Though it took place in May 2016, our trip to Australia and New Zealand with Wavefront and Global Affairs Canada is still making news. We were featured, along with three other British Columbia businesses, in BC Business Magazine. The article details how each of the four companies opened new markets for their business: Atlas Manufacturing Ltd., Icicle Technologies Inc., Pacific Insights Electronics Corp., and AirG.
Our relationship with Wavefront and Global Affairs Canada continued with a trip to Mexico and Colombia in September of this year. Wavefront is Canada’s centre for commercialization of mobile and IoT technologies, providing support to Canadian companies so that we can build a globally relevant, nationally connected ecosystem that delivers digital capacity, competitiveness and prosperity for Canadians. More on that to come!
We’ve excerpted the section from BC Business Magazine on our company below:
Steve Burton took a trip to Australia and New Zealand in search of a partner to sell his food safety software
After launching Icicle Technologies Inc. in early 2015, Steve Burton concentrated on food producers in Canada. Burton was selling a cloud-based software system that helps such companies manage many aspects of their operations, with an emphasis on food safety. Given this country’s high rate of food-borne illness—it affects one in eight people a year, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada—he figured there would be enough demandat home.
Burton was onto something: many companies saw the need for an automated subscription service that would help them document their processes and pass audits from customers and safety inspectors. By the end of 2015, three dozen Canadian businesses had signed on to Richmond-based Icicle’s service, including bakeries, meat processors, chocolate makers, dairy facilities and blueberry farms. Then foreign customers came knocking. “We were a bit surprised when we got our first call from overseas,” Burton says, referring to a Heineken beer–making facility in the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia that became a client in 2015. U.S. food producers also started subscribing to Icicle, which has six employees.
In early 2016, Burton was contacted by Brian Roberts, vice-president of international business development at Wavefront Wireless Communication Centre Society, a Vancouver-based organization that helps mobile and wireless companies with early-stage development, growth and building international ties. Roberts was taking a group of B.C. agri-food executives to Australia and New Zealand to meet potential customers, and he asked Burton to join him. Since Wavefront launched in 2009, 230 companies have participated in these targeted trade missions, resulting in about 100 foreign business deals. Burton’s interest was piqued by Australia and New Zealand because of the familiar language and regulatory environment. He decided to go.
Wavefront receives funding from federal agency Global Affairs Canada for its Global Market Entry Trips and works with Canadian trade commissioners based in foreign cities. On this journey, the commissioners helped set up meetings in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland over five days. Burton, who was looking for a partner in the region to sell his software and act as a consultant, met several possibilities. He chose an Auckland-based company that also works in Australia, with experience in both food safety and information technology. “They are our boots on the ground,” Burton says. “They use their network to drum up their leads. We do back-end support, technical support, and they provide consulting expertise and sales. We share revenues.”
Icicle now counts 12 customers down under and more than 500 worldwide. “It takes time for the brand to permeate the market, and I think we’re still in early days there,” Burton says. “But I’m very optimistic.”
— Icicle Technologies (@icicleBsafe) September 21, 2017