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B.C. tech excellence recognized at 2016 Technology Impact Awards

The 2016 Technology Impact Awards (TIAs) were handed out for the 23rd year by the BC Tech Association last night, at a ceremony hosting over 1,000 people from B.C.’s technology and business community at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Company of the Year was won by compliance messaging and archiving solutions firm Global Relay, while Fasken Martineau partner Keith Spencer took the Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and service to the local tech community.
“It has been yet another break-through year for the tech industry in BC,” said BC Tech President and CEO Bill Tam. “Capitalizing on our rich history in data analytics and cloud computing, companies like Global Relay and Copperleaf exemplify the growing number of anchor tech companies that call British Columbia home. The 2016 TIAs finalists and winners all demonstrate the vast potential for BC Tech and our opportunity to be among the leading tech ecosystems on a global scale.”
Since the BC Tech Association, formerly known as the BCTIA, was founded in 1994, B.C.’s tech ecosystem has grown to over 9,000 companies, which employ almost 90,000 people, outpacing the province’s resource industry in terms of economic contribution.
“The TIAs recognize the individuals, teams and companies that pave the pathways for a stronger tech community,” said Tam. “It celebrates the stories that inspire and encourage us to always strive for more. We are proud to recognize the award winners, and we congratulate all finalists on mastering the art of the possible.”
The 2016 Technology Impact Award Winners are:
Company of the Year – Global Relay
Global Relay helps organizations manage, control, and profit from their email and other communications data. The company’s innovative cloud solutions allow organizations to efficiently preserve, access, and analyze their data — making it simple for employees to find the information they need, when they need it. A privately-owned, employee-controlled corporation, Global Relay is building a long-term Canadian success story. The company was founded in 1999 to offer one of the first cloud computing services. Today, it is at the intersection of two of the biggest technology trends — cloud and big data. Global Relay is now the leading provider of archiving and information governance solutions for the global financial sector, with 380 employees in seven offices delivering services to more than 20,000 customers in 90 countries. @GlobalRelay
Bill Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award – Keith Spencer, Partner, Fasken Martineau
For over 25 years, Keith has been the quintessential technology lawyer in Vancouver. Recognized by his peers as one of the top technology lawyers in Canada, Keith has been a key part of many BC Tech success stories — Elastic Path Software, INETCO Systems, BuildDirect, Layer7, General Fusion, Clevest, Copperleaf, Zafin, and ResponseTek, to name a few. He is not only a great tech lawyer, Keith is also a champion for entrepreneurs — investing his time, energy, and often his own money, to support entrepreneurs in their quest to change the world. Keith regularly goes well beyond the call of duty, making it his personal mission to build deep relationships founded on trust and introduce entrepreneurs to investors. Keith has also used his charm and social capital as a glue to bring BC’s tight-knit tech community closer together. @FaskenMartineau
Emerging Company of the Year – Copperleaf Technologies Inc.
Copperleaf provides decision analytics to companies managing critical infrastructure. Our enterprise software solutions leverage operational, financial and asset data to help our clients make investment decisions that deliver the highest business value. In 2015, Canadian Business magazine named Copperleaf one of Canada’s top 20 Fastest-Growing Software Companies. Copperleaf is a member of The Institute of Asset Management (IAM) and actively participates in shaping the future of asset management standards, including ISO 55000. Headquartered in Vancouver, our solutions are distributed and supported by regional staff and partners worldwide. We are committed to building a better world, one decision at a time. @copperleafgroup
Most Promising Startup – Aspect Biosystems
Aspect Biosystems is an early-stage biotechnology company operating on the leading edge of 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering. The company was founded in November 2013 through a collaboration between two world-class research groups in Engineering and Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Based on the company’s proprietary Lab-on-a-Printer™ technology, Aspect’s highly interdisciplinary team has developed a disruptive 3D bioprinting platform capable of creating living Human Tissues on Demand™ for broad applications in the life sciences. This technology is enabling advances in fundamental biological research, drug development through novel pre-clinical models, and regenerative medicine. Ultimately, Aspect is working towards a future where better drugs are developed faster, where animals are no longer needed for the development of new therapeutics, and where lifesaving transplant organs are created, not harvested. @aspectbiosys
Adoption of Technology – ResponseTek and Westminster Savings Credit Union
ResponseTek, the global leader in action-based Customer Experience (CEM) software, connects the voice of over 720 million customers to the brands that service them in over 60 countries worldwide. ResponseTek’s award-winning Listening Platform collects real-time customer feedback across every touchpoint, spreads the insights throughout the organization with role-based reporting, and triggers action alerts to help save at-risk customers. With local offices spanning 4 continents, ResponseTek services a global client base with CEM implementations in over 60 countries worldwide. @ResponseTek
At $3.4 billion in assets under management, more than 55,000 members and 400 employees, Westminster Savings is among the largest credit unions in Canada. Known for its customer and community focus, people oriented culture, and sound financial and operating practices, Westminster Savings provides a full range of retail, commercial, leasing and wealth management solutions to meet its customers’ evolving needs. @wscu
Excellence in Product Innovation – Freightera Logistics Inc.
Freightera offers an online freight marketplace that makes shipping transparent and easy. It provides instant online access to all-inclusive quotes from hundreds of carriers of all sizes serving over 20,000 communities in North America. Over 1700 manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers use Freightera to instantly find the best rates from reliable carriers in Canada and US, online 24/7. @Freightera
Most Promising Pre-Commercial Technology – Ronin8 Technologies
We’re revolutionizing the way electronics are made by deploying a closed-loop process for the Urban Mining of electronic waste. Unlike traditional mining or smelting, Ronin8’s engineered process is closed loop, energy and cost efficient, economical and environmentally sound. As a private company in Vancouver, Canada, Ronin8 has deployed a game changing patented technology to the electronic waste vertical. With a focused strategy removing the need for incineration, Ronin8 uses various technology applications, including a sonic generator, to separate and liberate precious metals and non-metals from printed circuit boards. The Company is commercial with its first plant operating since March of 2016 and accompanying revenues are expected in early Q3-2016.
Person of the Year – Shahrzad Rafati, Founder & CEO, BroadBandTV
Shahrzad Rafati is the Founder and CEO of BroadbandTV (BBTV), an innovative media and technology company that drives success for online video creators by leveraging its premium media brands, proprietary technology, and massive online reach. Shahrzad has been the spirited drive and energy that has propelled BBTV to success. She has personally brokered successful deals with major media companies, music publishers, telcos, professional sports leagues and Internet giants. Shahrzad serves as an inspiration to female tech entrepreneurs and professionals, demonstrating that women can and do succeed in the male dominated tech industry. In 2015, Shahrzad was awarded Woman of the Year by the Business Intelligence Group, named a Young Influential by Adweek, and made Variety’s Power of Women list. She was also named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by WXN (Women’s Executive Network). @BroadbandTV @shahrzadrafati
Team of the Year – Traction on Demand
Traction on Demand is Canada’s largest dedicated and most trusted implementation partner with more than 2500 projects on the platform. Traction develops innovative cloud-based technology solutions and applications for North America’s largest and most influential brands as well as hundreds of small and medium-sized companies. Maintaining a socially conscious mindset, Traction is one of the country’s first 100 certified B Corporations and has been named one of the top ten best workplaces in Canada for two years running. In 2015, Traction ranked 21st on the PROFIT 500 list of fastest growing companies in Canada. Traction’s standalone applications include Traction Guest, Traction Hierarchies and Traction Complete. @tractionsm
Community Engagement – Left
With its headquarters in Maple Ridge, Left is a multinational media and technology company with holdings in mobile and Internet-based businesses. A few of Left’s most well-known and innovative brands are YO! and Stays. YO! is an award-winning mobile app and platform that provides free and fast off-grid connectivity to emerging markets. With YO!, users are empowered users to share photos, videos, music, files, apps, and messages without being constrained by existing infrastructure. Stays is a portfolio of best-in-class travel and vacation rental brands powered by cutting edge marketing and technology. The Stays portfolio includes:,,,, and many more.
Previously known as Left of the Dot Media, the company generated success by realizing the value of great domain names. The Company used best-in-class brands, innovative technology, and online marketing savvy to establish market leadership in numerous verticals and appreciate the value of each domain under management and the business units themselves. @leftofthedot
People’s Choice – Buyatab Online Inc.
Buyatab is a leading provider of advanced prepaid commerce solutions for medium and large-sized businesses. Buyatab provides a seamless solution for digital gift cards (“eGift cards”) to be sold on merchant partners’ online properties. Through a partnership with Buyatab merchants have grown their gift card sales, leveraged the increased consumer usage of social media and attained full compatibility with mobile wallets like Apple Wallet and Android Pay. Top brands in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia have received fraud-protection and enhanced brand-awareness through the flexible Buyatab solution. Hundreds of merchants in the retail, hospitality, entertainment and restaurant industries trust Buyatab to help them drive growth, acquire customers, increase B2B revenue, and leverage prepaid solutions into loyalty and incentive marketing programs. @Buyatab

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