May 24, 2011
OTTAWA -- Being a finalist in a prestigious national technology competition helped pole-vault local technology company Stellar Mobile Experience onto the international stage, according to company principal Gary Stairs. Stellar Mobile Experience has just scored a major contract with a German firm. "Being considered for a national award helped us break into the international arena," said Gary Stairs, Principal at start-up Stellar Mobile Experience. "My advice to local technology companies is to prepare well at the regional level first, then join the national hub, then expand internationally."
Stellar Mobile was one of the top four contenders for the 2011 "Content and Application Mobility" award from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA). "It was pretty scary to put yourself up against the best in Canada, in the country's largest high-tech association" acknowledged Mr. Stairs, "but the exposure can give you international consideration. Our technology is being considered by many European partners."
Stellar Mobile is producing all the mobile software applications for Deep Map, an information integration tool from Heidelberg mobil International Gmbh. The software combines different information sources with local references for devices such as smart phones and in-car systems.
The German IT company does business in more than two dozen cities around the world. "This is where our engagement with CATA's i-CANADA initiative pays dividends," says Mr. Stairs "It gave us added valuation in the eyes of our new German partner."
Mr. Stairs is on the i-CANADA Advisory Board. I-CANADA is a program to help communities recognize the opportunities and manage the transition to an Intelligent Community -- one that is an exemplary place to live, through e-learning, e-health, e-business, and e-collaboration. The Council of Governors for i-CANADA is Chaired by New Brunswick Premier David Alward. "i-CANADA is preparing us to be super-stars in any global city," Mr. Stairs noted. "They are all working on the same opportunities, creating smart energy systems, smart traffic, smart healthcare, smart security, and so on. We will fit right in.
"CATA gave us confidence on a national scale, and i-CANADA is preparing us for the global village."
Mr. Stairs praised the staged experience he got from CATA, as the association introduced him to events and new platforms with nation-wide audiences: "Bottom line: CATA helped a small Fredericton start-up pole-vault into national visibility and extended our European market reach and business volume. Now we have doubled our office space and our employees, and we will expand again in six months.
"This is a manageable approach to growth, from regional to international scale."