BREAKTHRU – New Brunswick’s Business Plan Competition

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) is running a search for “the next generation of New Brunswick entrepreneurs”. So, all of you would be entrepreneurs should definitely check it out: BREAKTHRU – New Brunswick’s Business Plan Competition

(I know, this was announced 2 months ago – I can be a little slow posting things!)

Another Big Day for Whitehill

It was announced yesterday the we (Whitehill Technologies, Inc.) are being acquired by Skywire Software. This represents another big day in the evolution of Whitehill as a software company. It is also another great example of a successful, viable, important software company being born and grown right here in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. If you want to read more about the deal, you should look at the news releases – there are lots out there. I think congratulations are in order for Paul McSpurren and all the others who put this deal together. Well done.

It is an interesting time for me to look back over the last 8+ years I have been at Whitehill. At the time I joined, we were barely out of the “startup” stage, having only about 30 employees, and probably a similar number of customers, 1 product, and a lot of heart. A large number of people have stayed with us for the whole ride (this continuity I think has been a major factor in our success). It is amazing to me to see how far we have come.

I would like to thank everyone with whom I have worked at Whitehill all these years. Well done, everyone. It has been a wild and interesting ride to be sure, but I am proud to have been part of it, and to have worked with all of you (not that I am going anywhere – just feeling sentimental!). Everyone involved, past and present, should feel proud as well. 

I am also looking forward to the future here – and to all of the challenges and opportunities before us.

Research Expo for the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Computer Science

This week I attended the Research Expo for the UNB Faculty of Computer Science. This is the 4th year they have held this event, and I have attended every year. I enjoy the opportunity to see what research is being done, talk to the researchers, faculty and students, and hopefully explore opportunities for collaboration between the Faculty and industry in New Brunswick. The format for the event has remained pretty much unchanged from previous years, with undergraduate and graduate students presenting posters of ongoing research, and faculty members presenting short (~10 minute) talks on their activities. One variation this year was the invitation of industry representatives to speak alongside the faculty presenters. The idea is to encourage collaboration between industry and the university by giving the university better visibility into the research activities in industry, and into the issue which industry is trying to address. I was happy to be invited to be one of the industry speakers.

All of the speakers, and especially the students presenting posters, deserve a great deal of credit for taking the time to participate in this event. While all of the research activities are interesting and worthwhile, a couple jumped out at me, either because I was previously unaware of the work, or just because it is cool J.

The first I would like to point out is a presentation by Dr. Dawn MacIsaac regarding work at UNB’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering. I was not aware of the work they were doing in the area of using artificial intelligence to control powered prosthetics. I admit I know very little about this, but I found their work impressive, and would encourage people to check out their site.

Among the industry presenters, I was intrigued by Dale Ritchie’s talk regarding his new business, Pitch Mobile, developing audio based learning games for mobile devices. I look forward to seeing how this progresses – it is cool stuff.

Among the poster sessions, I think I was most impressed by Microphone Efficacy for Facilitation of Mobile Speech-based Data Entry by Scott Durling, Jo Lumsden and Irina Kondratova. This is an area of personal interest for me, and I spent quite a bit of time talking to Scott about their work. I was impressed.

Finally, there was an announcement of a new UNB Faculty of Computer Science SOA Lab, supported by Sun Microsystems.

Brad Nickerson and many others deserve a lot of credit for continuing to put this event on – I think it is really worthwhile. I look forward to next year’s event!


 

Welcome to my blog

Well, I have been meaning to start this for some time, but like everyone, other things just get in the way.

A bit about myself. I have been working in the world of technology for 20-odd years. Currently, I am VP of Technology at Whitehill Technologies, Inc., where we specialize in Document Composition and Document Automation technologies, in the Legal and Financial services spaces. Prior to that I worked on internet conferencing using early VoIP, and on large military communications projects. Before even that, I worked in satellite control, and remote sensing. Going way back to university, my focus was on theoretical physics and astrophysics.

Currently my interests revolve around most aspect of software development, from technologies to management, and in the area of defining sustainable, repeatable processes for innovation within technology organizations. I also have a particular interest in Tablet PC technologies – I have been using one for several years, and I love it.

On the personal side, I still have a strong interest in all aspects of science, especially physical sciences, as well as philosophy and comparative religion. In addtion, I am into music, playing guitar (badly, I am sorry to say), and reading almost anything I can lay my hands on.