Tag Archives: quebec

Quebec City’s MyCustomizer is Making it easier to Shop

We have sat down with Renaud Teasdale Co-Founder and CEO of startup MyCustomizer to ask him about his Quebec City’s company and the success he had with it.

Summarize your company in an elevator pitch.

MyCustomizer empowers brands to engage customers in outstanding design-your-own experiences with a powerful online platform.

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

Renaud Teasdale co-founded the company with Simon Vallières and Thierry Proulx. Renaud is a designer who worked for Warrior (New Balance) while Simon and Thierry are full stack developers. After witnessing the emergence of mass customization, they decided to build a software platform allowing any brand to sell customizable products online. A few years later, Malo Guertin, a skilled software engineer joined us as in intern and now leads our development team.

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Being persistent is key.

avatar

Renaud Teasdale

Co-Founder and CEO MyCustomizer

How are you being financed?

We raised a micro-seed round back in 2012 with Founderfuel and BDC and pretty much bootstrapped our way to profitability. We now have a solid client base from startups to large companies such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Suunto.

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

We are launching MyCustomizer 2.0 a fully self-serve solution on the Shopify App Store in the next few weeks and our goal from there will be to scale exponentially. It’s going to be a big challenge to handle the growth while keeping an excellent service. We want to make sure our clients succeed. If they win, we win.

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

We have success with internships and word of mouth.  Having a great work environment (flexible schedule and vacations, work from home) where people want to show up on Monday mornings also helps!

Who is your biggest competition?

An agency like Fluid has a large chunk of the high end market. Our model is different because we are purely a software-as-a-service play. We are more like Shopify for customization.

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

Mass customization and ecommerce in general are definitely growing trends. We are building the best platform to sell custom products online. This is a huge market across all verticals from sporting goods to food. Studies have shown that 25-30% of online shoppers are interested to try customization. If 25% of online sales of footwear are customized, that equate to a market of 2 Billion per year.

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

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Being persistent is key. Back in 2012, all the investors were telling us that this was a niche market. It is now very clear that this is a huge opportunity. The world is moving towards production on-demand at light speed.

Security Firm OneSpan Opens R&D in Montreal

Security firm from Chicago is opening a center in Montreal to do their R&D. They will be investing $9m to operate the center there.

This is on top of their existing office there where they employ 150 employees. This new addition should add another 100 hires.

Company claims to have over 10,000 clients and employs over 600 employees worldwide.

Data breaches, identity theft, and financial fraud have become all too common features of our modern digital life. OneSpan is dedicated to protecting people from financial fraud and stopping billions of dollars in losses for consumers, banks, and businesses.

Our new Montréal R&D centre and the city’s world class technical talent will play a prominent role in ensuring OneSpan remains at the forefront in preventing fraud in the global financial services industry.

avatar

Scott Clements

Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director at OneSpan

This is a big win for Quebec government who had their share of controversy in the last few months. This shows that current Quebec government can attract foreign investment into the province.

Eric Girard, Quebec’s Minister of Finance, said that “It is essential to develop high-level expertise in personal data and information protection in Québec. Cybersecurity and data protection remain a priority of our government.”

Montreal is well known in the world for its amazing game development contribution with companies like Ubisoft and Eidos. Now they can add two more to their list: artificial intelligence and cyber security.

It is impressive to see that Montreal IT work-force has increased from 100,000 to 150,000 in less than a decade.

Montreal Firm Sues Fortnite developer for its addictiveness

Montreal law firm says that Epic Games, developer of highly popular game – Fortnight, should pay up. The law firm has asked Quebec government to authorize permission to launch a class-action lawsuit.

The law firm claims that Epic Games made the game addictive on purpose to sell more games and even went as far as hiring psychologists to make it even more addictive.

Law firm says that playing Fortnight is like doing drugs like cocaine. It has exactly the same level of addictiveness.

Law firm says that two Montreal families came to it because they were concerned of how much their kids were playing the game and were worried.

Epic Games, when they created Fortnite, for years and years, hired psychologists — they really dug into the human brain and they really made the effort to make it as addictive as possible.

They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth.

In our case, the two parents that came forward and told, ‘If we knew it was so addictive it would ruin our child’s life, we would never have let them start playing Fortnite or we would have monitored it a lot more closely.

avatar

Alessandra Esposito Chartrand (interview with CBC)

an Attorney with Calex Légal

Epic Games is a company of over 3,500 employees in the US, Montreal and many other locations around the world.

Lawyers say the company had a duty to inform players of how addictive the game is. It likens it to smoking cigarettes and big $15B tobacco ruling payout that was received from 2015 Quebec Superior Court ruling.

Lawyers said they are trying to protect the consumer and that Fortnite makers dug into consumers brain to make it very addictive.

It not clear how they intend on launching class action suite as company’s terms of service include a class-action waiver provision.

Lawyers in Quebec say that the provision does not apply in Quebec as Quebec does not need to follow the class-action waiver and instead need to follow Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act.

More than 125 million players currently play the game worldwide.

Lyft is launching in Montreal soon

Montreal is slowly catching up to Toronto. Lyft has mentioned that they are looking to add Montreal to their list of Canadian locations where they operate. They have been operating in The Greater Toronto area since the end of 2018. They also have recently launched their service in Ottawa.

Lyft mentioned that they potentially will be launching in the summer of 2019 in Montreal. Lyft thinks that the new Bill 21 in Quebec will be good for their business, even though hundreds of taxi drivers there protested against it, and some even did self imposed harm, like cutting their wrists on live TV, to get media attention.

Bill 17 helps deregulate Quebec’s taxi industry and makes it easier for ride sharing companies to open up there. Quebec government has also said that taxi drivers will be compensated for the inconvenience.

Lyft is currently in talks with Quebec to get the best deal sorted out. Ideally they said they want to launch in Montreal, Gatineau, and Quebec City.

Bonne Chance! Launch date in Quebec is coming soon (and will be updated here).

And if you are looking for a job in social media or software engineering, Lyft is hiring in Montreal – make sure to apply today: https://www.lyft.com/careers?location=montreal%252C%2520canada

Montreal French Quebecor Violated CRTC Regulations

Update: CRTC said that during disputes – it is illegal for channel owners to just switch off their signal and owners should be penalized. Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, said that he does not recognize CRTC authority. Bell said that Quebecor license should be suspended immediately and for duration of hockey playoffs. CRTC said that it will announce its ruling soon.


Quebecor, communications company based in Montreal, founded by pro Quebec separatist Pierre Péladeau, has run afoul of CRTC, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, regulations.

Quebecor blocked TVA Sports signal to Bell TV subscribers. TVA Sports is what a lot of French speaking subscribers use to watch their sports in French. Bell as well as CRTC called this action as illegal.

CTV News

The Quebecor started blocking the channel on the night when hockey playoffs have begun and irritated a lot of Bell users who watch TVA Sports.

Quebecor said that the reason for cutting the channel is because it does not believe Bell is paying it enough for their specialty channels and wants more money from Bell.

Bell said that customers affected by the blockage can watch “Sportsnet, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360 at no extra cost.”

CRTC threaten Quebecor saying it is “ready to use the means at its disposal to enforce its regulation” and wants Quebecor to resume TVA Sports to Bell subscribers as per contract immediately.
Patricia Valladao, CRTC spokesperson, “We take this issue very seriously and are taking steps to protect Canadians,”

Quebecor in its defense said in a press release:

“Quebecor regrets having to take this action, but given the current obsolete regulatory framework, the survival of specialty channels is at stake.

We’re talking about a commercial business dispute. It’s unfortunate that fans are caught in the middle.”

Transport Canada is Funding 45 min Toronto – Montreal Hyperloop Train Study

Transport Canada is funding a study to see if it is feasible to build an electric tunnel to take passengers from Toronto to Montreal on speedy hyperloop train in just 45 minutes.

The Hyperloop is a new intercity transportation concept. Promoters are engineering the design to provide travellers with a travel mode featuring very high speeds, fixed guideways above and below ground, and capsule like vehicles called pods propelled within a network of looped sealed partial-vacuum tubes.

Government agency said that they are looking to hire subject matter experts to analyze the project and see if it feasible to execute.

According to the government’s RFP document, Transport Canada requires “services of a transportation engineering consulting firm so that the Department can be better informed on the technical, operational, economic, safety, and regulatory aspects of the Hyperloop and understand its construction requirements and commercial feasibility.”

Elon Mask has originally introduced the technology to the market in 2016. Companies like Transpod, Canadian company manufacturing ultra-high-speed transportation, as well as Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One have popped up claiming that their hyperloop trains can reach speeds of up to 1,000 km/hour.

Many so called experts debate the pros and cons of the hyperloop system. Some key points are below (as taken from FutureforAll.org website).

Pros of Hyperloop Train

  • Fast, efficient and cheap to operate
  • Average speeds of around 600 mph (970 km/h), with a top speed of 760 mph (1,200 km/h)
  • Low power consumption
  • Uses Solar Energy for power
  • Open-sourced, encouraging others to take the ideas and further develop them.
  • Hyperloops tubes are protected from the weather, birds, objects on railroad tracks.
  • In the event of equipment or electrical failure, the system comes to a stop (does not fall from the sky).
  • Automation reduces the risk of human error
  • Promotes economic growth around the Hyperloop route
  • Reduced freight costs and times

Cons of Hyperloop Train

  • High cost of development and construction
  • Susceptible to disruption from earthquakes, power outages or terror attacks
  • No sharp curves or abrupt height changes in the route
  • Potential for rapid decompression of the tube or passenger space
  • Vibration and jostling caused by high speeds
  • People will not be able to move freely during travel (no bathroom?)
  • Unproven system

While we wait for the study to be completed, Transpod claims that they will sell tickets for as low as $80 one way trip between Toronto and Montreal and get you there in just 45 minutes. Wish we could get there as fast when travel from Mississauga to Toronto downtown on a busy morning commute.

UPDATED: IT Teacher in Quebec? You Might Need To Choose Between Your Religion or Your Job

UPDATE: The bill has now passed and is officially a law in the province of Quebec. Quebec’s bill 21 is the only jurisdiction in North America with a religion-based dress code, meaning you can fired for religious attire you wear to work. Quebec has also included a clause where so called “securalism police” will check in on work place to make sure no religious attire is worn, and “the targeted employee could be subject to disciplinary measures for failing to comply.” Hélène David, the Liberal critic that was against the horrendous bill in Quebec, said “It’s a sad day.”


Quebec government has announced that they have tabled the secularism legislation bill soon to come into full force in Quebec.

Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec government has declared that they will ban the wearing of religious symbols by public sector employees in position of authority, such as teachers, prosecutors, judges, and police officers.

Position of authority is defined as the power to tell the other person what to do.

That means when the bill becomes a law, and you decide to apply to work for the Quebec government in the position of authority, such as teachers, prosecutors, judges, or police officers – you will need to take off that kippa, turban, cross or hijab when showing up for work or risk losing a job.

Quebec Public Security Minister, Genevieve Guilbault, has announced that repercussions can be severe if you refuse to take off your religious garb. She said that:

“People can advise police services, like they do to have any other law applied. The law is the law.”

List of Quebec Public Sector Departments

  • Executive Council of Quebec
  • Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
  • Ministry of Culture and Communications
  • Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade
  • Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports
  • Ministry of Employment and Social Solidarity
  • Ministry of Families, Seniors and the Status of Women
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Government Services
  • Ministry of Health and Social Services
  • Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Ministry of International Relations
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Labour
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Regions
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife
  • Ministry of Public Security
  • Ministry of Revenue
  • Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Ministry of Transport
https://twitter.com/ramaswife/status/1111671284168122368

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was taken aback by this populist decision by Quebec’s government saying:

It is unthinkable to me that in a free society, we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer usually never sides with liberals but on this Bill 21 he openly disagreed with Quebec government:

“Our party will always defend individual freedoms. I think a liberal, a society based on fundamental freedoms and openness, must always protect fundamental individual rights and should not in any way impede people from expressing themselves and in any way by infringing on those fundamental rights.”

In response to criticism, Quebec’s Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Jolin-Barrette said.

“Quebec is a nation. No one contests this reality and our fundamental right to decide our own future and the orientations of our society.”

Bloc Quebecois, political party in Canada devoted to Quebec sovereignty, has also decided to send a message to people in Canada to mind their own business by renting out the following bill board and putting it in Ottawa, not too far from the Canadian parliament.

Quebec government announced that there is nothing to worry about and they will work with everyone involved to make sure everyone is satisfied. The bill also includes so called “grandfather clause,” which means that if you were an employee before May 28, 2019 this law does not apply to you.

So if you are starting a new job on May 29, 2019 or after in the public sector in Quebec and do not want to part with your religious garments you might be fired because of your religion.

Harvey Levine, executive director at Quebec Jewish association, said that the new bill is “an assault on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Quebecers.

So now you need to decide whether to keep wearing that kippa or support your family financially. Decisions, decisions…