Posted by: 30 Nov 2017 Tags: , ,

BioConnect is a Toronto-based market leader in enterprise-level biometric hardware and software solutions. Founded in 2009, they were an early innovator in the biometrics space, which continues to grow rapidly as it becomes well-integrated into consumer-based products like smartphones. BioConnect’s innovative systems enable users to verify their identity using multiple biometrics such as voice, eye, face, and fingerprint verification. Businesses that leverage the BioConnect platform can identify and authenticate their personnel with extraordinary accuracy and convenience. As an innovative technology-driven firm, BioConnect is focused on growth and customer acquisition. Since being founded, its skilled management team has devoted significant time and financial resources to product innovation, hiring, training, and export market development projects. These strategic projects have led to considerable growth, and have also helped BioConnect to reach the 2017 Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) Top 20 innovative companies list. One of the strategies BioConnect uses to fuel its growth is accessing Canadian government funding. In 2014, they began working with Mentor Works Ltd., a management consulting firm, to develop and implement a government funding plan tailored to their upcoming strategic projects. To date, BioConnect has leveraged millions of dollars in government funding and will continue to use this strategy to […]

A Roundtable Discussion with Top Tech CEOs By: Steven Pezim Managing Director of Bedford Group TRANSEARCH   Culture is the DNA of every organization. It is the collective personality of a company; the essence of who and what the company is. To understand how important culture truly is, if you look at the most successful tech companies in the world, such as Apple, Google and Amazon, you’ll see their unique respective cultures has empowered them to attract and retain top talent. As a CEO, you need to be the driving force behind your organization’s culture. For all intents and purposes, being CEO means you are also the Chief Culture Officer.  Everything you say and every action you take will underscore and set the culture of your organization. So what are tech CEOs doing to create and develop dynamic and innovative cultures? I had the opportunity to speak with AceTech Ontario member CEOs and ask them engaging poignant questions about their company cultures. What follows are the culture stories of 360insights Founder & CEO Jason Atkins and Nudge Rewards Co-Founders Lindsey Goodchild (CEO) and Dessy Daskalov (CTO).   Steven’s Question # 1: Describe the culture of your organization and how it […]

When you first meet someone, within fractions of a second, your brain has already created a series of unconscious biases and assumptions about this person that you’re not even aware of.  These biases are now going to strongly affect your relationship and communication with this person and this behaviour will be 100% unconscious.  These biases can shape either negatively or positively.  Perhaps this person reminds you of your favourite aunt.  Or maybe they remind you of your neighbour whose dog never stops barking.    There are many people who view biases as being a negative aspect of the human brain, however having biases is what makes us human.  To not have these would be completely unnatural.  The true task is to understand our biases and be aware when they are happening.   However, before we discuss that, it’s important to understand where our biases come from.  In our daily lives, we are constantly exposed to situations that are going to create biases in both a conscious and an unconscious way.  These range from how we were raised, to the person who messed up our lunch order, to television & media.  For example, the media plays a large role in the inputs […]

Executive Search Expert Steven Pezim Explains the Secrets to Recruiting Top Talent   Whether you’re a rookie or veteran tech executive, having the right leadership team is the difference between being stuck on first base or hitting home runs.   So how do you attract and retain the right executives? Here are some key steps I have learned in my 30 years managing executive searches for tech companies:   Hire an Experienced Search Firm Can you dedicate an average of 300 hours and several staff to recruit the CFO you need? If you’re a start-up, do you have the experience and capacity to build a solid leadership team straight out of the gate? Then don’t waste precious time and resources. This is a multi-million dollar decision. The cost of an executive mis-hire is up to 30 times compensation. Focus on what you do best and hire professionals to find your key executives.   Scout the Competition & Their Talent To start, you need a Talent Management expert to scout your competition.  For example, we’re working with a tech firm that needs to triple in size in the next five years. We are analyzing their competitors in Europe and North America. That means building profiles on individuals in 100 companies, investigating their respective skills, experience and accomplishments, and culture fit, as well as looking at how these companies […]

As a CEO or Senior Executive, there will be many moments in your career where your success will be determined, at least in part, by your presentation skills.  Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, trying to close a big deal, speaking at a conference or inspiring your team, your vocal, verbal and non-verbal skill could make all the difference.   Recently, many of our members participated in a Presenting with Impact workshop with the President of Corporate Speech Consultants, Melanie Novis.  Melanie took our members through several exercises to pinpoint individual areas of improvement as well as tips that covered several areas of a presentation.  For those who couldn’t make it, here are some of Melanie’s presentation dos and don’ts:   First Impressions Are Everything Walk in with energy Before you speak, make eye contact (that’s your non-verbal hello). If you have a large audience, do a z-sweep across the room with your eyes. When you say your name, pause between your first and last. A good exercise to practice this is to punch the air once at your first name, then at your last.   Content When you start planning your presentation, ask yourself three questions: What is […]

Imagine starting a web design company in the mid-1990s when not only was there no social media and no e-commerce, most people did not know what a website was, yet alone own a computer.  I was spending my days in front of my house, drawing pictures on the road with sidewalk chalk while Shaul Kuper founded Destiny Web Designs.  “It was difficult. No one knew what a website was. It was way ahead of the curve”, recalls Shaul in an interview with Sramana Mitra, “I had an instinct that this was where the future was going. I remember my father telling me that I was crazy”. Shaul Kuper is an AceTech Ontario CEO member and is the founder and CEO of (what is now) Destiny Solutions.  What set Destiny Web Designs out from the crowd in the early days was that they did not provide textual websites – their sites had a real purpose and an ROI.  One of Shaul’s first big clients was the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and in 1997, they became the first university in the world to do online enrollments.  However, the company still had its work cut out for them. Shaul explains […]

Last night, AceTech Ontario hosted our final event & Quarterly Dinner of 2016, and in my personal opinion, we finished the year off with a bang!  Cocktail hour started the night off with just under 100 movers and shakers in the technology space – all AceTech Ontario members, sponsors and guests. The night continued with a presentation by our talented & energetic CEO, Jodi Kovitz in which she shared with us her vision for the organization.  She has plans for AceTech to grow, but grow in a smart, thoughtful and intelligent way.  Needless to say, there will be lots of exciting news to come in 2017!  Jodi also shared with us highlights from her technology innovation trip to Israel with Toronto Mayor John Tory.  (You can read more about her takeaways from the trip here).  Jodi was joined on stage by AceTech members Sheetal Jaitly, Vuk Magdelinic and guest Robert Douglas who also spoke about their highlights and lessons from the trip.  Lastly, we presented Denise Roy, one of our 2017 Leadership Initiative Winners, with her award.  Denise, along with other winners Daneal Charney and Mark Miller, will all be presenting workshops on their winning topic to AceTech members in the coming […]

You’re the CEO of a software company looking to grow faster and smarter. There is great opportunity before you, but also more decisions on how to achieve that growth than ever before. “I think what you have seen over the past two years is this obsession with growth in software companies,” states Hasan Askari, Managing Partner at K1 Investment Management and AceTech Ontario Sponsor. “But it is growth at all costs – let’s just take a bunch of money and throw it at Sales and Marketing and assume it is going to have some results.” In this growth-obsessed market, many companies will inevitably seek funding as money continues to be one of the cheapest commodity available. However, a large number of these businesses that have raised capital on their search for growth have come up short and have found themselves in a weakened, confused state wondering what went wrong. As an increasing number of fallen unicorns make the headlines, selecting the right capital partner is more important now than it’s ever been before. There are two important principles to keep in mind when selecting considering a capital raise. Primarily, not all money is the same. You’ve put your blood, sweat, […]

Contribution by AceTech Ontario CEO Member Mark Miller of Volaris Group. You have worked hard to grow and develop your software company. Perhaps your success has attracted some attention; or maybe you are feeling that it’s time to move on. One way or the other, selling is on your radar. Of course, you’re ready for this next step. But there are several things you probably didn’t expect – unforeseen factors that could affect you and the acquisition process.

Recently, AceTech Ontario sponsor KPMG in Canada partnered with the C100 Association to compile a research report that dives into the minds of several Canadian technology company founders to gain their insights on the Canadian ecosystem and the biggest challenges they are facing with their companies.  This report, Entrepreneur Rising, surveyed a select group of 52 Canadian entrepreneurs to discuss their experience, their tips and what keeps them up at night. In this blog, we will provide an overview of some of the items discussed in this research report. Many of us have heard Toronto referred to as “Silicon Valley North”.  While we may not yet have the opportunities that Silicon Valley does, several Canadian entrepreneurs believe that Canada’s technology ecosystem has a lot to offer business owners.  In fact, 86% of founders surveyed agree that the Canadian growth company/innovation ecosystem has improved significantly over the last 5 years. Not only have we seen a shift in Canada’s ecosystem, but we have also seen a shift in the Canadian entrepreneur.  “What we are seeing is the emergence of a new class of serial entrepreneurs; they know how to bring a great idea to market and they are using those skills […]