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    WINNIPEG

    CEO: Joelle Foster

    441 – 100 Innovation Drive
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 6G2• P: 204-262-6400

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    President: Shane Li

    24 Aberdeen Avenue
    Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 • P: 204-753-5170

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    Vice-President: Marney Stapley

    125 Adelaide Street
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0W4 • P: 204-799-2033

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    THE PAS

    University College of the North
    436-7th Street East, The Pas, Manitoba R9A 1M7
    (204) 623-0311

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Winnipegger forging disruptive technologies in the communication industry

Winnipegger forging disruptive technologies in the communication industry

Imagine that you are out collecting data in the far north and becoming separated from your team when the weather takes a turn for the worst. You need to send an emergency message but, there is no cell service and, on top of that, your mobile device’s battery just died. Your company is concerned because you have not returned yet; they need to send out an emergency crew to bring you back to home base but cannot find you because there is no location device on the employee’s snowmobile. Your survival skills help you weather the winter storm, and you find your way back the next day. Situations like this can become a thing of the past with the right innovative technology.

Making better decisions with better data allowing you to travel remotely with confidence have been vital to solving the frustrations of non-existent cell service, tracking, and battery life for Solara Remote Data’s President, Tom Tessier. His success with Solara comes from a patented communication method that provides your location, texting, and cell phone battery charging capabilities anywhere in the world. 

The spark of Tom’s idea arrived when working at Spaceport Canada. While preparing the rocket range for orbital launches in Churchill, he worked closely with Inuit organizations to obtain permission to drop and retrieve rocket stages (the components of the rockets that are jettisoned after launch to reduce weight) from Inuit land. By getting permission, they wanted to ensure respect and acknowledgement was given to the Inuit and their land, that no one would be in the area when a stage dropped, and create local jobs. What he found was that during the stage retrieval process, or when the Inuit would be out hunting on the land, there was no way for them to communicate or track their location in case of emergency. Tom’s Inuit colleagues asked him “to come up with something that works.”

With this request, Tom saw the opportunity to create innovative products; a device for a cell phone app to completely control all the functions to text anywhere over a Bluetooth connection to an external satellite radio and a personal GPS tracker. This thought process led to his latest invention, the Flare, which turns your cell phone into a satellite phone for texting through several iterations. It uses the global Iridium Satellite system, which works anywhere on earth. This quarter-pound handheld one-button device can also charge your phone at high power and simultaneously send messages through satellite because of its patented innovative engineering capabilities.

With the guidance from North Forge and continued membership with the Fabrication Lab (FabLab™), Tom created his startup, which ensures you get the right wireless data communication services and hardware in a simple-to-use interface to fit your needs. Being able to iterate prototypes at a low cost in the FabLab quickly helped Tom bring his innovative inventions to market better, faster, and cheaper.

The pandemic gave Tom the push to investigate new verticals which he found in a new alliance with a US company near Washington, DC, international links including UNESCO, and organizations in Africa. His comprehensive solutions include “Internet of Things” (IoT) remote sensor data gathering and utilizing AI to analyze data to predict behaviour and spot trends for future opportunities. 

North Forge immensely aided Tom through this time as well with access to mentorship and networking. Being able to discuss his business needs with mentors who have expert local, regional, and international experience has helped him make better business and financial decisions. Networking with like-minded tech entrepreneurs allows him to learn from others through shared experiences. The guidance he received on saving time, hiring the right people, and finding low-cost alternatives to current processes have catapulted Solara’s growth potential.

To learn more about how Winnipeg based Solara Remote Data can tailor wireless communication technology that fit your business needs, visit https://solaradata.com/

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Supporters

North Forge Technology Exchange partners with PCL Construction Inc.

PCL Construction Inc.

From small renovations to complex billion dollar projects; from modular construction, to advanced digital technologies, to cutting-edge sustainability, PCL has you covered.

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North Forge has partnered with 6P Marketing

6P Marketing

6P Marketing is your collaborative marketing agency, working with you to achieve your goals.

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Bell MTS

Bell MTS is part of Canada’s largest telecommunications company, providing Manitobans with Mobile phone, TV, high speed Internet, and Home phone service.

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Thompson Dorfman Sweatman

At Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), we are devoted to serving our valued clients. Our collegial workplace fosters greater teamwork, responsiveness and communication, providing better results for clients. TDS is Manitoba’s largest independent law firm.

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Wawanesa

Wawanesa works exclusively with insurance brokers across Canada, offering home, auto, farm and commercial business products.

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Bit Space Development

Bit Space Development Ltd. is an interactive digital media studio that specializes in creating innovative learning experiences for the classroom and workplace. We work with educators and industry professionals from around the world to develop effective solutions for education and training using cutting edge digital media technologies.

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Princess Auto

For more than 85 years, Princess Auto has been supplying trade professionals, home mechanics or people who simply love building things with the tools and equipment they need to figure it out – whatever that “it” may be. With a unique assortment of tools, equipment and products, ranging from hydraulics to welding, Princess Auto complements the home improvement sector rather than competing with it.

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Bockstael

For over 100 years the Bockstael name has been synonymous with construction in Manitoba. From the humble beginnings of a Belgian carpenter, to the fourth generation of family ownership, building is in our blood. We pride ourselves on world-class innovation and a client-first approach to doing business. This is our commitment to serving the province we choose to call home for the next 100 years — and beyond.

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Stu Clark Centre for Entreprenuership

The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) is here to support entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business we also support students from ALL faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more!

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SevenOaks School Division

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Maples Met School

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LGD Pinawa

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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

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Canadian National Energy Alliance

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North Forge Technology Exchange

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SEED - Altona

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Portage Regional Economic Development

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Morden & District Chamber of Commerce

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Morden Community Development Corp

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Community Futures Heartland

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Carman

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Access Credit Union

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North Forge East

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Community Futures Winnipeg Rivers

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Barkman Concrete Ltd.

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Pinawa Community Development Corporation

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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

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Canadian National Energy Alliance

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Western Economic Diversification Canada

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Government of Canada

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City of Winnipeg

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University of Manitoba

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Fabbaloo

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Red River College

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Manitoba Government

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les.net

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