In the News

Reg Nordman and Geoffrey Hansen      List taps top B.C. tech firms set for take-off

Rocket Builders Inc. names leaders in race for success and predicts
significant revenue growth in social networking sector for 2007

Daniela Tuchel, Business in Vancouver. February 07 2007

Local information technology companies that develop digital media software
and social networks have the greatest potential for revenue growth in 2007
and are likely to grow faster than the IT sector as a whole, analysts say.

Vancouver’s technology management consulting firm Rocket Builders Inc.
recently released its fourth annual Ready to Rocket 25 list along with a
2007 IT outlook report.

The list’s 25 companies, which were chosen from a field of more than 100,
are potential winners in B.C.’s information technology sector, according to
Rocket Builders’ representatives.

Rocket Builders managing director Geoffrey Hansen said the province has some
promising young companies that are focused on digital media and social
networks, which involve a community that’s built around common interests and

“We expect many of these companies to emerge as strong growth companies in
2007 and beyond,” said Hansen.

He added that 2006’s hottest IT trends were software as a service (SaaS),
wireless, security and customer relationship technologies.

SaaS involves the use of software that’s rented and hosted on the Internet
rather than being downloaded to a computer.

Hansen said many companies find SaaS more convenient because it saves time
and usually costs less than paying for licensed applications. It also frees
companies up from having to buy additional hardware or perform software

Hansen said Rocket Builders’ research found a high correlation between SaaS

business models and rapid revenue growth.

The key trends identified in Rocket Builders’ 2007 outlook are among the
measuring sticks used to judge the companies chosen for the Ready to Rocket

Hansen said that to qualify for the list, companies must have fully
commercialized technology.

Vivonet Inc. and Vision Critical Inc. posted the highest annual revenue
increase among companies on the list, both far exceeding 100% growth over
the previous year.

The two software companies are leveraging SaaS to win customers in Canada
and the U.S.

Vivonet co-founders Ryan Volberg and Kevin Falk are on Business in
Vancouver’s 2006 Top Forty under 40 list.

GaleForce Solutions Inc. is another software company that appears ready to
rocket in 2007. Established four years ago, the Vancouver company works with
Microsoft to provide customer relationship management software for
commercial and investment banks and capital markets in Canada and the U.S.

It’s the company’s second appearance on the list. GaleForce recorded sales
of approximately $5 million in 2006.

Two companies that were on last year’s Ready to Rocket list were involved in
major acquisition deals in 2006: Burnaby’s Convedia Corp. was bought by
Hillsboro, Oregon-based RadiSys Corp. for about $105 million, and
Vancouver’s IronPoint Technology Inc. was acquired by San Diego,
California-based Active Network Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The 2006 median growth of the companies surveyed for the list was 50%
compared with 2005. Their median annual revenue was $2 million. Software
firms in B.C. have an average of about 30 employees.

Tech firm Exponentia among 25 set for liftoff

Peter Wilson
Vancouver Sun Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Vancouver-based mobile games company Exponentia Communications —
fresh off a major deal with the National Hockey League — says it’s ready to
hit the next level with the announcement that it has been named one of
B.C.’s 25 privately held tech firms that are “ready to rocket”.
“The timing is very good for us right now,” said Exponentia managing partner
Andrew Gregory, whose company was one of eight named today to the Ready
to Rocket 25 list for 2007, compiled by tech consultants Rocket Builders.
“There’s been an explosion related to people using their mobile phones to
connect and interact, so I think our platform PlayAction is here at the right
Also looking forward to a boom year is 90 Degrees Software, whose reporting
applications are designed — with their integration with the new Windows Vista
and Microsoft Office 2007 — to make business reporting easier for the
average user who doesn’t have a lot of tech skills.
Michael Matrick, president of 90 Degrees, the core of whose team comes from
the old Crystal Decisions, said his company’s new product Radius has come
along at the right time to help Microsoft win over reporting in the general
marketplace through everyday tools like Office.”We’re a bit of a change agent,and a catalyst for users to migrate to
The two companies were joined as newcomers to the list by The Level
Consulting, Actenum Corporation, Elastic Path Software, Constructive Media,
ActiveState Software and QuIC Financial technologies.
According to Rocket Builders, of the firms named to the list in 2006 two,
IronPoint Technologies and Convedia Corp. were acquired.
More than 50 per cent exceeded revenue growth of 50 per cent.
– More than 25 per cent achieved revenue growth above 100 per cent.
– More than 30 per cent received new investments.
– Top performers on the list had growth of more than 200 per cent.

Reg Nordman, Rocket Builders’ managing partner, said that the revenue
growth of the companies was impressive, compared with an average growth
in the IT sector of just five per cent.
Another Rocket Builders managing partner, Geoffrey Hansen, said that just to
stay on the list companies had to do at least 30-per-cent revenue growth.

“The new ones were chosen because they’re companies we’ve been watching
for a few years, and all of a sudden they’ve sort of figured it out,” said
Hansen. “Sometimes as a start-up they build something and they don’t find
the right market. But when they do find the market and they get the product
just right, they take off.
“And others on the list are just seeing the trends have shifted to where they
He cited Exponentia as one such firm, which had been developing solidly over
the past few years and then found itself in the middle of an extremely hot
space. (
Exponentia Communications Corp. Vancouver ( —
Recently announced a deal with the NHL that enables NHL fans to make live
predictions via their mobile phone. Players challenge their friends, create their
own leagues and compete for team jerseys and other prizes. Does similar
work for other sports teams.
The Level Consulting Ltd. Vancouver ( — Creates web
portals. Among its clients are Grant Thornton, Ballard Power, GolfBC and
Simon Fraser University.
90 Degrees Software Ltd. Vancouver ( — Most
recent product launch was for an application called Radius, which runs on
Windows Vista and is aimed at medium-sized companies who want employees
without a highly technical background to be able to generate reports.
Actenum Corp. Vancouver ( — Offers flexible scheduling
solutions to asset-intensive companies like those in the oil and gas industry
that need to be able to actively manage their assets.
Elastic Path Software Inc. Vancouver ( — Provides
e-commerce software and shopping cart aimed at fast-growing mid-sized
online retailers. Customers include Aeroplan, Florsheim and
Constructive Media Inc. Vancouver ( — Builds
web portals. Among its customers are Research in Motion, Microsoft Canada,
Sierra Wireless and Coast Mountain Bus Co.
ActiveState Software Vancouver ( — Provides tools and
services for dynamic computer languages like Perl Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby,
and Tcl. Much of what they provide is essential to the mainstream of current
web development.
QuIC Financial Technologies Inc. Vancouver ( — The
company’s software helps run things like hedge funds, and do risk
management in the financial industry.
– – –
Abebooks Inc.;AirG Inc.; Bycast Inc.; Colligo Networks Inc.; FinancialCAD
Corp.; Flowfinity Wireless Inc.; GaleForce Solutions Inc.; Genologics Life
Sciences Software Inc.; Layer 7 Technologies Inc.; NewHeights Software
Corp.; ResponseTek Networks Corp.; RewardStream Inc.; Sxip Identity
Corp.; Tantalus Systems Corp.; TenDigits Software Inc.; Vision Critical Inc;
and Vivonet Inc.
– – –
Broadmotion Inc. (, which does video compression;
Club Penguin from New Horizon Interactive Inc. (, a
MySpace for kids; Dabble DB, an online data base product, from
Smallthought Systems Inc. (; EQO, instant messaging
and VoIP on mobile phones from Neltura Technology Inc. (;
Itiva, digital video content, from Itiva Digital Media (;
MailChannels, anti-spam solutions, from MailChannels Corp.
(; MixPo, social media site, from PixPo Inc.
(; MovieSet, aggregator of content from movie sets, from
New City Entertainment Inc. (; Qumana, blogger
advertising service from Qumana Software Inc. (;
Worksight, online employee scheduling, Resonance Software Inc.,
(; Rfind Systems, radio frequency identificaiton,
RfindSystems Inc. (; RiPTV, extreme sports content
aggregation from RipTV (; Snipshot, online photo editing, Treefly
inc. (; Spark Robotics, manageable robots, Spark Robotics
Technology Inc. (; Sutus, technology for small
offices, Sutus Inc. (; and Techneos, survey
software,Techneos Systems Inc. (