Nivedita Gajiwala

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01
Aug 2017

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

Sandvine Corp. has accepted a takeover bid of $562-million with Francisco Partners(FP). FP intends to combine the Waterloo, Ont.based company with Procera Networks, Inc. of Fremont, Calif.

League - the company disrupting the employee insurance space - recently partnered with Dialogue to launch a personalized consumer health concierge.

CEO of League, Michael Serbinis, talks about the impact he hopes to make, diversity and AI based economic growth in Canada.

Toronto is set to host Elevate Toronto, a new technology festival aimed at celebrating the city’s thriving tech ecosystem this September.

Montreal hosted a successful StartUpFest earlier this month. In a memorable keynote address, Pando’s Sarah Lacy ripped the lid off Silicon Valley’s epidemic of “Toxic Masculinity"

Toronto’s Freshbooks continues to be a dominant player in SMB finance and has raised $57M fuel further NA expansion.

Wondering how AI will impact job creation? A recent report shows that, over the past year, AI job opportunities (as a share of all job opp) have grown by nearly 500%.  The success of the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy is thought to be a key factor in this growth.

Wealthsimple, a Toronto fintech start-up that is shaking up the personal investment world, cracked the international market earlier this year and hit 1 billion in assets.

TextNow, a Waterloo-based company that offers low-cost, cloud-based, mobile phone and Internet service is offering a $13k bonus for the employee making the referral plus another $13k to the newly acquired employee - giving us a sense of the shortage of tech talent in the region.

WHO'S ON THE MOVE

Former Director of Talent at Vidyard Caryn Petker recently joined Sortable as VP Human Resources.

Former Nokia, Microsoft VP Jari Niemela joins Thalmic as VP of Engineering.

Bill Brunson formerly VP Inside Sales at eSentire recently made the move to VP of Growth and Opportunity Development at Axonify.

Vision Critical recently appointed Marco Bussadori as its chief revenue officer (CRO) for North America.

Jennifer Fields, who was formerly the head of national agency sales at Kijiji, is joining as Sortable’s Head of Strategic Partnerships.

MISSION ARTEMIS

Check out our fancy new "Mission Artemis video" See why we love what we do and how we're making a difference. Share it with your friends!

ARTEMIS CANADA CONNECT

The Artemis Canada Connect program is a confidential and curated introduction service aimed at connecting returning tech talent with innovative tech companies in Canada. By flipping traditional recruiting upside down, we help individuals return to great jobs in Canada by giving our partners a first look at the best returning talent.

Here's a preview of the senior talent looking to come home. Sign up to be a part of our hotlist and subscribe to candidate profiles!

#1 This highly technical Data Science Director has extensive experience building out enterprise data applications leveraging cloud, big data, IoT and large scale systems to help drive innovation I'd like to learn more

#2 This Senior Director of Technology - IoT/AI - has a Multimedia and User Experience background leading a team focused on IoT, Wearables, Sensors/AI, Automotive, Mobile and Augmented Reality. He has 10+ years of experience in design, implementation and evaluation of mobile multimedia systems. I'd like to learn more

#3 This VP has led Customer Success/Professional Services at high growth software companies, and at large established companies (via acquisitions). He's a leader in Enterprise B2B customer success, customer and partner enablement and training/education. He's been successful in establishing structure/process in the delivery organization to facilitate renewals, expansion, growth and increase customer satisfaction. I'd like to learn more

#4 This VP of Architecture - Cloud & Big Data is known for putting in place the sophisticated infrastructure and processes that enable companies to scale globally. His experience includes the development of highly scalable, mission critical cloud systems across many industries. He has led very large teams, and can tackle a role that demands technical strength, strategic thinking and leadership. I'd like to learn more

#5 This Senior Data Scientist/Machine Learning Executive  has 15+ years of experience in machine learning, data modelling, software development, and data mining. He has expertise in Aerospace, GPS, applied Machine Learning algorithms, Predictive Analytics and is looking for interesting problems to solve. I'd like to learn more

ACTIVE ARTEMIS SEARCHES

Here are a handful of the roles we're currently working on:

Engineering Leader - GTA SaaS Learn More

VP Delivery/Professional Services Learn More Senior Account Executive - SaaS Cyber Security Learn More Technical Lead - Telecom Developer Learn More

LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER

Have you ever noticed how some people are just luckier than others. They always find great deals,meet interesting people who open doors on cool opportunities and come up with the brilliant, game changing ideas.

In this blog post, I explore how to find luck for yourself, and how and why to hire lucky people for your team. http://artemiscanada.com/lucky-hire/

As you read through this month’s newsletter, I encourage your to look for opportunities for yourself and your business. Open up yourself to luck and you may be surprised what you find.

Have a wonderful week!

Kristina McDougall Founder, Artemis Canada

Subscribe to future lists here!

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26
Jul 2017
Our partner is a US-based cyber security company that is cornering the market for securing against threats that originate from social channels. In a world where employees and companies need to connect and share information over various platforms, they require a security partner who understands these unique threats. This organization is in the early stages of expanding their footprint in the Canadian market. You’ll drive new business through both direct sales efforts and in collaboration with few key partners. It’s greenfield. You will be critical in establishing a presence in a new and untapped territory and driving sales opportunities through to completion. The Senior Account Executive will work with the organization’s International Sales Director, a terrific demand-generation team and a world-class Sales Engineer, bringing industry-leading enterprise cloud-based security solutions to new clients from across a variety of sectors, so you must be hungry and omnivorous! Does this sound like you? - You’ve been smashing your quotas and have a fantastic track record selling Information Security solutions directly to enterprise customers, obtained over 5+ years - Deep understanding of Cloud, SaaS, cyber security, security threats and network technology - Knowledge of InfoSec industry with considerable industry and client connections - Experience blazing trails into new territory, uncovering, qualifying, developing and closing new logos in untapped territories - Passion for strategic, consultative sales and managing all aspects of the sales cycle - A self-starter able to succeed when working independently and thrive in growing company - Ability to travel as necessary Want to know more? Contact Joe at joe@artemiscanada.com
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21
Jul 2017

Letter from Kristine - Founder, Artemis Canada

I’m a big fan of Brene Brown. Among her words of wisdom is the notion that we can only grow and succeed if we have the courage to be vulnerable and uncomfortable. Human instinct draws us towards safely and away from risk. When we put ourselves into new and uncomfortable situations, we surely risk failure but also greatness.
As I consider how this applies to career growth, I think of the number of people who opt to stay in a comfortable job, even though they are unchallenged and unfulfilled. Where new opportunities lead to incredible new learnings and adventure, they also present uncomfortable new social and professional situations. If you’re to set out an intention for yourself this summer, let it be to challenge your comfort zones. Try something new. Risk failure and embarrassment, and open up the possibility for incredible new success. Enjoy! Kristina McDougall Founder, Artemis Canada

Industry Update

It's definitely a time for celebration for the tech community with the announcement of a 10-day turnaround time for processing work permit applications for foreign talent. League announced the kickoff of its US expansion, with plans to pursue a $100 million USD funding round by early 2018 and be in the top 10 US metro areas by summer 2018 Element AI, a Montreal-based platform and incubator for companies to build AI solutions, raises $102M USD. Sam Altman, president of the Y Combinator startup accelerator in Mountain View, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo and was full of praises for the region. Montreal based Automat raises 11M CAD series A to build up its conversational AI platform. CIBC unveils it's data studio at the Communitech data hub. DMZ & GM host hackathon focused on AI solutions for cars - “AI is creating a level of connectivity in the automotive industry that promises to bring major benefits to manufacturers and consumers alike.” Omer's Ventures and CFC released an ongoing study - Pulse on VR - tracking the evolution of Canada's VR ecosystem. Startupfest in Montreal - a global gathering of the world's tech community - is on July 12-15. Don't forget to join the Startup Train from Toronto for an unforgettable journey of networking and fun! Canadian investors explain why Canada is a great place to do business, live, work and invest - #InvestinCanada StackAdapt launches #HackDiversity aimed at raising awareness about barriers to diversity in the tech sector. Who's on the Move Jodi Marner formerly a Business Solutions Executive Leader at Nakisa recently moved to the post of Head of Talent Initiatives at Communitech Former Head of Unitron Global HR Maija Mitchell recently was appointed as an HR Leader at Descartes

Meet the Leader

Samiksha Khanna recently joined Mattermost in May as their Head of Operations. Mattermost is an early stage company headquartered in Palo Alto that is growing the team around the world – with a heavy focus in KW and Toronto. They develop open source, enterprise-grade messaging solutions for leading organizations across high tech, manufacturing, financial services, public sector, aerospace and healthcare. Read about it here

Artemis Canada Connect

The Artemis Canada Connect program is a confidential and curated introduction service aimed at connecting returning tech talent with innovative tech companies in Canada. By flipping traditional recruiting upside down, we help individuals return to great jobs in Canada by giving our partners a first look at the best returning talent.

Here’s a preview of the senior talent looking to come home. Sign up to be a part of our hotlist and subscribe to candidate profiles!

#1 This accomplished Data Scientist has 10+ years experience developing and applying machine learning algorithms in a wide range of domains with a focus on natural language processing. He's had experience working hands-on to build prototypes as a start-up leader and is currently leading a team that builds ML and NLP models at a large global enterprise company. I'd like to learn more

#2 This Product & Engineering Leader has designed and developed software from the lowest level drivers to the highest level Java applications.  He is familiar with software architecture and system design - Embedded Linux, QNX, Android, and ARM SoCs - with an expertise in consumer electronics and embedded systems. I'd like to learn more

#3 This Marketing exec has experience leading scale-ups and large enterprise marketing teams. His domain expertise spans B2C marketplaces, payments and eCommerce. He is looking to join an established Canadian tech company that is ready for expansion and scaling sales globally. I'd like to learn more

#4 This experienced leader of Saas and Data Operations led the AWS migration strategy for a successful online gaming company, drove product automation and managed 30 engineers internationally. He has a strong project leadership and database background, and a UW Math/CompSci degree. I'd like to learn more #5 This CTO/Engineering Leader has worked with scale-ups and global companies in a variety of domains, spanning enterprise, mining, and ad tech. He is technically savvy and is a strong leader of people and teams. He is looking for a high growth company where he can scale the software development organization. I'd like to learn more

Active Artemis Searches

Here are a handful of the roles we’re currently working on:

VP Delivery/Professional Services Learn More Mobile Team Lead Developer Learn More Start Up - Machine Learning Engineer Learn More Engineering Leader – GTA Scale-up Learn More Data Savvy Marketing Manager – Toronto Learn More

If you have any updates or insights you’d like to share with us, e-mail us at update@artemiscanada.com You can Subscribe to future monthly newsletters here.
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27
Jun 2017
This small team of successful startup veterans has an exciting vision for how AI and Machine Learning will reinvent the work of managers. They have the backing of great investors and have a wealth of experience with start-up and scale-up ventures. As the launch this next venture, they are looking to grow the team of founding members with the addition of a Machine Learning/AI Engineer. You will design and develop AI and chatbot capabilities, building a natural language and conversational dialogue system - the foundation for a sophisticated and elegant enterprise solution. Does this sound like you? You have hands-on experience with at least one of recurrent neural networks, deep convolutional neural networks, and/or recursive neural networks. You are excited to productively contribute to a team of founding members and to solve research and engineering problems related to development and deployment of AI solutions. You are eager to test your knowledge in a challenging, problem-solving environment and to be part of an exciting start-up adventure. You are creative and clever, and eager to innovate and find solutions to real life problems that will reinvent the workplace. You have a background in Computer Science Engineering and a specialization in the areas of AI, Machine Learning and/or NLP. If this opportunity interests you and your experience aligns with the above details, email Joe at joe@artemiscanada.com
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Jun 2017

Samiksha Khanna recently joined Mattermost in May as their Head of Operations. Mattermost is an early stage company headquartered in Palo Alto that is growing the team around the world – with a heavy focus in KW and Toronto. They develop open source, enterprise-grade messaging solutions for leading organizations across high tech, manufacturing, financial services, public sector, aerospace and healthcare.

Can you tell us about Mattermost and what differentiates your enterprise messaging platform from the competition? Mattermost started in mid-2015, it came from a need we had when our subscription expired from another messaging software. We had to pay to access our own data and hated being locked in, so we decided to build our own. We are named Mattermost to emphasize the importance of keeping control of an organization’s communication. We believe that 1) internal messaging–across PCs and phones, with file sharing, archiving and search–is a vital layer of IT in a “post-email” world, 2) the platform for internal messaging needs to be open, and 3) that we wanted Mattermost to be the leading project to serve as the open layer for internal communications. Why did you choose to join the team? I had worked at a start-up before and really saw the benefits of starting in early and building an amazing company from scratch. I was really impressed by the customers Mattermost had already acquired through their reputation in the open source community. We have a wide array of Government and Fortune 500 companies using Mattermost. What has your experience been like since you joined Mattermost? I get up every morning and fasten my seatbelt getting ready for the amazing ride! There is a strong feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day since you are literally doing 50 different things and every small change makes a big impact. The team is great, we all really enjoy working together and even though we’re all distributed and work remotely I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Operations roles can have very different meanings depending on the organization. How would you define your Head of Operations role? And why was this a critical role at this stage of the company’s growth? One of the best descriptions I read was the Operations role is there to help make the CEO’s vision a reality. The CEO only has so many hours in a day to not only develop the vision and strategy of the company, but also to ensure it’s executed on at every level. That’s where the Head of Operations role becomes critical. I’m essentially an extension of the CEO and focused on the operational details necessary for success today and in the future. What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of what you do? As I mentioned earlier, being in a start-up you’re working on 50 different projects and the challenge is knowing what projects take priority over one another knowing that the priority list will change every few days. It’s challenging but it’s also the part I love, everyday is new and there’s nothing boring and repetitive! What are the key learnings you’ve had in terms of how a company can successfully scale? Since I’m in Operations I’m a little biased here. I’m a big believer in setting a strong foundation for growth. The last thing a company needs when it starts ramping up people and customer growth is for the momentum to be interrupted because tools and processes are broken. A solid operational foundation avoids the wasted time making a strong band aid and fixes the issue so we can turn the focus back to supporting our customers and community. What motivates you and keeps you excited about helping early stage companies grow? It’s the impact you can make in a short period of time. We’re a small team and growing and every small improvement makes a big difference. I also love that I have the autonomy to find a problem, fix the problem and then move onto the next challenge. A year from now I’m going to look back and feel so encouraged by everything we’ve accomplished.
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08
Jun 2017

Letter from Kristina - Founder, Artemis Canada

In today's blogpost I talk about how values-based organizations are winning the war for talent. As tech leaders focus on speed to market, increasing valuations and wooing investors, it can be tempting to sacrifice the best interests of great employees for short term delivery goals. We Canadians have a reputation for being nice - polite to a fault. In markets where customer and employee experience are critical, our inclusive and caring nature is starting to set our tech companies apart. When companies that proudly uphold values, it is this that motivates employees to delivery truly exception results. This month our update is filled with stories of these great Canadian tech companies and the leaders who are making a difference. Enjoy! Kristina McDougall Founder, Artemis Canada

WHO'S ON THE MOVE

Bart Piwowar formerly a Product & Innovation Lead at the Deloitte Innovation Lab recently moved to post of Director, Analytics at the CIBC Innovation Outpost. Oliver Fisher previously Director of Engineering at Shopify recently moved to the post of VP Engineering at Freshbooks. Ian McDonald former AVP at the TD Innovation Lab is now the Managing Director, Strategy & Marketing at InFlight. Simwave announced that Steven McCartney, former VP of Strategic Growth at Communitech, will be joining the company as President. Greg Barratt, former strategic sales leader at Miovision will fill in McCartney’s role at Communitech. Barratt formerly served as president of Communitech between 2000 to 2003, and has acted as an entrepreneur in residence.

INDUSTRY UPDATE

Congratulations to our partner companies that are featured on the Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies of the Branham Group Inc! Waterloo health tech company Medicalis has been acquired by the health-care unit of Siemens. Thalmic labs recently expanded into a former furniture store and has grown from 40 people in 2013 to over 200. They are working on products that "reinvent how humans interact with technology". After a “record-breaking year of growth,” VarageSale has added Kijiji founder Janet Bannister—now a partner at venture capital firm Real Ventures—to its board. SweetTooth has rebranded to Smile.io and has added a new dimension of rewards to the existing point based loyalty solution. Microsoft has announced a partnership with Waterloo's GainX to deliver a platform so that large enterprises can monitor and manage their innovation investments. Messaging app Kik will be the first mainstream application to integrate a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency. Shopify announced that it is bringing “A Day with Shopify” to five cities in five countries later this year including Vancouver. The company is looking for speakers who want to share advice and insights with other Shopify Partners about industry related topics. Vector Capital is set to acquire Sandvine for $483 million. In March 2016, Sandvine received $15 million from the Ontario government, which it used to expand R&D and grow the team. Shortly after, Sandvine partnered with TextNow to power the company’s wireless services in the US. SaaS North is returning for the second year in a row to celebrate all things SaaS on 29-30th November.

MEET THE LEADER

Brad Bierman is the Manager of Security Engineering at Arctic Wolf Networks. As a technical security consultant with deep experience in the industry, Brad is now responsible for a team of 11 security engineers at this California and Waterloo-based startup. We caught up with Brad recently to hear about their growth and the ever-evolving security industry…which is top of mind for everyone these days! Read about it here  

ARTEMIS CANADA CONNECT

The Artemis Canada Connect program is a confidential and curated introduction service aimed at connecting returning tech talent with innovative tech companies in Canada. By flipping traditional recruiting upside down, we help individuals return to great jobs in Canada by giving our partners a first look at the best returning talent.

Here's a preview of the senior talent looking to come home. Sign up to be a part of our hotlist and subscribe to candidate profiles!

#1 This VP, SaaS Operations led the AWS migration strategy, drove product automation and managed 30 engineers internationally. He has previous experience as Director of Data Operations for an online gaming platform with 1M simultaneous users. Strong in scaling data systems, analytics redesign and managing teams. I'd like to learn more

#2 This Group Product Manager has grown his career at a software company (web and mobile based) in the financial space that sells into the SMB segment. He’s played a pivotal role in helping them define their go-to-market strategy for new markets to shift from a US-centric company to a major global player. He currently manages a team of 4-7 product managers. I'd like to learn more

#3 An accomplished Senior VP, Sales & Business Development who has experience raising over $75M from VCs and strategic investors and is familiar with creating partnerships and managing complex ecosystems. He’s been the CEO of a startup, and has experience across ecommerce, IoT, financial technology, media & entertainment and security. I'd like to learn more

#4 SVP Engineering/Product who has built and managed distributed engineering teams of 125, budgets of $25M and grew operations of a yearly run rate of $200M. He has been through IPOs/acquisitions and has experience across content delivery, media and telecom. I'd like to learn more

ACTIVE ARTEMIS SEARCHES

Here are a handful of the roles we're currently working on:

Head of Marketing – Enterprise Messaging Learn More

Director of Customer Experience Learn More Engineering Leader – GTA Scale-up Learn More Data Savvy Marketing Manager – Toronto Learn More If you have any updates or insights you'd like to share with us, e-mail us at update@artemiscanada.com You can Subscribe to future monthly newsletters here.
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05
Jun 2017
Brad Bierman is the Manager of Security Engineering at Arctic Wolf Networks. As a technical security consultant with a lot of depth in the industry, Brad is now responsible for a team of 11 security engineers at this California and Waterloo-based startup. We caught up with Brad recently to hear about their growth and the ever-evolving security industry...which is top of mind for everyone these days! Can you tell us about Arctic Wolf and the difference that your solutions make to your customers? Normally small or medium sized companies can’t afford to hire someone to put in all the infrastructure, the software and hardware required for a security solution - it’s very prohibitively expensive for them. We provide a managed detection service where we have sensors inside the companies’ networks and we’re monitoring them looking for indications if their system is compromised. We then escalate it into the company and they’re the ones that actually fix it and handle that mitigation - we’re the ones doing the detection part. There’s so many false positives when you’re doing that kind of work, we’re down to 95% false positive but when you start out there’s 99% false positive and that’s where the experience and expertise of the people that we hire comes into play. Each customer has a dedicated security engineer that is their advocate inside AW to make sure they get what they need so they feel comfortable and have a strong relationship. That’s the big differentiator, we have all this infrastructure that we’ve developed working to monitor these systems but then you have someone dedicated to using these tools to check whether your system is compromised, to answer questions, and to give you advice. Tell us why you chose to join this team? I was working for a big company back in 2014 and it was so hard to get things done. Although there were interesting aspects to the job there was so much you couldn’t do because it was another group's responsibility. Everything moved slowly and that made me want to explore opportunities with a smaller company. The fact that Arctic Wolf was a start up was very interesting to me. Meeting the founders really gave me confidence in the direction of the company and that they knew what they were doing. They are very senior people and have run large multi-national businesses before so they knew how to get something going. The fact that it was a really agile company, and that we were helping all these companies that couldn't afford a good solution were factors that I found really attractive. What has your experience been like since you joined AW? It’s been incredible. Like with any startup, you have to work around things but it’s been great working directly with our developers and customers. It’s sometimes long hours which can be draining but it’s more a team than a company - it’s a very collaborative and accepting place and that’s one of the big drawing factors as to why people want to stay on here. We’re not an argumentative place, everybody is accessible from the CEO down and that’s very nice to have within the organization. I started early so everyone knows me in the company - when we first started I was part of the technical sales team along with security engineering - it was interesting to see how we were really able to get our customers in. We went through incredible growth and it’s part of the reason I was made Manager because we were growing so fast - initially there were 3 of us and now I run a team of 11. Can you tell us about the role of a Security Engineer (SE)? What makes the difference for someone who is good and someone who is great in this role? (What skill sets are you looking for as you grow your team?) The SE is responsible for the customer, they handle any kind of product updates and make sure somebody is working on it. There's an aspect where they have to do some project management, they’re also typically fairly senior people where they’ve got a fair bit of IT & security experience as they have to answer a lot of questions like “What’s going on with my switch/or my firewall/or my proxy” so they have to have that understanding. What makes a great SE is someone who enjoys talking to people, who has social skills and is able to communicate effectively. It also helps if they’re analytical, they like to dive into things and solve problems. There’s a time management aspect where they have to manage their time so they don’t go into rabbit holes trying to track something down. They have to be willing to ask for help. There’s obviously a technical background we have in mind but these are the soft skills that are needed and that help someone succeed in this job, the technical skills I can always teach. What is the biggest myth companies have about their cyber security operation? There’s a bunch of them - the first one is that antivirus is effective, it’s effective for about 30% of what’s out there. Companies assume that because they have a firewall or an anti-virus they’re good but they’re probably not. There’s very few that will be able to detect everything. After a couple of days most of them are good at being reactive, but not good enough, and the security posture that most people have is they put in a point solution and nobody monitors those logs, nobody looks at what is going on. They feel safe and secure in that they have this coin security solution but they completely neglect the monitoring aspect of it where they’re not actively looking at the logs. When they do get compromised then they have a much harder problem because they typically haven't found it right away. What is your best advice for companies looking to establish a strong cyber defence strategy, especially given the current security climate? The best thing they can do right now is have a backup plan and execute and trust it. You’re likely to get compromised at some point so make sure you have a way to recover from it. What happens if the server is no longer usable and has to be rebuilt? You don’t want to lose all your data so although it doesn't seem obvious, backups are the biggest thing that people need to fix, they need to test their backups and make sure they can restore. I knew a company that had been doing all kinds of backups but when they tried to restore they realized they hadn’t been doing it for months and they couldn’t recover everything. They had their data on paper (this is going back a fews years) so they were able to recreate a lot of it but they lost a whole bunch. With the climate of ransomware, the biggest thing people need to do is make sure they have a strong backup system in place that functions effectively. What motivates you and and keeps you excited about your security career and about growing with the Arctic Wolf team? My biggest motivation is helping people, it’s about offering people a solution that they don’t have. We’re able to help the community for the better, and growing the team means we’re able to reach out to more companies. I like seeing people come in that are passionate about it and I can help facilitate that passion where they want to help and do something. I love giving them the tools and responsibilities that help them achieve that goal. I like working in security because it’s constantly changing and I like learning and that’s something that I always wanted. I don’t like stagnating, I don’t like cranking up widgets, I like that it’s challenging, that you have to keep up with things. It’s fast paced and exciting, it’s the reactionary part of it that I really enjoy, it’s why I like this specific aspect of security because it’s constantly evolving. When we try new things it’s a broad overall way of doing something, it’s not technically specific and I find that interesting. I enjoy attack and even seeing what some of the attackers are doing. I find it fascinating to see how they figured it out, the technical abilities that they have -  though I do wish they would use it for good.  
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Jun 2017

I’ve had many conversations lately about organizational values and how they can improve or impede growth in tech. It seems that many companies, both in Canada and the US, are being torn between being values-focus (respectful, kind and trusting) and being delivery-focused (fast, effective). In the eyes of many, these are at opposite ends of a spectrum.

We Canadians have a reputation for being nice - polite to a fault. In markets where customer and employee experience are critical, our inclusive and caring nature is starting to set our tech companies apart.

With our focus on talent, we know that the success of a tech company is tied directly to the ability to attract and engage the best people. While these people all want to be part of a winning team, and one that is moving quickly down the path of success - they also really want to be respected.

The most talented people we talk to want to work with leaders who create an environment where it is safe to innovate and learn - where they are trusted and given both autonomy and direction. Great people know how to get results, and they’d rather deliver those results for a company that shows them respect.

As it turns-out, a values-based organization is most likely to attract the best people. When inspired with the right mission, great people will care about customer and will deliver great solutions with speed and efficiency.

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28
Apr 2017
Tom Kane joined Virtek in December as VP Global Sales. As an international sales leader with extensive experience in growing and mentoring teams, he was excited to apply his learnings to help Virtek continue to grow and compete on a global level. A few months into the new role, we caught up with Tom to hear about why he joined Virtek, why they are poised for global success and how to scale a sales organization.

What was it about Virtek Vision and this role that drew you in?

Virtek is a company that helps manufacturing organizations automate some of their processes. We help with cost quality and efficiency - wherever there is high complexity low volume manufacturing. If you get into high volume like cars, robotics are really what you need at that point. What we do is we help humans do things in a much more effective and efficient way. I came from a manufacturing background originally, so I'm very familiar with the challenges that most manufacturers face. Our technology addresses an important challenge. I have an unusual background and this was like a perfect fit. 

What's your experience been since joining Virtek?

In the 5 months that I’ve been here it's been a fantastic, busy, whirlwind experience. I came into the company and immediately started working on next year's sales plan. It was a real challenge, as I was still getting to know the company, but a lot of fun. I continue to be impressed with the people here. They are fantastic and very dedicated. We have very, very low employee turnover, which is highly unusual in the KW tech industry. This is a real testament to how much people enjoy working here. It's a very team oriented, fast-paced atmosphere. We work with blue chip companies which is exciting. The young people who work here love it because there is opportunity for global travel, as we have to be on site often to help our customers solve new problems with our product. I see that as a great opportunity for most people who are starting out in their career. The experience is invaluable.

What are you looking forward to as the company continues to grow?

I'm really focused on modernizing our sales team - giving them the tools they need and the methods that are reflective of today’s B2B buying environment. The industries that we sell into have changed and our sales team has to keep pace by employing modern techniques. This is a challenge that really excites me. We’re also developing and releasing new products at a very fast pace, setting the pace for our industry. In an industry that hasn't changed much in the last 10 years, we've now released technology and products that are changing the game. We can see our competitors scrambling to keep up. I'm looking forward to Virtek continuing on this path and staying ahead of our competitors. We’ve already positioned ourselves ahead of the curve, so it’s an exciting challenge to keep in the disruptive mode. From a sales point of view, it’s important for us to capitalize on all that hard work from engineering.

How would you describe the culture and team at Virtek?

It’s one of loyalty, dedication and teamwork. It’s really top notch people who are very, very focused. We do an awful lot of traveling which requires time away from your family and friends and is a big personal commitment. In order to do that kind of travelling you have to be dedicated and loyal - and we have those people. I find it amazing that this is kind of a sleepy little company in Waterloo that nobody talks a whole lot about. But I was pleasantly surprised when I walked through the doors and found the most amazing people here. And they don’t leave the company so the culture must be fantastic. Do we have ping pong tables and hammocks? No we don’t, but we’ve got awesome people that are excited to work here everyday and contribute to really helping customers solve problems.

Virtek has been part of the local tech scene for a long time - why would you say that they are now one to watch?

In a traditional sense, I don’t know if we’re "the one to watch". However I’m excited about what we do because what we do, we do very well. We have huge market share in our space. I’m excited that we’re leading the way with new technology in engineering and it’s great to watch. When demo our new products for our best customers, it is amazing to watch their faces. It’s the equivalent of saying you’ve been driving a car your whole life and somebody pulls up with a car that can fly -  and you go "whaaat" - that is kind of the equivalent. We've brought technology into the space and big companies see this and their jaws drop to the floor - "wow, this is fantastic". That makes me really excited. I know that we are onto something that is really, truly game changing. As a sales leader that makes my job so satisfying.

What are some of the most challenging aspect about what you do?

Because of the way people buy today, they’ve got more access to information than they’ve ever had in the history of the world. With information so easy to come by, gaining mindshare when they’re doing their research is by far the biggest challenge. It’s a very busy world out there on the internet. I’m confident, because we’ve got really good, passionate people here and that’s the prime ingredient.  There’s nothing they can’t do.

Why do you do what you do? What motivates you and makes everything worth it?

At the end of the day if you’re in sales or engineering, you generally just want to help people succeed. That’s what it comes down to. If you can somehow help somebody solve a problem with cool technology that’s a great motivator. When they turn to you and say "wow, this is great. This is fantastic and we couldn’t have done this without you." - That’s gold.

Any words of advice for companies looking to scale globally?

I would suggest that they need to get their feet wet - lean in. You may be right or you may be wrong, but the more you hesitate the more you lose your opportunity. Time is always a competitive weapon. Get started and learn by experience. The depth of complexity when you work on an international scale is something that you really just have to experience yourself. Don’t delay. The more you delay, the more opportunity is lost and time is the ultimate currency so do it now - do it today.
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04
Apr 2017
With the new changes happening in the region and an exciting array of high-growth tech clientele the Artemis Team was at capacity. So we're happy to announce that our team recently doubled in size  and we're delighted to welcome Nivedita, Yvonne and Joe to the team! Armed with a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in International Business, Nivedita recently took the plunge into Canada's winter and exploding tech industry. With a background in digital marketing at an agency in India and a Fortune 500 company in Amsterdam, Nivedita is excited about bringing her dual perspective to the team. Yvonne is a maritimer with a passion for helping people. She’s excited to be matching talented people with challenging roles. In Calgary, she helped build and develop engineering teams for the Energy sector, now she’s eager to help power innovation in KW. A graduate of UW, UofT, and former doctoral candidate at McMaster, Joe excitedly made the move into tech and recruiting at a Fortune 500 before joining Artemis. He's thrilled to work with the finely-tuned team and to focus his efforts on driving innovation by championing it’s most critical asset: good people.
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Artemis Canada – Executive Search

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Our partners are the inventors, builders and leaders who are changing our world, enriching the lives of their teams, strengthening their communities and delivering valuable innovations to global marketplaces.

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