U.S. based software company Blackbaud opening first Canadian office in Toronto

U.S.-based Blackbaud on Tuesday opened its first Canadian office in Toronto, two years after setting up a sales staff in the city. The company, which sells software and services to the philanthropic community, pulled in about $26 million from Canada last year, making up less than 5 percent of its revenue.

Sales in Canada have increased 11.2 percent, outpacing other international markets despite a dip last year. Domestic sales grew 29.7 percent over the same period.

The company currently has 1,500 customers in Canada, but it thinks there’s room for far more: The company estimates there are 35,000 potential clients there, Blackbaud spokeswoman Tara Stewart said.

The Canadian office will give the company a chance to hire more staff in Canada and open a training center for clients, adding 25 positions to the 16 it already has, Stewart said.

Blackbaud already has five international offices in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Genband to open Ottawa centre of excellence for Kandy platform

US-based communications software company GENBAND is a global leader in real time communications software solutions for service providers, enterprises, independent software vendors, systems integrators and developers in over 80 countries. Genband will open a 70,000-square-foot centre of excellence in Ottawa, which will complement Genband’s existing Ottawa facility enrich their own applications with real-time contextual communications. The new facility will be home to research and development, product management, security and tech support operations. The company said many of the new hires will be recent graduates from local post-secondary institutions.

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Calgary's SMART Technologies to be acquired by Taiwan's electronics giant Foxconn for US$200 millions

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Calgary-based SMART Technologies, a company best known for its patented interactive whiteboards used in school classrooms around the globe, is hailing a proposed US$200-million acquisition offer by Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group. SMART is undergoing a strategic review due to slower-than-anticipated sales growth and a weaker-than-expected fiscal outlook for 2016, and says the Foxconn deal would be a "new chapter" that will bring with it financial stability and future growth. SMART's vice-president of marketing Jeff Lowe says the deal will let SMART tap into Foxconn's "significant resources" and global expertise.

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American defence firm to open engineering facility in Ottawa, creating 20 new jobs

American defence firm L-3 Communications Holdings announced Wednesday it will open a design, engineering and support facility in Ottawa that will be home to a team of highly specialized design, software and systems engineers. The new office will hire 20 new staffs, mostly will be engineers.

The facility, operating under L-3 Communication Systems – Canada, will house a communications systems lab that will serve as an integration test bed and demonstration space for maritime communications projects related to the Royal Canadian Navy’s submarine and surface fleets.

The company said in a news release the facility will showcase innovation, promote in-country research and cultivate local academic and technology partnerships.

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Chinese Enterprise software firm sets up North American base in Halifax

Beijing-based Skyline’s core founders have arrived in Nova Scotia through the Startup Visa program and are now starting to build an enterprise development team in Halifax. 

Skyline CEO Hai Hu and his three co-founders have already made their first local hire, Mark Slaunwhite, a fellow at Venture for Canada. It’s the beginning of what they envision as an R&D lab for the Skyline engine, the company’s main product. Hu says is the perfect place to build an R&D lab — better even than Silicon Valley.

Hu said in an interview that Halifax is the perfect place to develop a North American base for the business, given the community support and the quality of the tech talent. He hopes it will become the North American base for a company that already has paying client companies in China, including computer giant Lenovo

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Governor General David Johnson says ‘Extraordinary Community’ will generate more tech success in Waterloo Region

WATERLOO — Saying the best is yet to come, Gov. Gen. David Johnston returned to the Research and Technology Park at the University of Waterloo that bears his name to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of a centre that fosters tech startups. The Accelerator Centre (AC), a neighbour of the Research and Technology Park, is a world-renowned, award-winning network of facilities dedicated to developing and commercializing technology startups.

All of the elements for a culture of innovation — creativity and curiosity, learning and talent, diversity and collaboration, daring and celebration — are in this region, Johnson said.

UW's current president, Feridun Hamdullahpur, called the Accelerator Centre a fantastic asset not only for the region, but for the province and the entire country.  It is one of the main reasons why Waterloo Region's startup ecosystem is ranked among the best in the world, Hamdullahpur said.

There are now more than 30,000 people working in the region's tech sector producing goods and services valued at more than $30 billion a year. The community has more than 1,100 startups active in the region, which has expanded greatly in the region in the past five years.

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Global Petroleum Show Ready to Explore Future of Energy Sector in Calgary

The Global Petroleum Show (GPS) will kick-off in Calgary, Alberta from Tuesday, June 7 to Thursday, June 9 at Stampede Park. The annual event will welcome industry professionals from across the globe to discuss timely and relevant topics as they relate to the oil and gas industry. As the industry continues to respond to both the current economic climate and the ongoing challenges in the Fort McMurray region, the Show and its impact on the oil and gas industry are more important than ever. 

Under the theme "Explore and Develop", the Show is anticipated to welcome more than 50,000 attendees from 20,000 companies, spanning more than 85 countries who are looking for innovation to drive down operating costs and stimulate drilling activity.

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Ottawa becoming hub for stem cell research thanks to collaborative approach

Ottawa is becoming a hub for stem cell research thanks to a collaborative approach that allows scientists to easily turn research into clinical trials, said scientists at a Stem Cell 101 forum held Tuesday evening at the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus. The city only has 25 stem cell scientists and is on par with places like California, which spends billions of dollars in the field, according to the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine. 

Dr. Harry Atkins, a physician at the Ottawa Hospital's blood and marrow transport program, calls the city a fertile ground for research. "Things like muscle stem cells to repair problems with the muscles, or problems with the heart… I think that's going to be the next big thing that goes on in Ottawa," he said. 

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Johnson & Johnson Opens 40,000 Square Feet Life Sciences Incubator At Mars Discovery District


Johnson & Johnson, the world’s sixth largest consumer company, has been working to maintain innovation in its company in this way for years. Through J & J Innovation, which focuses on collaborations between J & J’s global businesses and entrepreneurs, the company announced the opening of the first Canadian location of JLABS, the company’s life sciences incubator model. JLABS has set up shop in Toronto, where it boasts 40,000 square feet of space within the MaRS Discovery District. JLABS @ Toronto provides shared lab space and offices, modular lab suites and access to scientific, industry, and capital funding experts within the space, and accommodates up to 50 startups. Currently, the incubator houses 22 startups.

“Toronto has this microcosm of the entire healthcare system within a block. For us it’s to be right in the middle of this condensed set of resources was an opportunity for us because we feel that we can add something to this system,” said Melinda Richter, head of JLABS. 

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Japanese video game developer CyberConnect2 to open studio in Greater Montreal

Montréal, May 2, 2016 – CyberConnect2, a Japanese developer of video games for consoles and mobile devices, recently announced plans to open studios in Greater Montréal. A project supported by Montréal International and Investissement Québec. Created in 1996, the company has offices in Tokyo and Fukuoka. They have chosen Montréal as the base for its western operations in the first phase of its global expansion plan. 

CyberConnect2's portfolio includes over 30 video game titles, 7 mobile games and 2 feature-length animated films currently in production. It is also the studio behind world-famous releases such as Naruto and Final Fantasy.

“We would like to find these talents in Montréal, a city where creators from all over the world come and where public institutions support the industry initiatives,” said Hiroshi Matsuyama, President of CyberConnect2. Greater Montréal ranks 5th in the world among video game development hotbeds, behind only Tokyo, London, San Francisco and Austin.

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Google acquires Toronto-based Synergse to add to its apps product suite

Google has reportedly acquired Toronto-based Synergse in order to create a new training tool for its suite of Google apps. Synergse is most known for its use in the enterprise space, where the company takes advantage of Google’s cloud platform to create how-to guides. According to Synergse, companies that take advantage of its training services have “on average 35 percent higher adoption across Apps products, meaning those organizations are more likely to be productive, collaborative and embrace digital transformation.”

“As more businesses sign up, we wanted an elegant way to scale our training offerings to our customers and our customers’ users,” writes Google in a recent blog post regarding the acquisition.

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Irish company Keywords to expand its Montréal studio, creating 100 jobs

Montréal, Canada / Dublin, IrelandApril 29, 2016 – Keywords Studios, an international technical service provider to the global video game industry, announced today that it intends to expand further in Montréal, creating 100 new jobs within the next three years. This announcement was made during a visit of The Honourable Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Montréal Metropolitan Community, at Keywords headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and after his discussions with Andrew Day, Chief Executive Officer of Keywords Studios.

“We love the city and we love the quality of the talent we can find in Montréal, commented Mr Day. Since coming to Montréal in 2010, we’ve had great results there and we want to continue this success.”

Established in 1998, Keyword Studios now has facilities in Dublin, Rio de Janeiro, Montréal, Portland, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Tokyo, Singapore, New Delhi, Pune, Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Shanghai, Manila and London.

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UK Fintech company IOCS opens its first North American Software Development centre, to create 115 jobs

Montréal, Canada / London, UK – April 27, 2016. IOCS – the world´s first developer of multi-tenant, end-to-end e-commerce platform for the processing of complex agreements – has chosen Montréal to establish its first software development centre in North America. With the support of Montréal International, IOCS, which is growing at an annual rate of 100%, will pursue its ambitious expansion strategy using Québec’s metropolis as a springboard. The company plans to create a team of over 115 highly skilled employees in Montréal within the next three years. 

“As a business we are experiencing hyper-growth and we have chosen to invest in building our global technical team in Greater Montréal. We chose Québec’s metropolis for the depth of its talent pool, its cost effectiveness, the ease of doing business, its culture and the advantages of the time zone. As a city, Montréal fits perfectly with our company’s outlook – vibrant, doing things differently and a great place to be,” stated Abe Smith, CEO of IOCS.

Montréal International, Greater Montréal’s investment promotion agency, has provided strategic support to IOCS for their expansion project. “IOCS’s unique expertise and cutting-edge technology will bring great value to our metropolitan region and help bolster our competitiveness. They can count on our team of seasoned economic development professionals to continue to provide support in the next steps of IOCS’ growth strategy,” explained Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International.

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Swiss-based tech company Msg Global establishes innovation lab in Toronto

Msg Global Solutions, a Swiss-based provider of integrated technology and services to the global financial services industry, has established a presence in Canada with the opening of its office in Toronto.

The office reflects msg's expansion into Canada and is the company's first Innovation Lab. The Lab will allow companies to prototype, design, and test innovations, including but not limited to IoT, in an environment that offers collaboration, funding mechanisms, and business and technical consulting. The office will also develop business in the Canadian market, manage msg group activities for digital insurance, and support sales of msg global services and solutions in North America.

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YouTube Opens Space in Canada for Creatives to Learn, Connect, and Create

YouTube has opened its first Space in Canada.

Acting as an incubator for the creative industry,YouTube Space Toronto will offer creators an opportunity to learn from industry experts, connect with fellow YouTubers in a collaborative setting, and use the latest latest film equipment to create more ambitious and innovative video content. YouTube Space Toronto joins a list of eight other cities to have a YouTube Space. Since March 2015, creators filming in YouTube Spaces globally have produced over 10,000 videos, which have generated over 1 billion views and 70+ million hours of watchtime.

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