Tech guru Robert Scoble visits OCE; meets and praises some of our companies

February 28, 2014

Tech guru Robert Scoble, second from right, and OCE President Dr. Tom Corr (far right) are given a demonstration of the Bio.Diaspora technology by company founder Dr. Kamran Khan and VP, Business Development Albert Tseng.

Robert Scoble, one of the leading tech writers in the U.S., paid a visit to Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Front Street offices on Feb. 27 and met with five OCE-supported companies as part of a trip to Toronto.

The California-based author, blogger and tech evangelist spent 90 minutes interacting with and learning more about some of the OCE-supported companies working in the field of big data and data analytics

“The things I’ve seen today are very cool,” said Scoble after seeing demonstrations of what the companies have to offer. “I’m actually surprised by Toronto. I didn’t expect to see so many innovative, interesting ideas up here.”

Attending the session were:

  • BioDiaspora - a first of its kind, patented web-based software technology that generates real-time predictive analytics on emerging global infectious disease threats.
  • Granata Decision Systems – makers of decision support software for sophisticated, data-driven marketing organizations that evaluates marketing actions and campaign trade-offs as an integrated, cohesive portfolio to determine optimal marketing mix across campaigns.
  • Kaypok  - which provides the next generation of unstructured text analytics solutions for enterprises taking intelligence gathering and decision making to the next level.
  • SoapBox - an innovation management platform that enables businesses to maximize engagement through employee ideas. Employees add ideas, vote and discuss those ideas, and get a response.
  • Viafoura - a social monetization and analytics platform for large brands that is designed help a website’s users interact more with the content and other users on the site while capturing rich user data.

In addition to praising the work of Ontario companies, Scoble was complimentary of the support they are getting from organizations like Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Government of Ontario – support that is essential as the economy shifts toward a knowledge-based one.

“It’s very important,” he said of the investment strategy adopted in jurisdictions like Ontario and Australia. “All economies are being squeezed and we need to move people into the ideas economy because that’s where the value is.”

He said ultimately programs that foster innovation will keep tech entrepreneurs (or as he calls them “geeks”) close to home and help the local economy succeed.

“The geeks create huge amounts of value which means new jobs,” he said. “If you don’t build the infrastructure to keep the geeks, they go to San Francisco or somewhere else.”