All posts by sctechhub

slide decks from Innovation Island sessions

In case you missed one of the sessions, here are links to the slide decks that Graham Truax with Innovation Island has been presenting.  Tons ‘o great material and very useful links to some of the latest thinking.

Refresh Your Minimum Viable Product (Nov 23/15)

Customer Development Methodology (Nov 24/15)

Funding Sources (Jan 28/16)

Challenge your SWOT (Jan 29/16)

Pivot or Perservere (Jan 29/16)

Startup 101 Crash Course (April 2016)

Team Building (April 2016)

The Pros & Cons of Bootstrapping  (April 2016)

The Relationship Business (September 2016)

Are you ready to scale (September 2016)

Future-Proofing (September 2016)

link to some resources on CRM and Project Management software, and best practices.)


3 sessions w/ Innovation Island

Below are the links to the registration pages for the events scheduled to take place on January 28 + 29 at the Seaside Centre, which will be facilitated by Graham Truax, Innovation Island’s Executive in Residence.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Innovation Island on the coast – wrapup of roundtable. workshop 1/2.

On November 23/24 2015 Innovation Island came over to the Sunshine Coast to begin offering workshops and services under the District of Sechelt funded partnership agreement for the lower Sunshine Coast.

Graham Truax, Executive in Residence, kicked off the visit with a roundtable session looking at how Innovation Island can support and complement activity already happening on our community.

Thanks to the following people for being part of the roundtable:

Graham Truax, EiR Innovation Island

Beverly Ehlbeck, IT, District of Sechelt

Connie Jordison, Communications Manager, District of Sechelt

Eduardu Catucci, Rapid Edge Technologies

Yvonne Paulson, Rachelle Wirth, Coast Reporter

Richard Hoath, @SCtechhub facilitator

Jim Tivy, BlueStream

Robin Ranjit Singh Chauhan, ipathway

Jason Hall, open source tech for non-profits

Kim Darwin, Sechelt Chamber of Commerce

Dave Jephcott, Community Futures

After the round-table I invited attendees to share in a collaborative set of notes from the session as a record of our conversation useful for sharing with the wider community via and any other channels, and as a marker to check back on progress.

a) what you heard from around the table

b) links you mentioned (barcamp, startup weekend, Coast reporter app, coast makers, sctechhub, hackathon, …)

c) your takeaways


From Graham Truax,

On behalf of the Innovation Island Technology Association (IITA) I would like to thank everyone for attending the roundtable gathering.  A big shout out to Connie, Richard and Darnelda for planting seeds and putting things together!  I truly enjoyed the opportunity meeting with you all and taking in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast!

For sake of keeping this response as “open source” as possible I will provide some basic comments and references from the discussion (see slides from the presentation attached).

From my vantage point there were three big “C” words that captured both the needs and opportunities facing the community; Communication, Collaboration and Consolidation.  These are common difficulties within our region; arguably “challenges” that we all need to get better at and are working on.

Regarding IITA Services and Program Costs:

Our complimentary Business Advisory service works in conjunction with the NRC-IRAP concierge service (a very powerful and wide ranging portal).  While IITA does have a primary focus on technology and innovation we can provide assistance to a range of businesses that fit our basic application form.  I have worked with over 100 individuals/companies under this program over the past two years; from innovative non-profit social ventures to $50M+ hi-tech firms.

The Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) is primarily designed for early-stage technology Startups.  The program has a $200/mth. cost and a fairly demanding intake/interview process; however, the core curriculum is available free of charge, see

In addition to the above IITA offers a variety of regional workshops and events; with industry speakers and partners.  The 2016 schedule is in planning stages now; we will distribute ASAP.  Our community partnering agreements allow us to deliver workshops such as the RETHINK series (outline attached) that we just started; remaining sessions for 2016 are being worked on now.  These workshops develop based knowledge, relationships and introductions that can be further supported by our primary programs; and/or allow us to redirect participants to other Government or industry resources.  As mentioned, IITA is a non-profit industry association; we do not fund companies nor take equity or other formalized positions with our clients.

Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.


From Robin Chauhan

Another great way to meet geeks on the coast, including computer tech but broader: , its also good for young people usually.

In terms of events to draw geeks:  I would be interested in giving short presentations on different topics, in a barcamp or lightening talk format.  Topics could include linux, data science, programming, tech education, security, bitcoin, internet, web, databases, AI, analytics.

But Im not one to organize an event, Im way too busy.  If someone can organize something, ping me.  Also Id be much more interested in events with multiple speakers.  Nothing too formal.

If non technical people want to help things along on the coast, I think you can help by playing a supportive role.  Technical people are not usually event planners, its a different mindset.  Support might include things like:

  • Promotions.  Getting the word out for the event
  • Booking speakers
  • Obtaining the space, video projector, wifi, pizza and coffee/juice

If someone took care of the above, it would be like magic, and I would be there to provide great content (and Im sure others would too).

Does anyone else agree this type of support could help make things happen?  There is just no way I could plan an event with what I have going on.

That type of event, or series of events, I believe would be very fertile ground for promoting the type of networking that leads to things happening.  Over time.

You want things real alpha geeks would enjoy, because they are interesting.  They will not show up to meetings.  Most geeks hate meetings.



From Yvonne Paulson, Rachelle Wirth

It was nice to be a part of the group yesterday and hear the concerns everyone has and the opportunities to move the SCTech forward.

  1.  I heard that people are frustrated with not knowing who’s doing what, who has what to offer and how to get more techies involved on the coast.
  1.  We have a great app that’s useful for tourists and locals.  It’s a new app that came out in June of this year.  We are constantly updating and changing the app for the end users and advertisers.  There are a few different  opportunities to advertise on the app or have an app within an app.  This can be quite cost effective.  I see the app within an app application being very beneficial and attractive to the local municipalities.  We have the ability to send out push notifications.  This can be useful for water restrictions, breaking news, school closings and other announcements.

Free download from:  iTunes store or Google Play or launch the app store on your devise and search for “Sunshine Coast BC or

My takeaway is there are many agendas at the table and it would be good for these agendas to be streamlined as I believe there are some synergies here.  I agree with Dave regarding one message for the entire Sunshine Coast and not segregated as it appears to be a good percentage of the time.

It would have been nice to have Innovation Island explain the services they provide does have a cost associated with it.  It was introduced as offering all this assistance by a non-profit group.  (according to the website there’s a cost to tapping into the expertise.  Albeit a low cost in comparison to hiring a consultant) Just my perception.  I believe Innovation Island brings to the table a great deal of expertise that would ordinarily cost considerably more. They are a great resource for any new tech start up.

In summary I believe the SC Tech hub has a lot to offer the Sunshine Coast.  The challenge is to get all the techies together and find a way to get the word out.  Unfortunately you can’t achieve all of this for free.  Just like Innovation Island, they are offering a tremendous support to new up and coming tech companies.  This is one of the avenues to get a new tech start up.  There is a lot more to be done.  Becoming a member of the local Chamber of Commerce would be one avenue that shouldn’t be ignored.  I heard that techies don’t like to do “traditional” networking or advertising.   I believe that some of the traditional methods along with new methods needs to be incorporated to be successful.  As you know most things move forward as a result of someone knowing someone etc.  Networking is one of the ways to do this.  The Chamber is more than just networking.  If there’s an issue that requires legislation or assistance the Chamber is your place to go to get action.  They truly work on behalf of the members!


From Richard Hoath, @SCtechhub

Thanks and kudos go to the District of Sechelt for stepping up to the plate and funding the 1st year partnership agreement with Innovation Island on behalf of the lower Sunshine Coast.

Graham has provided a helpful details of the Innovation Island programs and services.  Really useful network of ideas, learning, and connections that entrepreneurs who fit their program can slot into.

Robin asks great questions about the support needed to pull together events.  @SCtechhub has seen this kind of support over the past 2 years.  Local orgs including Community Futures, District of Sechelt, Gibsons Chamber of Commerce, Sunshine Coast Community Foundation, and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union have stepped up with in-kind support and real dollars to sponsor and support our tech community events.  Summaries of many of these activities are up at   While techs in general do not like “meetings” or traditional networking – my experience has been that engaging with our community can bring new creativity, energy, and opportunities to us individually and the wider community (a.k.a coast karma!).  Might be opportunities to learn from other chambers where there has been success in connecting with businesses working in the new economy.

Yvonne and Rachelle talk about coordination and simply knowing what is happening even in our small community.  Eduardo at the meeting felt that only a small fraction of people working in tech on the coast know about @SCtechhub.

The reality is that @SCtechhub events and learning opportunities happen when individuals decide to act in small ways (we have $0 budget, deliberately!).  Dave Jephcott makes time to spread information within his network, even when events like these have some overlap with Community Futures.   @SCtechhub members like Laurie McConnell who contributes her time and space on to write about these events.

So the opportunity comes back down to each of us to seek ways to connect, collaborate, and communicate.  We know that people are seeking the kind of lifestyle and deep community connections possible on the Sunshine Coast – but still want to remain connected to the new economy and their professional networks.  What do newcomers to the Sunshine Coast see when they look at our community?   What are the topics of conversation online and in the printed media?

Here are the links to the presentation material from Innovation Island workshops #1 and #2 presented in Sechelt November 24.

2016 Innovation Island Calendar of Events coming soon.


An open monthly design/dev meetup is now happening at in lower Gibsons (last Thursday of the month, 6-9pm).  Lightening talks, hands-on work, pizza, etc are all on the menu.

@SCtechhub general tech community meetups happen 2-3 times per year.  The last event was on game-changers.  Event wrap blog posts are here and Disruptors and Innovators all over the Sunshine Coast (

Fall 2015 meeting wrap – “game changers”

On October 29 we had our Fall 2015 tech community meetup at the  Fuse Work Hub in lower Gibsons.    Paul Adams led an engaging conversation on technology, society, community – today and future looking.

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Then we had a chance to catch up on events within our community.  Here are a few links that we talked about.

PaulScreen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.05 AM (technical trainer) and Liz (information architect) have just moved to the coast from Vancouver.   One of Paul’s earliest game changers was the “shipstone” from the 1982 Sci Fi novel Friday.

Robin suggested this speculative AI story after our conversation on ethics and self-driving cars.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 9.16.14 AMAfter 20 years of developing software Mark Cameron is set to publish his debut novel Goodnight Sunshine.    “Goodnight Sunshine is the story of a disenchanted middle-aged family man who finds an intriguing message about a potentially world-changing invention, leading him to the jungles of Ecuador to seek its existence.”   Book launch is set for December 5, 2pm, at the Gibsons Public Library.

Alan Rawkins  (Rawkins Games) gave us a preview of his new 4 player ipad game built with Monkey framework which the compiler translates to native source code for most platforms.


Monthly coding/ design meetups are happening on the last Thursday of each month at Fuse Work Hub from 6-9pm.  Dave Arthur is coordinating these meetups.  Bring your projects for hands on evening.


Innovation Island is coming back to the Coast!

This time there are two 1/2 day courses for tech driven entrepreneurs – Tuesday November 24 in Sechelt –  register for Refresh Your Minimum Viable Product  (morning) and  Customer Discovery  (afternoon).  These courses are being led by Graham Truax with Innovation Island. (his course back in February at the Gibsons Public Market sold out and was a great day of really practical learning).   Kudos to the District of Sechelt for funding a Sunshine Coast regional support agreement with Innovation Island (our regional partner for BC Innovation Council programming).   Courses are free.


next meetup – “Game Changers” – Thursday October 29 in Gibsons

Are you working in the digital space and living on the Sunshine Coast?

Mark your calendar! Two tech-related events are happening this month. Same night.  Same location.

WHEN:  Thursday October 29, 2015
WHEREFuse Work Hub (#15, 292 Gower Point Rd, Lower Gibsons)

To keep it simple – No RSVP required.  Just show up!

1.  SCtechhub meetup “GAME CHANGERS”

TIME: 7:00pm-9:00pm

Disruption, Game Changers, seismic shifts in the technological landscape. Smart Phones, Drones, Wearables, Internet of Things, Deep Learning AI, Self-driving Cars, Ad Blocking, Cord Cutting, the Sharing Economy – Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit. Drivers of change; huge opportunities. But for every winner there are also losers.   Are you ready to survive and prosper from the next game changing tech tsunami? And what impact will it have on society?

Come join the SCtechhub on October 29 for a discussion on the new horizons of tech.  Paul Adams, a new coastie, will guide our conversation.  Followed by casual networking time.

To get primed for October 29, bring along your thoughts/hardware gear for show & tell –  and have a ponder about what game changing technology excites you?

  • Is it tech nirvana?   Or do you see smoke on the horizon?
  • Who will be the game changers?  And who will be the casualties?


2. Monthly coding meetup. Last Thursday of every month at Fuse

TIME: 6:00-7:00pm and 9:00-10:00pm

In October, again on the 29th, come at 6-7, merging with @SCtechhub from 7-9, and continuing after until 10.
Connect with other designers/developers for a casual drop-in evening to collaborate in a hands-on meetup. Dave Arthur is coordinating these events with Fuse making the space available.  For more details connect with Dave through his awesome email address

Hope to see you there!

Dave, Mark, Paul, Richard (organizing crew for October 29th)

its a wrap – meetup #6 – Sharepoint and definitely beyond

Big thanks to Sharevision for sponsoring our Sunshine Coast tech community meetup last night in Davis Bay.

ShareVision Social Services Software Re-imagined

Laurie Miller, product expert with Sharevision, did a great job of MC’ing the evening and arranging all the small details needed to pull of these events.  Mathew Newton opened the evening with a backgrounder on Sharepoint and their use of the tool at the Sunshine Coast Credit Union.  Ben Tripp, lead dev with Sharevision, did a really useful deep dive into MS sharepoint and the new architecture that Sharevision is deploying.

Great to see some new faces coming out as part of the crowd of 28 people who came along.  Sam Talbot/ Activist + Designer, Chris Odgaard/ store manager London Drugs in Gibsons, Richard Howard/ Director Information Technology with the open door group, Euan Vatcher technical consultant with UNA Network Solutions, Matthew Lehmann with Mainstay Computing.

We also talked about some of the tech related activity happening on the coast.

The Sunshine Coast Mini Maker Faire is happening Sunday May 31, noon-4pm at Dougall Park in Lower Gibsons.  @SCtechhub is now a silver sponsor – thanks to Laurie McConnell suggestion that we show out support – $140 came together really quick thanks to Sharevision, Chris Odgaard (Store manager with London Drugs/Gibsons), John Frame (Network Engineer/Pre-Sales with Juniper Networks), Richard Howard (IT Director with open door group), Euan Vatcher (technical consultant with UNA Network Solutions), Matthew Lehmann (Mainstay Computing), and Richard Hoath (OTC Business Services).


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getmakered just came back from Linux fest in Bellingham where they unveiled their SC community supported 3D mobile scan/print studio lab to a great response


District of Sechelt on behalf of the lower Sunshine Coast is set to fund the first year of a partnership agreement with Innovation Island, providing programming and support to innovative entrepreneurs on the coast (access to mentors, IRAP funding, SHRED claims, BCIC programming, local courses, webinars).

sechelt – a digital campaign to share the story of life on the lower Sunshine Coast (funded by local business leaders without any site advertising and created by a local tech team) – is set to launch May 13 – on Twitter @thisisthecoast  share images of life on the coast using the hashtag  #FreeRangeLivingSC


A co-working space/ incubator is set to open in Lower Gibsons June 1.  Some great ideas being led by Mark Cameron.  Stop by the space located next to the Trading Post, or drop @SCtechhub a tweet or email connect <> and we will put you in touch with Mark.  Very affordable way to explore co-working.

next meetup – Tuesday April 28 in Davis bay

Hosts: Breakwater Designs Ltd & Sunshine Coast Credit Union

Refreshments – Gibsons Family Network


SharePoint is a web application designed to help companies collaborate.  SharePoint allows companies to do many different things, or the same thing in different ways.  It is this flexibility that attracts many to it.

Mathew Newton from Sunshine Coast Credit Union will give a primer on SharePoint ABCs.  What it is and what it does.

Ben Tripp, lead developer with Breakwater Designs, will talk about how we leveraged the technology within SharePoint to build a management solution called ShareVision.

Building on top of SharePoint has advantages and drawbacks.  Ben will describe some of the challenges we faced, how we met them and where we go when we are looking for solutions.

Please plan to come to the Tech Hub meeting on April 28. Ben and Mathew will be on hand to answer questions, as will other members of the ShareVision team. Gibson Family Network will be providing some savoury snacks.

Register here so we know #’s coming along.

making the right things happen on the Sunshine Coast

At the end of February a group of business founders met over lunch at the new Basted Baker cafe in Sechelt.

Lots of conversation on how people are tackling problems and delivering innovative solutions that work for the Sunshine Coast.

One of these stories is the Sunshine Coast Car Co-op.  Johan Stroman shared the story of the car co-op and how it has grown from an idea to over 100 members and 4 cars in its first year.  With plans to expand geographic coverage to Sechelt in 2015.  Very cool.

From a tech perspective, the co-op is the only rural carshare in Canada operating on a fully-webenabled smartphone App based booking system.

And the value proposition for members (and new members!) “We provide easy, affordable and convenient smartphone enabled vehicle access (realtime booking and vehicle secured by fob), when you need it for an hour, a day or a week.  We can save you thousands on transportation whether you need a second vehicle part-time or you don’t have a car but want to choose among a diverse fleet to meet your needs.  With 4 on the coast in Gibsons and Roberts Creek – and expansion of 3 more to Sechelt in 2015 your membership gets you access to 500 more in BC and thousands across 19 carshares in Canada.”

Great story.  Are you looking to save money on transport, or need a flexible vehicle option to take in life here on the coast?  Get in contact with Johan from here.  Another one of those people who are making the right things happen here on the coast.

Follow the car coop on Twitter @coastcarcoop, Facebook

a next step for tech + innovation

Here’s a wrap of 2 days of talking innovation + tech.  Followed by my comments on next steps.  Making it happen.

Well, its a wrap.  Over 2 days on Feb 20/21 2015 in Sechelt and Gibsons the Sunshine Coast (hosted by @SCtechhub, Community Futures and Sunshine Coast Community Foundation) welcomed  Innovation Island to our community to learn about fostering the innovation economy + growing technology driven ideas.

Our guests (Paris Gaudet/Executive Director, Graham Truax/Executive in Residence, and Ean Jackson/advisor and course facilitator) met with business innovators, early stage entrepreneurs, community organizations, and the wider community.  They were impressed with the coast welcome and innovation scene already happening on the coast.

After their trip Paris Gaudet shared Thanks again for the warm welcome and excellent agenda. We made some amazing connections with entrepreneurs and innovators doing some awesome work on the Sunshine Coast. … I look forward to discussing how to move forward with a Service Agreement to further support innovative entrepreneurs on the Sunshine Coast.”

For those who did not make it out to all the events, here is a quick summary:

On Friday morning, Paris and Graham connected with Community Futures for a discussion on the innovation support eco-sphere needed to grow and attract innovative entrepreneurs to a region.

Over lunch, Paris and Graham met 12 coast business innovators from across all sectors of the coast economy.  It was a good conversation around launching and growing ideas on the coast that connect with a local market and beyond the coast.

On Friday afternoon, with the support of the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation, 45 leaders from across our community heard the Innovation Island story.  Paris and Graham explained how Innovation Island offers programming and direct 1:1 mentoring that is accelerating the new economy and providing the practical support specific to growing tech driven ideas.  Definitely check out their attached presentation for stats on the new economy in BC (also available on

On Friday evening 35 people met our guests over some fine brew at Persephones tasting room.

On Saturday at the Gibsons Public Market there was a sold-out packed house of 41 entrepreneurs who completed the Innovation Island Startup 101 course – some really solid learning about growing ideas from Graham and Ean – 2 people with deep experience and connections in the tech scene in BC and beyond – who want to support and connect with innovative entrepreneurs on the coast going forwards.

So, next steps? 

Lots of great people on the coast have asked @SCtechhub over the past year,  “what can be done to support and grow the tech sector on the coast?”   Well,  I think we have a way forward.

Innovation Island has offered to include the Sunshine Coast in their regional support program.  To make this happen we need to sign a partnership agreement with Innovation Island (our regional agency for tech + innovation programs).   Through them we can be connected and be visible in the BC and national innovation scene.  (they have provided drafts of the agreement and proposed programming for us to review – let me know if you want to have a look, connect <at>

What are the benefits for the coast economy?  Just ask/watch the 40 people who packed the Innovation Island Startup 101 course on Feb 21 at the Gibsons Public Market.  Its about growing the eco-sphere that surrounds the “new” economy.  And getting in place the support systems, connections, and relationships that will make it possible for entrepreneurs to grow their innovative companies right here on the coast.




Tues, April 28 – talking collaboration and design w/ Breakwater Designs

Join us on at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Davis Bay Hall (5123 Davis Bay Road) for our next tech/innovation community meetup.  Along with our usual opportunity to connect with others doing similar and complementary work, we will hear the story of Breakwater Designs and their innovative work using the Sharepoint collaboration platform.
Breakwater Designs started developing on the SharePoint platform in 2002.   Head of Development, Ben Tripp and others from Breakwater Designs will talk about our approach and what we’ve learned over our 14 year of working with SharePoint.  We will cover The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (it is Microsoft afterall) and the toad that Continue reading Tues, April 28 – talking collaboration and design w/ Breakwater Designs