HalTech Regional Innovation Centre
Start. Grow. Succeed. 
Helping Halton's Companies Thrive
Newsletter
June 2013
From the President
June 2013 - Networking

June has been a big month for networking at HalTech.  We kicked off the month hosting our many supporters and mentors at a recognition event, hosted an demo breakfast and closed the month out with a packed house featuring James Burchill, who gave us all tips on the power in professional networking.

 

The results of HalTech connecting clients and acting as an facilitator were highlighted when HalTech Clients, Cinema Suite Inc., were featured at the launch of the OCE collaboration voucher announcement event.  In his speech at Pinewood Studios, the Sheridan College SIRT Facility,  Minister Moridi from the Ministry of Research and Innovation, included HalTech in his thanks for supporting innovation in Ontario.  Networking success at it's best!

 

Networking will be a key feature of our new IRAP supported initiative focused on Advanced Manufacturing.  As well as working with the Golden Horseshoe Manufacturing Network to build on their successful breakfast series, we plan to augment our Manufacturing Peer to Peer as well as host events that are of interest to manufacturers.

 

Watch our website for other great networking opportunities to meet HalTech clients and hear about the many ways we have helped them to be successful.  

 

  

What's Hot ?!

 Networking with Mentors

 

At every stage of life we have lessons to learn and opportunities for education. For entrepreneurs, the learning process can be fast, furious and confusing. The process of realizing your idea, developing a business plan, gathering marketing intel, getting capital - who wouldn't find this process invigorating but overwhelming? Not only does HalTech help with our in house advisors but we also have a fantastic mentorship program that make that start up learning curve a little easier to climb.

 

HalTech launched  our volunteer mentor network in November 2012. Now grown to over 30 senior level mentors, they all share a number of essential mentor traits: experience , strong business acumen and an eagerness to give back to the entrepreneurial community within the Halton Region.  It is from this strong pool of talented individuals that HalTech helps to create successful, supportive mentor / mentee relationships. 

  

One of our many success stories for mentoring is Mark Wu and Peter Cameron from NexEd and their mentor Reuben Tozman. NexEd utilizes a 3D virtual world that incorporates avatars to support student learning.   As experienced teachers, Mark and Peter were confident in their product but were seeking the mentorship of someone with experience in the e-learning space.  Reuben is an expert in e-learning.  With a Masters degree in Educational Technology and extensive experience working in the field of technology based training, Reuben is the perfect mentor for Mark and Peter.  A published author, Reuben's book, Learning on Demand:  How the Evolution of the Web is Shaping the Future of Learning, is a handbook for those looking to find out more about learning in our web based world.

 

Mark describes one of the benefits of working with Reuben:  "The great thing about talking with Reuben is that he is really focussed on the 'business' of education, which he says has NOTHING to do with the business of 'learning'- and that's what Peter and I are immersed in on a daily basis, and where our respective professional backgrounds lie. So, needless to say, we have a LOT we can learn from him!"

 

Is mentoring the right thing for you? Based on this success story, we think so.  Mentors and mentees both benefit from the relationship as the learning goes both ways and the benefits are felt on both sides. At HalTech, we are very proud of our Volunteer Mentor Network.  As we continue to grow and develop the program, we look forward to facilitating more successful mentor/mentee relationships and connecting them to the opportunity to learn and grow.

 

For more information about HalTech's Volunteer Mentor Network please contact Julie Lukkarila at julie@haltech.ca.

  
Client Success - Spently

Most entrepreneurs start businesses for similar reasons: They see a problem and come up with a way to solve it. Vincent Panepinto and his partner, Nicholas Wiktorczyk, co-founders of Spently, are prime examples of this type of ingenuity.  In a recent interview, Vincent described how the idea for Spently came about.  Nick was frustrated with managing and keeping track of his paper receipts and he couldn't help but wonder why retail stores couldn't just email him his receipt. This would allow him to organize his receipts electronically and access them easily whenever he needed to return a product or redeem a warranty.

 

Spently clearly solves a common consumer problem. In the process, it also provides an unprecedented marketing opportunity for businesses that integrate Spently into their existing point of sale systems. Specifically, it offers a unique opportunity for post purchase consumer engagement. Imagine conveniently receiving an electronic purchase receipt that also includes an exclusive offer for 15% off another product.  In short, Spently allows businesses to customize their e-mail receipts with creative templates that include space for branding, special offers, clickable content (such as links to social media, company website, etc.), and even tools for analyzing marketing effectiveness.   

 

So, how did Spently get started? After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, Vince and Nicholas went on to pursue post-graduate degrees in Global Business Management at Humber College. While at Humber, the pair came up with the concept of Spently.  In fact, they won $8,000 in the Humber New Venture Fund competition, allowing them to officially put Spently's wheels in motion. They also received $250,000 from an Angel investor and space in a Toronto incubator. However, they were looking for additional advice, sources of funding and investment opportunities, which is why they turned to HalTech.

 

"HalTech has been a tremendous help to us in a number of ways," Vincent explained. "From a commercial perspective, they helped us hire a professional sales rep to go out and set up meetings with large retailers and partners. This sales rep put us in front of the people we needed to expand our business. Without HalTech, we wouldn't have met these prospective customers."

  

In addition, HalTech has helped Spently raise over $100,000 in government grants, and Vince is grateful for the support and guidance HalTech has provided them in growing their business. "HalTech has really helped fund our development for the next year and help us stay afloat in a really critical time. They've introduced us to some great mentors and their networking sessions allow us to discuss our challenges with other entrepreneurs and bounce ideas back and forth. It's been a great experience."

 

Spently is continuing to grow, and its co-founders are excited for what the future holds. When asked if he has any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, Vince quickly replied that it's important to, "Tell everyone about your business idea and get as much feedback as possible. HalTech is an organization that can help you get that valuable feedback you're looking for and connect you with the right people. Take advantage of it."

 

To learn more about Spently and how they are using digital media to revolutionize receipt management and consumer engagement, check out their website www.spently.com, or contact info@spentlyhq.ca.

 

If you are a technology start-up company, or a small or medium-sized business looking for assistance, please contact info@haltech.ca or call 905-845-9430, ext. 2761.

 

 

Sincerely,
 
The HalTech Team
Karen, Raajan, Julie, Elizabeth, Anne, Donna, Steve and Vince  
HalTech Regional Innovation Centre
info@haltech.ca 
Welcome to our new Board Members ! 

Derek Smyth, Managing Director for OMERS Ventures, Burlington

 

Ralph Benmergui ,Executive Advisor to the office of the President of Sheridan College, Oakville 

 

Robert Duvall, founder and president of RDC Networks, Milton

 

Tanya Leadale, Certified Specialist in  Corporate and Commercial Law, O'Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP, Oakville

 

Anna Galoni , Acting New Product Development Director, Thordon Bearings, Burlington

 

What's Coming Up?
Want to learn more about growing your business?
07/04/2013, 07/10/2013, and 07/18/2013

July 12, 2013
Marketing P2P

July 31, 2013
N2K Law

To register and see what else is happening at HalTech:
Our Clients in the News
Congratulations to Cinema Suite Inc. for being highlighted in the the OCE Collaboration Voucher announcement !
Check out what Ben Sainsbury, co-founder of Cinema Suite Inc. had to say:  how-academic-industry-collaboration-helped-our-company/

Alastair Russell, CEO of Identa DNA Corp., got a great write up from the Canadian Underwriter magazine. Way to go Alastair !

 

Community Opportunities: 

 

July 17th, 2013

Business in Oakville MeetUp

Oakville Social Fusion  

 

July 17th, 2013

Innovation Factory

Innovation Night Showdown and Social

 

See What We're Up To

HalTech is very proud to have supported Cinema Suite Inc. and was on hand when Minister for Research and Innovation Reza Moridi the new OCE Voucher Program.
 
 
HalTech's N2K Networking event brought over 40 people out to learn from James Burchill the do's and don'ts of networking:



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