Two Canadians in fight for technology’s “World Cup”

Canadian startups are among 30 entrants from around the world set to compete in an annual event that’s being billed as Silicon Valley’s World Cup.

The event itself, which takes place May 20, is run by SVForum, a Bay Area non-profit that brings together technology innovators, venture capital firms, service providers and some of the IT industry’s biggest names, like IBM, Microsoft and SAP.

In a formula reminiscent of Canada’s own “Dragon’s Den” TV series, competitors will make their product pitches to 24 panelists from investment firms from Silicon Valley and around the world, including Google Ventures, Microsoft Ventures, Intel Capital, Samsung Ventures, IBM and others.

The competition is run annually, but this year, SVForum says, its global reach has been expanded under a new brand – the “World Cup Tech Challenge,” which is modeled after the global soccer tournament. Countries from around the world have applied to qualify for six spots in each of five different tech groups: digital media-mobile, enterprise software, educational technology, next generation technology and health technology.

Ottawa’s business process automation company FormVerse is competing in the enterprise software category. The FormVerse application is a platform for building workflow applications inside of email. As the company describes the process, an XML form is embedded inside an email message which is routed through the organization for approvals. Data can then be pulled from the form and integrated with other applications.

FormVerse is built on Microsoft .NET, InfoPath, and Outlook technologies, and integrates XML and Web Services technologies. “FormVerse leverages these technologies and Microsoft Exchange to provide a platform for business process automation and development of other workflow applications,” the company says. “By leveraging its patented Active Structured Email technology, organizations implementing FormVerse are able to greatly enhance other initiatives such as: archiving, e-discovery, compliance and modernization of legacy systems.”

The company says its technology reduces implementation costs and shortens time-to-benefit compared with legacy BPA/BPM systems. It also claims long-term cost savings from efficiency and productivity increases, improved ease of use and enhanced decision-making.

The other Canadian contender is Toronto’s Vantage Analytics. Vantage is running in the next generation technology category with a business analytics platform that monitors and optimizes corporate marketing and customer retention campaigns.

The platform automatically calculates key business strategy metrics such as individual customer lifetime value, repeat customer rate, average order size and customer segment analysis on a historic basis and then building projections. Vantage says it “saves time and money by enabling managers to course-correct with integrated campaign management and analysis.”

According to the company, benefits include improved sales and margins, and an enhanced ability to personalize customer experience through targeted coupons, discounts and the next best offer.

The 30 entrants come from 16 countries. In addition to the US and Canada, nations represented include Israel, Kazakhstan, France, Estonia, Thailand and others.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Andrew Brooks
Andrew Brooks
Andrew Brooks is managing editor of IT World Canada. He has been a technology journalist and editor for 20 years, including stints at Technology in Government, Computing Canada and other publications.

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