All posts by sctechhub

future of tech and innovation on the coast – Feb 20 & 21 – you are invited!

On February 20 and 21 Community Futures and the Sunshine Coast tech community will be hosting 2 days of events as we welcome Innovation Island to the coast.

For many years Innovation Island has been supporting scientific and technical innovation on Vancouver Island.  So, we are really pleased that Paris Gaudet (Executive Director) and Graham Truax (Executive in Residence) along with Ean Jackson have agreed to spend 2 days on the coast to meet with our community and share their experience doing and supporting technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

On Friday afternoon (Feb 20) from 3-5 pm at the Seaside Center in Sechelt we are inviting the wider community to join the tech community to hear Paris and Graham talk about what they have learned from their years of experience fostering regional innovation.   Please register here.

On Friday evening (Feb 20) from 7-10’ish will be a tech community meetup at Perspephone tasting room in Gibsons – a chance to meet our guests and share some fine local brew and pizza.  Let us know if you are coming here.

On Saturday (Feb 21) there will be a Startup 101 course (see below) set to be led by Graham Truax and Ean Jackson from 9-5 at the Gibsons Public Market.  We are very fortunate to have Innovation Island bring to the coast 2 people with such deep experience and connections in the tech and innovation scene in BC. 

This 1 day course is for founders of early-­stage ventures (or those who want to be) who need straight-­shooting insight on what’s required to turn IDEAS into COMPANIES.  Anyone curious if this is fit for them should read through the testimonials on the registration page to get a sense of the amazing resources and advice they can expect for the nominal fee of just $20.  We are encouraging people to register soon here as we expect this one to fill up quickly.

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Discover Totems Hackathon – Postponed


Using the website and content as a starting point, this Re-Design Hack-a-thon is being hosted to bring together techs, design gurus, tourism and first nations artists to hack on a redesign of the DiscoverTotems site into a Sunshine Coast Totems Self-Guided tour application that can be accessed via mobile or desktop. Red Hat OpenShift PaaS Evangelist, Diane Mueller will use the site to get everyone re-thinking on what the site/app should actually be to get more people aware and engaged with First Nations Art & Culture on the Sunshine Coast.

open to techs, designers, tourism industry, SIB members and artists.

Saturday January 17th, 11-3

Community Futures office (Fuse space)

#301 –  5500 Wharf Avenue, Sechelt BC, V0N 3A3

(elevator is located in the breezeway next to The Bakery)


wrap of meetup #5 – brew & pitch night

Our Brew & Pitch Night at Persephone Brewing was a night of discussion on entrepreneurship and tech.  22 people involved in tech related work on the sunshine coast enjoyed some fine local craft brew (the stout is amazing) while listening to six @SCtechhub members pitch ideas and projects they are pondering or working on.

The Sunshine Coast Credit Union again stepped in support of the sunshine coast digital economy and local enterpreneurship to sponsor the evening.

Sunshine Coast Credit Union

Here are the slides introducing the evening.

Persephone CEO and Communty Futures ED Brian Smith warmed up the audience with a summary of Persephone’s progress since opening last year, which has been spectacular. Brian also welcomed on behalf of CF opportunities to connect with the tech community and tech entrepreneurs.

Each presenter had 10 minutes to pitch their project and field questions. We heard about local business, networking, collaboration, and economic development opportunities. The audience asked questions and provided ideas and challenges to inspire people forward.


A technology based Social Enterprise to promote Economic Development on the Sunshine Coast. presented by Banjo Benjamin  banjo {at} sol3 ca

Banjo suggested that data and the power of big data mining are key to economic development on the Sunshine Coast. By strategically analyzing data that is already available, collecting a bit more, and broadcasting what we learn online, we can encourage Coast2Coast B2B that will keep investment and money on the Coast rather than sending it elsewhere.

From Banjo, One of the challenges of forming an Economic Development strategy is access to detailed data of current conditions. This should be the starting point to any Economic Development initiative.

The Sunshine Coast economy is much like an Island economy which provides some advantages when trying to model it. It is small and insular and sourcing and supply can be costly. This project seeks to collect that data and undertake a more interesting and technologically oriented approach to developing the economy using current tools.

Our approach is to collect comprehensive economic data and provide local businesses with tools that will improve their local sourcing and supply chain activities. This approach will indirectly provide an increased level of local economic resilience and activity for the business on the Sunshine Coast that use the tool by reducing the frequency of leakage from our Coast economy. Regardless of the project, the quality of the data that we wish to collect will be invaluable to local governments and business organizations.


Dave Hawkins presented a visual calculation app (think Excel but in a diagram map format) that his company designed for a specific industry and is now evolving into a generic calculation app for any flow & process diagrams that involve calculations or variables. The group was impressed with the versatility of the current application and imagined many uses for it. Here is Dave’s presentation to give you some visuals of the engine.


Dwayne Dobson on the board of Sechelt Innovations Ltd (SIL) walked us through how SIL is eager to support new technology business development in Sechelt and is wondering if a coast-wide group of technology specialists might be possible to assess and support funded technology proposals and projects.

Here are some reflections from Dwayne after the evening… What did I learn?  I learned that perhaps the best marketing to the tech industry is by example. For example, Dave’s Device Lab has the potential to attract a tech community. Perhaps organizations, like Sechelt Innovations, can contribute to the growth by investing money into an existing or potential start up? Exposure for individuals / small tech groups might be the key, is social media to feature the tech. …Although way over my head in terms of tech capabilities I whole heartedly support this group. I look forward to being an active participant / observer. 


Richard Hoath presented stream|vu – a mobile first solution providing staff an easy to use single source to stay current on events as they are occurring across their activity intensive operation. stream|vu aggregrates and filters data from across enterprise data stores in real-time to push personalized and interactive event streams to each user. They are currently holding customer interviews to drive the next version of the prototype. Here is Richard’s presentation.


Dave Chisholm presented four seed ideas (some actually counted five) and each one had good prospects and generated discussion.


And, finally, Dave Arthur pitched the idea of a mobile device lab for the Sunshine Coast, which was well supported by the audience.



Big thanks to Ed Penaud, CAO, with the Sunshine Coast Credit Union for stepping up early to sponsor the event with gift certificates for the top 3 pitches. It was a close race for second but Banjo’s pitch was deemed the best of the night.

We thank Persephone Brewing and staff for providing a friendly and relaxed venue for the event.

This event wrapup was pulled together by Barb Kelly. Barb runs Subject Matters Canada, They overhaul site content and functionality to attract and convert customers to your small business.

our next 3 meetups

Brew and mini-pitch night | Wednesday November 19, 6-8pm | Persephone Brewing in Gibsons

SIGdev group | December 4, 7:30pm | Blackfish Pub in Gibsons

Discover Totems hack day | Saturday Jan 17, 2015 | location tbc in Sechelt


Our next casual meetup will be fun, fast-paced mini pitch night at Persephone brewing, Wednesday November 19, 6-8pm.  Organized by Dave Arthur.  Sunshine Coast Credit Union has stepped up to sponsor the evening and offer some great gift certificates for the best pitches.  More details and to register click here.

On December 4, the @SCtechhub SIGdev group for developers is having  an inaugural meeting  December 4 at 7:30 at the Blackfish pub.  Reach out to Jim Tivy to connect and let him know if you are coming.  jimt {at} bluestream dot com

On Saturday January 17, 2015 Dianne Mueller is pulling together plans for a design and coding hack day contributing to the next release of  This will be a hands-on day using SDK for mobile apps deployed on the Red Hat Openshift platform.  Reserve Saturday January 17 in your calendar for a day of hands-on learning.



wrap of meetup #4

IMG_437025 people came out on October 2 for the last @SCtechhub meetup on design thinking (in the beautifully designed post and beam Seaside Center in Sechelt).

We kicked off the evening with a panel of designers exploring the changing role of design in tech projects, designing and living on the coast, human centered design, and digital design tools.

David Shao | Digital Creative
Angela Rae | Angela Rae Interior Design | Interior designer and tech explorer
Laurie McConnell | Bad Dog Design | Web design and marketing
Shawn Mabey | Fluid Perception | UX/UI design

Then time for discussion and chance to connect on ideas we are working on. Great to have 9 new people join us for their first @SCtechhub meetup. The presentation slides, list of design tools, and design resources are below.

Some takeaways from the evening …

“…challenge is people often see creativity as beautiful, cool but not understanding the true value. … Apparently there are many brilliant minds working in tech sector/knowledge economy/digital spaceand living on the coast” (David Shao)


“Youth of today have a completely different but very visual, interactive, immediate view of their needs and the design around this. … A website is no longer the most important part of an online presence it is actually only one of the minor deliverables” (Mathew Newton)


“We are all ‘designers’ and there are no ivory towers where ‘professionals’ get to hide and issue decrees from on high, we help facilitate the expression of our clients via not only marketing but also through rethinking the whole business process with technology in mind. … We have an incredible diversity of talents on the Sunshine Coast and we need to promote that more. …We need to redesign the thinking around tech for elementary school students through grade 12 to empower young people to become designers rather than consumers/participants.” (Laurie McConnell)

Thanks to our organizing group (Beverly Ehlbeck (Business Analyst/District of Sechelt) and Mathew Newton (Business Systems Analyst/Sunshine Coast Credit Union) for arranging the practical details. Thanks to the District of Sechelt for generously making the Seaside Center available to the group.

Send us your feedback and ideas for future meetups.

presentation slides

Difference between UX and UI graphic





Some great notes from Laurie McConnell with lists of tools, etc, etc. sctechtalk

Some of the widely used tools we talked about:

Have other design tools that you recommend?  Leave a comment on this post (link at top of post) to tell us what tools you use, how you use them, and why they work for you.