Brasil-Canada 3.0 returns this week
By Anthony Reinhart on Dec 6, 2013 / Categories: CDMN News, Featured, Government
Stakeholders from both countries gather to make commercialization, prosperity happen
Canada’s digital future is not something we as Canadians can take for granted.
In a rapidly evolving global marketplace, where emerging economies are bringing to bear a critical mass of people, ideas and entrepreneurial hustle, Canada must play an active part, and assume a leadership role. To stand still is to be left behind. We must act to open doors, generate business opportunities and remove barriers that impede efforts by Canadian companies to grow at home and expand abroad.
The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) has championed this agenda on behalf of our digital media industry since 2009. Last year, it headed to Brazil for the first Brasil-Canada 3.0 conference, which brought together representatives from government, academia and the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in both countries.
That first Brasil-Canada 3.0 resulted in a number of joint initiatives and cross-border business and educational opportunities. This week, stakeholders from both countries are convening in João Pessoa, Brazil to build on the foundation laid by last year’s conference.
Startups test their mettle
This year’s conference features a pitch-off competition, in which nine Canadian companies and 10 Brazilian startups presented their companies to a panel of Brazilian investors. These 19 companies, on the verge of global growth, will meet investors and potential partners who can help them expand beyond their domestic markets.
The nine Canadian participants were chosen from a field of 164 applicants from across the country, and represent the retail, wireless, security, education and tourism sectors. They are all high-growth SMEs, with average revenue of $1.3 million that is projected to increase markedly over the next year through international expansion. They include:
6Harmonics (Ottawa): A wireless design and development company working on adaptive radio systems.
Busbud (Montreal): A travel aggregator platform that makes it easy to search, compare and book city-to-city bus tickets, anywhere in the world.
ESL Explorer (Vancouver): An online marketplace for students to research and buy the best promotions on English-language courses around the world.
Linquet (Vancouver): A company that uses the cloud and small Bluetooth tags to make sure you never lose anything again.
Magnet Forensics (Kitchener-Waterloo): The creator of evidence recovery software Internet Evidence Finder.
Turnstyle (Toronto): A provider of location-based marketing solutions and consumer analytics for bricks-and-mortar retail stores.
PO-MO (Winnipeg): A studio transforming spaces for events and promotions using interactive projections on buildings, augmented reality display solutions, gesture controlled displays and dynamic lighting design.
Xomo Digital (Vancouver): Developer of Eventbase, the world’s most trusted event app platform.
Zighra (Ottawa): A company levering mobile telephony, collective intelligence, and implicit user authentication to reduce online and offline payment fraud.
Driving Canada’s international business agenda
Brasil-Canada 3.0 also features a variety of panels with a theme of “Creative Processes in Industry Convergence: Opportunities and challenges for digital content production.”
Kevin Tuer, CDMN’s Managing Director, is taking part in panels discussing the “accelerator phenomena” and how Brazil and Canada might twin their incubator/accelerator networks to facilitate more exchanges for entrepreneurs and startups between the two countries.
Tony Niederer, CDMN’s Marketing Director, will discuss Canada’s Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program as part of a panel on government policies and incentive programs. He will focus on how government funding for such programs is instrumental to turn great ideas into great digital media companies, ultimately creating jobs and wealth across the nation. Related panels will also delve into the role of government to facilitate trade, brand and market Canada abroad, help startups make the leap into exporting, and address labour shortages that impact company growth.
Kevin and Larry Shaw, CEO, Knowledge Part lead a mentoring session with the Brazilian startups at the event, coaching them on the Canadian marketplace. In addition, Kevin took part in a panel with Brazilian startup Yupi Studios and Canada’s 6Harmonics, to discuss how the next generation of digital technologies is defining the challenges and opportunities of the new digital economy.
Representatives from the federal government, various Canadian post-secondary institutions, and other Canadian startups will also discuss the sectoral opportunities that exist in areas such as big data, mobility in the enterprise, social networks and knowledge management, digital education, assistive technology and new approaches to human-machine interaction.
For more details of the agenda, check out the event website at www.br30.org
All in all, it promises to be an exciting conference. In the next week or so, we will catch up with Dr. Tuer and others to discuss how it turned out.