Tag Archives: calgary

300 New Technology Jobs In Calgary

Royal Bank, RBC, is adding 300 new technology jobs in Calgary by creating a new innovation hub.

Calgary Innovation Hub, is set to be operational by September 2021, and the tech jobs in Calgary they are looking to fill are already posted on their website.

New Technology Jobs in Calgary Over 3 Years

According to their website, RBC will be hiring for technology roles over the next three years in high-demand areas such as artificial intelligence, data engineering, full stack agile software delivery, site reliability engineering, machine learning, data analytics and more.

Jeff Boyd, RBC regional president for Alberta and the Territories, that they love Calgary due to their amazing post secondary education facilities, and Calgary rapid tech hub growth.

In a recent report by CBRE, Calgary jumped six spots down to 28th spot of fastest growing IT markets.

technology jobs in calgary
Calgary is moving up – fastest growth IT sector

Calgary tech work force has also added 18% IT workers and now is closer to 50,000 with an average salary of around $96,000.

This news comes among many other IT companies opening big hubs and hiring for technology jobs in Calgary.

Canada’s first regulated custodian of crypto assets: The Calgary fintech startup Tetra Trust

As the world becomes increasingly open to the currency of the digital world, there’s good news for crypto enthusiasts in Canada. On July 5th, after over an 18 month-long period, a small financial technology startup based in Calgary got approval to provide custody services of cryptocurrency to its institutional investors. 

The decision by the Alberta government to approve custody services essentially made Tetra Trust the first Canada-based custodian. Tetra trust will now store the digital assets of investors, in a big win for Canadian crypto development. Tetra trust is spearheaded by Eric Richmond, who also happens to be the chief operating officer at Coinsquare (a trading platform set in Toronto).  

With this decision, Tetra closed up a number of financing rounds. While the company chose to keep the exact figures undisclosed, the amount is supported by Mogo Inc., Urbana Corp, and Caldwell growth opportunity firm. 

It’s vital to acknowledge the revolutionary nature of this decision. Government recognition and association with crypto storage is a tricky topic. A lot of this hesitation and skepticism stems from the fact that a large user-base of investors are inexperienced young people. The distrust over the crypto industry deepened in 2018 after the death of Gerald Cotten and the subsequent falling-out of the country’s largest crypto exchange: QuadrigaCX. This resulted in investors losing a net sum of 250 million dollars! So it’s not surprising why the government is reluctant to authorize and approve custody services. 

So what are Tetra’s plans with this approval going forward? According to Mr. Richmond, the startup doesn’t aim to get high-net-worth folks particularly. Instead, the focus for a client base will be shifted to family offices, mutual funds, and stock exchange. The clients seeking to use Tetra’s services will be expected to store 1 million dollars worth of currency at a fee that the startup hasn’t disclosed.

The other potential competition from within Calgary was Olympia financial group Inc. that backed out of its attempts of becoming a qualified custodian citing “internal risk.”

Mr. Richmond is aiming big with Tetra, hoping for the startup to have over a billion dollars in crypto assets under its managerial wing by the end of 2021.

Calgary Startup NiDUm Making TrainIng A Breeze

NIDUM is led by Venezuelan-born, Canadian serial entrepreneur and restaurateur Jose M. Azares. Jose is reimagining the future of how businesses tackle their HR training processes by combining virtual technology with immersive learning and colliding them with an evolving multi-sided platform.

Jose found that a solution was needed, particularly in the hospitality industry, for outdated HR practices and training pain points that can make a business inefficient and training ineffective. This type of training using virtual reality as a medium hasn’t been owned by anyone in the tech or HR industry across North America. And the augmented training module program by NIDUM can be applied to any industry, on any scale. 


Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background? 

Jose is the founder of NIDUM, and he created the company based on his own need as a restauranteur (with no industry experience). Prior to opening his restaurant, he developed his first startup company Rigware, a construction management IT startup that concentrates in the execution, pre-commissioning and turnover phases of oil and gas projects. He is the primary team member with technology experience. 

The company’s tech leader, Nirali Shah, is the primary lead to develop the platform and training modules. From simplifying user experience to integrating virtual reality, to developing our clients’ training content, she has brought the vision of the product together. With more than 15+ years of experience, she is the lead developer and VR technologist.

How are you being financed? 

Since inception last year, Jose has been bootstrapping the creation of NIDUM its first version of the product. He has been personally funding all aspects of the business, from hiring contractors to employees, to marketing to business operations. As of June 1, NIDUM has entered its earliest stage of funding, the seed round, using a crowdfunding campaign on Canadian platform FrontFundr.com. 

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome? 

Now, the immediate obstacle to overcome is the seed round. Normally early-stage funding for tech companies is extremely hard in normal conditions since they need to prove somehow they have mitigated all the associated risks with launching such a business. Now, with existing market dynamics is making it even more complicated. 


The next issue to overcome after raising the seed round will be to streamline the product development process as NIDUM reaches its  Product Market Fit inflection point, but by picking the right investors, it could be able to leapfrog some of the issues associated with such a complex process.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?


First, it’s important to have a good culture in the company, a culture that thrives with innovation, creativity, freedom, transparency, honesty, and diversity.

In specific with developers, NIDUM partnered with local development schools such as Lighthouse labs that work closely with eager students wanting to upgrade their skills and learn new technologies. The startup is working with an emerging technology Virtual Reality (VR) which makes the company a little more desirable than just coding.

Don’t rush things, it’s not a sprint, it’s a triathlon! Pick your battles, be aware, let it flow, and trust the process!

Jose M. Azares

Canadian serial entrepreneur and restaurateur, Nidum

Who is your biggest competition? 

Competition always comes in layers, not only from one facet, in NIDUM’s case. The competition includes virtual reality consultancy firms that offer eLearning and HRTech platforms, but shockingly the largest competitor is the status quo practices – one-on-one and group training sessions, paper manuals, and/or peer training.

The company occupies a unique market space within the training sector due to its hybrid model. The combination of immersive technologies, eLearning, analytics, and application integrations are part of the proprietary multi-sided platform.

Though someone could try to copy the company’s technological approach, what separates NIDUM is its social impact values – ensuring inclusion is a defacto business practice.

NIDUM’s social impact focus is to democratize employment opportunities, giving people from vulnerable communities (mental or physically challenged, people of color, refugees, immigrants, indigenous, low-income, homeless) to have access to training material that: A) reduces learning barriers B) enables them to have confidence and understanding when applying or training for work. C) Provides employers with data information about new recruits and/or  employee engagement using each training module. 

For the last proof point, being able to track new recruit engagement is the most beneficial because the training modules can be sent to a prospective employee, and thi eliminates the potential for stereotyping a future employee – solely basing their eligibility on their willingness to participate, learn, and train.

From there, turning over data and training modules is not a common practice for profit to non-profit within HR, and NIDUM sees it as an opportunity to provide further resources to equip agencies who help those from vulnerable communities enter the workforce.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets? 

From Jose: “EASY…. by not thinking about that. Creating a company with exponential growth has nothing to do with ” million dollars in revenues”, but with focusing on creating a product that genuinely brings added value to your customers. Startups need to concentrate on understanding their early adopters, behavior, interaction with the product, so you can sustainably keep bringing added value and create a scalable product that all audiences could use!

You can’t create a scalable product unless you truly understand your clients, mission, and values!

Focusing on the ” million dollars in revenues” question it’s something called the Shiny Object Syndrome. You must concentrate on your product, clients, and employee, and mission – and exponential revenues will come as a by-product.”

Currently NIDUM operates in the Canadian market (primarily in Alberta), but also has international client Noble House Hotels based out of the U.S. Long-term goals would be to be in major North America markets. 

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project?


From Jose: “Don’t rush things, it’s not a sprint, it’s a triathlon! Pick your battles, be aware, let it flow, and trust the process!”

Amazing story of a Venezuelan coming and contributing to Canadian economy. How did end up in Canada?

For Jose, he immigrated to Canada after he graduated with his civil engineering degree in Venezuela and decided to go to Concordia University in Montreal for his Masters in Engineering and Construction Management. Right after graduating with his Masters, he was hired by Suncor Energy, and worked for five years as capital growth project manager.

However, being an entrepreneur is in his blood so he really wanted to dive into a startup. He loves to be more versatile and entrepreneurship provides that opportunity, to jump industries and find solutions for existing barriers.

His first startup, Rigware was created after Suncor. He had decided to go to McGill for his MBA, but as fate had it, he decided to partner with a friend in the program and they dropped out to create the SAS software, which was sold to ATCO after they realized it was no longer scalable.

He decided to finish his MBA in 2014 in Austin, Texas, an incredible entrepreneurial hub, and during that time, he came across this unique burger called HopDoddy. Visiting it every weekend, friends encouraged Jose to bring the concept back to Canada as his next entreprenuerial venture as he didn’t want to be in tech or oil and gas.

With a gap in the marketplace, Jose identified the need for a boutique burger bar in Calgary, that was not only innovative with its food and milkshakes, but with a quirky and fun brand that hadn’t been seen in the city. Without any industry experience, he quickly moved and learned how to create the next niche thing in the city and opened RE:GRUB! The restaurant’s focus on inclusivity and hiring employees with disabilities or marginalized backgrounds created not only an opportunity for social impact with the brand, but has raised awareness for the need in employment democratization in the workforce.

Montreal the worst airport in North America for Wifi

Internet metrics service Speedtest by Ookla published a report of fastest and most reliable free internet at airports across North America. In Canada Calgary took the first spot at #3 after Seattle #1, and Denver #2 in the United States.

The report looked into upload and download speeds over a period of 4 months earlier this year. Calgary got 67.23 megabytes per second (Mbps) and upload speed of 87.99 Mbps. Montreal Trudeau airport got very slow download speed of 6.41 and upload speed of 6.81 Mbps.

Toronto Pearson airport did not fare much with download and upload speeds of 7.14 and 8.99 Mbps respectively.

You can see list of top airports when it comes to internet speeds below:

  1. Seattle
  2. Denver
  3. Calgary
  4. Atlanta
  5. San Francisco
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Vancouver
  8. Boston
  9. Orlando
  10. New York – LaGuardia
  11. Chicago
  12. Newark
  13. Dallas Fort Worth
  14. New York – JFK
  15. Los Angeles
  16. Houston
  17. Las Vegas
  18. Miami
  19. Charlotte
  20. Phoenix
  21. Detroit
  22. Minneapolis
  23. Toronto
  24. Montreal

Trump Scared Amazon, or Why Canada Might Get Amazon HQ2

You must be living under a rock if you did not hear about Amazon’s plan to add a new city to host their second head office.

Different publications, blogs and mediums have rushed to the internet with their predictions. Cities like Denver, Colorado, and Austin, TX area as well as Chicago were being highlighted as potentials for Amazon’s HQ2.

A lot of naysayers are saying that Canada can never compete with the US on kickbacks aka subsidies that US cities and states can provide to the retail’s giant.

TravelingMice / Pixabay

Why Canada has a Chance

However Canada has one thing going that US does not. We do not have Trump north of the border. And this will help Canada tremendously as US giant might want to diversify their assets, and get easier access to more talent.

Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa on a visit to Seattle said – according to NY Times:  “Amazon has something like 9,000 engineering jobs they can’t fill. Our immigration policy is much more liberal. That’s where we have an advantage.”

Canada Can Do It

Quiet a few cities in Canada can satisfy few of Amazon’s demands. Let’s see:

  • 1m people or more – yes
  • International Airport – yes
  • Tax Breaks – maybe
  • Affordable housing – maybe
  • Attract Good talent – maybe

Size Matters

Size of course matters to Amazon and that is why med population city might be disqualified on a spot – cities like Edmonton, Calgary , Winnipeg and Ottawa. With unemployment already at 0.02% in IT, it would be interesting how mid sized cities can help Amazon to hire 50,000 top notch engineers in those cities.

Location Matters Also

Location matters also – with Seattle being HQ1, why would Amazon open HQ2 within few hundred kilometers away from HQ1. It makes no sense.

Parlez-vous Français?

Language and ability to attract highly talented staff might prove difficult for Montreal to get Amazon to come there. With governing opposition parties pushing for making French language mandatory for companies with 10 or more employees – it would be interesting to see how Amazon the largest retail ecommerce store would handle that. Also getting highly specialized talent to come to Montreal with their families would prove to be difficult due to salaries / language requirements.

Toronto is Where It is at

No matter how competitive other cities in Canada are. Toronto is where HQ2 will open if it would be open in Canada. Toronto has a vibrant economy and is already considered to be a top place for tech businesses to operate in. With population of around 5m within an hour drive and specialized tech talent – Toronto can rival any US city.

Toronto and Montreal Among Canadian Cities Competing for Amazon HQ2

Canadian cities are jumping at a chance to host Amazon second head office in North America. Amazon announced few weeks ago that they are looking for a second city to call home for their second head office. Amazon is ready to hire 50,000 employees and invest $5b over the next 15 years.

It is now accepting bids from cities across North America. However there are a lot of skeptics saying that Canadian cities can not compete with US cities due to large subsidizes some large US city / states can provide and that subsidies in Canada should left for small start ups and other initiatives.

Even though, seven major cities across Canada have made it official that they will be bidding and entering the process to get a chance at Amazon opening office in their city.

Canadian cities have a lot of competition south of the border as Dallas, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, New York, Nashville, Cincinnati and even Houston are potentially bidding on the project.

Amazon’s demands? They want a city with more than one million, a “stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure,” easy to attract tech workers to live there and a site with public transit and close to highways and airports. Also they want government handouts 😉 … subsidies.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVAzcNulnfR/?hl=en&taken-by=amazontoronto

GeekWire, tech news site, crunched the data and came up with the following Top 10 Contender list according to their scientific research described below.

Criteria demanded by Amazon:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

Starting with population, the easiest one to quantify, GeekWire did the search with a list of 59 North American metro areas, including six in Canada. Here is the top 10 list they came up with (#2 was Seattle but they have excluded that):

  1. Toronto
  2. Ottawa, Ont.
  3. Boston
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Chicago
  6. Atlanta
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Charlotte, N.C.
  9. Montréal
  10. Vancouver, B.C.

Whether your city is on the list or not – do not worry about it. October 19th is the deadline to submit the bid. Let’s wait and see who gets it.

 

Calgary Alberta mcThings is Connecting Things to the Internet since 2014

mcThings is a full stack enabler in the IoT space. The platform that mcThings has developed solves the problem of collecting and sending vast amounts of sensor data to the cloud. The platform consists of three key technologies: ultra-low power hardware, mcOS and the mcCloud. The combination of these technologies allows customers to deploy and scale IoT solutions at a low cost and in as little as three months. The platform includes sensor modules with various connectivity configurations, gateways, software as well as Platform as a Services (PaaS) to manage all aspects of your project(s). Because of this easy implementation, no specialized staff is required for development allowing for a rapid ROI. Refer to the attached for further company detail.

McModule in a motion sensor
McModule in a motion sensor

Who started the company?
The company was started by Tom Groenland in 2014.
Do your team members have tech background? Seven of the 12 team members have a technical background and include firmware and software engineers.

How are you being financed?
Financing to date has come from family, friends and other angel investors. In addition, we have received government funding of approximately CAD $450,000 with respect to research and development activities. Strategic fund raising planned for mid-2017 in the range $5M- $10M.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
The major challenge is the customer adoption rate – that is the time it takes for customers to understand the opportunities that IoT generally and our platform in particular offers, how it can be applied to their business and then to implement a solution.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Most employees have come from relationships with existing staff. This has been supplemented with the use of LinkedIn.

Who is your biggest competition?
Our major competitors are Electric Imp, Samsara, Particle IO and Helium

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues?
We are in various stages of proof of concept trials with several customers. We expect that most of these customers will move to large scale deployment of our devices resulting in the sale of between 10,000 to 100,000 devices per year and revenue of up to US $ 2.0 million per year and growing thereafter. Over the next three to five years we expect the revenue from our Platform as a Service offering to make up the majority of our revenues.

In what markets?
We expect most of our customers to be in the logistics and asset tracking / monitoring business – primarily mid-sized companies located in the US. Our secondary market is asset performance monitoring.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project?
The time to identify customers and bring them through the development cycle i.e. from the identification of the opportunity, completion of preliminary trials and then full scale implementation / deployment has generally taken longer than originally anticipated.

Video: mc-Things: Cochrane Town Company Overview