Tag Archives: calgary

Montreal the worst airport in North America for Wifi

Internet metrics service Speedtest by Ookla published a report of fastest and most reliable free internet at airports across North America. In Canada Calgary took the first spot at #3 after Seattle #1, and Denver #2 in the United States.

The report looked into upload and download speeds over a period of 4 months earlier this year. Calgary got 67.23 megabytes per second (Mbps) and upload speed of 87.99 Mbps. Montreal Trudeau airport got very slow download speed of 6.41 and upload speed of 6.81 Mbps.

Toronto Pearson airport did not fare much with download and upload speeds of 7.14 and 8.99 Mbps respectively.

You can see list of top airports when it comes to internet speeds below:

  1. Seattle
  2. Denver
  3. Calgary
  4. Atlanta
  5. San Francisco
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Vancouver
  8. Boston
  9. Orlando
  10. New York – LaGuardia
  11. Chicago
  12. Newark
  13. Dallas Fort Worth
  14. New York – JFK
  15. Los Angeles
  16. Houston
  17. Las Vegas
  18. Miami
  19. Charlotte
  20. Phoenix
  21. Detroit
  22. Minneapolis
  23. Toronto
  24. Montreal

Trump Scared Amazon, or Why Canada Might Get Amazon HQ2

You must be living under a rock if you did not hear about Amazon’s plan to add a new city to host their second head office.

Different publications, blogs and mediums have rushed to the internet with their predictions. Cities like Denver, Colorado, and Austin, TX area as well as Chicago were being highlighted as potentials for Amazon’s HQ2.

A lot of naysayers are saying that Canada can never compete with the US on kickbacks aka subsidies that US cities and states can provide to the retail’s giant.

TravelingMice / Pixabay

Why Canada has a Chance

However Canada has one thing going that US does not. We do not have Trump north of the border. And this will help Canada tremendously as US giant might want to diversify their assets, and get easier access to more talent.

Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa on a visit to Seattle said – according to NY Times:  “Amazon has something like 9,000 engineering jobs they can’t fill. Our immigration policy is much more liberal. That’s where we have an advantage.”

Canada Can Do It

Quiet a few cities in Canada can satisfy few of Amazon’s demands. Let’s see:

  • 1m people or more – yes
  • International Airport – yes
  • Tax Breaks – maybe
  • Affordable housing – maybe
  • Attract Good talent – maybe

Size Matters

Size of course matters to Amazon and that is why med population city might be disqualified on a spot – cities like Edmonton, Calgary , Winnipeg and Ottawa. With unemployment already at 0.02% in IT, it would be interesting how mid sized cities can help Amazon to hire 50,000 top notch engineers in those cities.

Location Matters Also

Location matters also – with Seattle being HQ1, why would Amazon open HQ2 within few hundred kilometers away from HQ1. It makes no sense.

Parlez-vous Français?

Language and ability to attract highly talented staff might prove difficult for Montreal to get Amazon to come there. With governing opposition parties pushing for making French language mandatory for companies with 10 or more employees – it would be interesting to see how Amazon the largest retail ecommerce store would handle that. Also getting highly specialized talent to come to Montreal with their families would prove to be difficult due to salaries / language requirements.

Toronto is Where It is at

No matter how competitive other cities in Canada are. Toronto is where HQ2 will open if it would be open in Canada. Toronto has a vibrant economy and is already considered to be a top place for tech businesses to operate in. With population of around 5m within an hour drive and specialized tech talent – Toronto can rival any US city.


Toronto and Montreal Among Canadian Cities Competing for Amazon HQ2

Canadian cities are jumping at a chance to host Amazon second head office in North America. Amazon announced few weeks ago that they are looking for a second city to call home for their second head office. Amazon is ready to hire 50,000 employees and invest $5b over the next 15 years.

It is now accepting bids from cities across North America. However there are a lot of skeptics saying that Canadian cities can not compete with US cities due to large subsidizes some large US city / states can provide and that subsidies in Canada should left for small start ups and other initiatives.

Even though, seven major cities across Canada have made it official that they will be bidding and entering the process to get a chance at Amazon opening office in their city.

Canadian cities have a lot of competition south of the border as Dallas, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, New York, Nashville, Cincinnati and even Houston are potentially bidding on the project.

Amazon’s demands? They want a city with more than one million, a “stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure,” easy to attract tech workers to live there and a site with public transit and close to highways and airports. Also they want government handouts 😉 … subsidies.

GeekWire, tech news site, crunched the data and came up with the following Top 10 Contender list according to their scientific research described below.

Criteria demanded by Amazon:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

Starting with population, the easiest one to quantify, GeekWire did the search with a list of 59 North American metro areas, including six in Canada. Here is the top 10 list they came up with (#2 was Seattle but they have excluded that):

  1. Toronto
  2. Ottawa, Ont.
  3. Boston
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Chicago
  6. Atlanta
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Charlotte, N.C.
  9. Montréal
  10. Vancouver, B.C.

Whether your city is on the list or not – do not worry about it. October 19th is the deadline to submit the bid. Let’s wait and see who gets it.


Calgary Alberta mcThings is Connecting Things to the Internet since 2014

mcThings is a full stack enabler in the IoT space. The platform that mcThings has developed solves the problem of collecting and sending vast amounts of sensor data to the cloud. The platform consists of three key technologies: ultra-low power hardware, mcOS and the mcCloud. The combination of these technologies allows customers to deploy and scale IoT solutions at a low cost and in as little as three months. The platform includes sensor modules with various connectivity configurations, gateways, software as well as Platform as a Services (PaaS) to manage all aspects of your project(s). Because of this easy implementation, no specialized staff is required for development allowing for a rapid ROI. Refer to the attached for further company detail.

McModule in a motion sensor
McModule in a motion sensor

Who started the company?
The company was started by Tom Groenland in 2014.
Do your team members have tech background? Seven of the 12 team members have a technical background and include firmware and software engineers.

How are you being financed?
Financing to date has come from family, friends and other angel investors. In addition, we have received government funding of approximately CAD $450,000 with respect to research and development activities. Strategic fund raising planned for mid-2017 in the range $5M- $10M.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
The major challenge is the customer adoption rate – that is the time it takes for customers to understand the opportunities that IoT generally and our platform in particular offers, how it can be applied to their business and then to implement a solution.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Most employees have come from relationships with existing staff. This has been supplemented with the use of LinkedIn.

Who is your biggest competition?
Our major competitors are Electric Imp, Samsara, Particle IO and Helium

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues?
We are in various stages of proof of concept trials with several customers. We expect that most of these customers will move to large scale deployment of our devices resulting in the sale of between 10,000 to 100,000 devices per year and revenue of up to US $ 2.0 million per year and growing thereafter. Over the next three to five years we expect the revenue from our Platform as a Service offering to make up the majority of our revenues.

In what markets?
We expect most of our customers to be in the logistics and asset tracking / monitoring business – primarily mid-sized companies located in the US. Our secondary market is asset performance monitoring.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project?
The time to identify customers and bring them through the development cycle i.e. from the identification of the opportunity, completion of preliminary trials and then full scale implementation / deployment has generally taken longer than originally anticipated.

Video: mc-Things: Cochrane Town Company Overview

Innovate Calgary partners with Telus to advance tech startups

Innovate Calgary has launched TELUS Technology Accelerator (TTA), a six-month program beginning December 2016 that will showcase and grow Canadian technology startups primarily in four areas: seamless experience, data analytics, health and wellness, and “last 100 metres” technologies. This program aims to rapidly accelerate a startup’s technology, business model and investability.

Each participating startup is matched with mentors from both TELUS and Innovate Calgary. These mentors bring decades of business, technical, and entrepreneurial experience to the startups.

The conclusion of the program is an opportunity for participating startups to share the results of their work. Hosted at the TELUS building in downtown Calgary, startups are invited to demonstrate their products and accomplishments to a select group of TELUS leaders and community investors.

So far – 3 startups are participating: RallyEngine – RallyEngine is a nimble, mobile-focused content publishing platform for alerting groups, rallying teams, and informing communities., Physio4D – motion tracking system that enables clinicians to objectively assess joint mobility, MedDuck – works with its partners to improve health care outcomes through the appropriate use of nimble mobile application solutions.


Interested in qualifying? Make sure that you are

1. Incorporated in Canada

2. Working on your startup full-time

3. Revenue, or an identified path to revenue

4. Validated technology as determined by a customer demonstration, field trial etc.


Companies in any technology area that address any of the four priority areas are encouraged to apply:

Seamless Experience: Technologies that enable users to access and/or generate any content and/or information on any device, anywhere, anytime, for an integrated communications and entertainment experience.

Data Analytics: Services and applications that simplify the managing and securing of IoT devices, as well as any solutions that offer clear analysis of IoT-related data to TELUS and its customers, to enable improved and expedient business decision-making through data insights.

Health and Wellness: Initiatives that promote healthier lifestyles through technologies, such as ones based on network sensors and wearable devices that leverage network infrastructure and APIs to enable more efficient physician collaboration, or increasing patient awareness and self-monitoring as part of a holistic preventative healthcare plan.

Last 100m: Technologies that dramatically reduce the costs of building actual fiber connections to each building/home, while maintaining high levels of reliability and low operational costs in the long run even in the face of the severe northern climatic conditions.


Read more at www.innovatecalgary.com