of our patients on a personal, respectful and individual manner. We strive to strengthen our clients’ confidence, comfort level and self-esteem through healthy dental habits. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the value of a healthy smile.” 27 • R + T Park • WATCH
TechTown Dentistry’s fresh approach helps people fit the dentistry they want and need into their lifestyle and budget. As Doug points out, “When people are consulted, they usually know the right answers. We respect the rights of our client to be in charge of their dental health. So if they know the root canal they need can wait until they are settled in their new job or until they return from a vacation, they can choose the timing that works best for them.” “It’s important to remember that there are a lot of variables involved in healing,” continues Doug. “Your body will always heal faster if what is happening in the rest of life – finances, stress level, job satisfaction, physical health – are all in a positive state.” What happens in the dentist chair here includes plenty of discussion. Before ever moving to treatment, pictures are shown and options talked about between the patient and dental health professional. Says Doug, “By discussing decisions with our patients, it changes the nature of everything. Treatments are no longer done ‘to you’ – they’re done ‘for you’. That’s empowering.” Sound a little different from the ordinary dentist experience? Dr. Tim Sellner
thought so too. That is why he came on board with the practice. As a recent graduate, Tim explored many different opportunities. It was Dr. Jones unusual methodology that sold him on joining this practice.
n today’s fast-paced environment, the pressures on families, particularly mothers, are significant. The number of working parents is steadily increasing while support from extended families continues to diminish. According to Statistics Canada, the proportion of children in child care has increased significantly over the past eight years.
“It really wasn’t much of a choice,” explains Tim. “Doug offered me an alternative to a run-of-the-mill practice. There was a philosophy in place that provided a foundation for how we work. Patients are heard and understood – and that helps get rid of the ‘fear factor’ stigma around dentistry. That in turn eliminates worry – which is a big deal for me. This place is about something I really believe in. TechTown Dentistry also believes in giving back to the community. Working with Catholic Family Counselling Centre to identify individuals with severe dental problems, the TechTown team provides the dental care necessary to restore the health and look of teeth and gums for these individuals. Doug acknowledges, “Due to circumstances or lack of opportunity, many people are unable to access and pay for dental care. For these individuals, I’ve seen that a healthy confident smile make a huge difference to their lives.” As life becomes more and more disconnected from personal contact, providing the opportunity for one-on-one conversations around decision-making makes more sense than ever. Taking an active role in your own dental health, especially when the end result is an ideal smile, is a welcome change. As Doug adds, “When you have the confidence to face your world with a smile, doors open and opportunities are endless.”
Victoria Sopik, president of Kids & Company, says that ‘Mommy Drain’ is something that affects both working moms and the organizations that employ them.
DONNA LANG Career mom with daughter Carli
“It is well documented that working mothers face significant emotional and practical issues, such as balancing work and family and this can translate into productivity and retention issues among valuable talent,” says Sopik. “The resulting cost is high…on both sides.” As a result, many of Canada’s leading employers are working to combat ‘Mommy Drain’ by providing work-life programs and services for their employees. Kids & Company, Canada’s leading provider of innovative work-life solutions, works with top-tier progressive organizations to provide working parents with the flexible child care options they need. “Kids & Company’s child care solutions allow parents to feel good about going to work every day knowing they have access to guaranteed, reliable, nurturing care that is flexible enough to meet the specific needs of both children and parents,” says Sopik. To meet the needs of children age six weeks to school age, the qualified child care providers at Kids & Company use a child-centered philosophy in which the program is responsive to all children in
the group. Kids & Company creates and adapts programs by observing and listening to the children. In small groups, children receive individual attention in a nurturing environment where a healthy attitude towards learning is developed. Through this emergent curriculum, children are provided with the opportunity to decide what they would like to learn.
Kids & Company creates and adapts programs by observing and listening to the children.
Kids & Company is also responsive to the needs of parents. With 20 locations across Canada, Kids & Company offers a spectrum of child care options including full-time, part-time and emergency back-up child care. The organization recently began providing extended-hour and 24-hour child care at select locations in response to the needs of parents working in healthcare and other shift-oriented workplaces. But Kids & Company’s commitment to providing parents with flexibility extends beyond just the duration of a child’s care. “As a working mother of eight, I know first hand that balancing work and family is a challenge,” says Sopik. “That’s why we continue to develop and provide solutions to help stem the ‘Mommy Drain,’ such as no late fees when employees are held up at work and arrive late to pick up their child and our mealsto-go program.” WATCH • R + T Park • 28
Education Credit Union Customer service focus in a confidential one-on-one manner – no matter what they’ve come to the branch to do.” Doesn’t that make transactions take up a lot more time? “Actually, our clients come to see us specifically for this reason! ECU has built the company to cater towards people in a personal sort of way. We think all our clients are worth our time and effort. These days many banks encourage customers to complete all their banking online, for example, so they never need to visit a branch or talk to a real person.” What if you prefer online banking?
TONY VERBEEK Branch/Credit Manager Education Credit Union
fter over 40 years in the business, the TechTown branch of the Education Credit Union (ECU) has proven its mettle by standing the test of time against the banking industry’s giants. ECU offers the same services banks offer – bank accounts, investment options, loans, debit and credit cards – but they take a very different approach to banking and their customers. According to Tony Verbeek, Branch/Credit Manager for ECU, their business is driven by a customer service focus. How are you different from other banks? “Well, the environment for starters. When you walk into this branch, you won’t see tellers or automatic teller machines. Instead, our trained professionals are located in individual offices. Customers come in, have a seat, and we take the time to look after them
“Absolutely, we provide that as well. We’ve just found though, in some banking transactions our clients need to sit down with someone who can walk them through the options to make better and informed decisions. We’ve come to understand that a lot of people don’t have the time, skills, or patience to do complete financial plans for themselves. They prefer to see an expert – much like you see doctors for health reasons and lawyers for legal issues. People come here to get credible, reliable guidance and advice that is tailored and suited towards them.” Can you explain how you provide guidance and advice? “At ECU, our entire value system is based on putting the needs of the customers first. Let’s use the example that you weren’t happy with your current mortgage provider and came to see us with the intent of moving your mortgage to us. Well, by saying we are committed to walking the walk, it means before we would ever sign you up our staff perform calculations to help make decisions that benefit you the customer – not ECU.
So, after a close look at your mortgage rates, if it’s in your best interests to stay with your current bank until the mortgage is due, we will encourage you to wait until that change makes the best financial sense.” Is that the way you approach all your customers? “We always take a truthful and straightforward approach. The majority of the time people respect that we were honest with them and genuinely held their best interests in mind. So they do come back when that mortgage is due. And that usually means we’ve successfully attracted a customer for life. Do you have to be in the education field to bank with ECU? “No. ECU is open to anyone. It’s really a leftover misconception that you have to be an educator to bank with us. When we originally formed in 1964, it was in collaboration with staff at the University of Waterloo. And yes, ECU was initially conceived to serve that staff. But a lot has changed since then. Now we are the same as any bank - meaning anyone can be an account and shareholder here. We do though – continue to honour our heritage by keeping the word ‘education’ in our name.” What do you mean about being a ‘shareholder’? Every person who has an account with us becomes a minimum $5 shareholder. That qualifies the customer to take an active part in making decisions for the company. Essentially, this means that our customers are involved in the decisions that will inevitably affect them. This guarantees that every decision made is in the best interest of the company’s customers.”
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CGI Group Making visions work
future. The most critical component to CGI’s ‘Dream’ for the organization was a commitment “To create an environment in which we enjoy working together and, as the owner, contribute to building a company we can be proud of.” Using this as a beginning, CGI developed a business philosophy that strove always to put people first.
CGI Group Back Row left to right Mark Sippel, Levi Tiessen, Linda Winteringham, Randall Mosher, Jim Davis Front Row David McHoull, Lisa Doyle, Margot McCormack
ost professionals agree that there are innumerable factors that can tip the scales in favour of business success. But in the world of technology where the playing field changes from moment to moment, one of the most critical factors for success is retention of the storehouse of knowledge, expertise and experiences employees accumulate. Hiring and retaining the mind power of technology’s most competitive asset, people, is 31 • R + T Park • WATCH
fundamental to doing well in this century. The only Canadian-based IT outsourcing company in this country, CGI Group recently opened an office location in Waterloo’s Research Park. Positioned in the Challenger Quandrant in Gartner’s 2007 report on the Magic Quadrant for ERP service providers, CGI is well recognized as an industry leader in an exceptionally competitive market. The company’s talent for long-term
relationships – with both their clients and their own people – has surely been one of the factors that has helped rocket this company toward success. Creating a professional environment for individuals to thrive, grow and evolve their career path is more than just words for this company. To get there, the Founder and Executive Chairman of CGI, Serge Godin, developed a vision to help form and guide the company into its
While building their business over the last 30 years CGI also focused on developing a successful internal working culture. They believed that by ensuring their organization provided employees, or members as they are called, with all the elements necessary to encourage and develop healthy and interesting career paths, their employees would be inclined to stay. And stay for a long time. Director of Operations for the Waterloo office, Mark Sippel explains, “Management at CGI has always had a genuine desire for their employees to flourish and grow. And they encourage their members to do so within the company. The great thing is - developing opportunities for career growth within the organization has also proven to be a successful retention strategy.” Mark actually started his own career with the company as a technical consultant. From there, he grew and transitioned into human resources. Today he is now enjoying his third exploration within the company through his new role in the sales division. This type of fluidity is typical for CGI employees. “In fact,” Mark continues, “The environment is structured to make
members feel like they can do well here no matter what their interests or background. No one is forced to become ‘pigeon-holed’ into a single role or department. Change is so encouraged that if after a number of years someone is in the same position, their manager might even approach them with new opportunities. It’s so refreshing. I’ve never felt the need to leave my employer to explore a new career.” Ray Dwyer, Co-op & Grad Recruitment Specialist concurs with Mark, “The world can be yours at CGI depending on how eager you are or the challenges you want.” Ray is another perfect example of the breadth of possibility available at the company. Ray started with the company in general administration. Later, he was given the opportunity to move into active recruitment and he’s never looked back. Says Ray on his changing career path, “I love what I’m doing now and there is still a lot more here if I want it.” Putting employees at the center of their core values has certainly paid off in many other ways. The company’s excellent reputation and employee retention policy have enhanced the company’s ability to attract the best new recruits. And as these recruits become accustomed to CGI’s philosophy, they too evolve into seasoned employees who choose to stay on for the long-term. Ray’s recruitment work today focuses on hiring the right people and then matching the jobs to the person rather than the person to the job. One of his
key objectives is also campus recruitment. Obviously, the company’s decision to locate their office in the Research Park was no mistake. Ray actively acknowledges the significant advantages to be gained from being located close to a highly educated job pool. Even new co-op members experience the difference from day one. Once new recruits have signed on with the company, CGI does everything in their power to make them feel comfortable and welcome. What helps with this explains Account Specialist Lisa Doyle, is the buddy system. “When people are hired in any department, they’re paired with a seasoned member of staff so they can be shown the ropes on a personal and intimate basis. From the minute ‘where’s the photocopy paper?’ to the grand scale ‘what’s it like being on client-site?’ the buddy system helps people to integrate quickly and comfortably into the organization.” But interesting career paths are not the only benefits members get at this company. CGI provides opportunities for work/life balance as members enjoy having families, participate in incentive programs for ‘intrapreneurial’ thinking, enjoy on-site fitness programs and more. The company never misses an opportunity to create and endorse efforts that ultimately keep their members balanced, healthy and most importantly, happy to be working there. WATCH • R + T Park • 32
R + T Park Directory AcMed Technology Incorporated We are dedicated to an advanced technology platform utilizing photon diffusion scanning spectroscopy to non-invasively measure hemodynamics and oxygenation in key biological tissues and blood vessels.
Email: email@example.com Company Inception: 2006 Waterloo Employees: 4 Other Office Employees: 8
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 20, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Bayalink Solutions Corporation Bayalink is the manufacturer of the Liberty product. Liberty virtualizes the display of your BlackBerry to enable you to use a large screen and regular keyboard to interact with your BlackBerry.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.bayalink.com Company Inception: 2004 Waterloo Employees: 4 Other Office Employees: 2
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 5, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Canadian Innovation Centre The Canadian Innovation Centre (CIC) is a national, not-for-profit fee-for- service organization. CIC helps early stage innovators take the first important steps in the commercialization process by aiding them in identifying the optimum way forward and validating the market opportunities available to them.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.innovationcentre.ca Company Inception: 1981 Waterloo Employees: 5
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 15, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
CBET - The Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology CBET was created to support, build on, and expand the entrepreneurial initiatives at the University of Waterloo. The university’s reputation for encouraging and spinning off successful entrepreneurial ventures is unmatched in Canada.
Company URL: www.cbet.uwaterloo.ca Phone: (519) 888-4567 X37167 Employees & Faculty: Approx. 16
295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 240, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
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CellScale Biomaterials Testing CellScale develops research instruments for the analysis of natural tissue and replacement biomaterials. Our customers are researchers involved in investigating soft-tissue disease, drug therapies or innovating new medical treatments. Our initial product release provides biaxial analysis of small geometry samples.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.cell-scale.com Company Inception: 2005 Waterloo Employees: 4 Co-ops Hired 2007: 1 Faculties: Engineering
CGI is one of the largest independent firms of its kind in the world. CGI provides systems integration and consulting, application and technology management, and business process services to clients from offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 290, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
DossierView provides desktop business intelligence software that enhances and organizes information access within the intelligent enterprise from the desktop. The technology organizes work environments into project specific dossiers that users can instantly switch between, enhancing their ability to complete projects.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.dossierview.com Company Inception: 2007 Waterloo Employees: 6
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 2, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 5, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.cgi.com Company Inception: 1976 Waterloo Employees: 35 Office Employees: 26,000 Co-ops Hired 2007: 36 Faculties: Math, Arts, Engineering
Education Credit Union With two KW locations, the Education Credit Union is a full-service financial credit union including a comprehensive Wealth Management Program. The primary difference between ECU and other financial institutions is our personal approach that focuses on putting members first and offering cost effective products and services.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.ecusolutions.com Company Inception: 1965 Waterloo Employees: 10 Other Office Employees: 20
TechTown, 340 Hagey Blvd., Suite 103, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6
Columbia Lake Health Club Columbia Lake Health Club is a state-of-the-art full-service fitness facility where we focus on improving our members overall health and well-being. We provide exceptional staff who keep members motivated, challenged and informed to help them live a longer and healthier life. TechTown, 340 Hagey Blvd., Suite 104, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6
Communitech: Waterloo Region Technology Association Communitech is an industry-led organization driving the growth and success of Waterloo Region´s technology sector through leadership, connections and promotion. Our members include large publicly traded companies, growing firms, start-up enterprises and organizations that support the growth of these companies.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.columbialakehealthclub.com Company Inception: 2007 Waterloo Employees: 70 Co-ops Hired 2007: 6 Faculties: Applied Health Science
ECU Wealth Management
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.communitech.ca Company Inception: 1998 Waterloo Employees: 15
CREZ Basketball Systems Inc. (CBSI) is a leading provider of sports information technologies and services for collecting, managing and distributing sports content for athletic and media organizations. Currently, the company has positioned itself to serve the global sport of basketball. Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 5, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.ecusolutions.com Company Inception: 1996 Waterloo Employees: 2 Other Office Employees: 2
TechTown, 340 Hagey Blvd., Suite 102, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6
Energent provides industrial, commercial and institutional energy consumers with customized energy management solutions to lower their energy costs and gain increased value from their energy resources. Our solutions combine the technology, tools and resource expertise required to enable success.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.energent.com Company Inception: 2006 Co-op Hires 2007: Hiring in 2008 Faculties: Engineering
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 3, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 16, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Crez Basketball Systems Incorporated
The ECU Wealth Management team, operating in partnership with the Education Credit Union, strives to provide personalized financial planning and investment strategies to both its existing membership and to the growing population of the Tri-city area.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.crezbasketball.com Company Inception: 2006 Faculties: Engineering
Google “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful.” Google’s presence in Waterloo is set up to support this mission with a general engineering team focused on research and development for mobile products and online advertising infrastructure. As the office expands, general engineering projects for many other Google products will be carried out here.
Company URL: www.google.com Co-op Faculties: Math, Engineering
TechTown, 340 Hagey Blvd., Suite 203, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6 35 • R + T Park • WATCH
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Infusion Angels Innovation Centre sponsored by Microsoft As the newest Microsoft Innovation Centre, the goal of the Infusion Angels Innovation Centre is to foster innovation and growth in local economies. The centre offers students, researchers, professional developers and executives access to world-class facilities, consultants and free resources.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: ic.infusionangels.com Company Inception: 2007 Waterloo Employees: 1
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 14, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Kids & Company With 20 locations across Canada, Kids & Company offers a variety of child care options including full-time and part-time care, back-up care in case of an emergency, enriched Montessori Kindergarten programming at select locations and no late fees when employees are held up at work.
Miller Thomson LLP is one of Canada’s largest national law firms, with more than 500 professionals working across Canada. The firm provides a complete range of business law, advocacy and personal legal services to Canadian and international corporations, entrepreneurs, institutions, governments and not-for-profit organizations.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL:www.kidsandcompany.ca Company Inception: 2002 Waterloo Employees: 30 Other Office Employees: 360 Co-ops Hired 2007: 10 – 15
Miovision Technologies Incorporated develops video and web-based technologies to help traffic consultants and municipal governments dramatically reduce the cost of collecting, analyzing and reporting traffic data. Our tools automate traffic studies and make traffic data accessible to all stakeholders.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.millerthomson.com Company Inception: 1858 Waterloo Employees: 110 Other Office Employees: 1150
Winner of 2007 Chamber of Commerce Innovation award, Navtech is a leading international provider of aviation software. Software includes integrated flight operations solutions, dispatch solutions and crew planning software. These products provide aeronautical charts and navigational data while working to maximize airline efficiency, reduce costs, and meet both safety and government regulations. 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 200, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5 37 • R + T Park • WATCH
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to strengthen Ontario’s economy and enhance its global competitiveness. OCE also fosters the development of promising innovators and entrepreneurs, working with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments.
Company URL: www.oce-ontario.org Company Inception: 1987 Waterloo Employees: 8-10 Other Office Employees: 75-80
Open Text Corporation Open Text is the market leader in providing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions that bring together people, processes and information. Our software combines collaboration with content management, transforming information into knowledge that provides the foundation for innovation, compliance and growth.
Company URL: www.opentext.com Date of company Inception: 1991
275 Frank Tompa Drive, Waterloo, ON, N2L 0A1
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.miovision.com Company Inception: 2005 Co-ops Hired 2007: 4 Faculties: Math, Engineering, Arts
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 7, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 12, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 300, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Miovision Technologies Incorporated
The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) provides a range of technical and business-oriented advisory services, along with potential financial support, to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises with a focus on science and technology. NRC-IRAP supports innovative research and development and commercialization of new products and services.
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Company URL: www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca Company Inception: 1945 Waterloo Employees: 4 Other Office Employees: 250
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 9, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
TechTown, 340 Hagey Blvd., Suite 105, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Miller Thomson LLP
National Research Council Industrial Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
PackagingOne Corporation PackagingOne provides a breakthrough manufacturing process using advanced nanoscale silicon wafer technology combined with powerful proprietary chemistry and precision tooling to shatter the limitations of existing circuit packaging techniques, creating entirely new real estate for electronics and a new category of flexible electronic products.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.packagingone.com Company Inception: 2005 Waterloo Employees: 6 Other Office Employees: 6
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 5, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.navtechinc.com Company Inception: 1987 Waterloo Employees: Approx. 100 Other Office Employees: 200 Co-ops Hired 2007: 3 Faculties: Math, Engineering
Semacode Corporation Semacode is the leading provider of online marketing solutions that utilize the camera phone’s ability to interpret 2D barcodes. Semacode is revolutionizing print advertising by allowing consumers to interact with print media and perform electronic transactions on their mobile device.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.semacode.com Company Inception: 2004 Co-ops Hired 2007: 3 Faculties: Math, Engineering
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 4, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
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SmartPatterns Incorporated SmartPatterns Inc. provides needle crafters a way to design their own needle art pattern. The software, Sweater Designer v1.0 – Winter 2008, enables a non-designer to quickly and easily design their own sweater pattern.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.smartpatterns.com Company Inception: 2003 Waterloo Employees: 2 Other Office Employees: 2
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 5, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
TechTown Café TechTown Café provides both premium, on-site roasted fair trade, organic coffee and healthy food choices in a comfortable environment. The café provides catering for events within TechTown and the R+T Park for the convenience of guests and neighbours. Specialty soups, salads, wraps and sandwiches are made fresh each day.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.techtowncafe.com Company Inception: 2007 Waterloo Employees: 12 Other Office Employees:1
TechTown, 340 Hagey Blvd., Suite 101, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6
SparkMatrix Incorporated SparkMatrix technology is a web-based service software that is currently being used to automate property management. Designed for multi-dwelling property management, the integrated software applications enable tenant relationship management, facilities management and financial management.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.sparkmatrix.com Company Inception: 2003 Co-ops Hired 2007: 3 Faculties: Math, Arts, Science, Engineering
Pokerspace, the flagship project of Suited Media is an online community designed specifically for poker players. Founded by young poker enthusiasts, the site offers all the tools a user needs to interact and connect with other enthusiasts around the world.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.suitedmedia.com Company Inception: 2006 Waterloo Employees: 14 Co-ops Hired 2007: 2 Faculties: Math, Engineering
Sybase and its iAnywhere subsidiary provides open, cross-platform enterprise software solutions that manage and mobilize information from the data centre to where business needs to occur – anywhere, anytime. The world’s most critical data in commerce, communications, finance, government and healthcare runs on Sybase.
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.sybase.com Company Inception: 1981 Waterloo Employees: approx. 250 Other Office Employees: 4,000+ Co-op Hires 2007: 130+ Faculties: Math, Arts, Engineering
Tangam Systems provides monitoring and data analysis technology based on computer vision and machine learning. The award winning solution for casinos provides casino management with functionality to track, manage and improve player profiling, game security and human resources performance. Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 17, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5 39 • R + T Park • WATCH
T-Ray Science, Inc. T-Ray seeks to harness the power of TeraHertz radiation for applications in the medical, pharmaceutical and wellness lifestyle industries with a particular focus on the research, development, manufacture and marketing of handheld and other devices and their component parts.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.t-rayscience.com Company Inception: 2006 Waterloo Employees: 2 Other Office Employees: 3
UW Research + Technology Park At 120-arces, the University of Waterloo Research + Technology Park is one of the largest research parks in Canada and one ideally located on the campus of Canada's most innovative university. A vital addition to Canada’s Technology Triangle of Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge, it reflects the enterprising spirit of Waterloo Region.
Phone: 519-888-4567, x36339 Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.rtpark.uwaterloo.ca Park Inception: 2002 Co-ops Hired 2007: 2 Faculties: Math
UW Research + Technology Park, 200 University Ave. W., GSC 228, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1
445 Wes Graham Way, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R2
Tangam Systems Incorporated
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Company URL: www.techtowndentistry.com Company Inception: 2007 Waterloo Employees: 9
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 5B, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 4, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
TechTown Dentistry is a dental practice with a difference The Dental Health Advantage is an innovative process that helps clients discover their opportunities to grow and protect their dental health confidence. TechTown Dentistry’s core values are kindness, extra mile service, integrity and quality. TechTown, 340 Hagey Blvd., Suite 207, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R6
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 10, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5
Suited Media Incorporated
Email: email@example.com Company URL: www.tangamsystems.com Company Inception: 2004
Validus Research Canada Validus Research is focused on building an analytical framework for VALIDUS RE, a reinsurance company based in Bermuda. Validus Reinsurance, Ltd. ("Validus Re"), is a global provider of short-tail lines of reinsurance including property catastrophe, property pro-rata and property per risk, marine and energy, and other specialty lines.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.validusre.bm Company Inception: 2006 Waterloo Employees: 12 Other office employees: 55
Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Blvd., Suite 13, Waterloo, ON, N2L 6R5 WATCH • R + T Park • 40
Supporting Automotive Research and Development With over 75 of Canada’s leading automotive researchers on the University of Waterloo campus; WatCAR, the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research, undertakes ‘technologies enabling’ research in partnership with automotive assemblers, parts companies and materials suppliers. WatCAR supports automotive research and development in: • Green Auto • Integrated Electrical Control • Safe, Intelligent Design • Lightweighing. How can we help you create the vehicle of the future?
watcar.uwaterloo.ca • 519-888-4555 41 • R + T Park • WATCH
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Professional Relocation Services
Simply put, organic coffee is healthier and tastes better. When we say fresh coffee, we mean freshly roasted, locally. Our coffee is certified Fair Trade and Organic. At Eco-Coffee, we roast our own! email@example.com 300 Mill St., Kitchener, ON 519-743-7548
Helping our clients make intelligent, profitable and exciting real estate decisions since 1985. Will work with you or your HR department to provide • Custom relocation packages • Concierge Services • Home buying & selling services 519-742-5800 ext. 5043 www.coldwellbankerpbr.com
WATERLOO: the 2007 INTELLIGENT COMMUNITY of the YEAR
"Recognized for its ability to reinvent itself, Waterloo has evolved from a rural farming community to an industrial city, to a technology powerhouse. Most recently, the remaking of the local economy has been lead through information technology investment, which has doubled over the past four years. Waterloo is home to major knowledge based employers, global think-tank organizations and outstanding post-secondary institutions. Make it your home."
www.waterloo.ca 43 • R + T Park • WATCH
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Larry Smith The economics of innovation What exactly is the economics of innovation? “Let me start by making you take a moment to ask yourself: ‘Where do ideas originate?’ I absolutely reject the notion that the ideas that spark innovation come from inspiration and bolts of lightening. The good ones - the really good ones - come from hard work. I believe ideas can be created – by asking questions and researching the answers. I believe that the ideas for big hit disruptive technologies are actually innovations that can be created methodically.”
What you see. From formal to casual, atWork Office Interiors help reflect
atWork Office Interiors
and enhance your company’s culture and vision. We will help
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you create a more responsive space with the ability to grow and evolve.
Can you explain technologies?
What you don’t see. A well designed, sustainable building improves indoor environmental quality, provides flexibility, saves significant resources in construction, operation and maintenance. Tate
Tate ASP Access Floors Inc. 880 Equestrian Court, Oakville, ON L6L 6L7 www.tateasp.com • 905 847 0138
LARRY SMITH Economics Professor University of Waterloo
Access Floors provides high performance solutions.
ot too many professors at the University of Waterloo have a sign on their door totalling students served. But then Economics Professor Larry Smith isn’t your average professor. And for the record, the number to date on his door is 25,865. With that kind of student volume, Larry Smith is exceptionally plugged into the interests, dreams and futures of thousands of students. Lately, he’s been talking a lot with them about the ‘economics of innovation’.
“Disruptive technologies are those which change the nature of how our society lives and/or works. They change the rules of the game. They transform the marketing models. Think BlackBerry – that was an invention that changed how the entire world communicates. On the flip side of that are evolutionary technologies which continuously improve on what exists. But they change the world very slowly. Disruptive technology happens through individuals - evolutionary technology happens in large organizations.” How do you methodically create an innovative idea? “You begin by thinking about a technology or market you find fascinating - and not just something you read about in a magazine. The mind can’t stop thinking about that which it loves. When you find the domain of interest, start finding out who in that domain is mistaken about what and why. Why errors are made is as important as the actual error. If an error is built into an
organization – that makes them vulnerable. That’s good – it means you can change the market. But if competitors aren’t making any mistakes, it means there won’t be any opportunities for disruptive technology.” What do you mean by errors? “Let me use another example for you. Once upon a time there were phones and there were computers and there were keyboards. What happens when a company doesn’t take action on something the customer may want because it seems impractical or impossible to deliver? An opportunity is created of course! Now what happens when someone else takes action because technology has made what was impossible merely difficult - and they know the consumer will love it. Of course you know the answer – we’re back to the BlackBerry. Inaction was the error made on the part of the competition. Talk about a day late and a dollar short.” Sounds sort of easy – there must be more to it. “Well of course there is. A lot more. You have to do research, conduct experiments and then do more research. You have to look beyond boundaries and disciplines - if you run with the herd you’ll miss the vacant fields. You have to challenge your own assumptions and be willing to stand up and say you’re wrong. You have to be prepared do it all even if it means you may fail absolutely. It takes guts to get glory. It takes courage. The rest… well I’ll save that for the next time!”
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