Archive for June, 2008

Using kiosks in your marketing mix – and a Vertisi response

Just a quick update on my opinion on Vertisi and its potential (regarding this post here where I described Rick Schwartz introducing the new product at TRAFFIC). My intent was not to doubt the utility of the product, it was just to call attention to the fact that the technology has been there for a few years.

Owen Frager tracked back to my original post in his column today entitled “Rick Schwartz’s Vertisi- Not As Dumb As You Think“.  With regards to the product’s usefulness, I do believe it is right up there with advances in retail or point-of-presence businesses like the now pervasive gift card [there is a reason that nearly every supermarket now has a rotating display cross-promoting gift cards for other companies right at the point of sale].

I believe that kiosks–or in the case of Vertisi, the “kiosk-less kiosk”–provide a natural integration between the online and offline. In fact, I had visions of an integrated network of kiosks when I founded a “universal gift registry concept for online and offline merchants” circa 2000 [no longer operational]. Also, you only have to look back at the writing that Chris Anderson did on his research into The Long Tail to see how it would benefit someone like HMV or Barnes & Noble to expand their physical inventory by dedicating a percentage of their physical store space to a kiosk promoting additional inventory.

I also think that Vertisi as a design concept is very sound (why invest in a whole Kiosk, when you can turn your display case itself into a kiosk with a strategically positioned projector). I’ve had some conversations with Vancouver-based ePortSystems and while their kiosk is very striking, takes up little footprint, and provides a value-add for any partner who uses it in their facility–it obviously makes sense that if you can provide the same functionality without having the kiosk at all (and probably be more cost effective in the long-run as well). Though, with something like the unite promoted by ePortSystems, a Castello Brothers Kiosk (or a kiosk promoting Kevin Ham’s in my own backyard) strategically positioned in a local hotel or tourist makes a lot of sense. Imagine a kiosk in a Palm Springs hotel with a big graphic front and center, allowing all those who use the kiosk to browse restaurants nearby and book their reservation for dinner (using an affiliate relationship with OpenTable). Such a presence can not only generte revenue for the location, for the kiosk owner, and the services being promoted, but the value of branding for the person that wraps the kiosk itself cannot be ignored [though it is harder to measure].

In any case, do I think that Vertisi is a revolutionary product? Not in the sense that it is not the first, but could it be the start of a revolution for retail as more and more wake up to the fact that they have an easy opportunity to integrate their online and offline marketing channels (and grow their revenues in the process)? Absolutely.

June 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

New Ventures BC Competition – And then there were 30

In my post from yesterday, when I mentioned that the announcement for the New Ventures BC Competition was “coming soon”, I didn’t believe that this meant within 12 hours of the post being published they would publish the complete list of 30 BC startups that made it to the next round for the New Ventures BC Competition.

In any case, here is the complete list with the links from my “Who’s who” series:

First Name Last Name Name of business or idea
Alan Cornford TeraTek Inc.
Amber Hayes Adventure Engine: Powering Adventure Travel online: with excellent profit projections
Andrew Fursman CloudTel [ aka NothingNetworks ??… interesting looking technology, but all the Flash on the website makes search engines ignore you.]
Ben Sparrow Solar Desalination [There was a Ben Sparrow who used to work for BC Hydro… I wonder if it is the same guy…]
Bruce Sharpe Singular Software
Camilo Rostoker Scalable Analytics [UBC spinoff. This one looks interesting. “Follow the money” is always a good business model.]
Cynthia Roney PneuVation Medical Inc
David Gratton Project Opus Technologies
David Vogt Crowdtrust Technologies
Dawn Bowles DreamBank [I like this idea, and have met Dawn over the past couple of weeks. I will probably have a separate post about them later]
DeJon Costello “Rain Renewer” Storm Water Pollution Remover [ is not and has not been registered. Grab it now DeJon!]
Derek Dunfield PLASMID AUTOMATED ROBOTICS [Once again, I can’t confirm that it is the same guy, but there was a PHD student at UBC a couple of years ago who wrote “Crystallographic Analysis of Complex Multiphase Powder Systems: A Synthesis of Theory and Experiment”. Sounds deep.]
Florence Leung PeerFX [Hey… These guys were on Dragon’s Den and raised $200k. I wonder if it is a change in direction from their old plan found here]
Geoff Wensel GR Building Materials Limited [Geoff was listed as the COO of Pitt Meadows’ RoofRoc. I’m not sure if it is a related venture or one in the same.]
Gordon Thiessen Heavy Tool Support Arm [As featured in the Vancouver Sun earlier in the month]
James Sherrett AdHack Media Inc. (AdHack)… Their exec summary was delivered to the VEF here
Jamie Stephen TorchLight Bioresources
Jeff MacMillan Charge It! Payment Solutions Inc. [I think this is the site. It looks like it is related to Richmond’s Aubretia Software, currently being rebranded as Boscana.
Matt Ferguson Progressive Health Innovations Inc.
Max Fanderl
Philip Caines Rezgo – Internet Tour Booking
Saxon Shuttleworth ClicVue
Sean Hodgins QCDocs Systems Inc.
Shawn Pedersen Echoflex Solutions Inc.
Steven Jones Small Energy Group
Timothy Webster Genist Systems Inc.
Todd Winship Primisyn
Tom Koftinoff Portable Logging Trailer Attachment and Clean Energy Engine
Trong Hoang Innisoft – Intellegent Investment Software
Vladimir Savchenko SoundOfMotion
Lani O’Flynn Pure Lignin Environmental Technology Ltd.

June 4, 2008 at 11:42 pm 3 comments

New Ventures BC Competition – Who’s Who (Part 4)

Well it has been nearly a month since I posted part 1, part 2, and part 3 Who’s Who of the Round 1 companies for the New Ventures BC Competition. I figured that with the announcement coming soon as to who has made it down to the final 30 for Round 3, it would be good to finish the list.

As such, without further adieu, here are the remaining emerging startups who applied to the New Ventures BC Competition:

Malcolm Kendall Indel Therapeutics Inc.
Matt Ferguson Progressive Health Innovations Inc.
Matt Holme ForumTrak [behind as well]
Max Fanderl
Mehrdad Gharibnavaz Kimiatech Specialties Inc.
Michael Alexander Crown Skis Ltd.
Michael Jeffs PerformanceObjects Inc.
Michael Johnston Duo [check out their YouTube video explaining Duo and what they do here. Interesting possibility to mesh the social web with Geo-based marketing]
Michael-James Pennie goodboog Global Virtual Catalog Inc.
Montgomery Bondy Brilliant Lighting Products Inc. [here is their US Patent Application for “Energy saving extra-low voltage dimmer lighting system” … it sounds like the kind of thing that
Morgan Lam Pensito [Here is Morgan describing the Pensito concept on YouTube for his SFU business class]
Nancy Lee Personalized Genomics
nicholas goossen The Painters Edge
Nicholas Mckenzie Filmryder Technology [Nicholas… I registered…. contact me]
Nick Bouton Protagonize
Nicole Reader The Modern Mirror Inc.
Nigel Malkin Brand2hand Media Inc.
Nikki Layton Volo Innovations Inc
paddy kamen CPlates Inc.
Paul Ruskay The Chronicles of Aveon
Peter Tingling Amadeus Decision Making Software
Philip Caines Rezgo – Internet Tour Booking
Pierre Lapointe Sharing Books
Ray Walia Razor Technology Inc. —- FireTonic mobile content distribution platform [I had coffee with Ray a couple of weeks ago. Very interesting technology.]
reaz baraty reducing GHG by reducing excessive use of vehicles and gradually reducing speed of cars chased by police to full stop
Reno Gajo End-user application software creator/cloner (software tool) […I think this is GenRe Software]
Rian Bowden DailySplice
Richard Schultz 100Watt Solutions Ltd.
Richard T. White Prospero Media Group Ltd.
Richard Tennant Vanport Ecologies Inc. – VASH-ACCESS Model; Vanport Artificial Soils, Hydrogen and Advanced Carbon and Clean Energy Storage System
Riel Roussopoulos StrataXL Software Inc.
Rob Lo Ubiquitous Discussion Forum
Robert McCrea Zebra Logic Inc.
Robin Hiet-Block Vsiant
Ron Zaitsoff custom pipeline Welding Tractor with unique track suspension system
Roy Suzuki Clean electric power generating system
Ryan Rigby PeerMint – Online Peer to Peer Lending
Saxon Shuttleworth ClicVue
Sean Hodgins QCDocs Systems Inc.
Sean Simmons Map Manager
Sean Young Greendex
Shawn Burns Greenhouse Gas Management Business Solutions [this is the Carbon Credit Corp as featured here in the Vancouver Sun]
Shawn Pedersen Echoflex Solutions Inc.
Shoji Kanamori Cooling Device for HTS Industries
simon backer Wireless Image [I’m pretty sure Simon is the same Simon who was the SVP for Wireless Services for MDSI]
Sorin Pasca Beetlecrete Products [Sorin… this is a great concept and something the province needs; however, I would recommend a different product name modeled after the success of “Denim Pine” of a couple years back. If you are stuck on Beetlecrete, is still available.
Sreekant Sreedharan MyOlive Small Business Portal [my guess is you can buy the family portal for the dot com version of the domain. This would be marketing dollars well spent]
Stefan Avall UniversitySolutions
Stephen Jacura PAC RES GRU – Pacific Research Group Inc
Steven Jones Small Energy Group
Tanis Steward iSociety Networks Inc.
Thomas Steiner Etalim Inc. [I am intrigued by this company and their involvement in trying to manufacture a Stirling Engine, something I’ve read about since that infamous “IT question” first mentioned them back in the day …which of course became the Segway. The chairman is also Amos Michelsen (ex-CREO)]
Timothy Webster Genist Systems Inc.
Todd Caldecott Chakra Cola
Todd Winship Primisyn
Tom Koftinoff Portable Logging Trailer Attachment and Clean Energy Engine
Trong Hoang Innisoft – Intellegent Investment Software
Valerie Harrison Destinations Multimedia
Vladimir Savchenko SoundOfMotion
wahiba chair PortaReader [Wahiba… is still available. I would recommend you register it ASAP if this is your company or product name]
Weilin Zheng Online English Education
Will Huggett ALTEN Energy Solutions Inc. [I know these guys well, and I like what they are doing]
William Choi CB Williams Bio-Energy Group – has a Disruptive Clean Energy Catalyst Technology
William Edmondson Transphat Imports
Willy Ferstl Mechanized Shrinkage Jumbo
Zheng Tan Twicebright Lighting Ltd.

June 4, 2008 at 12:54 am 4 comments