Startupville features interviews with successful small-city tech founders on what it’s like to start and grow a tech startup in a smaller city away from the major hubs of Silicon Valley and Toronto, and how that has shaped their business. At Startupville, we challenge the notion that the next big thing can only be made in Silicon Valley.
Startupville is produced in partnership by Innovation Place and Martin Charlton Communications.
#59 - Blood in the Water w/ Neil Anderson
We talked with Neil Anderson of SkillShark.
The best ideas often come from lived experience. As a softball coach, Neil experienced firsthand the long, tedious process of athlete evaluations which still involved pen and paper, and mountains of unreliable data that weren’t being used to their full potential.
So, he took matters into his own hands, and what started as a complex excel spreadsheet is now a user-friendly digital platform that’s revolutionizing how athletes are being evaluated around the world. From youth sports’ young rising stars, to professional, and even Olympic athletes, With most coaches around the world still using pen and paper, there’s blood in the water for SkillShark.
#58 An Impactful Partnership w/ Thomas Benjoe & Denis Carignan
In 2015, PLATO Testing identified software testing, a service primarily outsourced to other countries, as an opportunity to help bring more Indigenous people into the ICT industry. Since then, they have trained more than 150 Indigenous people, many of whom still work for the company today.”
“In 2019, they partnered with FHQ Developments, the economic development corporation for the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council in Saskatchewan. Through this partnership, they created PLATO Sask, a Saskatchewan-based, Indigenous-owned software testing business that offers training and employment for Indigenous people in Saskatchewan.
The partnership has been a great success, both in continuing to grow the booming Saskatchewan tech industry, and in providing a path into the sector for people who previously had limited access to the opportunities and resources needed to do so.
So we wanted to chat with Thomas and Denis to learn more about their story, and what they’ve learned that can help others in the tech sector increase access to opportunity and build more inclusive companies.
#57 It’s now or never w/ Jared Fedorchuk
We talked with Jared Fedorchuk, CEO and Partner of Levis Tech about their journey as a company. How they started life as a digital agency, and followed their expertise, and the market to change their business
They’ve even started to dive into the startup world, spinning off some of their proprietary tech into products of their own, moving some of their business from a service-based model, to a Software-as-a-service product-based model. We talked with Jared about the factors that led to their recent pivots, and where Levis is headed into the future.
#56 Building a Foundation for Building Games w/ Darcy McLane
We talked with Darcy McLane, Executive Director of SaskInteractive. Darcy was on the show last April to talk about the Labour Market and Economic Impact study that quantified the massive growth of the Saskatchewan tech sector in the years prior.
The study was a good barometer of where the Saskatchewan tech sector sat heading into the pandemic, so we caught up with Darcy about where things are at today after nearly a year.
But, SaskInteractive does a lot more than measure the Saskatchewan tech sector, and we wanted to talk about what they’re doing to help kickstart the Saskatchewan game development community. While there might not be many big game companies in the province, there are tons of people making games who are desperate for a community of support. We talked with Darcy about how he and SaskInteractive are helping to bring those people together and build a strong foundation to grow the video game sector in the province.
#55 Filling Big Shoes w/ Matt Stefan
We talked with Matt Stefan, the new Executive Director of Co.Labs, Saskatoon’s tech incubator.
In under four years, Co.Labs has already left a lasting legacy on the Saskatchewan tech community, thanks in no small part to its recently departed co-founders Jordan Dutchak and Alex Shimla. They’ve left two pairs of big shoes to fill, and if anybody is up to the task, it’s Matt Stefan.
A Saskatchewan native, Matt is returning to the province from the Toronto tech scene to lead Co.Labs into its next chapter. We talked with Matt about making the move back to his home-province, and his vision for Co.Labs moving forward.
#54 Community is Currency w/ David Crossman
We talked with David Crossman, Co-Founder and CTO of Citrus, and Founder of HackRegina.
Much has changed in David’s life over the last year. He went from a solo founder spinning his tires to a Co-founder speeding down the track, and the tech community he helped build was thrown headfirst into a global pandemic. So we talked with David about his journey of perseverance as an entrepreneur, and where Citrus and the Regina tech scene as a whole is heading into the future.