FREE Webinars: Legal Insights for Business Owners

Get your legalities right, the first time

The Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. The organization’s full range of services includes business loans, skills training, advisory services, mentors, resources and a supportive community to help women business owners gain the skills, mindset, financing, and networks they need to realize their business potential.

Their training participants, over 35,000 to date, attribute half of their increased revenues directly to their training, and their business loans have helped generate over $1.95 billion in economic activity and have created or maintained over 3,100 jobs in BC.

This summer, take advantage of this series of valuable and FREE legal webinars!

Women’s Enterprise Centre is excited to partner with Driven by Women™, an initiative of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), to offer a series of free legal webinars this summer! 

Open to women and men, these interactive webinars are facilitated by associates of BLG and will give you a better understanding of key legal considerations for your business.

July 17, 10am to 11am
Raising Capital 101

Learn about the different types of financing, their risks and benefits.

We’ll discuss the type of legal documents you’ll need, how you can structure your business to increase your chances of raising capital and programs and tax credits available to businesses.



August 14, 10am to 11am
Commercial Leasing Basics

All leases are not created equal!

Get an overview of leasing and the pitfalls to watch our for as a tenant. We’ll discuss leasing structures, key provisions and a few tools to negotiate the best lease for your business.



September 18, 10am to 11am
Letters of Intent and Confidentiality Agreements

Understand the context, timing and scope of these two tools to ensure the best outcome for your business as you conduct key commercial transactions like licensing and distribution.



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June 20, 10am to 11am
Mentor Advisory Forum: Using Mediation to Solve Business Challenges

There are times when you should hire a lawyer, but other times solving the problem with mediation can be equally as effective, less expensive and quicker. Join us to discuss mediation can be used to resolve some business conflicts.

Panelist: Ashley Syer, Lawyer and Mediator, Syer Law


See how you can get personalized support at

SMARTS Program – Call for Proposals | Deadline March 2019

Selkirk College’s SMARTS Program invites small and medium-sized businesses to submit proposals for technology-oriented research and development projects.


The Selkirk-SME Applied Research and Technology Solutions (SMARTS) Program connects businesses with Selkirk College faculty and student expertise in the fields of geospatial technology and digital fabrication.

It aims to help small- and medium-sized enterprises use advanced technologies to develop new or improved products and services.

The Program is supported by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). As a result of this support, financial assistance is available to cover a portion of research costs associated with successful proposals.

Proposal Requirements

Proposed projects should make use of Selkirk College research expertise in a way that helps the applicant develop new or improved products, services, or business processes that are anticipated to drive the growth of the enterprise. Projects should be experimental or innovative in nature.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the SMARTS team in advance of the proposal deadline to confirm their eligibility, discuss their project idea and its fit with Selkirk College researcher expertise, and get help to scope a proposal. See the ‘How to Apply’ section for contact information.

Project examples

SMARTS researchers have broad expertise in the fields of geospatial technologies and digital fabrication. Past SMARTS projects have involved the following R&D services:

Digital Fabrication

  • Rapid Prototyping (producing prototypes, researching and testing prototype designs and materials)
  • 3D Modeling (scanning 3D objects for reproduction, generating 3D models for analysis and production)
  • Advanced Manufacturing Process Optimization (building custom digital fabrication equipment, improving productivity with new workflows and equipment configurations)

Geospatial Technologies

  • Web Mapping (developing innovative mapping platforms for data sharing and communications)
  • 3D Visualizations (generating static and dynamic visualizations of 3D geospatial data, developing augmented reality and virtual reality applications)
  • Remote Sensing and Unmanned Aerial Systems (collecting data via UAV, testing sensors, analyzing remotely sensed data from UAV or satellite, developing workflows and algorithms)
  • Spatial Modeling (modeling landscape impacts of environmental change)
  • App Development and Customization (building customized mobile tools for geospatial data collection and sharing, researching and testing technology options)

If you have a technology-focused project idea that does not fit in the categories or digital fabrication orf geomatics, contact the SMARTS project team to discuss options. Faculty from other fields such as engineering, health and natural resources may also be available to provide research services depending on your project needs.

Eligible Applicants

The program is open to small- or medium-sized enterprises (up to 500 employees) in Canada. Businesses must be growth-oriented.

Application deadline

Submissions are accepted on a continuous basis. The SMARTS programs ends in March 2019.

Available Funding & Eligible Expenses

The SMARTS program provides up to $5000 per project in research funding and proponents are required to contribute at least 25% of project costs. Projects with a larger budget may be proposed with the understanding that costs over the $5000 contribution will be the company’s responsibility.

Apply Now

Read more about the SMARTS Program. Please contact the SMARTS Program facilitator, Lauren Rethoret, for the application form and to discuss your project idea.

SMARTS Program: Selkirk SME Applied Research and Technology Solutions

SME Applied Research & Technology Solutions (SMARTS) Program

The SMARTS Program: Connecting small- and medium-sized businesses with research expertise in the fields of geospatial technology and digital fabrication. 

It’s those companies that invite innovation and embrace technology that are leading today’s competitive economy.

Selkirk College, a hidden academic gem here in the West Kootenay steps in to help, offering specific and much-needed applied research support to help businesses develop new or improved products and services.

The SMARTS program builds on the Adopting Digital Technologies program, a success story featured by the National Research Council, which provided small- and medium-sized businesses with direct support, technical training, and advisory services aimed at increasing productivity through the use of digital technologies.

Support for Development of Products and Services

The SMARTS program aims to engage in research that results in the development of innovative products or services, expanding the offerings, that local businesses can bring to market.

Businesses may be eligible for the SMARTS program if they:

  • Have less than 500 employees
  • Are growth-oriented
  • Are located in Canada

Selkirk College knows that research and development partnerships that involve marketable products or services require strict confidentiality. Businesses can rest assured that the College maintains confidentiality protocols to protect the interests of both the business and the College. Selkirk College also understands the need to complete work in ‘business time’ and will work with business to move the idea to action efficiently and effectively.

Do you have a project idea that you want to explore with the SMARTS team? Want to discuss your expertise and funding needs? Find out more!

A Sample of R&D Services

Geospatial Technologies

– Developing custom mapping platforms for data sharing and communications

– Generating static and dynamic visualisations of 3D geospatial data – Developing augmented reality and virtual reality applications

– Collecting data via UAV
– Testing sensors
– Analysing remotely sensed data from UAV or satellite – Developing workflows and algorithms

– Modeling landscape impacts of environmental change

– Building customized mobile tools for geospatial data collection and sharing – Researching and testing technology options

Digital Fabrication

– Producing prototypes
– Researching and testing prototype designs and materials

– Scanning 3D objects for reproduction
– Generating 3D models for analysis and production

– Building custom digital fabrication equipment
– Improving productivity with new workflows and equipment configurations

Funding Available for a Limited Time

The SMARTS program runs until March 2019 and is supported by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). As a result of this support, funding is available to cover the majority of the research costs associated with approved projects. The company also contributes a portion of project expenses.

Do you have a project idea that you want to explore with the SMARTS team? Want to discuss your expertise and funding needs? Find out more!

Canadian Innovation Week

Canadian Innovation Fair

Powered by the Rideau Hall Foundation, this series of events demonstrated that Canada’s culture of innovation is thriving – across sectors, regions, and age groups.

Plans already underway. Next year’s Canadian Innovation Week coming May 21-31, 2019.

The inaugural Canadian Innovation Week brought together partners and stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem to connect, cultivate, and celebrate Canadian Innovation. The diverse range of events across the country generated awareness, interest and enthusiasm, reaching a broad rage of inquisitive and curious minds.

Key events included: Governor General’s Innovation Awards, #BCTECH Summit, and the Government of Canada Blueprint 2020 Innovation Fair.

“Innovation is very simple. It’s simply doing things better. It’s a mindset. Looking at something and saying, ‘How can we do that better?’” The Right Honourable David Johnston, 28th Governor General of Canada and Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation.

Celebrating national innovation!

If you’d like to add an innovation celebration to the national map and share the tech and innovation initiatives in your community, please do so HERE!

Canada Innovation Week stats

Plans are already under way for next year’s Canadian Innovation Week coming May 21-31, 2019.

Fun Friday! Call for Makers: World Maker Faire 2018!

If you have any familiarity with the Maker Culture or the Maker Movement, you are probably familiar with Make: magazine and their incredibly successful and ever-expanding events, the Maker Faire.

Call for Makers Maker Faire

Maker Faire:  full STEAM ahead!

The Maker Faire is the coming together of fascinating, curious, eager do-it-yourselfers who embrace and pursue the creative, the inventive, the innovative, as well as sharing their enthusiasm for making and what they create.  A festival of STEAM!  From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show off their hobbies, experiments, projects, passions.

The folks behind these innovative gatherings refer to Maker Faire as the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.

The first event, initiated to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset” was 12 years ago in San Mateo, California, organized by the editors of Make: magazine.  It was a hit right off the bat with over 500 booths and approximately 65,000 people through the doors.  This first Faire included a human-sized Mouse Trap board game, kinetic squid sculpture, 55′ wingspan kinetic steel butterfly, bicycle-powered music stage, and a solar-powered chariot pulled by an Arnold Schwarzenegger robot.  From this single venue back in 2006, there are now over 225 Maker Faires in 38 countries around the world, reaching over 1.5 million people first-hand!

If you’re interested in participating in the big leagues, the 9th Annual World Maker Faire in New York has put out their call for Makers and Do-It-Yourselfers!  The perfect opportunity to present your amazing, creative and/or innovative DIY efforts, regardless your age, to an appreciative audience.

Can’t make it to New York City?  No worries!  If you’d like to experience the Maker Faire closer to home, check out the 4th Annual Mini Maker Faire this fall in Prince George.

Taking place Saturday, September 22nd, this is a day of Show and Tell that combines elements of science fair, craft fair and inventions!  If you’re interested in participating, the CALL FOR MAKERS is now on!

If you’d simply like to see and enjoy local creativity, invention, and innovation, admission is free to see the many local Makers showcasing a range of tech projects, artwork, soap making, textile and fibre work, Lego construction, woodworking and more.

Wondering how to bring a Maker Faire to your community?  While they can be quite grand, despite the size of these larger MF events, they are possible at almost any scale.  The Mini Maker Faire program provides tools and resources to help produce an exceptional event that reflects the creativity, spirit and ingenuity of your community. The K-12 School program provides a similar experience scaled for a school community.

In its simplest form, Maker Faire creates opportunities for conversations with Makers. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and entrepreneurs all come together to show their projects and to talk about what they have learned. It is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker, and connect with people and projects in their local community.

It is a special experience, but the fundamental design of the event is one that can be reproduced almost anywhere. Mini Maker Faires are independently produced celebrations of local maker culture and the licensing program is available to interested organizations and individuals after successfully satisfying the application process.

Mini Maker Faires are independently produced celebrations of local maker culture. Our city-facing Mini Maker Faire program provides tools and resources to help others to make a Maker Faire event that reflects the creativity, spirit and ingenuity of their community. There is also the K-12 School Maker Faire program providing a similar experience scaled for a school community.

#LearnCreateLaunch #madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake









Step on the Gas! Grow Your Idea, Startup, Business: BC Venture Acceleration Program

BC Venture Accelerator Program

The BC Venture Acceleration Program is a huge stomp on the gas pedal of your business, designed to launch and grow your technology idea, start-up or business venture – faster and more successfully.

On the heels of the abundance of inspiration the MIDAS and KAST teams enjoyed at the recent #BCTECH Summit, we thought it a good idea to remind the growing number of local aspiring entrepreneurs and new businesses about what’s available to them to grow your idea or startup and take it to the next level.

A structured program, BC Venture Acceleration Program (BCVAP) is designed to guide, coach and grow ambitious early‐stage technology entrepreneurs and effectively grow their technology ventures. The program helps entrepreneurs accelerate the process of defining a proven business model based on a set methodology and set of best practices for growing technology companies.

In short, BCVAP offers participants dedicated attention from an experienced Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), a “been there, done it” technology and business professional.

The goal of the program is to drive economic development and job creation in the province of BC by accelerating the commercialization of technology, resulting in the rapid growth of technology ventures.

The Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (KAST) has been delivering the BCVAP program for several years and is proud of the roster of companies that has taken advantage of the program and its resources, successfully making huge strides growing their businesses.

Each of these local companies is growing rapidly, developing their innovations and businesses not only in the region, but well beyond!

The Venture Acceleration Program is delivered by a team of Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) and supported by a province‐wide network of partners and entrepreneurs. Together, they make up the BC Acceleration Network, an alliance of regional partners, EIRs and executive-level mentors.

Find out more HERE!

#madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Don’t forget that our specialized team here at MIDAS, and the state-of-the-art equipment and associated training are here to support your entrepreneurial and startup endeavours!

So much to help you launch the idea or business you’ve been dreaming of!

Fun Friday: MIDAS Fab Lab & SMRT1 Taking #BCTECH By Storm!

Tracy Connery Photography - #BCTECHSummit - MIDAS - SMRT1

The MIDAS & SMRT1 Technologies teams had a tremendous time networking, connecting and promoting at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit this past week.  First off, a ton of fun was had sharing space, time and laughs with the rest of the Koots contingent, KAST, Metal Tech Alley, Austin Engineering, and Imagine Kootenay and seeing a whole bunch of familiar Koots faces over the course of two days.

This year’s was a biggie, record-breaking, in fact.   Bigger than ever, this year’s Summit hosted an estimated 9,000 participants for approximately a dozen conference-related events over three days.  A whopping 3,000 delegates connected with over 270 exhibitors and watched more than 200 speakers highlighting the transformations technology is driving across all industries in British Columbia and beyond.

“There is no better indication of the robust and dynamic state of B.C.’s tech industry than this event—which has touched a record number of people for a third straight year,” said Shirley Vickers, President & CEO of Innovate BC, which delivered the event in partnership with the Government of B.C. “The #BCTECH Summit is where industry meets innovation, and the significant involvement of technology leaders, investors, senior government officials, students, researchers and business executives in every industry shows an unquenched thirst for innovation and collaboration in this province.”

Tracy Connery Photography - #BCTECHSummit - MIDAS - SMRT1

MIDAS Fab Lab Director and tech-savvy-innovator-in-chief-teddy-bear-biker, Brad Pommen, was THE man!  With tremendous skill and his usual warmth, he inspired, excited and charmed just about everyone who stopped by the booth with his range of knowledge, his expertise and his unstoppable enthusiasm.

Innovation is clearly Brad’s passion and it exuded in every conversation he had.  Whether it was the MIDAS Fab Lab or the business that was borne from it, SMRT1 Technologies and the incredible Brain STEM Toolbox vending machine, he made the booth a highlight of the conference.

Tracy Connery Photography - #BCTECHSummit - MIDAS - SMRT1

MIDAS Fab Lab Director, Brad Pommen, addressing the #BCTECH Summit press


KAST Executive Director at the MIDAS booth #BCTECH Summit

KAST Executive Director, Don Freschi, playing with the Hololens and Selkirk College’s Jason Taylor, at the MIDAS booth at #BCTECH Summit 2018.

In addition to the MIDAS/SMRT1 fun, attendees enjoyed thought-provoking sessions, panels and keynotes by global thought leaders featured highly among many other conference highlights:

  • 150 investors that represent $225B in capital watched 45 of B.C.’s most promising startups pitch in the Investment Showcase.
  • Approximately 2,000 high school students participated in Youth Innovation Day to learn about the jobs of the future and a career in tech.
  • Over 220 B2B Meetings were matched between 38 technology buyers with 98 local technology solution providers.
  • Delegates from 16 countries and four continents complemented a strong international presence of companies including Title Sponsor Microsoft, Google Cloud, Lululemon, Amazon, Blue Origin, Lyft, Lockheed Martin, Sage, WeWork, LinkedIn, Salesforce, IBM and RBC.
  • Premier John Horgan announced tech and innovation investments including over $102.6 million in funding for 75 research projects in B.C. and $10.5 million for entrepreneurial training for post-secondary students.

If you weren’t able to attend, make sure you check out some videos from this year’s crop of speakers HERE.









Fun Friday: #BCTECH Summit – Youth Innovation Day!

BCTECH Summit Youth Innovation Day

All of us at MIDAS are getting excited about the upcoming Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames!  As advocates for technology and innovation education, we want to draw your attention, too, to the #BCTECH Summit and their efforts towards nurturing tech & innovation in our next generation.

This year’s #BCTECH Summit Youth Innovation Day will be held on Wednesday, May 16th.  The theme is Breakthroughs: The Power of Curiosity and Ambition.

There will be a ton going on, and so much to see and explore, to encourage and engage, supporting innovative thinking in the youth who attend.  From cool science to state-of-the-art cars to meeting young entrepreneurs there will be no shortage of inspiration!

This will be a full day designed for high school students in grades 10 to 12.  They can visit with local researchers demonstrating innovative technologies in the Marketplace and Technology Showcase, listen to inspiring speakers share the ways they are changing the world around us through technology, and gather practical information from post-secondary institutions and companies seeking the next generation of talent.

There will be winning Science Fair projects and an epic battle of the robots in the VEX Robotics tourney.  Mentor tables will offer opportunities to meet with leaders in BC tech, where kids can get some insight into what it takes to embark on a career in technology.

Post-Secondary institutions will be on hand to help guide prospective students in the right direction to pursue the various avenues in tech education and careers.

For Secondary School educators:   The Solution Room offers the teacher chaperones an invaluable opportunity to meet and collaborate on how they are addressing the new secondary curriculum.

Find out more HERE!

Take a look at how it all went down last year:







High Speed Fibre Internet at MIDAS

Earlier this fall, the BC Government announced the recipients of the new BC Rural Dividend Funds, totalling over 8 million dollars.

73 local governments, First Nations and non profit organizations now have a chance to use the funding for current and planned projects.  The City of Trail will receive over 79-thousand dollars and Trail Mayor, Mike Martin, says the city will use the funding to advance their broadband capabilities to businesses in Glenmerry.

MIDAS is excited to be one of the beneficiaries of this funding and is excited to announce that high speed fibre internet is available to our clients.  Previously, the max speed supported for client connections at the Fabrication Lab was 1Gbps. The new connection to the CBBC Fibre network will now allow for capacity to run at a whopping 100Gbps.

We thank the City of Trail, Community Futures Greater Trail and the BC Rural Dividend fund for their support!

BCIC Ignite

Apply for BCIC Ignite | January 2018 Deadline

BCIC IgniteBCIC Ignite provides funding to accelerate commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences in British Columbia. The program provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry and will commercialize a proposed innovation within a 3-year timeframe.

BCIC Ignite:  Bring your innovation to market faster with funding!

  • BCIC Ignite provides funding to accelerate commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences in British Columbia.
  • The program provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry and will commercialize a proposed innovation within a 3-year timeframe.
  • Apply for and learn more about BCIC Ignite HERE.

Program Overview

  • Focus: Proposals must involve the areas of natural resources, applied science and/or engineering, and must provide a clearly articulated solution to an existing problem.
  • Teams: Applicants must be a BC-based consortium comprised of two or more companies, organizations and academic researchers. All consortia must include an academic member and an industry partner.
  • Matching funds: Projects must secure matching funds from industry or government sources at a ratio of 2:1 matching dollars to Ignite dollars.
  • Timing: Projects must plan to move a proposed innovation to market within a 3-year timeframe.

The BCIC Ignite Awards on February 7, 2017 awarded a total of $873,475 to the top three BC research projects in natural resources and applied sciences:

  1. UBC’s Dr. Steven Rogak, working with Hydra Energy to develop innovations in Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (HICE) technology: Awarded $300,000
  2. UVIC’s Dr. Frank Van Veggel, working with Axine Water Technologies to develop novel electro-catalyst materials that will enhance ammonia removal: Awarded $300,000
  3. UBC’s Dr. Jonathan Holzman, working with ExcelSense Technology  to create self-cleaning camera technology for forestry and mining applications: Awarded $273,475

This brings the total amount of BCIC Ignite funding awarded to over $1.7M since the first Ignite Awards in 2016.
Apply for and learn more about BCIC Ignite HERE.


  • Winter-Spring 2018 Competition: Letters of Intent due January 2018
  • Summer-Fall 2018 Competition: Letters of Intent due June 2018

Potential applicants are encouraged to first contact Program Manager, Kailyn Skuban at 604-602-5205 or to discuss their project and the program eligibility requirements prior to submitting a Letter of Intent.