MOBI724 at the vanguard of payments and coupon revolution

We all know that shopping isn’t what it used to be since the arrival of smartphones and e-commerce.

What you might not be aware of is that the payments, promotions and coupon landscape is also undergoing a seismic shift due to emerging technology.

At the vanguard of this revolution is rapidly growing fintech (financial technology) company MOBI724 Global Solutions Inc. (CSE:MOS), which provides consumer services that weren’t available as recently as two years ago and is participating in an expanding global market that this year has an estimated worth of $10 billion.

Specialising in card payments

The company specialises in card payments and its core business, explained Chief Executive Officer Marcel Vienneau, is its card-linked platform, which when combined with digital marketing represents a new ecosystem allowing banks, merchants and customers to transact more efficiently with each other.

Card-linked technology is transformative for credit card points programs, and in addition enables card users to receive a tailored stream of offers and promotions on their smart devices.

To give a sense of scale, the company’s website says there will be just over 1 billion mobile coupon users by 2019, up from just under 560 million this year.

MOBI724 also offers digital payments solutions.

“This type of technology simply didn’t exist two years ago,” said Vienneau. “We are selling our solutions primarily to card issuers or banks in different countries,” he adds, pointing out that the company has customers in Canada, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In the Canadian market alone it has 400 customers.

“Most banks, anywhere in the world, have points programs where they issue points when you spend with their cards. Most of these cards enable customers to redeem points and get a reward,” he said.

Reinventing the technology

Perhaps the most significant aspect of MOBI724’s technology is that it has reinvented a clumsy, 20-year-old cost and payment structure, and thereby helps banks to make more money from card transactions.

Vienneau offers some examples of how the system worked in the past and how MOBI724’s better approach makes a difference.

A credit card customer has been awarded 25,000 points for using his or her card and can therefore buy a product with a $250 gift card. The card-issuing bank bears the cost of producing a rewards catalogue and the shipping costs of any product bought.

Now, say that a customer goes to an actual store and wants to buy a gift for $400 and include the $250 gift card value as partial payment. The current system is disjointed and the balance can be made up from cash, or another credit card, which might not be linked to the points system. Obviously, the customer doesn’t get the benefit of gaining more points.

MOBI724 simplifies the process by bringing all the strands together. It links the credit card, which issued the points, with the gift card. A customer can make a payment with an app and it both acknowledges that the gift card has been used and applies the balance owing to the credit card that earns points.

Similarly, when someone is in a store MOBI724 can send a coupon based on location or the customer’s profile, then the coupon can be used moments later at the cash register. The system can also send offers directly to a smartphone at any time, regardless of whether the shopper happens to be at a store or not.

In the preceding case of the $400 purchase, the bank charges a percentage of the transaction value when the points are redeemed, and so does MOBI724. The bank also wins by avoiding the necessity of having to pay for catalogues and product shipping.

“This is a new way to transfer a cost structure into a revenue-driven model, and it is seamless for the user and the bank,” said Vienneau.

It also taps into the way people engage with their banks and financial institutions nowadays – namely, instead of going into branches and using ATMs, people are putting “plastic into phones” and want more personalised interaction.

“Banks are losing their branding abilities but this gives them more channel opportunities,” Vienneau explained.

MOBI724 has invested considerably in its “business intelligence” capabilities, which allow it to map out people’s past purchases, social media interests and other distinguishing characteristics so that it can target them with specific coupons and offers.

“We are not just throwing everything at them,” said Vienneau.

The digital marketing aspect of MOBI724’s technology should also be of interest to advertisers, he points out, as it reveals consumer spending habits and other tendencies.

To that end, the company has struck strategic alliances with several agencies to help further grow the business.

Sales projected to reach $2.75mln for 2016

And growing it certainly is. Two years ago,annual revenue at MOBI724 was just over $100,000, and last year came in at $450,000. For 2016, sales are projected to reach $2.75 million.

Vienneau, a tech entrepreneur who became Chief Executive Officer when the group listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange in February 2015, expects to double revenue in 2017, along with crossing the line into positive EBITDA territory around mid-year.

In the next 36 months, the aim is to have $50 million in annual revenue and an expanding sales pipeline.

Vienneau designed the card-linked technology himself, planning the concept on a single sheet of paper four years ago.

The digital coupon market is projected to be worth $50 billion in the next three years and he reckons MOBI724 is well positioned to win a meaningful piece of this.

The group already has a respected backer in the form of institutional investor Fidelity, which has been involved in four rounds of funding, the latest for a $1.5 million convertible debenture.

MOBI724 announced plans to raise $5 million in July, around half of which has already been obtained. The money will be used to drive growth, as the research and development phase is over and the various technology solutions are fully functional.

Significantly, MOBI724 owns all the intellectual property supporting its platform and has a patent pending.

Vienneau reckons that at a market cap of approximately $5 million, or around twice projected 2016 revenue, the share price offers good value to new investors. “The challenge for us is to go out there and tell our story,” he said. “In time, this should lead to the market understanding our huge potential.”

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 24, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Mobi724 Global Solutions Inc. at http://www.mobi724.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/mobi724-global-solutions-inc.

Climbing to New Heights: CSE has Best Year on Record in 2016

It is fitting that in an Olympic year, the motto of faster, stronger, higher could also characterize the year that was at the Canadian Securities Exchange.  After an exceptional performance in 2015, the CSE managed, yet again, to finish 2016 on a record-breaking note.

With trading volume, capital raised and listings on the CSE achieving their highest levels in the exchange’s 13-year history, the Exchange for Entrepreneurs continues to prove that small-cap companies, as well as those who invest in them, benefit from having real choice in the Canadian securities landscape.

And, while the numbers themselves are impressive, the numerous examples of continuous innovation this past year at the CSE demonstrate why they are committed to making 2017 even better.

Strength in Numbers

From a trading perspective, 2016 was the best year on record for the CSE. Order flow came through at 6.4B shares worth a total value of over $1.5B – the highest amount ever since launching in 2003 and a 159% increase over 2015. In addition to the secondary market, investors were also interested in directly funding CSE listed companies. CSE-listed companies participated in 364 deals raising over $400 million in 2016.

While these figures are a great endorsement of companies being able to raise capital on the CSE, the bigger win for companies as well as their investors is that more of that capital could be used for their own growth plans rather than go towards the ‘middlemen’.  As shown in the image below, unlike competitor exchanges, the CSE does not take a percentage of the funds raised which means more money in the hands of entrepreneurs as well as their shareholders. For additional information on why companies are choosing to list on the CSE, click here.

Comparison of fees collected by the Canadian Securities Exchange and TSX-Venture
Comparison of fees collected by the Canadian Securities Exchange and TSX-Venture

On the listings front, the CSE saw a record high number of listed securities in the summer of 2016, reaching 328.  In addition, the CSE’s commitment to innovation meant that, despite a relatively challenging IPO market, five companies elected to go public on the CSE and 38 listings joined the exchange in 2016. The CSE saw the composition of securities listed on the exchange shift to include firms participating in emerging industries like drone transportation, fintech as well as medical marijuana.

Finally, with regards to performance, the CSE Composite Index, a benchmark of performance of the CSE, finished 16.1% higher compared to 2015 and the 103 firms (as of December 19th) that constitute the index had a collective market cap of over $2.3B.

The Value of a Handshake

Part of what has contributed to this record-breaking year has been a consistent focus on the entrepreneurs, companies and investors that choose to work with the CSE. Despite the realities of operating in an increasingly digital world, the CSE made a concerted effort to reach out in person to entrepreneurs and investors across the globe.

From coast to coast across Canada, as well as throughout the US, Europe and even as far away as Mongolia, the CSE team members attended, sponsored or hosted over 40 events throughout the year. In those travels and conversations with many entrepreneurs, it was abundantly clear that modern capital markets are global in nature and that the CSE has an increasingly global reach. Many of the chronicles of the CSE team’s travels from 2016 can be found on the CSE Facebook page here.

Another important outcome of talking to entrepreneurs in person was the discovery that many of them were curious to understand the requirements and realities of taking a company public.  As a result, this past year marked the launch of the first ‘Going Public’ boot camps in 2016.

James Black, VP Listings Development, introducing the first edition of the CSE Go Public Boot Camp in Vancouver
James Black, VP Listings Development, introducing the first edition of the CSE Go Public Boot Camp in Vancouver

These one day workshops were held in Vancouver and Toronto and brought together capital markets professionals and entrepreneurs for an intensive and informative session on what it takes to succeed as a growing company.

Both sessions were met with an overwhelmingly positive response, indicating that, regardless of what stage they may be at with their respective businesses, entrepreneurs value learning about the path to going public. For those who missed it, recordings from the Vancouver session are available on the CSE YouTube channel here.

Committed to Innovating

Capital markets are rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly reliant on technology to power all parts of the capital formation ecosystem. In 2016, the CSE implemented a number of enhancements to the overall technology infrastructure that helped pave the way for expansion and improved service delivery.

In April of 2016, the CSE rolled out its newly designed responsive website. Rebuilt from the ground up, this new website streamlined the user experience to enable visitors from screen size to access data on the CSE as well as the companies listed on it. In addition to the design and layout changes, the addition of integration with social media, such as Twitter, enabled website users to stay updated on the latest developments and activities at the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

Another important development to the CSE’s digital evolution in 2016 was the increased focus on digital communication, specifically across social media.

We are excited for the launch of the National Angel Capital Organization’s new publication! Here is James Black of the #CSE with Yuri Navarro, CEO of NACO.

A photo posted by Canadian Securities Exchange (@canadiansecuritiesexchange) on

The CSE added another digital channel, Instagram, into its stable of digital social media channels. Over the past year, followers of the CSE as well as listed issuers and investors were able to get an increasingly detailed view of the work of the CSE as well as exclusive access to what goes on behind the scenes at the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

Finally, one of the big technology projects of 2016 was the rollout of a new trading engine that improved performance, decreased latency as well as enhanced stability all the while consuming less resources than the previous system.

Looking Forward to 2017

With such a strong performance in 2016, the bar has been set high for 2017. While it is difficult to predict exactly what the year ahead will bring, the CSE will continue to stick to its winning formula of putting entrepreneurs first, committing to innovation and providing real value to public markets.

Mining for Movies: Virtual Reality booms for Imagination Park and its low-risk approach to Hollywood

In a world where corporations with big budgets toil night and day to eke out what often are mere single-digit profit margins, the idea of a company making modest, low-risk investments and generating swift returns of 1,000% or more seems fanciful. Such a company would have to operate in an innovative industry facing serious capacity constraints, and be one of the few groups holding the keys that unlock the potential to address them.

Well, meet Imagination Park (CSE:IP), a young company that actually is on such a path, working in a realm that over time is likely to touch each and every one of our lives…virtual reality (VR).

Imagination Park is home to a multi-talented team whose members have sold feature films, concepts, scripts and intellectual property to some of the largest entertainment studios in the world. It is a company that seems to have the business side of the industry figured out, pursuing a model that provides multiple chances to make exceptional returns while limiting financial risk to a minimum.

How do they do it? They follow the money.

“I am a film producer by trade and learned early on that the best money in film is not made in production or finance, but in intellectual property,” says Gabriel Napora, Imagination Park’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our mission is to create, option or purchase the most compelling intellectual property in the fields of film and VR.”

More on virtual reality in a moment, but to illustrate the power of ideas in the entertainment industry, consider a story Napora tells about one of his many successful projects. “Early in my career, I produced a project called Tetravaal with a young director on a budget of about $4,000. Tetravaal won the attention of the right people and ended up being the precursor to Chappie, which had a budget of around $70 million. But it all grew from an idea that originally cost only a few thousand dollars to produce.”

Imagination Park brings substantial heft to its projects thanks to a team whose members include two highly successful producers — Napora, plus Imagination Park President Tim Marlowe who was the Executive Producer for The Lady in Number 6, which won an Academy Award. Colin Wiebe, a creative entrepreneur, digital marketing expert and musician who toured with the likes of rock legend Randy Bachman chairs the board of directors, which also includes producer and ace talent scout Yas Taalat. The top execs oversee a technical group on the special effects and virtual reality fronts that is second to none. This is a company ready to leverage technical and cost advantages to compete in a large and rapidly growing market for the products and services in which it specializes with an emphasis on 360 degree, 3D virtual reality content.

“Netflix had a budget of around $6 billion last year, you can expect Amazon to match that or be higher, and HBO will have to do the same,” explains Wiebe. “With more and more people binge-watching on Netflix content gets consumed very quickly, so studios have to both be shooting around the clock plus looking outside their walls. But the fact is that there are only so many quality content producers around and only so many production facilities.”

Imagination Park takes advantage of this growing supply/demand imbalance not only by producing films and other content, but also with virtual reality services and more conventional production support.

It does this in a clever way from a financial perspective, structuring agreements so they pay on both the front and back ends. “In film, and to some degree virtual reality, the riskiest thing is financing. No matter how smart you are, nobody can guarantee that a film is going to make money,” says Napora.

“When we create, option or license intellectual property to present to major studios there is always an upfront fee paid by the studio before we go into production. In most cases, we also earn producer fees to move things forward. By the time the film goes into the world we have already made an exponential return, and if the film is successful we’ll make even more. So, our model is significantly less risky than one involved in actually financing films.”

In the next few months the world will get to see a series of Imagination Park projects, including a full-length feature film starring Danny Trejo, several virtual reality pieces, and a full-length documentary. “We are close to having around 18 projects either created, optioned or acquired on our basic slate for 2017,” says Wiebe.

A proof of concept is like a mini-trailer, but the intended audience is a studio or other entity who would purchase or financially support the idea. Imagination Park creates proof of concept packages for third-party filmmakers as well as for itself to market its own concepts developed internally. Napora’s Tetravaal production was a proof of concept.

“Looking back, I have been able to sell about 50% of the projects I have been involved in to major studios,” says Napora. “I am not saying we will sell half of everything we are involved in going forward, but even if we were to sell three or four we would be a very well-to-do company. If we are right on two or three projects and they turn into hits, we become a major Hollywood player.”

On the virtual reality side, Imagination Park has created content soon to be for sale in virtual reality stores. It will also work with advertising agencies, and with film studios that have a new title ready to go but need virtual reality content online to help excite potential moviegoers.

“Sales of virtual reality equipment have exceeded $1 billion and this is not even the beginning of the curve,” says Wiebe. “We are currently in discussions with some major corporations focused strictly on advertising. We have detailed proposals going out to major companies and see this as being the very start of something that will spark a huge wave of virtual reality service work for us.”

The modest investment philosophy extends to all corners of the company, with the chairman saying it is important to stay lean and mean. “Nobody is getting big salaries. Everything is performance-based and we have specific budgets for travel and projects.”

Virtual reality, proofs of concept, feature films and production work are enough to keep the Imagination Park team busy on its North American home turf, but China beckons as well. The Asian country is a huge and rapidly expanding market for feature films, and Napora happens to have both experience and connections there, plus an understanding of the types of concepts that sell to its unique audience.

“There are opportunities now that never existed in the past and they are there for the taking if you know the right people, have the right product, and have a team that can execute,” says Wiebe. “It is like mining for movies. But ours is a mining project where you know in advance that the value is there. All you have to do is go and get it. The skyrocketing virtual reality trend has been an added surprise discovery that luckily we’ve been way ahead of. ”

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 24, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Imagination Park Entertainment Inc. at http://imaginationpark.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/diversified-industries/imagination-park-entertainment-inc.

Record Growth in an Evolving Marketplace: An Interview with Richard Carleton

2016 will officially go down as one of the best years in the Canadian Securities Exchange’s history.

At the outset of the new year, CEO of the CSE, Richard Carleton, sat down with Peter Murray of Kiyoi Communications to discuss and reflect on the achievements of the CSE in 2016 as well as to provide insight on the capital markets ecosystem and what’s around the corner for the CSE in 2017.

Below is the full text from both parts of their interview (for ease of navigation, links to each part and topic have been provided).

Part 1: A look back on 2016 & look ahead to 2017

The first portion of the interview focused on the performance of the Canadian Securities Exchange in 2016, including the record trading and capital raising efforts from companies listed on the exchange. In addition, Richard Carleton highlighted a number of important operational and technical investments that were made to facilitate future growth and enhance investor experiences at the CSE.

Peter Murray (PM): The year 2016 was a particularly good one for the CSE and the financial community is interested to learn what the exchange’s plans are as we enter 2017.  I’ll begin by asking you to walk us through some of the milestones and accomplishments at the CSE during the year just finished.

Richard Carleton (RC): The headline event would be the performance of our overall market, where we enjoyed record trading volume, trading value and number of trades for our CSE listed companies.  We saw very strong momentum begin to build about halfway through the year and it grew to a crescendo in the month of November.  For all members of the team, and perhaps particularly those of us who have been working with the organization from near inception, it was tremendously gratifying to see the investing public accept our issuers to the extent they did.  From an external perspective, I think that is the headline story.

At the same time, I would say some of the things we did behind the scenes were equally important.  We invested very heavily in our infrastructure in 2016.  The first tangible evidence of this effort was the new website launched early in the year.  Though we received plenty of positive feedback on the improved look and usability of the website, we worked to further refine it on a continuous basis over the balance of the year.  I think the website presents a clean, professional and complete view of the Canadian Securities Exchange to all visitors.

We also invested in our trading infrastructure.  In mid-December, we completed the final stage in launching a new trading system that is approximately 11 times faster than our former system but requires considerably less hardware to operate.  For us, that means we are offering a higher level of service at a lower operating cost.

In addition, we bundled the new trading system with order routing solutions, compliance and risk management services.  For example, we provide features such as “fat-finger” protection, credit limits, risk limits, and risk tolerance limits to assist dealers trading on our exchange with meeting their risk management obligations to clients.  Basically, it gives dealers new tools that enable them to provide a higher level of service to their clients.
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PM: You mentioned new volume and value records.  Statistics released by the CSE during the year showed year-on-year volume growth of over 100% in some months.  What drove these increases?

RC: There clearly was a lot of investor interest in the legal cannabis sector, both in Canada and the United States.  With propositions on the ballot during the US election in eight states to either permit medical marijuana or legalize it outright, the belief was that companies active in the US market could have a tremendous increase in business opportunities available to them.  In the run-up to the election we saw a big increase in trading and price performance for names in the sector.

Canada-focused cannabis companies were also caught up in the investor interest given the posture of the federal government toward liberalizing laws in this country.

But I’d hasten to point out that cannabis-related companies weren’t the only ones fueling the growth.  A number of natural resource issuers and technology companies also traded heavily in the latter half of the year.  The result was a string of monthly records for share turnover, value traded and number of trades as we went from September through November.
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PM: On the oversight front, there is an ongoing effort to update the rules companies must abide by while on the exchange, as well as during the listing process.  Where do things stand currently?

RC: Most of the work has been taken up in two specific areas: original listing requirements and continued listing requirements.  The new requirements for original listings have been implemented.  We increased a number of the thresholds, which essentially had not been adjusted since the exchange began business in 2003.  In the intervening 13 years, some of the numbers came to need a reassessment.  Still, I would say that all of the companies approved for listing prior to the adoption of the new requirements would have made it under the new rules as well.

If you consider this together with the work we did in 2015 on plans of arrangement, we are trying to communicate to the investment community that we need to see companies with a business plan and sufficient capitalization to meet financial requirements for that plan over a 12 to 16 month period prior to listing.

To assist companies in meeting their disclosure obligations, both as they list and subsequent to listing, we retained two very important individuals in 2016.  Dr. Francis Manns is now our consulting geologist working with prospective issuers to provide expert-level peer review of 43-101 reports, or in the case of oil and gas issuers 51-101 reports.  Francis is universally respected in the mining and financial communities and is a real asset for resource companies to work with as they list with us.

Another strong addition is John Hughes, who joined our compliance team in a management capacity.  John is a consulting accountant who advises firms on the impact of IFRS and other contemporary accounting issues.  John reviews financial statements and other disclosure documents from prospective and current issuers with a view to helping companies meet the highest standards when it comes to financial reporting and disclosure.

For companies listing with us, having Francis, John and the other experts on our team to turn to is a real benefit.

We are still working on the continued listing requirements and the idea there is to establish minimum criteria a company must meet to remain listed on the exchange.  The objective of the exercise is to ensure companies on the exchange are actively pursuing the business they have set out in their disclosure materials and listing statement.  If a company decides that it needs to raise additional capital or find another business, it has a period of time in which to do that, but we are not going to allow inactive companies to reside on the exchange indefinitely.
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PM: Quite clearly, 2016 was a year of progress on multiple fronts.  What is the CSE team preparing to focus on as we enter 2017?

RC: Now that we’ve got the new trading system running we are really going to shift our attention to improving market making and overall market quality for our issuers.  We have been working with several dealers on ways for market makers to deepen liquidity and reduce the choppiness in prices by contributing buy and sell orders to the CSE book.  Ensuring that companies have a continuous two-sided market is quite important for issuers and their investors.

We are also going to be continuing our efforts to bring companies listed on the exchange to the attention of investor audiences in Canada, the United States and beyond.  We are planning quite a few events over the course of 2017 designed to introduce more potential investors to our issuers.  And, of course, that has the side benefit of demonstrating to entrepreneurs deciding where to list that they should choose the CSE ahead of some of the alternatives, as we quite actively support the efforts of our issuer community in markets around the world.  This is going to be another important focus of our energies over the course of 2017.
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PM: The CSE approach to issuers and markets has some unique aspects to it.  Do you think the CSE has helped change the environment for securities listings in Canada?

RC: Well, we sure hope so.  Our Senior Vice President of Market Development, Rob Cook, said the other day that when the organization launched in 2003, while we may not have been re-inventing the wheel, we certainly set out to apply a healthy degree of lubrication to the process.  And in many respects we have successfully done that.  We are continuing our mission to facilitate the lowest cost of public capital for small-cap companies in Canada.  The principal means by which we do that is improving the listing process and the secondary trading environment, and we work with as many parties as we can to accomplish our objectives.  This is our core strength and we will retain that commitment to a higher level of service for our issuers.
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Part 2: Industry Insights

In the second portion of the interview Richard Carleton provided his insights on a spectrum of issues facing Canadian capital markets. In particular, Carleton provided his take on the evolving landscape for IPOs, performance of commodities markets, algorithmic trading and opportunities for Canadian listings in the US.

Peter Murray (PM): Data shows that 2016 was a slow year overall for Initial Public Offerings in Canada.  What is your viewpoint on what has happened to the IPO and what is going to be its role for future public financings and listings?

Richard Carleton (RC): I don’t think there is any doubt that the decline in the number of IPOs is more than a cyclical phenomenon.  We have witnessed a sea change in how early stage corporate finance is conducted in Canada.  Participants are voting with their feet and avoiding the IPO process.  They are doing so because of concerns about cost, concerns about delay in having their prospectus approved, and also that there are now very few dealers who have the capacity, willingness or business model to support a small-cap IPO and distribute the securities to their clients and to the clients of other members of an underwriting syndicate.

The so-called “exempt market” has really stepped into the gap.  Here, I am talking about dealers (specifically “exempt market dealers”) who are able to distribute securities on the basis of one or more prospectus exemptions in the different securities acts.  The most common means, the “accredited investor” exemption, where securities may be distributed to high net worth individuals and institutions without a prospectus, accounts for the lion’s share of the funds raised by early stage companies in Canada today.   I prefer to think of this development as less as of an IPO crisis than as the emergence of a new dynamic, the funding of new businesses via the exempt market.  Typically, a new company will conduct a reverse takeover of an existing listed company, or existing listed company management may decide to undergo a fundamental business change.  In both cases, the exempt market is where 90% to 95% of the funds are being raised for new CSE companies.  This development means we are working not just with the traditional IIROC dealers on their underwriting activities, but also with exempt market dealers who are the lead actors in this new access to private capital for public companies.
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PM: A year or two ago when junior markets were having a particularly tough time, some observers criticized predatory trading practices for contributing to the weakness.  Are such things as high-frequency trading and black boxes issues for companies on the CSE?

RC: We saw the first consistent participation by high-frequency trading firms on the CSE this year.  These firms were pursuing a market-making strategy, which means they are significant contributors to the available liquidity in a particular stock.  The firms are very competitive; they tend to narrow spreads and provide for deeper order books.  I believe it has contributed in a positive way to liquidity on the CSE.  There were complaints voiced about “HFTs” a few years back when there was a lot of selling pressure, but we didn’t hear so much in the way of concern when the early stage markets began to recover.
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PM: Given the differences in the two markets, there seems to be an opportunity to harmonize Canada’s public venture market with capacity in the United States for deal flow and retail investing.  How do you see this developing and what role can the CSE play?

RC: There is no doubt Canada is an extremely advantageous jurisdiction in which to launch a smaller public company.  The economics don’t really support it in the US, UK or EU.  Arguably, Australia is the only other place in the world where small companies without revenues – typically mineral exploration companies – have an opportunity to raise public capital.

We know from experience that there is a lot of interest in our companies from investors in the United States.  We have a close working relationship with the OTC Markets Group in the US and in many cases we encourage issuers to obtain a quotation on one of the OTC’s regulated boards and to make sure their securities are properly registered with the clearing and settlement agency in the United States.  With these measures, US-resident retail investors will be able to trade these stocks via their discount brokerage accounts.

Issuers end up enjoying the best of both worlds.  They have a relatively low-cost jurisdiction in which to list their company, but at the same time can tap the US capital markets for both investment capital out of the gate and further rounds once they are trading in the secondary market.  That is something several of our companies have taken advantage of.  Generally, companies that obtain a US quotation have seen an immediate improvement in liquidity and it gives them additional fundraising opportunities in the US.  The fact is that Canadian public companies travel very well internationally.
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PM: Do you have any closing thoughts for issuers and investors, perhaps on issues we have not addressed so far?

RC: I would more so just take the opportunity to state again that the two things we will focus on in 2017 are working more with market-making and other groups to improve liquidity, and secondly that issuers should expect opportunities to work with us to promote both the exchange and their companies on an international basis.  We are going to be very active in the US, in Europe and potentially in Asia as well.

Really, what this is all about is proving the value of a listing on the CSE, and in so doing make the challenge facing our issuer companies of raising funds significantly easier.
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True Leaf twins medical marijuana ambitions with growing line of hemp supplements for pets

Canadian marijuana stocks have been some of the best performing investments of 2016, as the Liberal Government that came to power toward the end of last year made legalization of the drug one of its planks during the federal election.

It is unclear, however, precisely what form legalization will take from the perspective of producers, as there is sure to be regulation and oversight when it comes to growing and distribution. Investment in a would-be producer is somewhat of a binary play — if a company obtains approval to produce under the current or any new regulatory regime, it has the potential to generate revenue and show investors that its management team can run a profitable business. If for whatever reason it does not get a green light to produce, then it’s back to the drawing board.

True Leaf Medicine International (CSE:MJ) was an early entrant in the space, being the 48th company to submit a production application to Health Canada. But while highly confident that its application will eventually receive the government’s endorsement, the company has aggressively developed a related business whose early success has caught the attention of investors and removes some of the concern about ongoing sustainability. If Health Canada grants True Leaf approval to produce marijuana within the next year or so, it will essentially come as a very large bonus.

Harnessing the spending habits of millennials when it comes to both their own health and that of their animal friends, True Leaf established a new division in autumn of 2015 to develop and market nutritional supplements for pets that contain hemp and other ingredients targeting specific health conditions. According to Chief Executive Officer Darcy Bomford, True Leaf sees annual sales in the True Leaf Pet division potentially reaching close to $30 million in five years’ time.

“We know we can sell pet products today and there are no legal issues. We have a great product line and that is our focus,” explains Bomford. “We count zero revenue on the True Leaf Medicine side in our model, so any value attributed as we move through the various stages of Health Canada’s approvals process just improves our prospects.”

Bomford knows of what he speaks when it comes to pet products, having spent some 25 years of his career to date in the manufacture and marketing of natural products for the industry. His previous company was purchased in 2012, which freed him up to work with True Leaf, and further to consider the pet food space once the non-compete clause in the transaction agreement had expired.

“A lot of people don’t realize how big the pet food industry is until they get a dog – once you go to the pet food aisle or a specialty retailer, that is when you sense its massive size,” says Bomford. “Our product line is geared toward the millennial and baby boomer generations, which tend to appreciate natural ingredients and the value of nutritional balance.”

Being in a big industry is great, but it typically means there is lots of competition. Fortunately for True Leaf, their products have clear points of differentiation.

True Hemp Chews come in three different formulations: Hip + Joint, Calming and Health.

“Hip + Joint is for inflammation in older dogs, Calming is for anxious dogs, and Health incorporates antioxidants for general wellness support,” says Bomford. “Each formula has a hemp seed or hemp seed oil base, and then we add other ingredients. Hip + Joint has natural sources of glucosamine from green lip mussel, and it also contains turmeric root, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. With Calming we use an amino acid from green tea call L-theanine, plus calming herbs such as chamomile and lemon balm. Health support has DHA, a form of Omega-3 from algae, and pomegranate.”

True Leaf has gotten True Hemp Chews onto the shelves of approximately 500 retail outlets in North America so far. Next steps involve building out the line with new products and increasing the store count. Bomford sees the line extensions leading to larger order sizes from both distributors and individual stores. “We have an oil product that you pour on your pet’s food every day, and a stick format that covers the chewing function,” says Bomford. “Down the road we are looking at launching a veterinary line with higher inclusions of the active ingredients and a functional chew for cats that addresses joint health.”

Moving quickly to make the most of its early-mover advantage, True Leaf introduced True Hemp Chews to the European market in May of this year and is now featured in the well-established Pets Corner chain of stores in the UK. Expansion into continental Europe is on tap for 2017.

True Leaf developed its products with assistance from a graduate student at Cornell University, and given his background Bomford knows how to take the formulations, brand them properly and build the business. “We use the co-pack model to avoid becoming capital intensive,” explain Bomford. “With my previous contacts I know basically all of the manufacturers worldwide, so we leverage other companies’ manufacturing capacity and focus our efforts on the brand. This is a necessary model for international expansion because we can have products made to order locally. We just provide the packaging and then are able to warehouse nearby and serve that geographic market.”

Balance in nutrition and balance in business. It is a combination that investors so far seem to be liking, and the philosophy has enabled Bomford to attract a balanced management team as well, with deep experience in everything from marketing to finance and quality control. Even former British Columbia Premier Mike Harcourt is on board – quite literally, as Chairman.

“I think in general, the marijuana producers that have legs at this stage of the industry’s development are those with alternative revenue streams. That is what our pet supplement division provides us and we are happy with our progress there so far,” Bomford concludes. “True Leaf has a very good chance to develop its Medicine division as a supplier of medical marijuana, but you have to put yourself in a position to weather the storm that is the approvals process. I believe we have set our company up well to do that.”

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 21, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. at https://trueleafpet.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/life-sciences/true-leaf-medicine-international-ltd.

Fantasy 6 Sports blends top technology trends to create own momentum in Big Data

Fantasy 6 Sports (CSE:FYS) is a challenge to figure out at first because it is so cutting-edge you can’t think of any obvious comparisons to help put its business into context. A fascinating array of concepts to be sure, but how do you wrap your head around it?

Best start with the broader theme and work your way down to the individual businesses, then consider how they fit together. By the way, we are talking about a company simultaneously shaping fields such as Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Blockchain and Big Data – only 5 of the 10 technology trends forecast to define the world’s digital landscape in 2017.

At its most basic, Fantasy 6 leverages its capabilities in these technology segments to help brands take their consumer engagement to the next level. “It doesn’t matter what type of industry you look at, data is driving decisions,” explains Ray Walia, Fantasy 6’s Chief Operating Officer and a 20-year veteran of the technology scene. “We are collecting data, we can anonymize it and it can drive decisions for other brands and corporations.”

Sounds like any number of Big Data companies who passively collect data and try to re-sell it with some analytical bells and whistles to entities who need insight into their target customers, right?

Here is where Fantasy 6 is different – this company generates its own data by interacting with a specific consumer base valuable to existing and potential clients. Because it collects data this way, its database is unique and proprietary. And it focuses on a very large and multi-faceted business sector that provides new opportunities for data collection and analysis every day – sports.

A good starting point in exploring the product side is FansUnite, a platform Fantasy 6 acquired earlier this year and is in the process of turbocharging from both the user appeal and business potential perspectives.

True to its name, FansUnite is a place where sports fans who like to bet on games come together to discuss strategies and try to develop an edge, or simply just learn more. “The idea is we are building a community around sports betting and sports predictions that adds a layer of direct fan engagement,” says Walia.

FansUnite gives members a free virtual currency so that they can place bets without putting actual money on the line. It’s the perfect risk-free way to keep score and it gives you bragging rights if you’re good. More importantly for the platform, it separates the skilled from the newcomers and inspires serious discussions around strategy and upcoming opportunities. And for those who operate in the real-money betting world, FansUnite is a universe rich in sports and odds aficionados who can help give them an edge. Think you know better than everyone else what is going to happen in tonight’s game? Well, put your virtual money where your mouth is.

The proprietary data side is well illustrated by shifting popularity among sports, and even the emergence of new competitive pastimes. “The most popular sport in North America for betting is the NFL, worldwide by far it is soccer, but the fastest growing one is e-sports,” says Walia. “The emergence of e-sports has caught a lot of people off guard. Having a site like FansUnite collecting all this data, you cut through the noise and the hype and people are actually seeing that there is active engagement worldwide.” By the way, e-sports is video gamers competing in organized competitions with games such as Counterstrike, League of Legends and other titles you may know. And don’t harrumph – these competitions fill stadiums with spectators.

Mobile games and Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) games are additional arrows in the Fantasy 6 quiver, the first commercial release being Football Fantasy Coach. As you might have already guessed, Football Fantasy Coach requires the player to analyze a virtual game scenario and call plays. As with fantasy sports, your choices are based on real players, with the game providing performance statistics that change in real time as actual games are being played. “It is a bridge of technology into the real world that directly engages the fan,” explains Walia. And it is one more way for Fantasy 6 to collect data for analysis alongside other sources to draw conclusions for client brands.

It is not all just about online experiences, mind you. Some of the “immersive” work that Fantasy 6 does requires actual fan participation, such as when the team built a “dynamic 360 virtual arena” for one of the largest companies in Canada recently that enabled visitors to have their pictures taken and receive an image on their mobile phones that looked as if they were standing at centre ice in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Not quite the same as lining up to the right of Auston Matthews, but still pretty cool.

“We maintain the right focus by keeping balance among these three verticals,” says Walia. “Each has synergies with the others but they all have different skills required to execute. The games division is going on its own with good partners and intellectual property, the data division is collecting data and it is a different audience that they appeal to. And then the immersive side is more corporate relationships.”

And who does Walia think would be willing to pay the big dollars for high-quality sports data? “In context, our data is all around sports odds and so those who can benefit include any entity in gaming, casinos or sports books for a start. They will value the data one way, and then a sportswear company would have its own different use.”

Fantasy 6 is well-funded to move forward with its plan, having received a convertible note facility in the amount of $10 million from fund Victory Square, which Walia, with partner and Fantasy 6 Chief Executive Officer Shafin Tejani, oversee.

And unlike a lot of technology companies for which revenue always seems to be a “tomorrow” concept, Walia has made sure that sustainability is part of the corporate ethos. “The convertible note is designed to show that we have the wherewithal to execute, but a lot of the ideas we pursue are intended to generate revenue and be self-sustaining. That is one of the reasons why we are able to tackle all three of our verticals at the same time. They leverage each other but drive revenue on their own and the teams sustain themselves.”

The next six to nine months will see data continue to build, the games division debut new titles in different genres, and a big push on the immersive experiences side, with the lead role in a $1.5 million fan experience project for the BC Sports Hall of Fame in Vancouver a part of the effort.

“We are putting ourselves in position to be a strong player in VR/AR and mobile games as well as sports data driven by artificial intelligence, which will be the long tail,” says Walia. “There will be huge value and opportunity around that. And we know that Virtual Reality is attracting attention and we can connect brands with this and other technologies to help them reach important objectives.”

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 30, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Fantasy 6 Sports Inc. at http://fantasy6.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/fantasy-6-sports-inc.

Drone Delivery Canada readies proprietary drone fleet to speed delivery to rural communities

For Canada’s remote communities the reality of receiving packages from automated delivery drones is a lot closer than many might think.

Commercial deliveries are set to begin at some point in late 2017 with Toronto-listed Drone Delivery Canada (CSE:FLT) taking to the air.

Ontario-based DDC will be among the first ever commercial operations once it secures final approvals from Transport Canada in the second half of next year.

Chief Executive Officer Tony Di Benedetto sees rural Canada as an ideal proving ground for its scalable drone-based business model.

He points out there are over 1,800 isolated communities strewn over a sparsely populated landscape. It is not only a sizable market opportunity for DDC, but it also represents an opportunity for the Canadian authorities to better connect areas that are otherwise off the grid.

For investors, meanwhile, DDC presents a low-priced option on what is predicted to be a very substantial technology industry.

Broker Macquarie estimates the size of the entire private drone industry (which could include agricultural applications, infrastructure inspection, surveillance and surveying as well as parcel delivery) will expand ten-fold to around US$60 billion by 2020.

As an early mover DDC is not as recognisable as the likes of Amazon or Ratuken – customer-facing online retailers that have both been working on drones.

But when DDC’s technology is deployed in late 2017 it will be established as a revenue generating pioneer.

What exactly is Drone Delivery Canada

There are two elements to DDC’s technology.  A proprietary operating system – which will route, track and manage fleets of delivery drones – is perhaps the most significant element; the company’s intellectual property.

The Company has also, by necessity, developed its own drones, though Di Benedetto says that as more advanced third-party drones become available the company will be open to using those.

“We’ve had to develop our own prototypes to commence flying, because they simply don’t exist, you can’t go on the market and go buy delivery drones, they’re not there,” he says.

“Eventually, over time I’m sure people are going to create delivery drones and we’re not locked in to the ‘airframe’ design.

“Our logic is transportable. So if a better airframe emerges in six months we can essentially take our logic and transpose it and now we have a different vehicle for our fleet.

“It is no different than a traditional courier today – they have trucks and cars, and they switch between brands, sizes and specs.”

DDC’s drones can presently carry between 7lbs and 10lbs at a time over a 200km operating range.

They have been tested and, subject to regulatory approval, are ready to go.

Progress toward initial delivery operations through late 2017 will be the key catalyst for investors in the coming months as DDC works to prove the commercial concept.

It recently secured licences to test the technology, and is now awaiting full flight status from Transport Canada, anticipated in third or fourth quarter.

Scalability will be key

The scale of early operations will be driven by the sentiments of two key stakeholders, the Canadian regulator and the initial appetite of customers.

“We will slowly ramp ourselves up, it is about taking proper steps at first,” Di Benedetto explains.

“We’re working with a variety of different clients; we have quite a big roster of clients that we’re engaged with.

“Our clients are large organisations with substantial locations and requirements. We’re not delivering for ‘Joel’s pizza shop’ … they [our clients] are very large corporate and government organisations.”

As the delivery system is proven and confidence builds the company expects it will be able to scale up quickly with drones embedded into its clients’ existing operations.

The drones will be deployed on location for DDC’s clients, which reduces the need for ‘bricks-and-mortar’ type capital spending and as such Di Benedetto says it is “very, very scalable”.

“It is an incredibly elastic model,” he adds.

“It is a high-earning, recurring revenue business. The business operationally produces a lot of cash.”

“Clients would contract us for ‘x’ amount of deliveries per month, and it is a recurring revenue stream from then on. There’s a setup charge and integration fees to get the technology enabled in the client’s environment.

“Once it is installed and integrated we then oversee the operation of the fleet. We are essentially ground control for the client.”

Once it is sufficiently large in terms of client orders, DDC will have the option to contract third-party manufacturing for the drones. This would be another important milestone in the development process.

It is quite clear that DDC is presented with a very significant market opportunity.

It is an early mover with a disruptive technology that could transform the transport and logistics business.

The big question, however, is how quickly and effectively the small-cap company can seize the initial opportunity?

There’s still a long road for it to navigate, and it all starts with final regulatory approval.

Investors will want to watch out for progress towards this pivotal regulatory milestone, as well as any commentary from the company on its commercial tie-ups and contracts.

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 28, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Drone Delivery Canada at http://www.dronedeliverycanada.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/drone-delivery-canada-corp.

Cashless and confident: Glance Tech targeting global domination

“Tech is the new oil,” the head of a well-known venture capital fund said recently. But while the scale and pervasive nature of the technology industry’s products might match that of oil, innovation is hardly a commodity. New ideas emerge every day, and most don’t make it, either because they aren’t good enough or the team behind them can’t execute.

Glance Technologies Inc. (CSE:GET) doesn’t look like it will have to contend with either of those problems, as its unique mobile payment technology addresses an issue many people face each day and early data suggest the team is doing a good job getting the product into the hands of its target user base.

Three-quarters of diners in North America use some form of plastic to pay for their meals, but waiting for your server to bring the bill, followed by another stretch before for the card machine arrives, too often means that a good meal is followed by a frustrating delay before you can get on with your day.

The solution to this problem is Glance Pay, an app that Glance debuted the same day it listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange this past September. The app’s premise is simple: allow diners to pay for meals using their smartphones, thereby slashing the time needed to deal with the bill. Looked at another way, Glance seeks to revolutionise how we pay for meals.

“Even when the wait staff are doing everything they can, when everybody is in a rush or all wanting to leave during a peak time it can sometimes take up to 20 minutes to pay your bill,” says Penny Green, Glance’s co-founder, president and chief operating officer.

With GlancePay, users take a photo of the cheque, confirm the amount and hit the pay button. There are also options to add a tip, split the bill and even store the receipt – a very useful tool if you’re on a business lunch.

“The restaurant experience revolves around good service – as a restauranteur you’re trying to give someone the best dining experience so having a great payment experience is something you’re obligated to offer now,” explains Green. “If a restaurant isn’t offering customers the option to pay with their phones, then they’re not offering the best dining experience.”

And increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction is probably not a bad idea in an industry which in North America will turn over US$750 billion this year.

Green – who is listed in Canada’s W100 top 100 entrepreneurs – founded the company alongside Desmond Griffin, the driving force behind mobile parking payments business PayByPhone before he sold it for around C$45 million over five years ago.

“I wouldn’t want to build a payment app unless I had Desmond leading the team,” explains Green.

“We have the person who probably has the most experience and success in the mobile payments sector worldwide as our co-founder and chief executive.”

The experience of the two co-founders – who still own more than 50% of the company – has allowed the business to thrive and develop the alliances needed by any successful start-up, Green adds.

“We have a stellar management team and we have an innovative and highly disruptive technology that offers an unmatched user experience. Those two things will enable us to dominate the exciting space we are in.”

Green isn’t joking when she hints at domination either, in fact quite the opposite. “Right now, we’re the largest mobile payment company for restaurants in Canada. Our goal is to become the biggest one in North America within a year and eventually the largest in the world.”

On November 23, Glance Pay announced it had signed up the MR MIKES Steakhouse Casual chain of 32 restaurants in Western Canada, bringing the total number of restaurants signed by Glance to 95. Glance has been aggressively signing up restaurants, and announced it signed 48 new restaurants to use the Glance Pay app within a recent 36 day period.

Green is more than happy with the progress made by Glance and its app so far on its quest to become number one, and is confident it can be profitable within the next few years.

“We are far exceeding our projections already in terms of adoption rates and usage. Our breakeven point can be after one year of operations, depending on how fast we expand,” explains Green.

As you might imagine, there are a few companies in this space that are trying to provide other solutions, but Glance isn’t too concerned by what they offer.

The main stumbling block for competitors is that they normally require their software to be integrated into a restaurant’s point of sales system, which can be time consuming and expensive, and can also limit the number of potential customers able to come on board.

“With our technology we can have a restaurant live on our system an hour after signing them up,” says Green. “This is something no competitor seems able to match at the moment. It’s a huge advantage.”

Glance also allows each restaurant to offer a customized rewards scheme for its customers through the app, so that regular customers can receive as much as 12% of what they spend back in credits at the restaurant, redeemed seamlessly as rewards through the app.

All 40 of the venues currently up-and-running on the app are in the Vancouver area, but within the next 12 months Glance is hoping to tackle the mobile payments space in other parts of Canada and the US. It already has restaurants signed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and plans to launch in Toronto by spring 2017.

Although the company is looking to move into new areas geographically, with over 3,500 restaurants in Vancouver alone, Green doesn’t expect a move into other sectors such as retail any time soon.

“This is a huge industry and there’s a lot of room for us to grow, so it’s unlikely that we’ll go outside of the restaurant space because we don’t need to,” she says. “However, we are developing an extensive network of diners and restaurants which makes us an attractive target for alliances from many sectors.”

As with every business it’s all about the money, and Green explains that the company recently engaged Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. as agent to undertake a brokered private placement. Glance also completed an Initial Public Offering through Leede Jones Gable Inc., raising C$1 million in September.

GlancePay processed some C$56,000 of transactions in the second week of November and use has been growing at an exceptional rate since launch.

To give investors some sort of benchmark, Glance estimates that each new restaurant it signs up – it’s averaging five a week at the moment – brings with it the potential to process another C$1 million of transactions each year.

Even though the app will only take a small, “competitive” cut of those revenues, the potential is obvious.

But Glance isn’t just relying on transactions across its platform. The team realizes that once you have the audience, offering other features such as advertising and special promotions through the app to clients ups overall profit potential.

Not surprisingly, Green is quite bullish about the sector as a whole, expecting payments on the go to help the world spend over C$2 trillion by 2020. “It won’t be long until mobile payments are the norm.”

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 28, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Glance Technologies Inc. at http://www.glancepay.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/glance-technologies-inc.

The CSE Quarterly – Issue 11 is Now Live!

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The CSE Quarterly – Issue 11 is Now Live!

Just in time for the holidays, the latest issue of the CSE Quarterly is now available.

This year has been another record-breaking one at the Canadian Securities Exchange. Thanks to growing interest from investors who are paying more attention to the  innovative companies choosing to list on the CSE, trading volume and value have eclipsed last year’s numbers.

Whether it’s the disruption of delivery logistics with drones or redrawing the map on payment processing, the diversity of innovative stories contained in this issue of the CSE Quarterly highlight the fact that innovation is alive and thriving at the CSE.

Featured in this edition of the Quarterly are:

  • Drone Delivery Canada Corp. (CSE:FLT)
  • Glance Technologies Inc. (CSE:GET)
  • Fantasy 6 Sports Inc. (CSE:FYS)
  • Imagination Park Entertainment (CSE:IP)
  • True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. (CSE:MJ)
  • Mobi724 Global Solutions Inc. (CSE:MOS)

Click here to read the latest issue of the CSE Quarterly and for more details from CEO Richard Carleton on the many milestones reached by the CSE this year.

 


Missed a previous edition of the CSE Quarterly? Click here to access previous issues.

To have The CSE Quarterly delivered directly to your inbox, sign-up below:



CSE Advent Calendar Adventure

Many people know the Canadian Securities Exchange as the Exchange for Entrepreneurs, but did you know that the people behind the CSE are a very colourful bunch?

From motorcycle instructors to master chefs, gospel stars to goal scorers, there are some talented individuals working to make the CSE not only Canada’s most innovative exchange, but also Canada’s most interesting one.

So, in keeping with the holiday spirit, staff at the CSE have put together an Advent Adventure that features a daily fun fact about a special skill, talent or quirky story of someone at the CSE.

Every day in December up to Christmas Day, one of these individuals will be revealed. Follow the clues on Twitter or Facebook.

Think you can guess who it is? Scroll down below for the clue and the link to an answer.

Day #25

On behalf of the entire team at the CSE, we want to wish you and your loved ones the very best for this holiday season! Thanks for playing along for the Advent Adventure, we hope you’ve learned some interesting and fun facts about the people behind the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

Day #24

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As the president of a hockey league, his oval office is actually made of ice. Find out which CSE team member spends his time helping future hockey stars develop here.

Day #23

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With only two more clues left in the Advent Adventure , this one is the ultimate challenge. So, what does Santa have in common with this CSE team member? They both like flying objects. Think you can figure out who it is based on the disc-ription? If not, here’s the answer.

Day #22

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Although he enjoys playing in the snow, as a true entrepreneur, this CSE team member is asking Santa for an angel investor or two to make it rain.  Oh and some skis. Think you can guess who today’s clue is? Find out here.


Day #21

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The only thing sketchy about this CSE team member is that he likes to keep his hidden talents as an artist on the down-low. Think you can connect the dots on this mysterious artist? Find out who likes to colour between the lines here.


Day #20

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Not only is this CSE team member great at balancing numbers, he’s also got great balance period. Think you know who at the CSE gets a real kick out of keeping the numbers in line in this accrual world? Find out the answer here.


Day #19

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Some people set goals, some people score goals and this CSE team member does both. Among his many claims to fame, he once shocked the ‘electric city’ of Peterborough by scoring 7 goals in one hockey game. Take your best shot at guessing who today’s clue is about.


Day #18

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This CSE team member knows how to have boatloads of fun. From the balmy beaches of Toronto to the tropical shores of Hawaii, this CSE team member is always up for the row less traveled. Canoe guess who today’s clue refers to? Find out here.


Day #17

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After 16 rounds we’re nearly at the end of the Advent Adventure and as we head into the home stretch, today’s clue is on par with the best of them. This CSE team member is an avid golfer, has played on most of the world’s best courses (including Pine Valley) and will be headed to the Masters this year in Augusta. Take a shot at guessing the fairway or find out who it is here.


Day #16

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You’ll have to try extra hard to guess the answer to today’s pitch perfect clue. This CSE team member is not afraid of a good scrum & loves to cheer on Team Canada, the Glasgow Warriors & New Zealand’s All Blacks. Think you can guess who it is? Click here to find out.


Day #15

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Everything was awesome for this CSE team members’ intrepid adventure into the Sahara Desert. Among his claims to fame is that there are very few regions of the world in which he could not find a comfortable spot to take a nap. Find out who today’s clue refers to here.

Day #14

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From blockbusters to flops, this master of montages has scene them all. This CSE team member has been keeping it reel as a film critic for over seventeen years. Find out who you’ll want to help you choose your next Netflix video here.

Day #13

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He’s traveled near and far, but for over 19 years, this CSE team member has managed to avoid watching Titanic. Not to worry, his heart will go on and you will have him to thank for getting the movie theme song stuck in your head for the rest of today. Find out who today’s clue refers to here.


Day #12

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This “foodpreneur” is no stranger to hard work. Having run her own catering business as well as a few half marathons, this CSE team member kneads no introduction. Think you can guess who it is? Find out here.


Day #11

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While working at the CSE is this team member’s mane gig, she certainly likes to horse around outside of the office. Think you know who today’s clue refers to? Better hop to it then, it won’t be around furlong. Find out who it is here.


Day #10

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Adventure is this CSE team member’s middle name. This intrepid globe trotter recently cruised the coastlines of the Adriatic Sea where the only servers he had to deal with were the ones who would ask him what kind of drink he wanted. Find out who today’s clue refers to here.


Day #9

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From MAC addresses to mag wheels, this CSE team member is the unofficial combination of Mr. Robot and Top Gear! Find out who today’s clue refers to here.


Day #8

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Not only did this CSE foodie flex his brunch building prowess in a televised competition, but he proved his icebreaking skills are unrivaled.  Find out who smashed his way into our hearts here.


Day #7

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Not only did this CSE team member break hockey sticks, but he also broke records as the youngest assistant coach of Stanford University’s hockey team in school history. He may also be the best dressed house league coach ever, although that’s yet to be confirmed. Find out who this acclaimed style savvy advent adventurer is here.


Day #6

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Even though this CSE team member has not been a wedding singer but that hasn’t stopped him from appearing in a televised wedding. Find out who today’s clue refers to here.


Day #5

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As the lead instructor at one of Canada’s most recognized riding schools, this CSE team member teaches motorcycle riders how to (safely) live at full throttle. Find out who today’s advent adventure clue is about here.


Day #4

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Tony Stark might take a cue or two from this CSE iron man who’s ran, biked and swam his way to 10 half-ironman races across North America and the Caribbean.  Think you can catch today’s advent adventurer? Find out here.


Day #3

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With a passion for music, a pair of gospel albums and a new single in the works for 2017, this CSE team member is one half of the real life sister act HerCastleGirls.  Find out which CSE staff member is bringing together fashion, music and business here.


Day #2

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This CSE staff member has been walking the walk, literally every year, in support of a great cause since 2002.  The annual Walk So Kids Can Talk celebrated their 15th anniversary this year and has raised money and awareness for child and youth emotional health and well-being and directly supports Kids Help Phone. Think you can guess which CSE team member has been there every step of the way? Find out here.


Day #1

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In 2015, an avid fan of Murdoch Mysteries and William Shatner found himself to be the catalyst in bringing one to the other in the infamous episode entitled Marked Twain. Here’s the backstory behind the episode and the tweet that proves it.  Curious which CSE team member it is? Find out here.