The 20 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. 2013

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2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

All it takes is one good idea to build a company and redefine an industry. We found 20 of them

We’ve come a long way since our inaugural Innovators of the Year competition five years ago. Last year we moved the gala event to a spectacular waterfront room at the Vancouver Convention Centre and the air was electric with the buzz of all those brilliant minds gathered in one room.

The excitement carried over when our Innovators panel met early this year for our 2013 edition. The enthusiasm ramped up as we traded thoughts on the power of innovation. “What’s more important to business than innovation?” asked one panellist, declaring that the Innovators gala should be the blowout event of the year, the Academy Awards of the business community. We couldn’t agree more.

This year’s big lesson? The true mark of innovation isn’t just a good idea; it’s one that can be scaled and replicated. If Reliance Properties had simply renovated a downtown heritage building, offering affordable microloft rentals, that would have been pretty cool. But the real value of the innovation is the level of detail Reliance put into the planning and design so that other cities, including New York, have been able to take a close look and have since announced plans to proceed with similar projects.

Another lesson? Innovation isn’t something you do just once. Weatherhaven Resources had a pretty good business in the 1980s supplying prefab portables for remote mining camps. But when the Canadian military came calling, the company figured out how to pack an Arctic research station into a standard shipping container. Today it supplies militaries around the world with ground satellite stations and field hospitals, all pre-packed in standard shipping containers.

There are plenty more lessons in the Innovator profiles that follow—20 in all. If you’re as inspired as we were, you’ll likely find your company profiled here in years to come.

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Reliance Properties Ltd.

Reliance redefines urban living with afforable microlofts

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Weatherhaven Resources Ltd.

Creating prefab office units for remote operations

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

SemiosBIO Technologies Inc.

Helping farmers cut toxins out of pest management

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

TRG Mobilearth Inc.

Taking more finance functions mobile

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Tasktop Technologies Inc.

More efficiently tracking times and tasks

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Williams & White Machine Inc.

On the cutting edge of robotics innovation

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Corvus Energy Ltd.

A 'green' battery with infinite uses

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Global Relay Communications Inc.

A growing tech upstart with its head in the cloud

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Solegear Bioplastics Inc.

Commercializing biodegradable plastics

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

SoleFood Farm Inc.

Cultivating a charity with a nourishing mission

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Energold Drilling Corp.

Carving out an eco-friendly path for mining infrastructure

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Payfirma Corp.

A mobile alternative to bulky cash registers

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery Ltd.

Building a successful rent-a-winery model

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

The Sarah McLachlan School of Music

Taking a collaborative approach to music education

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Mark Brand

Putting food in the hands of those who need it most

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

GoVoluntouring Ltd.

Connecting tourists with volunteer opportunities abroad

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

B.C. Land Title Survey Authority

Automating land title registrations

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

Skunkwerks Software Inc.

Incubating research and development

2013 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. | BCBusiness

EightSix Network Inc.

Connecting the hospitality industry to more qualified employees

Video: Live from the 2013 Innovators Gala

A recap of the sights and sounds from our 2013 Top Innovators in B.C. awards gala

BCBusiness Innovators of the Year Gala

All it takes is one good idea to build a company and redefine an industry. BCBusiness found 20 of them in its fifth year celebrating the best innovators in the province.

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