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.

Event Review: CSE Go Public Boot Camp – Vancouver Edition

For many entrepreneurs, the decision to go public is a significant milestone. Getting to that point, however, requires sound preparation and the right partners around the table.

Fortunately for those seeking to go public in Canada, there is now more choice, innovation and value than there has ever been in the past.

To help entrepreneurs navigate the journey to going public, the Canadian Securities Exchange organized their first ever Go Public Boot Camp. This event, co-sponsored by McMillan LLP, brought interested entrepreneurs together with a great team of thought leaders from across the capital markets landscape who offered their perspectives on important components of the public listing process.

Included in the list of presenters were:

  • James Black – VP Listings Development, CSE
  • James Munro – Partner at McMillan LLP
  • Quinn Martin – Audit Principal at Davidson & Company LLP
  • Simon Thomas – VP at Computershare Canada
  • Mark Faulkner – VP Listings and Regulation, CSE
  • Justin Meiklem – VP of Sales and Marketing at Stockhouse
  • Bryan Henry – Senior Investment Advisor, PI Financial
  • Brayden Sutton – President Sutton Ventures

Collectively, these presenters covered topics relevant to the process of taking a company public. Subjects discussed included how to properly prepare financial statements for a public listing, the importance of working with right brokers, what it takes to successfully structure a capital raise and much more.

To view the full set of presentations, check out the videos below or visit the CSE YouTube channel here.

Alongside the presenters and panelists were members of the CSE team including Mark Faulkner, Vice President Listings and Regulation, who provided an in-depth look at the requirements and better practices for successfully listing on the CSE.

Unlike a fitness boot camp, where the goal is to run around, attendees of the Go Public Boot Camp were glued to their seats. The thoughtful speakers in combination with the Q&A session definitely resonated with the audience, who were keenly interested in hearing about the shifting landscape of capital markets and how to overcome hurdles to raising capital in Canada.

All entrepreneurs know that learning ‘on the job’ comes with the territory.  For attendees of the CSE Go Public Boot Camp, in addition to learning what it takes to go public, the more valuable lesson learned was how to prepare to do so well. That is a distinction that can save time, money and ultimately bring entrepreneurs one step closer to reaching that significant milestone.

FanDom Sports Media prepares to turn online sports chat into a whole new ballgame

It all started with a lighthearted debate between husband and wife that ended in a draw, both sides claiming their friends would agree that they were right. “Of course they would,” each thought, recognizing friends could hardly be relied upon to render an impartial judgement. But from this stalemate emerged an idea: in our increasingly digital age, wouldn’t it be something if there were a virtual space to go where groups of people could provide a ruling?

The next step was to figure out how to apply this inspiration to the business world. Blair Naughty, the husband side of that fortuitous quarrel, took the idea to friend and seasoned technology entrepreneur Bill McGraw, whose advice was to run with the concept but focus it on a particular set of consumers prone to taking sides.

Long story short, the two now run FanDom Sports Media Corp. (CSE:FDM), Naughty as CEO and McGraw as president.

FanDom’s business revolves around an app and supporting network that aims to function as the global center for sports chat. “You won’t come to FanDom to find out the score,” explains McGraw. “You’ll come to FanDom to find out what people are saying about the score.”

The FanDom concept goes well beyond conventional comment streams, its basic framework designed to supply the one element all high-traffic mobile apps need – a compulsion loop. In layman’s terms, the compulsion loop is the particular thing about an app that keeps people coming back. It’s what prevents you from putting down the game you are playing, even though you know that there are more productive things you could be doing with your time.

Compulsion loops are pretty complex things, based on a deep understanding of the sociology of your core user base. For FanDom, the compulsion loop is an environment in which users essentially become players who compete in multiple ways to determine a result important to them as sports fans.

FanDom users will vote on arguments, taking one side or the other and betting on the outcome with virtual currency. But don’t mistake this for a gambling app, because that’s definitely not what it is.

All FanDom users will initially receive virtual currency to use for betting on debates. The more you contribute to discussions and the better you are at choosing winners, the more currency you will stockpile and the higher your standing will be on the platform.

There are many personality profiles to whom this could appeal, but imagine the sports enthusiast who thinks he knows just as much, if not more, about his favorite teams as the pundits…or even the coaches. On FanDom, you’ll not only get to offer your opinion in the comment streams but also wager on and influence the outcomes of debates on a variety of topics. Think you’re right? Prove it.

“Our initial challenge will be to ensure we have enough content,” says McGraw. “If I vote on eight or nine topics during my morning commute and then look again at lunchtime, there had better be some different opinions in there, because if it is the same ones I’ll conclude that this isn’t much fun.”

Getting off to a strong start will surely be important, and while the app itself is only just heading into beta phase, the game plan for quickly establishing a committed user base is ready to go.

Part of the plan is to dovetail the initial app launch with primetime on the sports calendar.

“Football is starting soon, as well as hockey and then basketball, and of course we have the Major League Baseball playoffs,” explains McGraw. “We have a pre-launch plan that will integrate with events at some major universities. We’d look to do a regional launch in Southern California, then move to the top 15 to 20 population centers in the United States. From there it should begin to generate its own momentum.”

Once critical mass is reached, McGraw says that FanDom has multiple monetization levers it can pull, some conventional, such as online advertising, and others reflecting the unique dynamics of the FanDom app. Examples in the latter category could include sponsorships when FanDom builds discussions around a major sports figure who participates actively on the platform.

Merchandising is another opportunity. “With some things you end up making more money by tying what goes on in the app to what is going on offline,” says McGraw. “I have been doing this for many years and can tell you that there is no magic bullet. You just have to go back in day after day and look for a new place to generate traffic and monetize. You have to let the content people do what they do, and another side of the team has to become the monetization engine.”

Scores of apps are put on the Apple and Android stores every day, but a miniscule percentage have the quality of team behind them that FanDom enjoys. McGraw has stickhandled the launches of over 30 games and mobile apps. Other team members bring decades of game development, online marketing, athlete management and branding experience. The athletes McGraw says the company is lining up participation agreements with are almost all household names. The potential for creating buzz is enormous.

The trick will be to take that buzz and shape it in such a way as to leverage it optimally for FanDom, its users, as well as its athlete participants and their sponsors, a process that will require observation plus more than a little trial and error. “My experience tells me that whatever we end up building, the consumer will use it in different ways than we anticipate. Or the areas we did not think would be that popular will be, or vice versa. Having the team in place that we do gives us the best cut at it to begin with and then we can iterate on that as we go.”

An important aspect of the platform McGraw is confident predicting the course of, however, is that FanDom automatically roots out users who behave inappropriately, which will be welcome news to anyone who has noticed that sports comment streams often devolve into personal bicker-fests. “We will have some moderation of comments, but the testing we have done shows that the whole point of coming to FanDom is to vote ideas up or down,” says McGraw. “Selfish, misogynistic or threatening comments simply fall down the stream and get no attention, because there is no reason to vote on them.”

That will be significant because part of the plan calls for extending beyond the mobile screens of individual users to the televisions in venues where broadcasts are viewed by the public. Think fans at a bar in Boston debating with their counterparts in Los Angeles ahead of a big game between teams from the two cities.

On a bus, on a train, in the airport lounge or sitting at home with your pals, FanDom aims to give everyday people a chance to be part of the action. Perhaps not to the point of donning a uniform and stepping on the field, but to have a voice in an arena with rules, time limits and participants of varying skill is in some ways like an actual game. Real sports fans care passionately about their teams. McGraw is betting that many of them will care enough to carry that passion into FanDom.

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Sep 7, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about FanDom Sports Media at http://www.fandomsportsmedia.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/fandom-sports-media-corp

Record third quarter for CSE continues momentum through Q3 2016

CSE is proud to present its most recent quarterly update video and press release below highlighting the record third quarter of the year at the Canadian Securities Exchange:

Multiple Industry Sectors Push CSE Trading Volume, Financings to New Records in Third Quarter of 2016

CSE Posts Record Activity in Q3 of 2016

The Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) today released performance metrics for the third quarter of 2016 highlighting continued strong growth, particularly in trading volume and capital raised by CSE listed companies. Both measures rose to the highest levels ever recorded by the exchange.

Key Statistics

  • Trading volume in CSE listed securities climbed 138% compared to the third quarter of 2015 to 1.27 billion shares;
  • Companies listed on the CSE conducted 85 financings for gross proceeds totaling $109 million, an increase of 222% over the same period a year earlier;
  • The CSE finished the July-September quarter with 315 listed securities, 13 more than at September-end 2015;
  • Trading on the CSE platform in securities listed on other exchanges totaled 811 million shares, higher year on year by 59%.

Metrics for January through September also set records, with the 3.27 billion shares traded in CSE listed securities outpacing the total for all of 2015 (2.48 billion shares). CSE listed companies raised $226 million in the first nine months of the year, compared to $195 million in full-year 2015.

Trading volume continues to gain momentum in the fourth quarter, with a record 99,704,073 shares trading in CSE listed securities on October 6. Over the past 30 days the CSE has set new records for both daily trading volume and number of trades on seven occasions.

Several CSE issuers ranked among the most actively traded public companies in all of Canada during the quarter as investor interest increased across most industry sectors, and particularly for life sciences companies. The CSE also welcomed one of the few Initial Public Offerings completed in Canada this year when Glance Technologies Inc. (GET) made its trading debut on September 7.

Toward the end of the quarter, the exchange announced several important executive level appointments, and the addition of a highly experienced financial industry executive to its Board of Directions (http://thecse.com/en/news/cse-announces-senior-appointments-to-board-of-directors-compliance-and-listings-teams). The appointments were made to expand business development coverage and deepen the pool of expertise in the listings review group.

The CSE team remained hard at work connecting with entrepreneurs, hosting events in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto during the quarter, as well as presenting and exhibiting at the first ever Mines and Money conference held in North America. Senior exchange staff also travelled to China and Mongolia to continue outreach efforts in growing overseas markets.

The exchange is pleased to report that it will soon implement a new trading system technology featuring execution services for all equities listed in Canada. Related to this, a commitment to heightening the visibility of companies listed on the CSE through continued investor events and publications (including the CSE Quarterly magazine), plus support for market-making and other activities, will assist with further advances in volume and liquidity.

“The CSE is firing on all cylinders, with an improved capital markets backdrop helping our issuers to meet, and in some cases exceed, their financing targets,”

said Richard Carleton, CSE Chief Executive Officer.

“Having added several talented executives to our team, the CSE is positioned even more strongly to facilitate access to growth capital for entrepreneurs at the lowest possible cost, while providing liquid and accessible trading services for investors anywhere in the world.”

ParcelPal sees stars aligning as it readies same-day and one-hour delivery services for full launch

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Sep 6, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

“I want it and I want it now.” So the pundits say is the mindset of millennials, a generation that has grown up amid instant access to information and unprecedented awareness of other peoples’ lifestyles. Businesses, for their part, have long been this way, as some processes simply cannot move forward without the availability of certain items or documents.

Vancouver-based ParcelPal Technology Inc. (CSE:PKG) is counting on these dynamics, looking to provide on-demand (within 1 hour) and same-day delivery in local markets that beats the likes of Canada Post, FedEx and local carriers hands down. The prize is a portion of what the company claims is a market in which billions of dollars are spent each year getting items from one location to another.

The ParcelPal platform is a user-friendly marriage of software and logistics. When a customer wants something delivered they enter the details via computer or mobile device and a courier registered with ParcelPal is alerted to the request. Much like the famed Uber system for local transportation, couriers are rated by customers, and the higher your rank the more likely you are to receive the initial alert.

ParcelPal has aimed its sights on the B2B and B2C markets to begin, focusing on both e-commerce websites and storefronts. “Currently, the delivery process is full of paperwork, phone calls and waybills,” says Jason Moreau, ParcelPal’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is ripe for automation, and by utilizing smartphone and GPS technology we have been able to automate the courier request and engineer a standard of delivery I think people will be very impressed with. Our software is scalable and we can launch in new cities quite quickly.”

Once a courier accepts a delivery request, wheels are set in motion both literally and figuratively. The courier travels immediately to the pickup point and takes possession of the package. As the courier makes his way to the destination, GPS technology is used to monitor progress. No more sitting at home all afternoon waiting for something to arrive – the customers on each end of the transaction can see precisely what is happening so they can make any related decisions accordingly.

The cost is reasonable, at $3.99 within a 4km radius for same-day delivery and $6.99 within that same radius for 1-hour service. Charges on top of the base rate are added for deliveries of more than 4km or for packages weighing more than 25kg.

Of the fee, 80% goes to the courier and 20% to ParcelPal. ParcelPal has also implemented an insurance program whereby customers can select to insure their items for up to $1,000. The company gets 100% of the insurance revenue.

Vice President of Operations Kelly Abbott explains that ParcelPal currently has some 1,600 couriers registered to deliver its packages, each of whom has undergone a screening process and training session to ensure they represent the company professionally.

“Potential couriers come in and meet us and we do a background check and an in-depth training session,” says Abbott. “We have them do a single delivery, then we show them how the application works and how to handle various delivery scenarios. Delivery standards are our main concern, so if anything goes wrong, such as if a courier is on time for pickup but takes forever to drop the parcel off, his rating will turn negative and he will automatically be removed from the system.”

Also reflecting the Uber model, couriers have the opportunity to rate customers. In this way, automation introduces efficiency but accountability is maintained through detailed monitoring of operations and real-time rating of the system’s various human components.

In the first quarter of this year, ParcelPal conducted a six-week beta launch during which it delivered over 200 packages in Vancouver and the surrounding area, its couriers traveling over 5,000km in total. The launch went “very well” according to Moreau.

In the near term, the team is continuing with its soft launch in Vancouver, slowly building the local user base and working out any kinks in the system before heading nationwide, likely in the first half of 2017. “We are receiving inquiries from Toronto and Calgary saying ‘when are you going to be here,’ but we have to make sure it is perfect first,” says Moreau. “Right now Canada is pretty much a land-grab, as anyone with a similar model is focusing on big hubs in the United States.”

Moreau says that one of the verticals envisioned is integration of the ParcelPal platform with online e-commerce websites. “What that means is a company selling shoes, or virtually any product, in a given city can integrate with ParcelPal and during the online check-out process ask how the buyer wants their goods delivered. Do you want it on-demand, same-day, or do you want it through a traditional courier that might take days? ParcelPal would handle the same day and on-demand scenarios.”

Moreau and Abbott realize that ParcelPal will have to cement its reputation before big retailers agree to feature it as a delivery option on their websites. But for smaller retailers for whom such a service could be an immediate boon to business, the API (coder lingo for the ParcelPal computer program a retailer would hook up to its system) and Shopify plug-in are available for download.

Lest anyone conclude that ParcelPal can establish itself as a household name overnight, Moreau is quick to point to the growth curve experienced by Postmates, a local delivery service based in San Francisco that was established in 2011. “It took them about five months to do their first 1,000 deliveries,” explains Moreau. A graph distributed by Postmates founder Bastian Lehmann showed it taking 116 weeks to reach 500,000 deliveries, but then only another 20 weeks to reach 1 million.

All things considered, ParcelPal seems off to a good start, with business in the first half of 2016 having moved forward according to schedule. The company recently ran an online advertising campaign which further convinced management that demand for speedy delivery is out there waiting to be met, particularly among consumers.

“We did an online ad campaign as an experiment of sorts, comparing business shipping versus consumer,” explains Abbott. “We got a little traction on the business side, but on the consumer side we got over 8,500 visits over the course of a month. It was basically an ad asking if the viewer was interested in having food, shoes or clothing delivered right to them.”

Consumer scenarios are limited in number only by one’s imagination, but a busy person needing a particular article of clothing for a function or a group wanting to order food from a restaurant are ones to which ParcelPal is perfectly suited. ParcelPal is planning to launch its consumer app early in the fall.

“Consumers will have the ability to order whatever they wish,” says Abbott. “We’ve created an on-demand marketplace right in your pocket, whether you want your lunch delivered, or you want our drivers to pick up your dry cleaning, it will be possible to have it at your door within an hour.”

For the second half of the year “we anticipate full launch of our consumer app and doing a large campaign in Vancouver,” says Moreau. “Once we are sure it is perfect then we’re going across Canada. We are a nimble young company building out some spectacular technology, and when the consumer app comes out in the fall that is where it begins to get really exciting.”

Learn more about ParcelPal Technology Inc. at https://www.parcelpal.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/parcelpal-technology-inc