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By Knowlton Thomas

ViDoBounce, a live video social networking website, is the brainchild of a Bishop’s University freshman in Quebec.

Most easily described as a marriage of Facebook and Chatroulette, ViDoBounce allows users to log on and activate their camera to start talking to people from their college, region or really anywhere in the world. Unlike Chatroulette, you can select filters (thankfully).

And if you like who you e-meet, you can friend them like on Facebook, and then video-call them as you please, akin to Skype, or instant message them. In fact, ViDoBounce is quite integrated with Facebook (you can login through your Facebook and go through to friend’s Facebook profiles).

While at first it seems a shameless ripoff of a couple currently popular services, its simple and clever mesh of three different successful things (Facebook, Chatroulette, and Skype) creates what has the potential to be a fairly useful network.

The vulnerability I observe is that if Facebook created a Skype-esque component, ViDoBounce would be DOA. Same goes with Microsoft adding a social network element to Skype. Or even Chatroulette… nevermind, that site will never change. Anyway, ViDoBounce is definitely worth taking a look at.

Reposted from Techvibes Media

Knowlton Thomas is the Associate Editor of Techvibes Media. He is also the Web Editor of The Other Press, a weekly newspaper, and a regular columnist for them as well.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By Joseph WilsonWhen touring, KISS use speakers from Toronto audio gurus Canadian Speaker Works Pro

When touring, KISS use speakers from Toronto audio gurus Canadian Speaker Works Pro

When Shane Shah was three, he blew up his first speaker. “My Dad taught me how to join two wires together so I wired up all the speakers in the house,” he says. “After they blew up I opened them up to try and fix them.”

Ever since, Shah, worked to hone his skills repairing and designing his own speakers. Now he runs Canadian Speaker Works Pro, a design and manufacturing studio in Toronto. His speakers are used by musicians as diverse as the Black-Eyed Peas, Shania Twain and KISS.

“Many of these artists will stipulate as part of their performance contracts that the stage be equipped with CSW speakers,” says Shah. In response, AV companies in the States are starting to use CSW speakers exclusively, to give them an edge over their competitors.

Usually, speaker manufacturers order pre-made components from all over the world and assemble them before they hit the market. Since Shah’s shop designs, manufacturers and assembles all their own components, the specifications are much tighter. “We’ve built the ideal box for speakers,” says Shah. “We go through a long testing process… to make sure the audio is the best it can be.”

And louder: “Our speakers are four times louder in the front than in the back.” Usually, he explains, speakers leak sound around them in a circle, making it difficult for musicians on stage to hear properly. “90% of the time, when you hear feedback at a concert it comes from the bass,” he says. “We direct the bass to the front of the speaker, which benefits the industry by reducing feedback.”

Now this industry innovation has been formally recognized in Canada. Shah was recently nominated for a 2011 Manning Innovation Award for “Canadian citizens who have demonstrated recent innovative talent in developing a successfully marketing a new concept.”

Named after the former Alberta Premier, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation was created in 1980 by former CEO of Alberta Energy Company, David E. Mitchell.

Since its inception, the Foundation has sifted through over 2,500 nominees, and doled out $4 million in prizes to 216 winners, all in order encourage and recognize Canadian innovators like Shah.

Think you’ve got the next game-changing innovation? Nominations for the 2012 Manning Innovation Award are open until December 1, 2011 – click here for eligibility and judging criteria.

Reposted from MaRS

JosephWilson is currently an education advisor at MaRS. He also writes on issues of technology and culture for NOW Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Spacing and Yonge Street. He is the Executive Director of the Treehouse Group, dedicated to fostering innovation by hosting cross-disciplinary events.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By James Burchill

RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky noted to investors recently that his firm believes the tablet market is going to explode quickly. He noted that while Apple will hold the market for the near-term, by the end of 2014, Android would hold sway and that at least 185 million tablet computers will be on the market by then as well.

Tablets themselves, he continued, would be a $70 billion market in 2014 (up from $10 billion last year). With Android and Apple systems facing off, those in the marketing industry will need to diversify to stay current.

 Why Tablets Matter in Marketing

Tablets will replace notebook and even Netbook computers for many users. Currently, iPad adopters are almost exclusively males aged 22-45 with an upper-level income. This is one of the hottest and most sought-after markets out there and they’re using tablets.

This trend will grow and as tablets proliferate, their market audience will widen. Tablet users tend to be more engaged, more apt to focus in a single-tasking environment, and to be more accessible for marketing.

If you get in early.

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By Robert Brands

R&D, Marketing, Sales, Finance, IT – you’re familiar with the most common departments within a standard company, and have likely been involved with one or more. You know it can be a real challenge for unalike minds to understand where each other is coming from regarding any number of topics within a project. As an owner, you have to be the champion – the true driver of the process in order to create cross-divisional cohesion removing the silos.

First and foremost, never underestimate the importance of selecting associates who are passionate about your product (or service) and effort. Hiring employees who truly believe in your product and company possess an innate form of motivation, and are far less likely to derail your efforts if they aren’t being rewarded or recognized on a constant basis. Passionate associates always strive to give their top effort towards the cause. Choosing all employees this way will ensure that you’ve got a team that is ready and willing to cooperate.

1.       Assign specific tasks to a dedicated “owner.” Your associates will perform best when they feel as though they are essential members of the team. Not only is delegating crucial for organizational purposes, it has the welcome side effect of making each and every employee feel “special,” an invaluable reward all its own. This will also increase overall understanding and alignment by having defined innovation and mutual understanding of customer needs and wants, not just departmental needs. If you make each employee responsible for a specific task, each will feel like an equally vital part of the process, helping to create cohesion.

2.       Set specific goals: As the leader, it is up to you to create commonality and a common goal like “at least one new product per year.”

3.       Create common incentives: Create a common bond by having like objectives and incentive payouts for good results, like offering a new product sales bonus as a percentage of turnover.

Creating cohesion across all departments within your company is a challenge every business owner faces. But if you follow the aforementioned innovation rules, you are guaranteed to encourage mutual respect and cohesion among members from all divisions. For more additional tips on how to create the best possible team for your company, look for Robert’s Rules of Innovation.

Robert is the founder of InnovationCoach.com, and the author of “Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival, with Martin Kleinman published by Wiley. Helping to Evaluate, Improve and Deliver Innovation through 10 Imperatives that Create and Sustain “New” in Business or Organization.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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Part 4 of the highlights from OCE Discovery 2011  

By Pam Banks

Innovation is driven by imagination and technology.  For Ontario to continue to build innovation capacity we need to inspire talented minds along the pipeline.  Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery 2011 featured budding entrepreneurs on both ends of the spectrum.

The FIRST LEGO League is a mentor-based robotics program for children aged 9-14, designed to get young people excited about science and technology. The program introduces students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. In addition to building a LEGO robot, the children are also challenged to research and address problems faced by scientists today.

Amanda and Michael, two of the students competing in this year’s competition developed an applied research project on diabetes management.  Current glucose monitoring is invasive, painful, and inconvenient.  The requirement to do this 4-10 times a day often results in non-compliance. So the team decided to come up with an easier, continuous way to monitor glucose levels.

They designed an internal glucose monitoring system that eliminates finger pricking and gives an immediate, real-time blood sugar level so action can be taken. The result was The Sentinel System, which has: a Bio-implant, a Watch, and an optional insulin pump.

Impressively, they designed all the parts necessary to make their innovate product work, as well as a plan on how to get their product approved and ready for the real world.

Front row L-R  Sentinel project team members Michael Catricala & Amanda Rampertab. Back row L – R Pam Banks, Dave Ellis, FLL Ontario

Programs like FIRST are incredibly important to motivate the next generation of innovators.  They are the future and companies such as LEGO have inspired them to explore possibilities outside the realm of a classroom.

For more information about the programs, please visit www.firstroboticscanada.org/ or contact: Dave Ellis (david.ellis@firstroboticscanada.org)

Pam Banks is the Executive Director for RIC Centre.  RIC Centre helps new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people take the next great idea to market in the field of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, life sciences and emerging technology.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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Part 3 of the highlights from OCE Discovery 2011  

By Saadia Muzaffar

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery, which brings together key players from industry, academia, government, the investment community as well as entrepreneurs and students to pursue collaboration opportunities.

One of the panel discussions I attended touched the urgent need of a collective communal vision that will shape the innovation pipeline in Ontario for years to come.

The discussion addressed the need to encourage innovation as part of our extracurricular and academic programs at elementary school level instead of being introduced in a very formal context at universities. The experts in the panel urged to view innovation as a thought process that seeks creative solutions in all aspects of our lives, starting at a very young age, and not something that is restricted to the realm of post-secondary institutions and research-based careers.

Here are two exciting organizations that foster innovation at a grassroots level in Ontario:

Let’s Talk Science – an award-winning, national, charitable organization delivering science learning programs and services that turn children and youth on to science and then keep them engaged.

 Youth Science Ontario’s mission is to empower regional organizations across Ontario to increase youth interest in inquiry-based science and innovation. The programs could reside under the umbrella of the local schools and community centres and libraries.

The panel convincingly illustrated the need for each of us to be a steward for change in our respective community programs, to ensure that we have resources available for youth to explore science much the same way as they have availability of sports or arts programs.

The key message is to work together to build a talent pipeline that supports Ontario’s innovation ecosystem with the help of Ontario-based organizations that help run programs designed to engage, educate and inspire.

–  Saadia Muzaffar, from the Innovation Seminar at OCE Discovery 2011.

Saadia joins the RIC team as the Operations Coordinator responsible for building and execution of activities that fulfill RICC’s mandate. She brings several years of relationship management, corporate communications and operations experience mainly from the financial services industry.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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Part 2 of the highlights from OCE Discovery 2011  

By Jasmeet Duggal

I recently read an article in the May 2011 issue of Backbone Magazine that emphasized the need to invest more heavily in designing electrical systems (i.e. SmartGrids) that are intelligent.

At OCE Discovery 2011, Michael Pawlyn gave the keynote “Biomimicry – A New Paradigm In Sustainable Design.” Biomimicry looks for sustainable innovations that are inspired by nature. Pawlyn emphasized key transformations harnessed by nature to produce restorative designs: radical increases in resource efficiency, moving from a linear to closed loop model, and shifting from a fossil fuel economy to a solar economy.

Michael Pawlyn

Going back to the article, how can SmartGrids be more intelligent? “What would nature do?” This is the fundamental question that is asked in the discipline of biomimicry.

The Toronto-based firm, Regen Energy, has taken design inspiration from nature and applied it to making SmartGrids smarter. Regen’s flagship technology is a wireless device based on swarm logic. If we think of a chaotic swarm, swarm logic is the ability of a collection of bees to find, most effectively, their food source. Regen’s device allows appliances to talk to each other through a specific algorithm based on this swarm logic. With the intention of minimizing how much power the appliances use, collectively, the device is linked to equipment that cycles on and off to minimize energy use.

Nature is the most educated scientist with over $3.8 billion years of R&D experience. All of its creations are a catalogue of what works and what doesn’t. It is a master of restorative design and a powerful way to innovate to provide sustainable solutions to today’s design challenges.

– Jasmeet Duggal, from the Biomimicry Seminar at OCE Discovery 2011.

Jasmeet Duggal is graduate student pursuing a Master of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto. She is currently the Communications Officer for the RIC Centre, a role which has allowed her to engage in the start-up culture, instilling an understanding of entrepreneurship and business development. With her expertise in the life sciences, she hopes to pursue a career in technology transfer to bring innovation in the life sciences to market.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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