The Timmys are coming to Toronto on August 18th to put the spotlight on local technology companies and individuals that are creating the best places for IT professionals to work! When the votes are all in, the finalists will come together for a celebratory gala hosted at Revival Bar (783 College St.), where the winners will be crowned at the first inaugural Toronto Timmy Awards. Discover who Toronto’s 30 impressive finalists are.
Best Tech Manager
Andrew Santorelli, Senior Development Manager, Kanetix
“A fun work-life balance.”
Andrew is consistently searching for new growth opportunities for his team and other business units. He also ensures that team members have opportunities to expand their skills and expertise through attending courses and conferences. Andrew is highly involved in creating a fun work life balance through opportunities such as leading the Movember charity event, promoting and attending the annual Hackathon, and running bi-weekly development meetings to promote innovation.
Andrew worked with the largest insurance company in Canada to build an the industry’s first multi-product quoter where you can get an auto and property quote with one application. Other projects include OCR driver’s license scanning, automated testing framework, improved efficiencies with third party integration and more.
Bohdan Zabawskyj, Chief Technology Officer, Mercatus Technologies
“Work hard, play harder!”
Bohdan is a strong believer in building his team based on culture fit. Potential employees are carefully screened in order to maintain a cohesive culture. He values the opinions of his team leads when it comes to culture fit, especially during the interview process. Everyone in his office works hard and plays hard—including Bohdan!
Over the past year, the engineering team at Mercatus has produced a customizable white-label e-commerce solution for the grocery market, which includes a comprehensive API and front-end admin console, all while maintaining a customer base.
Claudia Navas Robleto, Senior Manager, Scotiabank
“Strong work ethic.”
Claudia provides a great team culture by promoting events outside of work, scheduling department meetings, and sharing the fun in the workplace. For example, she organizes department dinners and bowling outings in Scarborough to celebrate the implementation of a new product upgrade. Claudia demonstrates excellent work ethic, management skills, and willingness to make the workplace a fun environment for everyone.
Claudia’s team worked on a security upgrade for the ScotiaConnect electronic banking service, a platform for business clients to make electronic transfer of funds to third-party vendors and individuals around the world.
Cory Thomas, Vice President of Engineering, Career Cruising
“Equal opportunity to learn and innovate.”
Cory consistently spends time getting to know his people and their skills. He mentored a number of his team members to other roles whether it was moving up to a more senior position, creating specialized roles given the individuals unique expertise, or assisting them in making lateral moves by providing them with access and support. To keep his team cutting edge, Cory makes sure that everyone is given equal access and opportunity to learn, innovate, and apply their innovation.
Career Cruising’s educational software is used by 20,000 institutions (schools, libraries, and employment centers) across North America and over 9 million users (students from kindergarten to grade 12 as well as post-secondary and adults) worldwide.
Damian McCabe, VP of Engineering, Connected Lab
Damian has insightful feedback that improves work across all aspects of the organization including design, engineering, business development, and internal operations. He consistently helps team members see the problems from new perspectives, while respecting and fostering their opinions and growth as practitioners.
Damian has led projects surrounding idea generation, design, prototyping, planning, execution, and shipping. Connected Lab builds products for web and mobile apps, wearables, smart cars and the connected home using “The Connected Method,” a fusion of extreme programming and design thinking.
Jason Field, CEO and Founder, BrainStation
“Continuous career growth opportunities.”
Jason actively promotes goal setting with his team. By creating three and five year personal goals, he ensures that roles within the company are aligned with what employees want to achieve outside of the workplace. Jason prioritizes career growth opportunities and is continually guiding employees to be the best team players they can be.
BrainStation is a digital education platform empowering over 20,000 individuals through their technology training that is built around the ever-evolving digital product lifecycle.
Matt Vandermolen, Director of Technology, Momentum Digital Solutions
Matt ensures a great team culture by creating a team-oriented environment. He grants teams the authority to get their jobs done on their own terms, while ensuring they accept responsibility for the results. Most importantly, he is a great mentor and he is always available to provide support when needed.
This past spring Matt’s team, comprised of Sitecore Certified Developers and Sitecore MVP’s, delivered a large platform migration of 15 websites for a major pharmaceutical company. These websites, respectively, came from a myriad of systems and technologies such as ASP.NET, MVC, Drupal and WordPress to be recreated under one unified multi-site implementation of the Sitecore 8.1 platform.
Robert Burko, CEO, Elite Digital Inc.
“Education and laughter.”
Robert is not only a leader, but a teacher as well. He has a passion for educating those around him about the topics he loves, which encompasses all things about digital marketing. The office is filled with laughter, which represents people enjoying what they do. From a relaxed work environment, to flexible hours, to their infamous “snack cupboard” to field trips, to the movies. Robert’s team truly goes the extra mile not because they have to, but because they want to!
Elite Digital Inc. specializes in digital projects including digital strategy, web site design and development, mobile apps, ecommerce, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media, webinars, conversion optimization, marketing automation, email marketing, mobile text message marketing, CASL compliance, and more.
Sam Ward, Vice President, Alliants Canada
“Find your expertise.”
Alliants as a company promotes great career growth, and Sam himself makes sure that all employees are using the opportunities they provide to the fullest extent. The tech team at Alliants includes expertise in Angular, Node, Ruby on Rails, IOS, and Android development.
Sam led Alliants Canada in building a complete, end-to-end online check-in service used by 100 hotels.
Soheil Seyfaie, Director of Development, Achieve3000
“Remove all obstacles.”
Soheil always encourages developers to learn new technologies, suggests leveraging innovative tools and is always open to hear about new potential technologies. He pays attention to the desires of the team and seeks ways to ensure that all obstacles are removed in the work being done and shortages in technical knowledge.
Achieve3000’s flagship reporting tool built on top of one of the leading PHP frameworks has seen rapid functionality extension which has allowed it to replace anywhere from two to four other legacy applications, consolidating all functionality and implementations into a single code base.
Best Tech Startup
ChargeMore, founded in 2013, provides stations to charge 50+ customer devices with just one 4-hour charge and they’re 2x faster than wall adapters. The company has just released its newest generation of portable charging stations that feature a sleek design with advertising value. Led by a young entrepreneur, ChargeMore aims to disrupt the mobile industry by providing a new level of customer service.
Glam Card, founded in 2016, is the first and only loyalty rewards card for the salon industry, and as such they are striving to modernize and digitalize a 60 billion dollar industry that is still quite archaic in nature. Additionally, they also reward salon customers with gifts on their glam store, thus assisting in the increase usage of Glam Card at participating partner salons.
LookBookHQ is a company that started with a handful of individuals right in the heart of downtown Toronto; a pioneer in content marketing automation in the B2B technology space, helping marketers deliver content journeys to their audiences faster and more effectively, by automating the sequence and delivery of content into highly engaging, personalized experiences to cultivate and identify sales-ready prospects.
Rover Parking, founded in 2014, is the shared marketplace for parking. The Rover application provides a brand new supply of shared, private parking spaces that are easy to find, inexpensive, available all over the city, and accessible from a few quick taps on a smartphone. In addition, Rover allows individuals or businesses that have empty driveways or parking spaces to share those spots for a fee, resulting in some quick extra cash in hand.
Top Hat, founded in 2009, is introducing cutting edge mobile technologies to improve the educational experience, make it more affordable for the student, and increase the efficiency of learning. Top Hat is a market leader in classroom engagement. Millions of students and most of the larger universities in North America use their platform.
TribalScale, founded in 2015, develops custom software from mobile apps through to web-based solutions whilst helping their customers innovate and adapt to the digital age. The leaders at TribalScale are not “Yes Men,” they challenge the traditional way of thinking and executing on software-based projects and are a “tribe” of like-minded individuals all aligned to a common goal to empower each other and their clients to be the best they can be.
Turnstyle, founded in 2013, helps brick and mortar stores compete against e-commerce by leveraging in-store Wi-Fi networks to help retailers understand and engage with customers based on their behavior and demographics. Their location-based customer engagement platform enables retailers to interact with customers at the appropriate times, increasing relevancy of messaging and customer loyalty.
UXP Systems, founded in 2011, is the industry leader in User Lifecycle Management for operators. The company was founded on the realization of the dramatic transformation taking place within the service provider (Fixed & Wireless Telecom, Cable, and Satellite) marketplace. Simply put, UXP Systems exists to allow operators to create and manage a relationship with every digital user.
Wealthsimple, founded in 2014, is the first mobile and online application in Canada to allow customers to sign up and set-up an entire investment account through their smartphone or computer. In their first year of business, they have built an entirely new category of investment management in Canada, calling it “on-demand advice”, which combines technology and real people to deliver a smart investment service, personalized client experience, and lower costs.
Xocial, founded in 2012, is a social network that supports and inspires social change. Their online platform connects people and organizations to causes they care about, then measures the positive social impact of their actions through a unique (and patent pending) algorithm. This startup believes that by building a movement of competitive kindness, they will inspire the next generation of social responsibility.
Best Tech Work Culture
“Empowering 1 million by 2025.”
BrainStation embodies the digital spectrum from an internal and consumer standpoint. With a lean and young team, they have been growing exponentially and embody everything that a technology startup thrives to be. They define themselves are a tech-education school, with a goal to empower 1 million people by 2025.
BrainStation part-time and full-time courses in tech education including digital marketing, product management, web development, iOS development, UX design, UI design, data analytics, SEO/SEM, and Google analytics.
Connected Lab ingrains technical creativity in everyday life as employees are continually challenged to solve today’s problems using the technology and practices of the future. Technical learning is a quintessential part of Connected Lab culture and the desire to continually learn and explore is a mandatory trait that is held by every team member.
Connected Lab works on idea generation, design, prototyping, planning, execution and shipping. They build products for web and mobile apps, wearables, smart cars and the connected home.
“Always striving to become better.”
Experience Point is continuously encouraged to think of new solutions to problems. They thrive by the mantra, “what works now isn’t always going to be the best solution in the future.” By continuously improving how we do things and not afraid to fail, they capitalize on what they have learned to become better.
ExperiencePoint produces technology-driven workshops on both Change Management and Innovation. These workshops feature engaging web-based simulations and expertly guided seminars by leaders in the field.
“Technical creativity in the DNA.”
Technical creativity is a part of Klick’s DNA. Every moving cog within Klick’s daily operations can be found on Genome – the ever-changing intranet that helps employees connect better, work faster, and get inspired. Within Klick, a dedicated Genome team maintains the platform, ensures it changes with users’ needs, and develop new tools all the time. The amazing thing about Genome is that any employee can suggest changes and see it come to life. Ownership over the continuous improvement of the technical functionality of the tool resides with the users – the employees of Klick.
Klick entails everything from learning platforms to product campaigns to intranets. Klick focuses on creating tools to help people work faster and deliver higher quality work. In 2014, Klick’s principals wrote the New York Times Bestseller “The Decoded Company” to profile how data can be used internally to empower people and give companies a competitive edge. Based on the success of the book, Klick created Sensei Labs in 2015 and commercialized the Genome platform into SenseiOS to help other companies’ people work and learn faster.
“Rewarded for ideas and contributions.”
Every year, the Questrade Technologies Group hosts a year-end awards ceremony during which team members who go above and beyond are recognized and rewarded for their ideas and contributions. The Questrade Technologies Group encourages technical learning to help employees achieve professional success via various programs.
Questrade’s most well-known cutting edge service is the Questrade platform, an intuitive proprietary trading system that comes in three flavors (IQ Edge, IQ Web, and IQ Mobile) and is fully responsive. This feature enhances the client experience by allowing the user to move seamlessly between their devices, whether that be their smartphone, tablet, desktop, or laptop. The platform also has intelligent market data and research built into it so clients can make informed decisions.
“Communication, collaboration, and synthesis.”
Universe provides an environment where driven engineers are free to incorporate the new technologies that passionate individuals seek out organically. There’s no program to artificially encourage that technical learning – but when an engineer at Universe is passionate about a new technology, they are free to act on that passion. Universe promotes a culture of communication, collaboration, and synthesis, inviting every team member’s ideas with an open mind, and encouraging everyone to remain current in our competitive space.
Universe makes the fastest growing DIY ticketing platform. It is known as the social marketplace for events. Their mobile apps are strictly native, aligning architecturally with web clients, but also leverage the speed and cutting edge of APIs provided directly by Apple and Google.
“Think outside the box and push boundaries.”
Uberflip is constantly encouraging individuals to think outside of the box and to push boundaries. The company offers a collaborative environment with an open concept office, promoting brainstorming, group sessions and creativity. Every month, they hold an “Uberflip Town Hall” meeting to chat about business challenges and updates to work on as a team. Flip the Switch is a company-wide event, similar to a hackathon, where the company breaks into teams that are each given a challenge or problem to solve to test their technical creativity.
Uberflip is a content experience platform that aggregates all of the user’s content (blog articles, eBooks, videos, whitepapers, and more) so it can create, manage, and optimize tailored content experiences for every stage of the buyer journey.
“Address problems and find creative solutions.”
TWG creates hundreds of new digital products each year and has been doing so since 2002. The company promotes technical creativity in several ways. They often conduct a “Sprint Zero” with clients to identify what problems the software should address and prototype many creative solutions. Their technical team members have experience across a broad range of platforms and tech stacks, so they can be creative in suggesting solutions. Internally, TWG promotes creativity with team-led lunch and learns, Club Ed and Club FED (after work design and front-end development seminars), and weekly demos.
TWG creates digital products for companies from the startup stage to mature enterprises, such as Globe and Mail’s iWatch app, RBC’s wealth management site, and SCR’s Carrot app that incentivizes healthy living.
“Creativity and endless limits.”
TouchBistro believes that promoting technical creativity is an essential element to the company’s success. The company’s Research & Development team evaluates new technology routinely. Tracer bullets (minuscule pieces of code) are utilized to validate or test assumptions on new engineering options or framework to determine if they will work (like programming language). This procedure opens up the door to more creativity as it allows for managing the process in a cost- and time-efficient manner. Offsite code-a-thon retreats for the engineering team are held where, besides enjoying leisurely comradery pool-side or hiking, the free flow of ideas and code concept applications are encouraged. Developers are challenged to think about what else engineering could be working on, or what pet project or passion they might have that is within the TouchBistro space. Engineering design creativity and performance are also rewarded through stock options, job promotions, and training courses.
TouchBistro today is ranked as the #1 iPad Point-of-Sale Software Solution specifically designed for restaurants in 37 countries, used by over 6,000 restaurants.
“Sharing, learning, and experimentation.”
The core values of the engineering culture at theScore are sharing, learning and experimentation. It all starts with the job interview process. In addition to evaluating the technical skills and experiences, the company ensures that the people they hire are smart, self-starters, and ambitious. Once on board, they invest in the career development of their people. From conference and training budgets to internal mini-conferences and regular knowledge sharing events (like demo days, pair programming sessions, and tech talk videos at lunch), theScore’s goals is to create a continuous learning environment that refines the skills of the teams and improves the productivity of the company as a whole.
theScore, a tech-focused sports media company, is the second most popular sports app in North America – second only to ESPN – with 4.3 million monthly active users. It is also a leader in competitive sports and video game coverage via theScore’s e-sports web and mobile platforms.
The Timmy Awards ceremony will highlight the local technology community and celebrate the Toronto community as a whole for creating a great business ecosystem to thrive in. The event itself will be a great opportunity to network with finalists and other influential members of the tech community.