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THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

ISSUE 3

2019

FEATURES & INTERVIEWS

TruTrace Technologies Nextleaf Solutions XPhyto Therapeutics RIWI GlobeX Data ICEsoft Technologies Canada

Combating counterfeit cannabis products through blockchain technology Smart data is shining a light into unexplored corners of the tech world Why the next generation of European cannabis has roots in Canada

EXTRAORDINARY

FUTURE

How CEOs like Robert Galarza are using the transformative power of tech to shape extraordinary futures

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+ Includes interviews and profiles of Canada’s top tech leaders, visionary insights from CEOs, and even more exclusive Public Entrepreneur content


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In Thi s I ssue

E X TR AORDINARY FUTURE ‘ 19

ROBERT GALARZA

PAUL PEDERSEN

HUGH ROGERS

NEIL SEEMAN

ALAIN GHIAI

BRIAN MCKINNEY

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR | 04 By James Black

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2  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

TRUTRACE TECHNOLOGIES | 06 TruTrace CEO Robert Galarza explains how his company is helping the industry crack down on counterfeit cannabis products via an innovative blockchain-based validation platform.


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NEXTLEAF SOLUTIONS | 11 Advanced cannabis extraction technology is putting Nextleaf in the spotlight as edibles and infused beverages make their way onto Canadian shelves.

XPHYTO THERAPEUTICS | 14 Focused on the future, XPhyto brings its entrepreneurial vision to the emerging European cannabis market.

GROUP PUBLISHER Hamish Khamisa EDITOR-IN-CHIEF James Black EDITOR Peter Murray ASSISTANT EDITOR

C O M PA N Y I N T E R V I E W S

Nikki Manthey

RIWI | 18

DESIGNER

Uniquely positioned at the intersection of big data and actionable insights, RIWI provides a glimpse into never-before-seen corners of the technology world.

G L O B E X DATA | 21

Elisabeth Choi WRITERS Uttara Choudhury Patrick Graham Giles Gwinnett

In the rapidly-evolving world of cybersecurity, GlobeX is leveraging leading-edge solutions to help keep private data safe.

Angela Harmantas

ICESOFT TECHNOLOGIES CANADA | 24

PHOTOGRAPHERS

President and CEO Brian McKinney explains why modern elements are integral to the broader acceptance of life-saving community alerts.

TECHNOLOGY AUGMENTED REALITY IN 2019 | 27 No longer relegated to science fiction, augmented reality is adding new layers of information and entertainment to our daily digital experience.

Alina Koval Katie Lewis

Mario Motti Matt Watson FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION Published by Sparx Publishing Group on behalf of the Canadian Securities Exchange. To receive your complimentary subscription, please visit blog.thecse.com/publicentrepreneur-magazine and complete the contact form. To read more about these companies, visit blog.thecse.com and proactiveinvestors.com


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Every day at “The Exchange for Entrepreneurs,” we witness the transformative power of technology. In the hands of capable, motivated, growth-seeking innovators, technology can rapidly scale or disrupt existing industries, or create entirely new ones. In the span of just five years at the Canadian Securities Exchange, for example, technology has been a driving force in bringing world-changing sectors such as legalized cannabis, blockchain, augmented reality and eSports into the public markets. While these nascent industries are still taking shape, however, like other innovators, we find ourselves asking “what’s next?” It is that exact question which has been at the heart of the Extraordinary Future conference in Vancouver. As we get set for the third iteration of this conference, we are excited to see what emerges from bringing together a community of innovators, investors and intellects to spark conversations about the next big thing. Technology, however, is not only a focal point of the Extraordinary Future conference and of the current issue of Public Entrepreneur, it is also responsible for extending the magazine experience into a whole new digital medium. For the first time ever, readers of Public Entrepreneur will be able to unlock dynamic featured content and access more information via the cameras on their smartphones through the power of augmented reality (AR) technology.  In this issue, readers can not only read about the next wave of cannabis and technology entrepreneurs, but can also connect to exclusive digital content to hear from the entrepreneurs themselves. Articles spanning the convergence of blockchain and cannabis, novel cannabis extraction technology, cybersecurity in file sharing and cloud storage, and more are brought to life through the power of AR and enable readers to turn into explorers of podcasts, video and other digital web content.  There is little doubt that technology is a catalyst for creating new and exciting opportunities for investors to harness. To get a glimpse of what an extraordinary future truly looks like, be sure to have your smartphone handy while reading this issue and unlock a new way of experiencing stories about the entrepreneurs driving the next big thing.   Enjoy this extraordinary issue!

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James Black, Editor-in-Chief james.black@thecse.com

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Extraordinary Future isn’t a conference about what’s already happening in tech. It’s a conference about what’s going to happen next. Learn more about the innovations that have the potential to shape the future into something extraordinary. cambridgehouse.com/extraordinary-future 4  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

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F E AT U R E

TruTrace Technologies Product validation is more important to the cannabis industry than you might think By Uttara Choudhury

I

nstagram is a hotbed for selling knockoff fashion and cannabis, from fake Chanel bags to phony Gucci slides to counterfeit vapes, cannabis oils and edibles. Loudpack Farms spent US. million on new packaging and hardware just to distinguish its award-winning Kingpen cannabis vapes from fakes. After Kingpen won  prizes, the company said knockoffs began proliferating at unlicensed dispensaries across California. In a particularly brazen move, a counterfeiter went to cannabis cultivator THC Designs’ website, downloaded data that showed how its marijuana had fared on state certification tests, then stuck the lab results on the side of fake products to assert authenticity.

T ru T r ac e & W e ed MD t e a ms

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Fortunately for the legitimate cannabis industry, help is finally at hand. TruTrace Technologies (CSE:TTT) has developed the first blockchain-secured platform to track intellectual property for cannabis. The company provides DNA-based cannabis product validation and helps with intellectual property protection and product guarantees for patients and customers. “It’s a combination of science, enterprise software, and blockchain technology,” says TruTrace Chief Executive Officer Robert Galarza. “By focusing on granular genetic, chemical and contaminant data, as well as motion and movement information and then merging that into a blockchain we are able to provide real-time data on each product being purchased.”


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Galarza comes across as a veritable Renaissance man compared to the more pinstriped brand of CEO. His background spans roles as a corporate attorney, movie producer, advertising executive, and entertainment lawyer. He’s even managed professional fighters and co-founded the enterprise technology company Spark Digital Technologies. With TruTrace, Galarza now channels the power of blockchain to enhance trust and fix the grim realities of corrupted supply chains in the medical cannabis industry. In a nutshell, TruTrace combines the power of big data with the security of blockchain to provide strain identification, registration and verification for cannabis at scale. The firm’s immutable, cryptographically secure technology is the brainchild of CoFounder and Chief Technology Officer Tommy Stephenson, who developed enterprise software platforms over two decades for companies such as Microsoft and Mercedes Benz. Galarza says his favourite part of the job is traveling to Seattle to visit the development centre, which has “a Disney feel” to it. The engineers exude an “if we can dream it, we can build it” philosophy, he says. “Tommy’s passion and genius percolates into the team. At our core, we are data nerds who love cannabis and understand the issues around moving this product around the world. When blockchain came on our radar, we knew it could be a powerful tool in data management,” says Galarza.

“Combining this with the immutable recording nature of blockchain also made it attractive as a protection method for intellectual property and creating a permanent lineage for cannabis strains.” The Seattle team’s goal has been to build a framework to help licensed cannabis producers and micro-cultivators easily and inexpensively move their products through the mandatory testing process. TruTrace places that test data on the blockchain for its own protection and that of the company’s intellectual property. In this way, TruTrace’s StrainSecure cannabis tracking platform establishes an accurate, single-source, validated, and permanent account for cannabis strains from seed source to market. A cannabis strain’s genetics are stored into an immutable ledger and information is added during each processing stage. In short, TruTrace’s seed-to-sale tracking tackles two pain points in the cannabis industry: it modernizes the inventory tracking system and provides customers with details about a product’s lab test results and cultivar. It’s been a busy year for TruTrace, which listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange in June. The company expects momentum to continue into the second half of  driven by its medical cannabis pilot program with national Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart. “Our biggest inflection point has been the relationship with Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws. I’m not sure everyone fully

Robert Galarza CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Company TRUTRACE TECHNOLOGIES INC.

cse Symbol TTT

Listing date JUNE 14, 2019

Website STRAINSECURE.COM

It’ s a com bin ati o n of scie n ce , enterp ri se software , and blockc ha i n techno lo g y. — galarza PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 7


St ra ins ecure

r eport on cannabi s str ai n

grasps how much it means to have a company of their size, history, and reputation in the medical cannabis industry,” says Galarza. “Working alongside Shoppers changes the conversation about what our technology could mean for the industry because we are focusing on building a bridge between medical cannabis and the traditional medical industry – that’s a bigger divide than people like to admit. If we can help make cannabis a customary part of medical treatment, it could impact the trajectory of the industry in a positive way.” In June, TruTrace announced a milestone deal with Shoppers Drug Mart for a pilot program to use its StrainSecure technology as a central hub for identity management, asset tracking, validation, and product authentication. Licensed producers are also using TruTrace, in part to assure stakeholders that the medical cannabis industry is serious about offering a verified, standardized cannabis treatment option. Harvest One Cannabis joined TruTrace’s master genome strain and clone registration program in February to verify its United Greeneries cannabis strains, becoming one of StrainSecure’s early adopters. The company said it turned to the platform so patients could enjoy an increased level of confidence in the consumption of its Satipharm branded cannabis sold through Shoppers. Similarly, well-known medical cannabis producer WeedMD is a big believer. The Ontario-based company saw  of its cannabis strains undergo validation as part of the first phase of its pilot program with TruTrace. “We are working with about  major producers, with several others getting finalized at the moment. Although our focus has been in Canada throughout

st r a in vault

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Verified Test Certificate Report Date: 05/10/2019 Tracking #: 84201940322EFA a

Blue Dream

technology

Batch/Lot#: 7420193-NWXSW10

Spartan Green Farms

Sample Type: NON-SOLVENT EXTRACT

Test Results in Percentages

ACTUAL SAMPLE

1 Gram

SCAN TO SEE FULL RESULTS

Analysis

Method

Instrument

Potency

GC/FID

Clarius 680/SQ8T

Pesticide

GC/MS

Clarius 680/SQ8T

Microbial

Petrifilm

N/A

THC

CBD

CBN

13.2%

1.2%

<0.2%

Ratio of Cannabinoids THCV 0.8%

Potency Profile Cannabinoid

Total %

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

13.672

-Δ9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) -Δ8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) -Cannabinol (CBN)

13.381 0.004 0.287

Cannabidiol (CBD)

0.020

Cannabigerol (CBG)

0.422

Cannabichromeone (CBC)

0.224

CBG 4%

THC 92% CBD 0.3%

CBN 3% CBC 2% CBD 0.2%

(TOTAL 100%)

Ratio of Strains

Pesticide Analysis

Linalol 0.1% Myrcene 0.5%

Class

PPM

Pass/Fail

Carbamates

<0.1

Pass

Pinene 0.4%

Pyrethroids

<0.1

Pass

Limonene 0.6%

Organophosphates

<0.1

Pass

Caryophyllene 0.6%

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons

<0.1

Pass

10

Microbial Analysis Culture

CFU/g

Pass/Fail

Mold/Mildew

<10

Pass

-

-

Aerobic Bacteria

Grade: Pass/Fail

20

Dosage

30

40

50

60

70

106.72 mg THC

80

/

0.20 mg CBD

I certify that this sample has been verified by StrainSecure. All results are reported on AS-IS basis. Authorization:

©2019 Tru•Trace Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Signature:

I

www.strainsecure.com

Date:

I

4115 Redwood Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066


AK ES O

h e m p - d erived fit nes s water

year one, we’re seeing some exciting momentum in South America and the US as well,” says Galarza. In another recent move, TruTrace applied StrainSecure technology to cannabis water company NXT Water by fixing QR codes on its just-launched AKESO hemp-derived fitness water. A customer can now scan the QR code to learn instantly about the fitness water’s test results. “This relationship was born out of a blind test they performed on several leading CBD water products in the US market. They found most of the products fell well below the advertised amount of CBD, with some having none at all,” says Galarza. “Alternatively, the AKESO product was consistently testing out at around  milligrams of broad-spectrum CBD per bottle and NXT wanted to find a way to communicate this to their customers. They turned to TruTrace and started using the StrainSecure platform.” TruTrace has spent a lot of time, effort, and money perfecting its software. Now that the technology comprehensively solves a very real problem, long-time supporters are experiencing the moment they knew eventually had to come. “The hallmark for an innovative technology company is adoption at various levels of industry. A great idea without customers unfortunately will remain nothing more than an idea that never panned out,” points out Galarza. “We believe TruTrace has achieved this in its young history. From Shoppers Drug Mart and Deloitte, to WeedMD and NXT Water, we’ve found great adoption at many levels. We believe that sets us up for longterm success.” As adoption grows with each new user, TruTrace further stakes its claim as a technology game-changer for the cannabis industry.

I f w e can h e lp ma k e ca n n a bis a c u stomary part of m edica l treatm en t, i t c ou ld impact the tra j ectory of the i n d u stry in a po sit ive way. — galarza 10  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE


COMPANY PROFILE

Nextleaf Solutions

CANNABIS EXTRACTION TECHNOLOGY TAKES THE SPOTLIGHT AS EDIBLES AND BEVERAGES PREPARE TO HIT CANADIAN SHELVES By Katie Lewis

N

extleaf Solutions (CSE:OILS) is a BC-based cannabis extraction technology company that takes pride in doing things just a little bit differently. When most cannabis companies were thinking of cultivation, Nextleaf had its intentions set on the future of the cannabis industry: infused products. Since , the company has focused on developing and acquiring the technology, processes, and formulations around extraction and post-extraction for cannabis concentrates, the precursor to every cannabis-infused product. Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Paul Pedersen remembers the day he met soon-to-be CoFounder and Chief Technology Officer Ryan Ko, who at the time was working on a novel extraction process aimed at producing highly refined oils derived from cannabis. “When I met Ryan in , he was doing things with extraction and molecular distillation that I had never seen before,” says Pedersen. “He was light years ahead of where large licensed producers were at with extraction and purification. That was the genesis of how it all started.”

The rest, as they say, is history. With six issued patents – including the first issued US patent for industrial-scale extraction and purification of cannabinoids – and  pending in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Jamaica, Europe, and Australia, Nextleaf ’s intellectual property portfolio is growing quickly. A glut of cannabis and hemp biomass in the market, coupled with a shortage of extraction and processing suppliers, means the company holds a notable position as one of a few extraction companies in Canada with a real solution. “We have a head start,” says Pedersen. “Our strategy from day one was to be the absolute best at developing disruptive extraction technology, and to focus on the underlying methods that transform plant into product in a highly scalable way.” Nextleaf ’s patented technology covers a range of hardware and processes, and goes beyond

PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 11


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traditional crude extraction, implementing additional processing measures aimed at higher standards of purity without sacrificing capacity. The company produces a premium distillate and believes what differentiates its product from others is the additional purification and refinement steps found in its unique process. In short, it can turn failed crops of biomass into standardized, high-purity oil for use in a variety of infused products. However, not all infused products are created equally. Major issues with taste, smell, colour and even performance can be experienced when purchasing infused products found in unregulated markets. This is due to the chlorophyll, fats, lipids and other impurities in the crude extract used. Nextleaf ’s highly concentrated THC and CBD distillates are odourless, tasteless, and standardized for potency – meaning the consumer will enjoy a reliable and repeatable experience with each product. Notably, the Nextleaf process is also truly scalable on an industrial level. “Scalability gets massively overlooked,” explains Ko. “There are a number of companies that can produce an oil that is tasteless and odourless on a benchtop scale, but being able to do that on an industrial scale is key. We look at THC and CBD as ingredients. As with any ingredient, it comes down to the quality, and the cost to produce it.” “Before you can formulate all these value-add products,” Ko states, “you’ve got to have that standardized element.” Going beyond crude extraction allows the company’s PhD-led team to separate and isolate molecules, with the ability to reformulate those molecules to best suit the desired end product, whether that be edibles, vapes, gels, or other topicals.

12  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

One area Nextleaf has remained hyper-focused on since  is filing patents to develop and acquire the industry’s most advanced technology, processes, and formulations as related to cannabinoid extraction and purification. “It’s been proven that the companies who get to enjoy the competitive advantage are the ones that have been first to secure unique intellectual property in their industry,” says Pedersen. This summer, the company bolstered its IP portfolio by acquiring a US patent-pending hydrocarbon extraction process and award-winning formulation to make shatter, a cannabis concentrate.

growing our intellectual property.” The company plans to double their portfolio in the next six months. Pedersen also gave news of some major commercialization partnerships on the horizon. One of those partnerships involves an exclusive supply agreement with BevCanna Enterprises, whose team brings experience in creating iconic beverage brands such as Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Vega. “We have the technology to make water soluble distillate, and now, under their research licence, our partner BevCanna can begin to develop formulations and SOPs for a portfolio of infused beverages

Our strategy from day one was to be the absolute best at developing disruptive extraction technology, and to focus on the underlying methods that transform plant into product in a highly scalable way. — PEDERSEN

For Nextleaf,  and  will focus on monetizing the company’s IP portfolio as consumer preferences switch from flower towards THC- and CBD-infused products, with the legalization of these products in Canada slated for this fall. Through its commercialization partner, the company will provide processing solutions to licensed cultivators, and supply cannabis oil and extracts to qualified Canadian and international BB partners under its own brand. Revenue will come from toll processing, white-label production, and licensing IP. “We’ll start to commercialize our technology,” says Pedersen. “However, our primary focus remains on innovating and

leveraged through our IP,” adds Pedersen. The Canadian market for edibles and extracts is expected to reach more than  billion in , according to a report from Deloitte. The report estimates that roughly . billion will be spent on edibles, followed by cannabis-infused beverages at  million and topicals at  million. It’s expected that the global market for alternative cannabis products will nearly double in the next five years. With ample availability of cannabis and hemp biomass in Canada, and high-end extraction and processing capacity in short supply, Nextleaf is poised to take full advantage of what the company refers to as the next oil boom.


PAUL PEDERSEN CEO & CO-FOUNDER

RYAN KO CTO & CO-FOUNDER

COMPANY NEXTLEAF SOLUTIONS LTD.

CSE SYMBOL OILS

LISTING DATE MARCH 21, 2019

WEBSITE NEXTLEAFSOLUTIONS.COM

Paul Pedersen and Co-Founder Ryan Ko


COMPANY PROFILE

XPHYTO THERAPEUTICS UNIQUE ASSETS AND A FOCUS ON GERMANY’S MEDICAL CANNABIS MARKET SET THIS OPPORTUNITY APART By Peter Murray

T

he art of successful investing is not about what is happening now, but rather figuring out what is on the horizon and set to emerge as the next big thing. Positioning oneself to make the most of that development is what gives competitors in any aspect of the business world an edge – the famed early-mover advantage. Hugh Rogers and his team embraced this concept wholeheartedly when putting together XPhyto Therapeutics (CSE:XPHY), the company Rogers now leads as Chief Executive Officer, two years ago. Armed with a legal background focused on corporate restructurings, plus experience in molecular biology from research work at the University of Toronto, Rogers agreed with his business partners that they wanted to participate in the burgeoning cannabis industry, yet not in the way everyone else seemed to be doing it. Large-scale growing operations in the US and Canada did not interest the group. So, what was it that others were overlooking, something with greater potential than was to be found in the increasingly crowded North American arena? “The vision for XPhyto was to foresee where the industry would be in two, four, and six years, and then position the company accordingly,” explains Rogers. “In the end, we decided that medical formulations and clinical validation in emerging European cannabis markets was the best place for us to be.” That best place, to be precise, is Germany, where cannabis is legal for medical use and, according to XPhyto, not subject to the same stigma the drug suffers in North America and many other parts of the world. “It’s a very open market in the sense that, in our experience, regulators at every level of government, and I would also say the medical community – physicians and pharmacists – are open to cannabis products,” says Rogers. “There is a history of botanical medicine in Germany where

14  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

they are eager to learn but at the same time are looking for clinical validation.” And no other entity, quite literally, is positioned in the German market the way XPhyto is to help cannabis achieve the level of formal validation that consumers expect of widely used pharmaceutical products. The company’s % owned German subsidiary, Bunker Pflanzenextrakte GmbH, possesses a German cannabis cultivation and extraction licence for scientific purposes issued by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. To XPhyto’s knowledge, it is the only one in existence. “We’re setting ourselves up to work with the government on the scientific side,” explains Rogers. “That means cultivation, extraction, remediation of oils, seed banks, tissue banks, clinical trials – all of the scientific knowledge.” The XPhyto team has done an admirable job of building a company with top clinical talent both at the German operations and in Canada, including its recently announced cannabis research and development agreement with the Department of Biochemistry at the Technical University of Munich. Soon to follow in Germany is a , square foot facility, half of which will house small-scale cultivation rooms, with the other half being for storage, manufacturing, and distribution. The company estimates it will be up and running with plants under cultivation in the first quarter of . Expect security levels to be high, given the structure that aptly named Bunker is renovating was once a military command centre. Bunker founder, and now XPhyto Vice President of European Corporate Development, Robert Barth will oversee the renovations. It was also Barth who brought the Technical University of Munich into the fold. The German research bandwidth is augmented by two exclusive five-year engagements XPhyto has with the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Alberta. “Our primary


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HUGH ROGERS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

COMPANY XPHYTO THERAPEUTICS CORP.

CSE SYMBOL XPHY

LISTING DATE JULY 31, 2019

WEBSITE XPHYTO.COM

The vision for XPhyto was to foresee where the industry would be in two, four, and six years, and then position the company accordingly. In the end, we decided that medical formulations and clinical validation in emerging European cannabis markets was the best place for us to be. — ROGERS

PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 15


Bunker team in Germany

goal in Canada is to focus on clinical validation,” says Rogers. “We have an ISO-certified clean room for our new extraction equipment for production of cannabinoid extracts and isolates. I think the first formula we’ll clinically study will be for topical dermatology followed by oncology pain management. Our expertise at the university is drug delivery and we have some unique applications for cannabis products.” Clearly, the company’s main objective is clinical testing, and ultimately clinical trials, designed to provide the medical community with the same standard of product understanding and trust that many other prescribed treatments currently enjoy. In this way, doctors will know exactly what type of cannabis, or cannabis-derived product, to prescribe for a given condition, in what dose and for how long. But investors and others new to the company shouldn’t conclude that the validation theme at the core of XPhyto’s model means that cash flow is something far off in the future. The supply/demand balance in Germany’s medical cannabis market features more of the latter than the former, and XPhyto is positioned to help. “The German market is large and domestic production expected to come online in  will meet only a small fraction of total demand. There is a deficit that will be made up through imports and that is an opportunity we are rapidly pursuing,” remarks Rogers. “We are working to secure supply of ultra-premium flower in Canada,” he says in beginning to explain the import strategy. “The best premium growers are in Canada and the US. We are focused on Canada and are working with a number of great growers to source product.” The XPhyto team believes that providing the best experience for patients must embrace testing for pesticides, heavy metals, and offering products in optimal packaging. If everything goes according to plan, product will be ready for shipping by Q . Advancing this strategy on multiple fronts is the acquisition, announced in late August, of Vektor 16  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

Pharma TF GmbH, which holds permits for cannabis importation and narcotics product manufacturing, among others. And in a possible sign of things to come, Vektor also has established itself in the research and manufacturing of thin-film strips for drug delivery, including transdermal patches and oral strips. Said Rogers at the time of the acquisition’s announcement, “We believe that Vektor will add significant long-term value at every level of our business, from clinical trial expertise and drug manufacturing capability to their German cannabis and narcotics import licences and strong relationships with the German health authority.” XPhyto’s strengthening German presence will be a source of many things, boots-on-the-ground intelligence being one that should enable the company to smoothly blend into the German supply scene with the long term in mind. As an example, Rogers explains that if XPhyto has a certain volume of cannabis ready to sell it won’t necessarily put it all on the market as fast as possible. “What we want to do is build our distribution and demand through consistent supply so the physician knows when they prescribe our product that there is availability for three to six months. We would rather build our patient base slowly and steadily than flood the market – here is a whole bunch of supply and then, oops, it is not available next month. The end result when you take that approach is that physicians are less likely to prescribe your product.” Having only made its trading debut on the Canadian Securities Exchange in August, XPhyto is a newcomer to the public markets. But asked why investors should be interested, Rogers is clear as to what sets the XPhyto opportunity apart. “It is important to understand that the cannabis industry is here to stay,” he concludes. “But at the same time, you must carefully consider where to allocate your investments. We have gone % into opportunities that were on the sidelines for a long time, and I think you are going to see medical applications, clinical validation, and European opportunities come to the forefront over the next two years. And that is exactly where XPhyto is positioned.”


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COMPANY INTERVIEW

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RIWI CORP. GETTING ONE’S HANDS ON INSIGHT NOBODY ELSE HAS REQUIRES CREATIVE THINKING…AND . BILLION RESPONSES BY GILES GWINNETT

IT’S LESS ABOUT BIG DATA THESE DAYS THAN IT IS ABOUT SMART DATA AND THAT’S WHERE WE FOCUS. — SEEMAN

NEIL SEEMAN FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

COMPANY RIWI CORP.

CSE SYMBOL RIW

LISTING DATE AUGUST 31, 2015

WEBSITE RIWI.COM

18  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE


R

IWI Corp. (CSE:RIW) runs a business for the curious, the analytical, for governments of the world, and for financial services firms looking to develop an edge. It is a business that is never the same two days in a row and thus endlessly fascinating, with the potential to drive policy, influence strategy, and bring improvements to the world at large. In short, the company performs global trend tracking and predictive analytics that provide previously unavailable insight into how people think and behave. Relying on the Internet, it conducts surveys and can also run ad tests assessing the efficacy of corporate marketing initiatives. The company has thus far analyzed over . billion responses in putting together reports for its clients. RIWI’s client roster includes companies in the private sector, predominantly finance, as well as groups active in humanitarian aid such as the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Security is another area of great importance to the company. Public Entrepreneur caught up with Founder and Chief Executive Officer Neil Seeman recently for a discussion of RIWI’s role in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape and a look into corners of the technology world we never even knew existed. HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY AND THE MARKET YOU SERVE CHANGED OVER THE LAST DECADE OR SO?

competitive marketplace but the total addressable market is pretty extraordinary. YOUR TECHNOLOGY USES MACHINE LEARNING. CAN YOU EXPLAIN IN SIMPLE TERMS HOW YOU COLLECT DATA?

RIWI invented a global platform such that anyone with access to a Web-enabled device can stumble into a RIWI survey or ad test as they navigate the Internet and enter an abandoned domain that doesn’t exist at that moment in time – they encounter a RIWI survey or ad test on a non-trademarked domain. We invented that and expanded our intellectual property and we continually learn which constellation of domains is able to capture a perfect mirror of the Web-using audience in any region of the world. This changes in real time and we understand why and how that happens. We have a decade of historic data so we understand the changing Internet infrastructure in every country and that is a form of intelligence that can be very valuable to understanding how we can solve client needs. HOW DOES YOUR TECHNOLOGY DIFFER FROM THAT OF OTHER COMPANIES? HOW DO YOU POSITION YOURSELF AGAINST YOUR PEERS?

It’s differentiated in a number of ways. The first is global access. We have single-button technology such that you can access eight or  countries, or  territories and countries using RIWI. Otherwise, you would have to go to online panel suppliers or different market research providers in the countries. Secondly, we reach opaque or otherwise impossible markets. We are the only continuous data provider in terms of sentiment data and ad testing data in all cities and regions across China, for example. Thirdly, we are random in our reach. We patented and then built out a global platform and cloud-based architecture called Random Domain Intercept Technology such that the recipients who are intercepted are random and RIWI is privacy-compliant such that we are not collecting any personally identifiable data, and this fourth aspect of RIWI is highly differentiated from other digital data collection tools. Fifth, and most importantly, we’re being recognized for broadening the voices of people who participate in surveys and ad tests. In other forms, traditional or even modern forms of sentiment collection, whether it’s social media analytics or public opinion panel-based polling or natural language algorithms using artificial intelligence, you’re getting a very, very narrow slice of public opinion, whereas with us,

The market for global data collection has really exploded in the last  years and we’re just at the cusp of it. I feel that we’re sort of in Web . right now. I was lucky enough to have been an investor in Web . (the early days of the commercial Web) and then Web . (the social Web). Now today with Web ., where RIWI sits is the world of incalculable amounts of data, and more importantly, data for actionable insights. It’s less about Big Data these days than it is about Smart Data and that’s where we focus. And the second titanic change, which is just occurring, and where RIWI sits at a leadership position, is the importance of being an ethical data broker and only collecting data free of personal identifiers. This is becoming a game-changing issue in the world of data collection. It’s a highly PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 19


the majority, and in some cases the vast majority, of the people whose opinions and behavioural reactions we collect have not answered a survey or ad test of any kind in the preceding month, nor are they regular posters online. WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS AND HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE? CAN YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF WHERE YOUR DATA HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY IMPACTFUL FOR A CLIENT?

We currently have several dozen major enterprise clients across our business lines. They range in size. We try to build recurring revenue-based clients such that they are either quarterly subscriptions or annual subscriptions that can be renewed, sometimes on a rapid-response basis. Within each of these, some are such that they have multiple sectors or country groupings. In terms of impactful work, we have worked for G agencies on strictly confidential matters, but on the unclassified side we’ve done, for example, very impactful work for the Canadian government where we’ve measured the sentiment toward women and girls and how they are treated under ISIS in  Middle East countries. We’ve enabled some fascinating data that have helped educate people in all regions of the world about the brutality of how women and girls are treated under ISIS. We’ve also done a lot of work on marginalized groups, populations that don’t participate in surveys and this is not only important in the humanitarian aid sector, it’s important, for example, to the finance sector, which is trying very much to understand the future consumer of technology adoption. We’re also the largest 20  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

data collector in the world for changing attitudes toward LGBTQ communities, and for undocumented citizens and people in rural communities, even in America, whose voices are often left out of important debates. We like to say we give “voice to the voiceless” in any region of the world. It’s impactful to me when we may only solve % to % of a company’s data challenges but we are embedded with them such that they thereafter understand the universe of their other data collection needs. THE POSSIBILITIES FOR YOUR DATA SEEM LIMITLESS. HOW BIG CAN YOU SEE THIS GETTING?

Our goal is to be the Booz Allen of global data collection. We want to be everywhere in terms of our continuous data collection, in fragile and conflict states, in opaque markets, and we want to deliver data that provides actionable insights in real time. We do that with real-time dashboards that are constantly being updated such that with the touch of a button, a decision-maker can understand the truth of what’s going on, whether it’s predictions about stock market turmoil, trade wars, or gang violence. YOU’RE CLEARLY GROWING AND HAVE BEEN TURNING IN QUITE GOOD PERFORMANCE NUMBERS OF LATE. WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS MODEL? IS IT THE CASE THAT WHEN REVENUE GROWS SO DOES PROFITABILITY? ARE YOUR COSTS MOSTLY FIXED?

One of the beautiful things the math analysts like to observe about our company from a shareholder perspective is that as

our revenues grow and as our profit grows, our costs associated with sales decline or stay relatively flat. This was always embedded in the vision of the company, such that we’re not, for one, selling people, we’re selling data and dashboards and analytics, but secondly, we’re a machine-learning platform such that the technology itself is embedded, or twinned, with shareholder value creation, because the machine-learning technology continually expands in its capacity for data collection and continually decreases the costs associated with data collection. Further, our offerings are “plug-and-play” for our clients – the same issues that confront our client Bank of America Merrill Lynch also confront Asia- or Europe-based hedge funds looking for a privacy-compliant information edge. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT LANDING NEW CLIENTS?

Two ways – there’s no secret sauce here. It’s about boots on the ground and hardcore sales, using a highly disciplined sales process. I’m an accidental entrepreneur because this grew out of a small research unit I had at a college associated with the University of Toronto, and we’ve changed the mindset by going from a creative think tank environment to a heavily sales-focused enterprise with sales-focused disciplines and systems and processes. Secondly, the uniqueness of our platform and the uniqueness of our data – especially it being privacy compliant – and the nature of our clients means that we get a lot of attention, whether it’s media attention or public presentation opportunities, or thought leadership opportunities. Our Head of Research was selected to present this fall at TEDxToronto. Our data collection tools to generate alpha for the finance community won us a global “Battle of the Quants” award that created buzz this year. And we also win attention from new audiences because we are in this great situation where we can generate internal data in unusual parts of the world in rapid fashion, so we offer insights that we know will be valuable and get the attention of prospective clients whose eyes light up when they see it.


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COMPANY INTERVIEW 10100110101010001001110 10011010101001100000101010100110101010001001110100110101010011

0000101010100110101010001001110 100110101010011000001010101001101010100010011101001101

GlobeX Data

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0101001100000101010100110101010001001110100110101010011000001010101001101010100010011

0 100110101010011000001010101001101010100010011101001101010100110000010101010011010101

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100000101010100110101010001001110 1001101010100110000010101010011010101000100111010011

10101001100000101010100110101010001001110 10011010101001100000101010100110101010001001

There is no such thing as privacy in the online world anymore. Or is there? 000100111010011010101001100000101010100110101010001001110 1001101010100110000010101010

1010011010101001100000101010100110101010001001110 100110101010011000001010101001101010

11010101000100111010011010101001100000101010100110101010001001110 10011010101001100000

0101010011010101000100111010011010101001100000101010100110101010001001110 100110101010 BY ANGELA HARMANTAS

110000010101010011010101000100111010011010101001100000101010100110101010001001110 1001

0101010011000001010101001101010100010011101001101010100110000010101010011010101000100

G

lobeX Data (CSE:SWIS) is on a mission to keep your data and communications safe, and in a world where each week seems to bring news of yet another large-scale data breach, it’s a mission of vital importance. The Vancouver-based company offers a powerful product suite for cloud-based storage, document management, encrypted e-mail and secure communication with a few twists that differentiate it from the competition. For one, data is stored in Switzerland (by Swiss partner GlobeX Data S.A.) in centres used by Swiss banks and organizations such as the United Nations. Switzerland is home to some of the strongest privacy protection laws in the world thanks to regulations such as the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Ordinance. GlobeX Data is readying a marketing push at a time when the cybersecurity market, by some counts, is set to exceed US billion within five years, making the company’s recent debut on the Canadian Securities Exchange particularly timely. In this interview with Public Entrepreneur, Chief Executive Officer Alain Ghiai explains why data is such a valuable commodity and why that means companies

and individuals alike need to take more caution to protect themselves. CAN YOU GIVE US A QUICK INTRODUCTION TO GLOBEX DATA AND THE COMPANY’S ORIGINS?

GlobeX Data has its origins in Switzerland and in payment processing. In , during the credit crunch, most of the banks stopped lending to merchants. We used our technology to transform ourselves into a data backup company. In , we started to develop a couple of products, the first of which became DigitalSafe, our secure backup file-share password manager. In , I started GlobeX Data Inc. out of New York to expand in North America. I was approached to license our technology to a CSE-listed company, which eventually became a shell company. When the licensing was supposed to be exchanged for funds the company didn’t have the money, so I called my board members and suggested listing on the CSE ourselves and formed GlobeX Data Ltd. We raised money locally and set up an office in Vancouver. We started to receive a lot of interest from overseas and wanted to have an entity that handled PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 21


SCAN ME for more content on this page in Augmented Reality

Alain Ghiai

Our prime directive is to respect your privacy. — GHIAI

everything outside of our Swiss-based private company. Vancouver was a perfect choice geographically to handle Asia and Latin America, our prime targets to start off our international business, and was also selected for the purpose of going public in an IPO on the CSE. Our first major contract was with America Movil and its mobile division in Mexico called Telcel that has  million subscribers. Because they’re in  countries, we would eventually be able to sell services from the US all the way down through South America. Over the last couple of years, we’ve signed deals with half a dozen partners. America Movil has close to  million subscribers, almost  million of them mobile users. WHY DID IT MAKE SENSE TO GO PUBLIC NOW?

Our goal in going public was to have a platform to raise more money and get wider recognition because when you are public it brings a level of transparency to the company that our partners like. Right now, data security and privacy is becoming a predominant subject in our society. People are the product now – the big companies are making money off our data. There is no real player that can offer the variety of services that we do when it comes to privacy and security. Our prime directive is to respect your privacy. We use the best security possible and have proprietary technology that other businesses don’t use because they think it’s too costly. Storage has become commoditized, but there’s no price for privacy. I find that Canadians are quite conservative, almost too conservative to adopt new technologies. Also, 22  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE


ALAIN GHIAI

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

COMPANY

GLOBEX DATA LTD.

CSE SYMBOL SWIS

LISTING DATE JULY 22, 2019

WEBSITE

GLOBEXDATAGROUP.COM

The question that we need to be asking ourselves is how much is our data worth to us? — GHIAI

they underestimate the value of security or privacy and the value that they hold. I think US investors value technology stocks a lot more than we do in Canada. This is why companies go to the US to get funding – investors there will pay for innovation. It’s a shame because Canada is a fantastic country with some great tech stories. In order to attract more investors in the US, we plan to co-list in the US market by Q of . THERE’S A LOT OF TALK OUT THERE THAT DATA IS MORE VALUABLE A COMMODITY THAN OIL. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?

I think data is even bigger than oil right now. The thing that makes it valuable is that a company or group can use it to create a profile and sell it to a third party to try and sell something to the consumer. Contrary to oil, which is a consumable, data can be repackaged and resold. Thanks to social media, the public is used to advertising their status every few minutes. WHY IS IT THAT PEOPLE SEEM TO BE INCREDIBLY WILLING TO GIVE AWAY THEIR DATA FOR FREE?

When it comes to information, anything that is “easy” in the digital world is counterbalanced by the individual giving away more and more privacy. We live in a society where everything needs to be instant. If you want to have this instantaneous response, you are essentially giving away your data for free. Most people don’t realize the danger that this can cause because the average person doesn’t think they have anything to hide. It’s not about hiding from the government, it’s about keeping your data private so commercial companies don’t exploit you like a commodity. HOW DO THE SERVICES WORK? ARE THEY AN ALTERNATIVE TO POPULAR INSTANT MESSAGING APPLICATIONS?

GlobeX’s services don’t use open source coding; instead, we use our own technology to add privacy and security by design. We try to offer what businesses and people need, which is a backup for their data and a file share and secure e-mail. DigitalSafe is like a Dropbox, e-mail, and a password manager all in one. Our

e-mail engine, Custodia, lets you send a message to an unsecured e-mail address and that service will not be able to read the content. PrivaTalk is a secure communications suite with chat, voice, video and e-mail. Our chat has a self-destruct timer that will disappear on the device. We never require your phone number because the minute you do that, hackers have an even higher ability to access your data. We are also launching a product called Sekur, a service for high net worth individuals and corporations, in the fourth quarter of . We were inspired to create the product from the Sony hack that happened a few years ago. This service is for any business where management wishes to communicate without the in-house IT department knowing what’s going on. WHAT ELSE IS COMING DOWN THE PIPELINE IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS?

We’ve already released DigitalSafe and PrivaTalk and plan to launch Sekur before the end of the year. In Mexico, we’ve launched and integrated DigitalSafe with America Movil and are planning to release PrivaTalk by the end of the year. Another product we’re excited about is PrivaTalk Messenger, which is similar to BlackBerry Messenger in that it’s a server-based closed-loop system. We’re going to launch PrivaTalk Messenger by the end of the year as well. WE’VE TALKED AT LENGTH ABOUT THE DANGERS OF LEAVING DATA UNSECURED. WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE STEPS THAT WE AS INDIVIDUALS CAN TAKE TO PROTECT OUR INFORMATION?

The question that we need to be asking ourselves is how much is our data worth to us? The first thing I would advise is to reduce your social media footprint. Essentially, you are announcing to the world where you are and what you’re doing, and eventually artificial intelligence will put together a profile on you that can lead to hacking. The second thing is to use secure services. There’s no free privacy or security. Use a paid service that will secure your information because at least then you have some sort of comfort or recourse that your data is safe. PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 23


COMPANY INTERVIEW

SCAN ME for more content on this page in Augmented Reality

ICESOFT TECHNOLOGIES CANADA M ODERN ELEM EN TS K EY TO E N G I N E E R I NG B ROADE R ACCEPTA N C E O F LI FE-SAV I NG CO M M U N I T Y AL E RTS By Patrick Graham

W BRIAN MCKINNEY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

COMPANY ICESOFT TECHNOLOGIES CANADA CORP.

CSE SYMBOL ISFT

LISTING DATE JUNE 5, 2019

WEBSITE ICESOFT.COM

24  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

hen a small-cap company launches a new product line, having an established legacy business in the background is a dream scenario. Count ICEsoft Technologies Canada (CSE:ISFT) amongst those lucky few. The company is already a leading global provider of critical enterprise software solutions for desktop and mobile enterprise, its rich Internet application products being used by more than , enterprises and , developers, with a subscriber base spanning more than  corporations. Eager to do more with its mobile technology expertise, the company, which went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in June, developed an affordable smart communication platform called Voyent Alert!. Designed specifically for local and regional governments to alert and communicate with the public during both emergencies and non-critical events, Voyent Alert! is a great example of technology being used to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives…perhaps even saving them. Public Entrepreneur spoke with ICEsoft President and Chief Executive Officer Brian McKinney recently about the Voyent Alert! platform and the company’s plans going forward. VOYENT ALERT! SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT FOR ICESOFT. WHAT COMPELLED YOU TO DEVELOP A MULTI-PURPOSE, MASSNOTIFICATION SYSTEM?

Our legacy business is profitable and it’s a very interesting business, but it’s also hyper-technical and certainly a maturing market. About  to  months ago we were tapped on the shoulder by some of our west coast clients and asked if we could repurpose some of our mobile technologies into a new kind of community-alerting system. That’s kind of the genesis of the pivot we undertook. It really represented the kind of next-generation platform that we wanted to go after. WHAT MAKES VOYENT ALERT! DIFFERENT FROM OTHER MASS-NOTIFICATION SYSTEMS LIKE THE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM OR AMBER ALERTS?

Conventionally speaking, information tends to be issued in a very text-centric format. The text looks like a bunch of words kind of jumbled together. And one of the things we felt strongly about was that a lot of people won’t process that information, or they’ll read the first two lines of a bunch of text and then they’ll move on. We felt that if we could make it more visual and provide a lot more context to the user, the alert would be far more valuable to them. It would allow them to process things faster and make better, more informed decisions more quickly. It’s one thing to know that there’s a fire on th and Main. It’s another to get a picture on your phone that shows you on a map here’s the fire, here’s your mother’s house, and it’s  metres south of the fire so she’s subject to an


evacuation order. That’s very specific to you and very visual. And it’s our contention that that kind of alert would drive a higher level of community engagement. Day-to-day communications with citizens are also leveraged through the service. It’s not just for emergencies. Our community clients can advise about snow removal plans, targeting specific communities and advising “you have to get your cars off the street, or they will be subject to tow.” Waste recycling pickup schedules have changed. Here are the city council meeting minutes. That sort of thing. If people learn to trust it at a municipal level, they’ll pay attention to it when it’s a real emergency. WHO IS THE TARGET MARKET FOR VOYENT ALERT!?

There are a number of players in the market right now, but the vast majority of them are focusing on large urban deployments. They’re looking to the Bostons, the New Yorks and Torontos to develop solutions for. And they tend to be larger more complex systems, heavy on the back end to accommodate system infrastructure integration. Fifty percent of North Americans, for example, live in communities of less than , people. And conventional wisdom alone tells you that a solution that works for New York generally isn’t going to work for a community with a population of ,. As a

We felt that if we could make it more visual and provide a lot more context to the user, the alert would be far more valuable to them. It would allow them to process things faster and make better, more informed decisions more quickly. — MCKINNEY

result, a lot of these smaller communities weren’t being serviced very effectively or efficiently by the solutions that were available. We decided we wanted to move forward with rich, personalized messaging and really focus on targeting smaller communities and more rural regional districts. Strategically, we want to dominate the smaller communities, as our peers basically target large urban deployments. We want to carve out for ourselves that dominant position in the small to medium-sized communities. Our product is engineered for that service. It’s simpler and easier to use at a lower cost. It’s not like it’s a trivial market. We are focusing exclusively on building PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 25


up a subscription base. This is a software-as-a-service play with a large recurring revenue stream. One of the advantages of these smaller markets is that they’re very sticky. You know when you get a client, you’re likely to have that client for six or seven years.

the last seven or eight deals where we’ve been up against other competitors, Everbridge primarily, we’ve been winning those deals. It’s been well over a year since we’ve lost a deal to Everbridge. That says that something we’re doing is resonating with the client.

THAT’S A STICKY CLIENT BASE

TO WRAP UP, WHAT’S THE

INDEED. HOW WOULD YOU

STRATEGY FOR VOYENT ALERT!

DESCRIBE THE TYPICAL ENTITY

FOR THE BALANCE OF 2019

THAT SUBSCRIBES FOR VOYENT

AND INTO NEXT YEAR?

ALERT!?

We basically sell to governments – cities, towns, regional districts, and counties. Those organizations purchase it on behalf of their citizens and then the citizens can download the mobile app and register for the service for free. We’re providing coverage to about  different communities in Canada that we’ve onboarded in the last  months. Since we launched, the number of communities that we’re servicing has been doubling quarter over quarter. We’re anticipating a launch into the US by the end of this year. THERE ARE SEVERAL COMPETITORS IN THE MASSNOTIFICATION ALERT SECTOR. WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST RIVAL AND HOW DOES ICESOFT STACK UP AGAINST THE COMPETITION?

Roughly speaking, about -% of the communities with less than , population have no solution whatsoever. The rest might have an older kind of solution that might be an e-mail alert system or something that’s a little bit more dated. Our primary competition comes from the market leader, which is a company called Everbridge out of the US east coast. One of the things we find gratifying is that probably 26  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

We are looking very aggressively at other vertical opportunities that face similar challenges to the ones we are solving for our municipal clients. The residential home construction market is one of those opportunities. Residential builders and trades have a big problem keeping track of their people and ensuring their safety status as well as that of the worksite. There is a significant and clear value proposition here that makes the opportunity very attractive. In addition to expanding into new market verticals we are also looking to broaden the market footprint for Voyent Alert!. This activity sees us focusing on expanding our presence across Canada between now and the end-of-year timeframe. We will then use that presence as a launching pad into the US market. We’ll be selective about the markets we want to target in the US. We want to make sure they are the ones that would resonate with the value proposition we’re offering. It’s unlikely we’d go out and target eastern seaboard, high-density urban centers. The Midwest and the western states are the more likely candidates that we’re going to launch into. They are more rural and are faced with the kinds of challenges where we can make the biggest difference.


TECHNOLOGY

DIGITAL DIMENSIONS AUGMENTED REALITY IN 2019

BY ALINA KOVAL

right alongside of the reality we know, invisible to the naked eye, a new digital world is unfolding. No longer relegated to science fiction, augmented reality (AR) is increasingly becoming a part of our daily digital experience, adding new layers of information and entertainment to otherwise typical interactions. Readers of PE magazine have already witnessed this convergence first hand. This issue offers a glimpse of the way readers can turn into explorers by being able to unlock and experience a new dimension on the stories of entrepreneurs featured in this issue. Often confused with the term “virtual reality,” AR is a distinct innovation. While virtual reality works by fully suppressing the world as we see it, and replacing it with a completely artificial environment, augmented reality adds digital components to our surroundings via a device such as a mobile phone or headset. AR is making its way into a variety of industries, and the possibilities for use appear to be limitless. 

PUBLIC ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE 3•2019 | 27


SCAN ME for more content on this page in Augmented Reality

GADGETS Tech giants Google and Microsoft have both been taking steps towards integrating AR into the workplace. The second generation of Google Glass (A4R-GG2 Enterprise Edition) will boast better technical specifications and aim to integrate into the industrial landscape, while Microsoft’s new HoloLens offers a wider field of view compared to its predecessors. This represents interesting possibilities for evolving the way information is distributed on the job. AR won’t be limited to visual media either. In the consumer markets, AI assistants including Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are also getting AR upgrades. These upgrades will add to our world through sound, rather than sight, by speaking useful information about a user’s current surroundings aloud. This AR upgrade is reminiscent of having a personal Matrix support team whispering in your ear.

GAMING Gaming and AR have been almost inextricably linked since its inception, so it’s not surprising that gaming is at the forefront of the AR market. Games with AR components tend to add a new layer of social interaction to gameplay, encouraging connection both in and out of a digital environment. Alongside enduring favourites like Pokemon GO and Ingress Prime, open-source software like ARToolKit is broadening the range of gaming options by opening up the AR world to startup game developers.

GLOBETROTTING AR is going global and making travel easier and more manageable. Google Maps’ new AR Mode makes navigating through unfamiliar cities less of a challenge by relying on your mobile phone’s camera and the buildings around you to guide the way (as opposed to a satellite-assisted GPS system). Tourism is already a large part of the AR market, and is continuing to grow with apps that provide guided tours, explain landmarks, and translate street signs. Conversely, AR can also be used to bring an individual to a city. The New Yorker, for example, brought a slice of the Big Apple to its readers with an interactive magazine cover. This pop-out cover included an artist-interpreted, 3D ride on the famous NY subway, providing readers a unique perspective of the iconic city.

GETTING SOCIAL One of the most well-known and ubiquitous uses of AR is on social media, in the form of facial filters. Snapchat, the app that contributed to the popularity of these filters, is hoping to take the AR experience even further with the release of Spectacles 3, a hands-free camera that is intended to create a more immersive and intuitive experience-sharing interface. Spectacles 3 incorporates 3D technology and can film for up to 60 seconds, making it easier than ever to share activities with friends and family.

With the advancement of AR technology, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the line between online and offline is even blurrier. Despite the criticism that inevitably accompanies new immersive technologies, by leveraging existing smartphone technologies and enhancing the real world rather than replacing it, AR has the potential to dramatically change daily life. Prepare to see and experience your world in an entirely new light.

NEXTECH AR PODCAST

NEW CSE MEDIA CENTRE

Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to cause a fundamental shift in the retail space. Find out how in Public Entrepreneur’s #HashtagFinance podcast episode featuring NexTech AR President Paul Duffy.

The new CSE Media Centre marks an important milestone in the evolution of the client experience and the expansion of the CSE’s digital ecosystem. For more details, including schedules, video, and content from market opens, visit the CSE website.

TUNE IN NOW ON: APPLE PODCASTS | SPOTIFY | SOUNDCLOUD | STITCHER | GOOGLE PLAY | YOUTUBE

28  |  THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE

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Public Entrepreneur Issue 3 • 2019  

Public Entrepreneur is proud to feature stories about the many facets of entrepreneurship in the capital markets, including coverage on mill...

Public Entrepreneur Issue 3 • 2019  

Public Entrepreneur is proud to feature stories about the many facets of entrepreneurship in the capital markets, including coverage on mill...

Profile for thecse