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SASKATOONEXPRESS.COM - November 28-December 5, 2011 - Page 19



Celebrating Success

in Saskatoon’s Information Communications Technology Sector

Regional Economic Development Authority

sreda.co

The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) is very proud of the community it serves. We work with the City of Saskatoon, the Province of Saskatchewan, surrounding rural communities and more than 200 private sector investors to build and grow the region’s economy. SREDA’s three main goals are to retain and expand local business in targeted sectors, to attract new investment in focus areas, and to ensure the Saskatoon Region is the place to live, work, invest and prosper. We are “Celebrating Growth” through past successes and the new opportunities that now lay ahead.

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SREDA and Ideas Inc building Saskatoon business A visit eight years ago to Memphis, Tennessee inspired those in Saskatoon’s business community to seriously look at the idea of a business incubator in the city. A business incubator is defined as an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services. “At the time, River Landing was a brown field,” recalls Phyllis Lodoen, Executive Director of Ideas Inc, “but at that point, the city agreed to provide the electrical building to launch the incubator.” She says from there, the “stars started aligning.” Ideas Inc was created, developed and governed by the Saskatoon business community and shares a building with the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. Its Board of Directors is made up of representatives from Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce, North Saskatoon Business Association, Saskatoon Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals, three Business Improvement Districts, Whitecap Dakota First Nation and the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors.

Ideas Inc started serving its first clients in fall 2007 and has been operating fulltime since May 2008. Lodoen says the original business plan suggested that by the end of the first year, Ideas Inc hoped to operate at 50 per cent; by the end of the third year, at 80 per cent. “We were full in May 2008, and we’ve been full ever since,” remarks Lodoen. She says the very success of Ideas Inc also posed a problem, because you can only take in more clients once the current ones “graduate.” There are different levels of programs for entrepreneurs. Ideas Inc started out with a residential program where businesses could stay in the incubator at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market for up to three years. Ideas Inc also provides support for home-based businesses that need access to things like photocopying or a fixed address. There are also spaces for clients who are building business plans and don’t necessarily need a storefront space. They would have access to Ideas Inc’s affiliate mentorship and advisory programs, too. And, Ideas Inc also offers a summer market program alongside the Farmers’

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Market that supports small import and artisan businesses. The first set of residential clients graduated last year, including plan9films, which moved into a studio in Saskatoon’s north end, and Sunday Morning Organic Salon and Spa, which relocated to 22nd Street. Lodoen points to Cava as a good example of what businesses can do with incubators, as it has graduated more than one company. It is perhaps best known for its wine store, but it has also added a store featuring stem and dinner ware, a cafe and a gourmet food store in the market. Lodoen says there is a lot of demand for incubation services. A month ago, a new incubator was launched at Whitecap Dakota First Nation, which will be expanded over the near few years as the reserve develops its hotel and business park. Tim LeClair, Chief Executive Officer of SREDA, sees the demand, and potential, too. He says last year, there were over 1,000 new business licenses granted in Saskatoon.

(Continued on page 20)

Tim LeClair, Chief Executive Officer of SREDA promotes sustainable economic growth in Saskatoon

WƌĞƩLJŵƵĐŚŶŽĐŚĂŶĐĞLJŽƵΖƌĞŐŽŶŶĂŐĞƚƚŚĞƉŝŶŬƉŝŐ ǁŝƚŚƚŚĞƐǁĞĞƚ͚ŵŽǀĞŵďĞƌ͛ŽƵƚŽĨLJŽƵƌŵŝŶĚĨŽƌĂǁŚŝůĞ͕ ƐŽLJŽƵŵŝŐŚƚĂƐǁĞůůƌĞĂĚŽŶƚŽůĞĂƌŶĂďŽƵƚƉƵƫŶŐ ͚DK͛ŵŽŶĞLJŝŶƚŽLJŽƵƌƉŝŐŐLJďĂŶŬ͊͊ ^ZΘŝƐĂůůĂďŽƵƚŝŶŶŽǀĂƟŽŶ͊/ƚĂůůŽǁƐĐŽŵƉĂŶŝĞƐůŝŬĞLJŽƵƌƐ ƚŽƌĞĐŽǀĞƌĚŽůůĂƌƐƐƉĞŶƚŽŶZΘ͕ƉƌŽƚŽͲƚLJƉŝŶŐ͕ĨĂŝůĞĚƉƌŽũĞĐƚƐ͕ ƚĞĐŚŶŽůŽŐŝĐĂůĂĚǀĂŶĐĞŵĞŶƚ͕ĂŶĚƉƌŽĐĞƐƐŝŵƉƌŽǀĞŵĞŶƚ͘ ĚǀĂŶĐĞͲdĞŬ ŝƐ ƚŚĞ ƌŝŐŚƚ ƉĂƌƚŶĞƌ ƚŽ ĞŶƐƵƌĞ ƚŚĂƚ LJŽƵ ĂƌĞ ƌĞĐŽǀĞƌŝŶŐĂůůƚŚĂƚLJŽƵƋƵĂůŝĨLJĨŽƌ͘tĞ͛ƌĞŐŽŽĚĂƚǁŚĂƚǁĞĚŽ͕ ĂŶĚǁŝƚŚůĞƐƐƚŚĂŶĂϭйZƌĞǀŝĞǁƌĂƚĞ͕ǁĞƉƌŽǀĞŝƚĂŐĂŝŶĂŶĚ ĂŐĂŝŶ͕ƐŽŵĞƟŵĞƐƚƌŝƉůŝŶŐŝŶŚŽƵƐĞĐůĂŝŵĂŵŽƵŶƚƐ͘ ZĞĂĐŚ ŽƵƚ ĂŶĚ ƉĂƌƚŶĞƌ ǁŝƚŚ ĚǀĂŶĐĞͲdĞŬ ƚŽ ŐĞƚ LJŽƵ ͚ŵŽ͛ ŵŽŶĞLJ͊

advance-tek

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Page 20 - SASKATOONEXPRESS.COM - November 28-December 5, 2011

Regional Economic Development Authority

103 - 202 Fourth Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK CANADA S7K 0K1 1.800.706.1977

sreda

.com

SREDA and Ideas Inc building Saskatoon business (Continued from page 19) “How do we get them out of their homes and expanding?” Leclair says the logical next step is to help those companies grow, which means more jobs are created. For Lodoen, now it’s a focus on partnerships, since the facility has reached its capacity. “We could fill a 30,000 square foot facility in six months if given the opportunity.”

One such partnership is with the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Advanced Technology Association and SREDA that has a focus on the information communications technology (ICT) sector. Lodoen says there are now three companies, within the incubator, operating in that sector. College Mobile is one of them. LeClair explains developing different areas, such as ICT, is key to continuing growth in Saskatoon. He says Saskatoon is a business-friendly city, and it will continue to be that way if

express BUSINESS PROFILE ESTI Consulting Services

ESTI was founded in 1989 and has been building on the same management group for over 20 years. ESTI was initially a professional services only organization offering IT specific professional services, custom application and database development, system integration services and data migration services. Valuable experience was gained servicing

clients across Canada, from Halifax to Victoria, and allowed us to build our methodologies and best practice approaches for all of our service offerings. In 2006, ESTI began an evolution to further meet our client’s needs. While maintaining and growing our professional service offerings, ESTI developed a hardware sales and ar-

chitecture group. Recognizing a gap in available enterprise solutions which could meet our current and potential clients’ infrastructure requirements, ESTI joined resources with a tier 1 sales organization. The expanded organization now offers over 40 years of enterprise sales and architecture experience and is still proud to call Saskatchewan home.

there is diversity. “To ensure we have sustainable economic growth, we need to continue to focus and invest in other sectors of our economy that are unrelated to the primary resourse sectors.” LeClair states the innovation piece needs continued development, and ambassadors, such as those who work at College Mobile, can help sell to other entrepreneurs that ICT can in fact do business in Saskatoon. “You don’t always have to be in Silicon Valley.” LeClair says the U of S is a great place to find entrepreneurs, but it is a resource hasn’t been tapped enough in the past. “We’ve had 17 companies that have spun out of the university since the mid 1970s,” he notes. “I just don’t think that’s enough.” He says the $2.5 billion spent on research at the U of S could give Saskatoon a competitive advantage. WHO WE ARE We’ve been proud members of Saskatoon’s business community since 1983; providing scrolling TV listings and video messaging software to companies around the world.

Phyliss Lodoen, Executive Director of Ideas Inc and her collegues provide professional, comprehensive and practical business development and advisory services to small and start up businesses.

DISPLAY SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL www.displaysystemsintl.com 306.934.6884

MA70101.K28 Meagan

express BUSINESS PROFILE advance-tek consulting inc.

With more than a decade of combined experience helping clients manage their SR&ED activities and claims, AdvanceTek gets it. “Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development program is an underutilized funding tool that we help clients participate in.”, says Mark Wolff, the company’s managing partner. “A lot of companies don’t realize how well their activities align within the program. We assist our clients throughout the year with program-related issues, project and budgetary advice, as well as actual claim preparation and interaction with CRA. Our clients are in business to innovate, and we’re in business to help acML40309.k14 celerate their efforts by relieving them of

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the burden of managing their involvement in an otherwise complicated program.” “By taking the time to understand a client’s core business and technology development roadmap, we offer a lot more than just claim preparation services, unlike many of our competitors”, comments Clay Sparks, one of Advance-Tek’s founding partners. Advance-Tek’s team of industry veterans and financial professionals have established a very healthy reputation in the industry and with Canada Revenue Agency. With client referrals being the catalyst for the company’s success, Advance-Tek may be one of Canada’s fastest growing SR&ED firms with unmatched client satisfaction and retention.

IT Network Administrator Diploma Program Become Microsoft Certified in 12 months following Microsoft Approved Curriculum

•15 weeks of work practicums at businesses in Saskatoon • Learn all the skills to jump start your IT career • Taught by a Microsoft Certified Trainer • Microsoft IT Academy Program Member • Next Class starts September 3, 2012

812 Spadina Crescent East Phone: 242-2436 www.esti.ca

• Obtain the following certifications CompTIA, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft IT Professional • Seating is limited www.sbccollege.ca

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244.6333

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SASKATOONEXPRESS.COM - November 28-December 5, 2011 - Page 21



Regional Economic Development Authority

103 - 202 Fourth Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK CANADA S7K 0K1 1.800.706.1977

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Lesia Design: Taking website design to a whole new level Lesia Payne has never needed to market herself – even after she moved her company from Vancouver to Saskatoon. Payne, who offers interaction design for web and software, as well as branding, grew up always being interested in art and computers. She found a way to combine the two disciplines by obtaining a Bachelor of Sciences in Interaction Design.

She spent one year working with a web development company before branching out on her own. She felt she could do it better and have more flexibility, with a goal in mind of working from home for when she and her husband started a family. “Every year I was doing better, and I kept getting positive referrals,” she says, noting word of mouth was the best marketing tool for

Meshy Communications: Marketing in the Mesh Michael Klein’s new company, Meshy Communications, offers “marketing in the mesh.” Klein, who has 15 years marketing and communications experience, branched out on his own this past fall after working five years at the University of Saskatchewan, that last two of which were in digital strategy development where he was the Senior Communications Strategist Online. Klein says he created Meshy because people’s behaviour has really changed now that they are spending more and more time online. He says when he looked at the traditional ways of marketing and communications, “those models hadn’t really adjusted to that change in behaviour.” Klein says great marketing and communications principles still apply but branching out into the online social media world will help companies build relationships. He gives the example of students standing in a university hallway waiting for class. Klein says most of them have their headphones on listening to their iPods and are surfing Facebook or Twitter on their Blackberries or iPhones. “You have to ask yourself as a marketer, if I’m not involved in those spaces, what am I missing out on?” says Klein, noting that those students aren’t looking at posters on the wall. “For a lot of people running organizations, they may not be used to or on social media, but definitely anyone they’re hiring is.” Klein explains there is more to online marMA70091.k28 keting than just getting on Facebook, though. He says the worst approach a company can Meagan take is “we need a Facebook page.”

He says many jump at the idea because they think it’s free, but he says in actuality, it’s not. “It costs money to pay attention to it,” he says, saying to be relevant, you’d have to have staff someone to provide updates and monitor it. Klein states when working with prospective clients, they talk about business objectives, such as what they want to accomplish, who is the target market, and how are you going to reach that market. He says social media can’t just be treated as a new form of advertising, but rather a conversation. He says if companies use it as another form to “blast their message,” people will tune out. Saskatoon is an ideal spot to start up his company comments Klein. He grew up in a small town but has considered Saskatoon home for a long time and sees potential. “It’s booming times here. It’s a good (business) environment to be in. The support for entrepreneurs is fantastic,” he says. “There’s certainly a strong community here that wants people to succeed.” Klein plans to focus on growing his company beyond himself and is looking for people who aren’t necessarily “social media experts” but people who really know marketing. Klein says anyone under 30 is likely familiar with social media but that doesn’t mean they know how to use it as a marketing tool. “Folks that understand how to map it to the marketing needs of an organization are few and far between,” he explains. “I think there is a real niche available to Meshy.”

her company, Lesia Design. Payne, who is originally from Edmonton, has family in Kelowna and went to school in Vancouver, began her company on the West Coast. In 2009, she and her husband decided they wanted a family, and Vancouver’s housing prices and commuting issues led them back to their roots. Her husband is from Saskatchewan, and they wanted to be able to own a home, something she says wasn’t possible in Vancouver. For the first year in Saskatoon, Payne maintained mostly Vancouver clients, but then she gained Saskatoon clients at “quite an accelerated pace” through word of mouth. Payne says as she became more involved in the community, she gained more clients. “Because it’s a smaller world here in Saskatoon, it just kept rolling.” Payne says because Saskatoon is close-knit in terms of who you know, personal referrals are even more important. She does think the city might be a bit beML40315.k14 hind in terms of digital technology, its use and

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awareness of its benefits, saying sometimes it’s a bit harder to convince clients of the specific services. “I feel like Saskatoon is still in a bit of a tech bubble when it comes to ICT (Information Communications Technology).” However, Payne has a steady stream of clients, about 70 per cent of which are local, and she says there’s a sense of sticking together. “I love my Saskatoon clients. They seem to have an extra sense of loyalty.” Because she works from home, Payne even has clients in California and has met a client from New York City. “I can work with people in any country or province,” she says, noting even for local clients, they usually only meet in-person once. Payne, who is now balancing her stay-athome career with being a stay-at-home mom, says the combination of the two has been amazing. “I wish more moms could do it. I highly recommend it,” she says. “I feel extremely fortunate.”

Corporate Training

Saskatoon’s Leader in Corporate Training for small, medium and large size businesses

• Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 Suite • Adobe CS5 Suite including Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Dreamweaver • You choose your level of training based on experience • Soft skills training available • Lab rentals available • State of the Art Equipment

Call Monique Hein @ 244-6340 to book your training today. www.sbccollege.ca/corporate

CERTIFIED

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Technology Specialist

221-3rd Ave. N.

S A S K AT O O N R E G I O N A L E C O N O M I C D E V E LO P M E N T A U T H O R I T Y 103 - 202 Fourth Avenue North Saskatoon, SK CANADA S7K 0K1 1.800.706.1977

244.6333


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103 - 202 Fourth Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK CANADA S7K 0K1 1.800.706.1977

Regional Economic Development Authority

sreda

.com

Horizon: Growing with the changing market When Horizon opened its doors in 1995, it was in the business of selling computers. Duane Carruthers and Raj Randhawa have continued to evolve Horizon with the IT industry. Their core has always been to provide excellent customer service. Eight years later, the retail side of the business was phased out, and Horizon began to focus on ACCPAC ERP (business management software), IT Services, Web design, Programming, Online custom applications and Training. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted the change the Internet would bring,” says Horizon CEO Raj Randhawa. He notes that in the lead up to Y2K, sales were fairly strong but then the IT market collapsed, because everyone had already purchased new hardware for Y2K. The other major change was the price of computers. In 1995, a PC sold for around $2,000 and a laptop ran anywhere between $5,000 and $6,000.

Randhawa says there was never any question of where to start Horizon. He and his family moved to Saskatoon from India 35 years ago, he is now raising his own family here. He says Saskatoon is safe community with lots of things to do, plus he says it’s businessfriendly with a great “entrepreneurial spirit.” “Entrepreneurs in Saskatoon continually want make businesses better and grow and we help them achieve their goals” He says the boom in Saskatoon and the province has created “good vibes” in the business community. Horizon now employs 28 people and he has locations in Saskatoon and Regina, the location has been operating for five years. Randhawa says smaller and medium size companies that don’t have their own IT department can now partner with Horizon, which will provide those IT and web services. “If there are problems, they call us. We’re their help desk,” explains Randhawa, who

says nine times out of 10, the problem can be fixed remotely, although technicians will go on site if necessary. In such a partnership, Horizon staff is always checking for the latest updates for the company’s server to prevent problems. It also backs up all their company information in the cloud. “Let’s say their server died. They’d run on our server until it theirs is operational, so their down time is minimized,” says Randhawa. Horizon will also create a website without any upfront investment from the client and manage and host their site for a monthly fee. Horizon has explored other partnerships that have benefited Saskatchewan businesses. Two years ago, Horizon partnered with the Chambers of Commerce in the province to hold the Extreme Technology Makeover Contest. “We wanted to help a worth company or organization that had great ideas but didn’t have the infrastructure to do it properly,”

explains Randhawa, who was overwhelmed when there were more than 300 entries. The contest was held again this year, and there were more than 900 entries, as well as calls from Alberta and Manitoba companies hoping to participate. The first year, Big Brothers Big Sisters in Lloydminster won, and received a brand new network of desktop computers, monitors and printers. Last year the Tisdale Housing Authority won. The competition will be held again in 2012. Also unique to Horizon is its annual Horizonfest conference held in Regina and Saskatoon. More than 100 people attend, and it’s an opportunity for business and technology owners, managers and decision-makers to hear about productions and solutions while networking with IT industry leaders. “Our clients get a chance to see what’s coming up, and that helps them plan and strategize,” explains Randhawa.

SASKATOON

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REQUIREMENTS: finished secondary schooling, 2-3 years experience as a cook.

TO APPLY: Fax or e-mail resumes or apply in person at: The Fox & Hounds Pub & Brewery 7 Assiniboine Drive, Saskatoon, Sk. S7K 1H1 FAX: 1-306-664-2267 EMAIL: foxhounds@shaw.ca

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SALES COORDINATOR Ideal candidate will possess: • Excellent computer skills. • Sales experience in a manufacturing environment an asset. • Excellent communication skills with customers and operations. • Self starter and ability to meet tight deadlines. • Must be willing to relocate to Estevan, Saskatchewan.

We offer: Competitive salary, year-end bonus, great benefit and pension program. Relocation assistance will be considered. Candidates with equivalent job experience are encouraged to apply. SRI Homes ULC Estevan, Saskatchewan Attention: Brad Wilson Fax: 306-634-7597 E-mail: jobs.shelter@gmail.com

Field Operator - Estevan Packers Plus Energy Services is the pioneer of open hole, multi-stage horizontal fracturing systems and provides technology-based solutions to the oil and gas industry around the world. Staffed with some of industry's best completions personnel, Packers Plus can engineer and execute the most challenging completions, whether deep, critical sour or extended reach horizontal. We are unlike any other completions company. Ingenuity in product design, combined with service, quality, and knowledge of the needs of producers sets us apart from the pack. We are currently hiring reliable, hard working and motivated Field Operators in the Estevan area. A minimum of 3 years experience with field operations is required. Packers Plus offers competitive pay, excellent bonuses and comprehensive benefit plans. Are you interested in joining the Packers Plus team? Apply online at careers@packersplus.com quoting this job position in the subject line.

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