News article

Canadian innovation heads to the UK

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UKTI will be sending four of Canada’s newest and most innovative technology companies to the UK to share expertise and experience.

Canada’s brightest information and communications technology (ICT) companies came out in full force this year to participate in UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI’s) second annual Global Adventure Competition. Sponsored by AIMIA Inc. and the C100, the competition received 72 entries from across Canada, easily surpassing last year’s response. This year, UKTI selected four winners from across the country:

  • FundRazr of Vancouver, a crowd funding platform
  • Joist of Winnipeg, a tool for contractors to estimate, invoice, record, payments, and manage projects from anywhere
  • Gnowit of Ottawa, a real-time media monitoring and analysis tool
  • BusBud of Montreal, a worldwide intercity bus travel companion

The winners will each experience a tailor-made business trip to the UK, including the opportunity to meet potential and existing clients, explore new market opportunities, engage with investors, and plan their international expansion.

UKTI works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourages the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice.

Daryl Hatton, CEO of FundRazr said:

I’m really looking forward to meeting some of our amazing UK customers in person and starting the process of setting up our presence in London… Nothing strengthens a business relationship better than meeting face-to-face.

The UK tech scene has exploded to become Europe’s hub, attracting heavy hitters such as Google and Facebook but more importantly a large cluster of start-ups and SMEs.

Joist Co-Founder Justin Kathan said:

Joist is most excited about meeting like-minded entrepreneurs from the UK when touring TechCity… Joist has heard much about TechCity as having an extremely vibrant start-up culture and strong entrepreneurial and tech development talent.

BusBud is well positioned to take advantage of the UK Government’s commitment to expand and upgrade Britain’s road and bridge network. BusBud’s CEO Louis-Philippe Maurice said:

Busbud is looking to reinvent bus travel by being a ‘worldwide online bus station’. Intercity bus travel is very popular in the UK and we look forward to connect with leading bus operators to form strategic partnerships…. We also think London, a major worldwide travel hub, will be an excellent gateway to help us execute our broader European strategy.

With the EU’s most competitive tax system, a common language, and a diverse talent force, the UK represents a unique business opportunity for Canadian companies. Acting as a springboard for growth, the UK is positioned to launch these four Canadian companies into the EU market of over 500 million. Shahzad Khan, Gnowit CTO and Co-Founder said:

We are looking to expand to Europe within a year, and the UK would be an ideal location for our European HQ… I am looking forward to networking with the mentors, potential strategic partners, and investors that I plan to meet during this trip.

Runners-up and judges

UKTI would like to give special recognition to the following runners-up from each region:

  • BC: Time.ly and Recombo
  • Alberta/Saskatchewan/Manitoba: Darkhorse Analytics Inc., Calgary Scientific Inc., and SmarterU.com
  • Ontario: Zighra, Rubikloud, Uberflip, and Kira Talent
  • Quebec East: Carnot Refrigeration and A Net Solutions

UKTI would also like to thank our external judges:

  • Ms. Arleigh Galant Vasconcellos, VP, Digital Alberta
  • Mr. David Callele, Manager, TRTech Saskatoon
  • Ms. Kathy Knight, President and CEO, Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba
  • Bill Tam, President and CEO, BC Technology Industry Association

Futher information

For more information, contact Mathieu Blandford, Media & Public Affairs Officer, Toronto on (416) 593-1290 ext 2228 or mathieu.blandford@fco.gov.uk.