TEC VenturePrize 2008

tec ventureprizeLike last year, I was once again lucky enough to attend the VenturePrize Awards Luncheon today with Dickson, and Chris, Don and their team from ProTraining. I hadn’t paid the competition much attention this year until recently, but it was good to see some familiar faces and meet new ones at today’s event. I’m also really happy it was once again in Hall D, easily one of our city’s nicest venues.

The grand prize winner for 2008 was DataGardens, a company that hopes to help companies manage their IT infrastructure more effectively. At first glance, they strike me as somewhat similar to one of last year’s finalists, Nirix. I wrote a bit more about the event (and the new TEC VenturePrize branding) at Techvibes, so check that out if you’re interested.

The event was once again hosted by Citytv’s Paul Mennier, and he did a great job. The guest speaker was Jim Carroll, a futurist and trends & innovation expert. He’s a great speaker and kept my attention throughout his presentation, but I have to say I didn’t enjoy him as much as Leonard Brody last year. Jim also got a few things wrong – he described Guitar Hero as a Nintendo innovation, and he claimed that we’re insulated from the rising energy prices here in Alberta. The latter remark was made off-the-cuff (“Hey, I’m in Alberta, let’s make it relevant”), and I think he probably feels pretty embarrassed about it now.

Lunch was similar to last year, though I don’t think I enjoyed it as much this time around. We started with Romaine Lettuce and Spinach Leaves with Grapefruit Dressing. The main course was Seared Thai Chicken Breast served with Tomato-Chili Jam, Coconut Rice, and Seasonal Vegetables. Dessert was Lime Meringue Pie with Fresh Berries and Raspberry Coulis.

The competitor videos this year all rocked, in my opinion, so kudos to whichever company helped to put those together. The music they played as the winners were announced was just a bit odd, though. Something to improve upon for next year!

Thanks again Chris & Don!

5 thoughts on “TEC VenturePrize 2008

  1. Caught your post through Technorati.

    Fair enough on the Wii comment. My 13 year and 15 year old have also vigorously reframed my understanding. I missed the video game revolution by about 5 years — I’m 49 — but also started out with a TRS-80 Model III in 1982, so I have been immersed in tech for along time. My key point remains — Nintendo seems to have huge market momentum, and much of what I see relates to extending spatial gaming to the boomer crowd. That, to me, is market transformation. (Well, ignoring GTA IV)

    RE a toss away comment to Alberta. The comment wasn’t that you were isolated from rising energy. Of course you are paying the same price. My comment is that I’m out there traveling to a lot of places hard hit by the US recession — I just did a keynote recently in Virginia –and there’s a big difference in talking with an audience that is in the thick of an oil-boom and another that’s been hit by the housing/subprime downturn, and who are losing jobs/homes as a result. Alberta’s mostly a happy place right now, but there are a lot of places in North America that aren’t in the same contented space. Alberta is quite isolated from the economic downturn that is well underway elsewhere. That was the intent of my remark

    Enjoyed your post!

  2. Jim, thanks so much for clarifying your Alberta comment, that makes sense.

    The real interesting thing about Nintendo is the new interface, that is used for all the Wii games. Making video games a phsyical experience is their key advantage and innovation.

  3. I’m 8 months too late on this one but what was the Simple Solar innovation? Don’t solar hot water heaters already exist?

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