We deploy immersive digital content and technology in premier WindowFrontsTM across North America.
FrontRunnerTM is changing the face of the Digital Out of Home (DOOH), commercial real estate, and retail industries through the WindowFrontTM Matrix. The Matrix is composed of street-level windows, and our FireFly Illumination System delivers real time content to them. We bring video to where the people are - downtown cores, shopping centres, airports, undergrounds - to transform public spaces.
$1.2 BILLIONAnnual Area Spend
11,000Weekly Vehicle Traffic
31Bars & Clubs Nearby
7 minAverage Dwell Time
Fireflies are the world's most efficient light producers. Like the firefly, we've designed a projection system that is mobile, efficient, and illuminates the world. We call it the Firefly Illumination System. These low-cost, scalable solutions use existing real estate and the latest technology as a delivery platform.
Create 24/7 impressions with no bulbs, no heat and a 2+ year operating life.
Catches 100% of all projected light energy creating crystal-clear content.
Enables programmatic buying, realtime analytics and interactive content.
Verify impressions, perform sentiment analysis, enable retargeting and more.
Enables content scheduling, rotation changes, day parting and remote content uploading.
Integrated with all our apps via the Ad Server to display and change content remotely.
First-of-its-kind platform produces a gateway for owners, landlords, brokers and agents to create, and upload property profiles of vacant spaces from any device.LEARN MORE →
Search, request, and secure the perfect windows for every campaign. Creators can upload content, schedule campaigns, pay for the media, and monitor realtime analytics.LEARN MORE →
Each month, automated ad royalties are paid to real estate groups via the app.
Creative submission process gives real estate groups control over what content can and cannot be displayed.
Our algorithm dynamically prices each window accounting for observed impressions, window size, sun exposure and more.
"It is no coincidence that the high profile space FrontRunnerTM Technologies used for their launch - one which has been empty for some time - was leased within days of the event in a deal valued in the tens of millions. The light and motion of their projections do wonders for drawing attention."
- Jackson Turner, CBRE
"FrontRunner'sTM Holiday Film Compilation was a joyous installation turning one of our empty mall spaces into a meeting place for thousands of onlookers to take in holiday classics while shopping."
- Theresa Warnaar, SVP Retail, KingSett Capital
"FrontRunner'sTM WindowFrontTM installations get spaces least out quicker. Period."
- Brandon Gorman, VP Retail. Cushman & Wakefield
Join an exclusive group of content creators - marketers, advertisers, newsmakers, film producers, artists and sports organizations - to be the first to enter the WindowFrontTM Matrix, and help redefine content creation and delivery as we know it today.
FrontRunnerTM has introduced a disruptive media platform redefining the future of Digital out of Home(DOOH). The Firefly Illumination System delivers immersive, full motion digital content to environments previously inaccessible through traditional Out of Home(OOH) assets.
Creator App is a self-serve platform for sourcing, booking, and managing WindowFrontTM campaigns.
Go after the very people on the very streets where they work, live, and play.
FrontRunnerTM has access to thousands of WindowFrontsTM and deploy on-demand.
Compared to digital, new age projection offers versatility and cost saving benefits.
We deliver large from content to walkways instead of freeways.
Never static, the WindowFrontTM Matrix is organic, and keeps people guessing when and where the next location may appear.
Working together with the Real Estate App, users can explore an expanding inventory of 'Active' and 'Available' windows.
Our cloud-based Ad Server allows for the remote uploading of any HTML-based content from the app.
Media buyers and planners can book multiple windows at once to maximize reach.
Impressions, dwell time, gaze rate, demographics, and sentiment analysis stream into the dashboard in realtime.
"Dilawri Vancouver Nissan experienced an immediate increase in walk-up traffic following the installation of the FrontRunnerTM system."
- Stephen Wilke, Corporate & Sale Manager, Dilawri Group
Uplift your retail experience by adding light, motion and interactivity to your store WindowFrontsTM. WindowShoppingTM is redefining retail by immersing users in a dynamic shopping experience, driving increased sales and creating memories that last a lifetime.
NFC technology means you can be making sales around the clock. No staff required.
Take your retail experience to the street and engage consumers like never before.
Position your brand in front of the people you want. No long-term lease necessary.
Alberta Government Uses FrontRunner Technologies to Spread Pipelines’ Values Message in Ottawa
The topic of pipelines, and especially, the Trans Mountain Pipeline, has been in the news in Canada for many months, and the pros and nays all tend to raise strong arguments about the economic, political, social and environmental concerns.
Alberta is the heart of Canada’s oil sands, and the province’s government, using ad agency DDB and FrontRunner Technologies, has launched a campaign in Ottawa – the country’s capital - to build conversation and get its message of the pipelines’ values across to citizens and federal government employees.
FrontRunner’s solution delivers hyper-targeted content from Alberta’s #KeepCanadaWorking campaign at the busy intersection of Ottawa’s Sussex Drive and Rideau Street in windows for lease office space brokered by Colliers International.
Nathan Elliott, CEO of Frontrunner, says that his company has, since its launch, been open to acting as a collaborative information sharing platform for public spaces.
“We want to align with creators the world over to turn battlegrounds of diverging interest into common grounds of mutual understanding through information sharing,” says Elliott. “Given the current pipeline quagmire currently enveloping our country, our hope is that the platform will foster meaningful conversation with viewers, regardless of where they sit on the pipeline pendulum.”
FrontRunner’s window campaign is part of Alberta’s #KeepCanadaWorking initiative that includes a Canada-wide range of media including newspapers, television, radio, billboards, search engines, websites and social media.
FrontRunner, through its proprietary WindowFront Matrix, recently expanded its offering beyond filling empty mall and street-front store windows, to enter the world of retail. The company currently operates in both Canada and the U.S..
FrontRunner creates windows of opportunity everywhere through the Firefly Illumination System.
For further information:
Converting Store-Front Windows into Digital Screens
Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising company FrontRunner Technologies recently used digital signage to transform an Adidas Canada store window in downtown Toronto.
The Regina-based firm employed its patented FireFly Illumination System technology to bring the clothing chain’s ‘Here to Create’ campaign to life. The system makes use of high-lumen laser projectors, which display large-format full-motion digital, static, or multi-parted content.
The campaign marks FrontRunner’s expansion into retail.
“More than 600,000 people will witness this campaign, marking FrontRunner’s move into big brand retail,” says Matt Stefan, the company’s chief operating officer.
To see the project in-action, check out the video below, courtesy of FrontRunner.
Adidas Campaign Targeting Women Marks FrontRunner'sTM Expansion Into Retail
Toronto - Adidas Canada has launched a new campaign, geared especially to women, in its flagship store windows at the corner of Yonge St. and Dundas Square.
The campaign marks an expansion into retail for Regina-based FrontRunnerTM Technologies, which, through its proprietary WindowFrontTM Matrix, has until now concentrated only on filling empty mall and street-front store windows.
With the campaign running though the month of November, Matt Stefan, FrontRunner'sTM COO, says, "Over 600,000 people will witness first hand this campaign delivered by our FireFly Illumination System, marking FrontRunner'sTM move into big brand retail."
Titled 'Here to Create', the dynamic women's fitness campaign features English singer and songwriter Dua Lipa and American model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss. Based in Germany, Adidas is one of the world's largest designers, manufacturers and retailers of active sportswear, shoes and accessories.
"Yonge and Dundas is Canada’s Times Square," says Nathan Elliott, FrontRunner'sTM CEO. "We are thrilled that one of the best brands in the world sees the power of our platform for an advertising mecca like that."
"FrontRunnerTM recognizes the value of retail as a complementary offering to its empty storefront solution. In fact, we recently were able to trademark the phrase 'Window Shopping' which is applicable to both offerings."
FrontRunnerTM, which is already active in New York and several Canadian cities, expects to roll out several campaigns that are now in development to windows across the U.S. in 2019.
FrontRunnerTM, a member of the Digital Place-Based Advertising Association, has partnered with Ayuda Media Systems for content management, and with Admobilize for audience analytics.
FrontRunnerTM creates windows of opportunity everywhere through the Firefly Illumination System.
FrontRunner'sTM Ceo named a city mogul
Nathan Elliott, co-founder and CEO of FrontRunner Technologies, has been chosen as one of Toronto’s ‘City Moguls’ of 2018, a philanthropic effort involving young business people.
FrontRunner’s technology allows it to scale ad campaigns across vacant retail store windows in U.S. and Canadian malls and on high density street fronts.
In honoring City Moguls as innovative leaders in their industries, it also provides a platform for these professionals, entrepreneurs and influencers to give back and get involved in Canadian charities. A Nov. 7 event honors, with filmed interviews, how the various young Moguls got their start, why they are successful, and what drives their passion.
As part of the Nov. 7 event, the Moguls also ‘strut their stuff’ on a runway wearing fashions from a Canadian clothing sponsor. They each also set up a donation page with a pledge of Cdn.$1,000. to encourage friends and the community to support the fundraising goal.
Funds raised this year will go specifically towards Covenant House’s new supported housing program for victims of sex trafficking, a complementary project to Rogers Home, a transitional house program opened in 2016. Covenant house serves at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth, relying on donors for more than 82% of their $27 mllion annual operating budget.
FrontRunnerTM creates windows of opportunity everywhere through the Firefly Illumination System.
FrontRunnerTM Technologies, Regina, recently completed its first proof of its WindowFrontTM Matrix at scale in the windows of vacant stores with a four-week campaign for Proximo Spirits’ 1800 Tequila in Toronto and Vancouver.
FrontRunnerTM, which already has 40 case histories of digital advertising for clients in individual vacant store windows, wanted to perfect its technologies before proving that it can handle scale. That done, it now is spreading out with several large clients lined up to run campaigns in vacant stores in both malls and on street fronts across the U.S. and Canada.
For the 1800 Tequila campaign, developed by Bensimon Byrne, Toronto, four stores on various major street fronts in Toronto (two) and Vancouver (two) were chosen, with ads targeting the 25-to-40 age group.
"FrontRunner’s projection platform is incredible," says Garrett Lewis, Ontario Sales Manager for Proximo Spirits. "It helped bring our 1800 Tequila brand to life in two of Canada’s largest cities."
"The average vacant retail space stays unrented for approximately three months," says Nathan Elliott, founder and CEO. "Our solution gives advertisers a great opportunity to run highly targeted, high impact campaigns while the store owner gets a percentage of the ad sales. Otherwise, if a store window is vacant, the owner receives nothing. It’s a win-win scenario."
FrontRunner, which has made arrangements with many of the major landlords across Canada and the U.S. has been busy closing an investment round which is expected to be announced this month.
"Investment interest has been generated from Silicon Valley and Vancouver in the West to New York and Toronto in the East, and we are focused on selecting a vision partner to take us to the next level and beyond."
FrontRunner partners with Ayuda Media Systems for content management, and with Admobilize and Linkett for audience analytics.
For more information:
Sept 03, 2018 — DOOH advertising network and ad tech provider FrontRunnerTM Technologies, based in Regina, Saskatchewan, joined DPAA this past spring. Nathan Elliott, FrontRunner’sTM president, recently spoke with Mel Stott in this Digital Signage Pulse exclusive.
Please tell us about the WindowFrontTM Matrix: what is it and how does it work?
The Matrix is driven by proprietary app and projection technology to deploy vibrant digital signage content in WindowFrontsTM across the globe. Through alignments with building agents and owners, we gain access to high traffic real estate. And, together with creators (agencies, film studios, art institutes and news-makers), we populate the Matrix with dynamic projection-mapped video and interactive digital signage content in real-time.
In how many store windows is your digital signage system being used? Where are these storefrontsTM located?
We’re in controlled launch phase as we cement our long-term real estate partners and finalize a seed extension capital raise. To date, we’ve activated over 40 windows from large urban centers like Toronto and Vancouver, to smaller peripheral markets like Regina, Saskatchewan where the company is headquartered.
Real assets for deployment have included: airports, malls, banks, car dealerships, theatres, museums, along with the high traffic street locations we are quickly becoming known for.
What type of digital signage content do you run?
The FireFly Illumination system makes use of the highest lumen laser projectors on the market. These units allow us to display large-format full-motion digital, static, or multi-parted content in previously inaccessible ecosystems.
Our WindowShoppingTM platform adds a layer of interactivity, turning any glass surface into one big touchscreen where users can swipe, tap and use motion gestures to browse inventory or complete purchases – supplementing the retail experience. Together, these capabilities allow us to populate matrix with art, film, news, sports, and community messaging.
Can brands use their existing DOOH creative, or do they need to create specific video for WindowFrontTM?
Advertisers can use any existing DOOH creative, including interactive content. Our entire business model is grounded in collaboration, for example opening up the platform to great groups like Campsite and Hivestack to deliver real time content to windows programmatically for the first time.
Can WindowFrontTM identify who is interacting with its digital signs? Can you re-target?
Not only can we identify who is interacting with the screen, but now, thanks to innovative analytics partners like computer vision experts AdMobilize out of Miami, FL, we’re beginning to understand how people actually feel about the content they’re looking at.
In terms of re-targeting and attribution, we’re proud to announce a fledgling partnership with fellow DPAA member and Toronto digital signage startup, Linkett. Doug Lusted and the Linkett team are developing attribution sensors, enabling us to confidently price our WindowFrontsTM on a CPM basis. These same Linkett sensors are tapping into new sources of data to creatively unlock re-targeting capabilities for DOOH buys.
We see the future of the DOOH industry being built on integrations. Each one of FrontRunner’sTM technology partners were chosen in large part for their commitments to building open architecture and a shared mission of pushing the industry forward.
Is FrontRunnerTM just a technology provider or does it also own and operate a DOOH network?
FrontRunnerTM is the owner and operator of the digital out-of-home ad network, the technology provider and also builds immersive, interactive and animated content for its direct clients to create windows of opportunity.
Please describe recent campaigns that ran on FronRunner’s screens.
The most recent campaign was for 1800 Tequila, a brand represented by the Toronto agency Bensimon Byrne. Three window fronts in Toronto and Vancouver were selected for the campaign.
Another recent example includes an in-store installation for Scotiabank in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. Campaign included projecting real-time photographs from the public into the window as part of the #scotiagallery initiative.
How is a campaign’s success measured? What are the metrics?
The success of WindowFront campaigns is measured holistically. Seeing the reactions of passersby to a completely new form of street level content delivery is enlightening. They stop, they stare, they take pictures, and they smile. These reactions drive FrontRunnerTM each day. This engagement is also tracked by the latest tools in computer vision (AdMobilize) and wifi sensing tech (Linkett).
Since our WindowFrontTM inventory is at eye level, we can really push the envelopes of possibility with these game-changing analytical tools to understand public spaces more effectively than ever before.
What software is used to playback and manage campaigns?
FrontRunnerTM has developed the WindowFrontTM Programmatic App used by real estate groups (who upload location inventory granting FrontRunnerTM access to WindowFrontsTM) and Creators (who can peruse available inventory and schedule campaigns). FrontRunner recently completed an integration with Ayuda to deliver WindowFrontTM content in real time.
To learn more about FrontRunner tech, visit: http://www.frontrunner-tech.com/
Sept 10, 2018 — The idea for FrontRunner Technologies came to Nathan Elliott one day while sitting in his vehicle waiting at a red light.
“It started with a literal light bulb moment two years ago sitting at a traffic light in downtown Regina Saskatchewan,” said Elliott. “We had just finished doing a projection mapping demonstration which is offered by a media company that I founded with the FrontRunner founders.”
“We had always been looking for a scaled solution for projection mapping. We realized there is a plague of empty space everywhere, so over the last two years we’ve set forth on a mission to illuminate the world through our Firefly technology,” he said.
Elliott is on the cusp of introducing his dream across North America. He’s taking its first-of-its kind digital media delivery platform for window fronts to the streets in scale. Using innovative technology, FrontRunner is spearheading the new marketing medium on a mass scale that is bringing light to dark spaces. “The concept is simple – we bring window fronts to life with art, film, news, sports, music and advertisements using some of the best real estate in the country as the creative canvas. We believe public space will never be the same,” said Elliott.
Through alignments with building agents and owners, FrontRunner gains access to high traffic real estate. And, together with creators (agencies, brands, film studios, art institutes, newsmakers and community organizations) it populates what FrontRunner calls the WindowFrontTM Matrix with dynamic projection-mapped video and interactive content in real time.
The company’s factory is in Regina where design, IT work and technology development takes place. FrontRunner also has team members in Toronto and Vancouver.
“We’ve self-titled ourselves public space pioneers. In so doing we’re exploring new frontiers of content delivery into cities across North America,” he said. “Our focus is on an uplift of social capital. We see the value of driving content into public spaces with the goal of instilling awe and inspiration in passersby.”
Elliott said unique alignments with the world’s largest commercial real estate groups gives FrontRunner unprecedented access to windows in scale. Its proprietary technology and logistics solutions allow the company to grow its WindowFrontTM inventory everywhere from large urban centres to small peripheral markets.
Listing agents improve turnover and monetize empty space. Advertisers take their message directly to the streets. Retail partners grow their sales by adding light, motion and interactivity to their faceless glass, added Elliott.
“We turn the windows of retail spaces both empty and full into dynamic projection mapped content that is delivered in real time,” he said. “We developed the FireFly Illumination System that allows us to drive high definition and interactive content into window fronts. We named it FireFly because there’s literal meaning to bringing light to dark space. The firefly is the most efficient organism on earth turning 100 per cent of the chemical reaction within into light energy. The life cycle of a firefly is about a month which tends to be the duration of a FrontRunner campaign,” Elliott said.
“We’ve delivered a scaled inventory at street level and in malls that didn’t exist previously by leveraging existing real estate. Malls need to be seen as vibrant places to visit, so when a store closes, we can come in and provide an illuminated front, rather than a dark window,” he said. “But we also look at how our projection systems can bring to life the windows of existing retail outlets. In fact, we just obtained a trade mark on Window Shopping, which is interactive integration turning any window into essentially one big iPad. We envision a time in the not-too-distant future where retailers will augment their window fronts by using the interactive technology for promotions, catalogues, points of purchase and more,” he added.
To scale the business, FrontRunner developed two apps powering the WindowFrontTM Matrix.
The Real Estate App is a first-of-its-kind platform that forms a gateway for building owners, landlords, brokers and agents to create, and upload property profiles of vacant spaces from any device.
“The real estate community is driving an important part of this business model by putting their empty spaces into an inventory. In return for granting access we get spaces leased out more quickly by turning them into destinations and driving new revenue streams.” added Elliott.
The Creator App can search, request, and secure the perfect windows for each campaign. Creators can upload content, schedule campaigns, pay for media, and monitor real-time analytics in one central source of truth.
Together, the Real Estate and Creator apps are symbols for changing the face of two important industries. It is clear that FrontRunner is on the move and coming to a window near you.
For more information on FrontRunner Technologies, visit: www.frontrunner-tech.com
NEW YORK, May 7, 2018 — DPAA, the leading global organization for everything digital out-of-home, announced today that FrontRunnerTM Technologies has joined the organization.
Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, FrontRunner'sTM unique WindowFrontTM Matrix enables building owners, real estate brokers and landlords to transform their StoreFrontTM windows into digital experiences that engage consumers with dynamic content.
Barry Frey, DPAA President & CEO, said, "We are pleased to welcome another Canada-based member to our organization. The growth in membership from our Northern neighbor speaks to the vibrancy and rapid growth of their nation's digital-out-of-home marketplace. FrontRunnerTM is a prime example of the innovation that is taking place in the DOOH arena. Their WindowFrontTM Matrix is a tremendously exciting platform that epitomizes DOOH's ability to engage consumers during their daily travels."
Nathan Elliott, President at FrontRunnerTM, said, "We have long admired the work that Barry and his team have done to advance the digital out-of-home industry, and are enthusiastic about lending our voice to future initiatives."
Recently, DPAA announced that it will hold its first-ever Video Everywhere Canada Summit on May 14 in Toronto. The event will be held at Cineplex’s Rec Room, a new state of the art entertainment and conference facility, and will feature an agenda covering important issues and developments in the video everywhere ecosystem, including programmatic, multi-screen engagement, mobile/location data and case studies illustrating digital out-of-home's impact on consumer behavior. In addition, DPAA will announce findings from its first survey of Canadian media planners.
DPAA is a global, digital out-of-home marketing association that has created a strong community environment in which members drive and promote their digital capabilities.
To deliver on their promise of "Digital Out of Home Everything," DPAA functions as a business accelerator and concierge/consultant for members. Membership in the DPAA community brings many benefits, including admission to quarterly "mini summit" meetings with ad industry and DOOH leaders; access to curated VIP tours and meetings at CES and Cannes Lions; an extensive database of research, best practices and case studies; tools for planning, training and forecasting; social media amplification; publication discounts; an opportunity to participate in media partnerships; insights on software and hardware solutions; further integration into the advertising ecosystem as part of the video everywhere conversation and marketing campaign; and more.
About FrontRunnerTM (www.frontrunner-tech.com)
At FrontRunnerTM Technologies, we wholeheartedly believe that people the world over are looking to be inspired, even if they don't quite know it… yet.
Whether it is on a walk to work, a Sunday stroll through downtown or hopping between weekend night stops with friends, our goal is to inspire awe in passersby by inviting them into the WindowFrontTM Matrix. Who knew that what was once empty windows, could now serve as the platform for engagement, immersion and interaction?
Our divisions – AdFront, FilmFront, ArtFront, NewsFront and SportsFront – serve as the strategic platform to defy entropy, and inject awe into everyday life. Think of our divisions as mindscapes just waiting to be shared. AdFront is the cave-art of the 21st century. ArtFront shows how world is but a canvas to our imagination. As Godard would say, FilmFront is truth 24 times per second. NewsFront is the window to the world. And SportsFront projects the spirit of competition.
Now, with literal windows of opportunity everywhere, public space will never be the same.
About DPAA (www.videoeverywhere.com)
Founded in 2006, DPAA is a global digital out-of-home marketing association committed to delivering the promise of "Digital Out of Home Everything." DPAA has created a strong community environment in which members drive and promote their digital capabilities. DPAA is a business accelerator that fosters collaboration between agencies and the DOOH community, providing industry-wide research and best practices in areas such as mobile integration and programmatic; and promotes the effectiveness of DOOH advertising.
DPAA's annual Video Everywhere Summit (U.S.) brings together nearly 900 delegates representing brands, agencies, digital out-of-home networks, ad tech, mobile and location data companies, research firms and others for a full day of presentations, panels, case studies, networking events and experiential exhibits. The Summit is the only event dedicated to multi-screen viewing and video neutral planning. The 2018 Video Everywhere Summit is slated for October 30 in New York.
DPAA is a Digital Out of Home Everything and Video Everywhere AssociationTM.
DPAA, the leading global organization for everything digital out-of-home, has announced that FrontRunnerTM Technologies has joined the organization.
Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, FrontRunner'sTM WindowFrontTM Matrix enables building owners, real estate brokers and landlords to transform their StoreFrontTM windows into digital experiences that engage consumers with dynamic content.
Barry Frey, DPAA President & CEO, said, "We are pleased to welcome another Canada-based member to our organization. The growth in membership from our Northern neighbor speaks to the vibrancy and rapid growth of their nation's digital-out-of-home marketplace. FrontRunnerTM is a prime example of the innovation that is taking place in the DOOH arena. Their WindowFrontTM Matrix is a tremendously exciting platform that epitomizes DOOH’s ability to engage consumers during their daily travels."
Nathan Elliott, President at FrontRunnerTM, said, "We have long admired the work that Barry and his team have done to advance the digital out-of-home industry, and are enthusiastic about lending our voice to future initiatives."
Link to the article: http://www.dailydooh.com/archives/128482
When the Regina entrepreneurs behind FrontRunnerTM Technologies envision the future, they see the widespread use of a system they have developed that will revolutionize both real estate and content creation in the world today, engaging the public like never before.
The FrontrunnerTM team has recently launched its FireFly Illumination Platform - a system that projects ads, art, film, news and sports onto store and building windows from the inside-out. “Think of our installations mini-Time Squares for windows everywhere” shares the founders.
“Ad agencies, news organizations, art groups, film producers, as well as realtors are big believers in our transformative content delivery model,” says co-founder Nathan Elliott. “Just as expected, empty spaces are being leased out more quickly because of the attention the projections draw to them. Further, the public is now congregating around empty spaces to view content like ads, news casts, and even old movies – a real case study in heightening social capital.”
To start using the service, building owners and landlords nation-wide create an online profile for their mostly-empty properties using a recently-launched WindowFrontTM web app. Content creators then use the app to select location(s), and then directly upload content that is projected into selected window fronts. To ensure a clear image, the team covers windows with a special projection film allowing them to project real time content onto the window from the inside of the building, preventing issues such as: light pollution, distractions for drivers, and weather-related problems for the projection system.
“One of our most powerful examples of window art we have deployed was a recent photo exhibit where we collaborated with Hani Al Moulia, a blind photographer and Syrian refugee,” smiles Elliott. “This compelling project – unveiled at their national launch event in Toronto in the spring -- showcased 150 faces of Syrian newcomers for Canada’s 150th anniversary – a timely human interest piece. As you can see, we can now share exciting stories in a brand-new way using the platform.”
Team members have a philosophical approach to their work, “the ultimate goal is to create fertile public spaces where ideas can intermingle, mutate and fuse by bringing light to dark space.” Their goal is to revolutionize the way that people experience public space through a delivery approach they have termed PopUp Media.
As they go about their mission from their “garage-style office” in Regina, they plan to grow their company in the province. “We want to be a Saskatchewan success story – and for now we are focusing on engaging Canadian markets. As we grow, we have the ability to do international work right from Saskatchewan.”
Founders: Nathan Elliott, Dwayne Melcher, Mark Kowlayk, Eben Hamilton, Lorne Piett, Guy Tallman, Janet Weiss, Dirk Dovell and Wayne Lorche
FrontRunnerTM Co-founder Nathan Elliott was given the honour of introducing Premier Wall at this year's Premier's Dinner. Nathan's introduction is included here.
Joel Schlesinger, Postmedia Content Works, Special to National Post
Move over Silicon Valley — there’s another hotspot for tech innovation.
Saskatchewan may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of technological breakthroughs, but a number of up-and-coming firms are breaking the stereotype that the province is solely a resource-driven economy.
Among these tech upstarts are Vendasta and FrontRunnerTM Technologies. Both are changing the way businesses market products and services to customers.
“We strive to be the No. 1 platform for delivering digital solutions to local businesses,” says Jacqueline Cook, vice-president of growth at Vendasta, a Saskatoon-based firm.
That’s a tall order given digital marketing is a crowded marketplace. But Vendasta’s game-changing advantage is that it provides app-based solutions for businesses to better serve their local customers. The company, which has been around for about a decade, offers a full suite of online tools that allow businesses to manage social media, search engine optimization and other web-based needs. In the past few years, that business has taken off, with an expanding client-base in Canada and the United States.
And now the firm is moving into markets in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Regina-based FrontRunnerTM Technologies has been in business for just over a year, but its story also demonstrates the province’s prowess for technological innovation.
“What FrontRunnerTM does is transform windows — most often empty office and retail space — into dynamic content using projection mapping. We see ourselves as public space pioneers,” says founder Nathan Elliott.
In essence, the company uses its app-based WindowFrontTM platform and digital technology to project video, images, animation and interactive content onto the windows of buildings and otherwise empty space in an urban landscape using rear-projection for a clearer image.
“It fills up empty window space and creates collaborative revenue opportunities for content creators and real estate groups by ushering in a new transformative model for displaying dynamic narratives,” he adds.
All said it’s just another day in the Silicon Valley of the Prairies, where opportunity is as big as the sky itself.
“We truly are the Silicon Prairie,” Cook says. “And it’s not just Vendasta — we’re really fortunate to have a lot of tech companies here.”
Growth of the industry has been largely people powered.
Elliott says Saskatchewan has no shortage of ambitious, highly skilled graduates from technical schools and universities. Some have gone on to create startups that have grown into more established businesses, including iQmetrix, the province’s largest tech firm.
Then there’s the Canadian Light Source, the only centre for synchrotron-based research in Canada, providing a state-of-the-art testing facility to study everything from the nature of the universe to cancer to nanotechnology.
It also helps that the government has stepped in to help grow the industry.
Besides investment in the Saskatchewan Research Council, which generates about $60 million in revenues annually along with employing more than 350 people, the province recently unveiled what it calls the “patent box” which will be open to applications later this year.
Officially called the Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive (SCII), it reduces the provincial corporate income tax rate for eligible corporations to six per cent for 10–15 years on income earned from commercialization of qualifying intellectual property in Saskatchewan, including patents, trade secrets, plant breeders’ rights, and copyrights (computer programs and algorithms). The SCII program is open to any firm operating in any sector regardless of whether they own or license the qualifying intellectual property. More program details are available here.
The program is music to the ears of tech firms such as FrontRunnerTM.
“Intellectual property is very important to our model so we’ll be making use of that program in a big way,” Elliott says.
FrontRunnerTM is just getting started so it has yet to generate much in terms of income, but it’s already making waves outside the province. In April, the company had its official launch in Toronto with an event that featured the projection of photos and video on the outside and inside of a hallmark building on Yonge Street in the busy metropolis.
Among the content displayed was an art installation of photographs of Syrian refugees who arrived in Saskatchewan in the past year.
Both Vendasta and FrontRunnerTM are in hiring mode, adding highly skilled technical workers — the heart and soul of any 21st century economy.
“When I started in 2013, we were 40 people and now we’re just over 220 people and that number will probably grow to 300 by the end of the year,” says Cook with Vendasta.
While it can be a challenge to find talent, due to the province’s relatively small population, Elliott says the quality of homegrown applicants is impressive.
“We have great animators, app developers, designers and programmers that we’ve found all here in Regina,” he says.
Furthermore, the work ethic and ingenuity is second to none.
“Saskatchewan has always been a province of entrepreneurs that started with its First Nations and then its farmers and continues on into other sectors like tech today,” Elliott adds.
The Saskatchewan formula seems to be working.
“We work with some of the largest media companies in the world,” Cook says. “We sit at the same table with Disney, Netflix and a bunch of other multinational brands.”
Link to the article: Silicon Prairie: http://news.nationalpost.com/financial-post/silicon-prairie-saskatchewan-tech-firms-make-global-impression
They are new faces in Canada, but Syrian refugees now living in Regina will be featured in an exhibit celebrating the country's 150th anniversary.
On Saturday, FrontRunnerTM Technologies hosted a photoshoot for the project, which will feature 150 different faces.
"We just wanted to show the faces of these people and how amazing and beautiful they are," Nathan Elliot, founder of the company, said. Elliott recruited Hani al Moulia to be the man behind the lens.
"It's really special for me because I'm one of these guys," said al Moulia, who left his home in Homs, Syria, when the country's devastating conflict began and members of his family were killed.
"It's really important to, you know, tell people in this celebration that we're part of the new community."
What it's like at a refugee camp through the camera lens of a refugee
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Al Moulia said while the subjects of the photos may not yet speak the same language as the people in their new country, their face will be able to connect them to the new community.
"If they're not talking the language, they can still feel each other by seeing that sparkle in the eyes, what the body language is giving."
The photos will be on display as the Regina-founded FrontRunnerTM Technologies launches in Toronto on April 19.
Elliott said prose written by a Syrian poet will accompany the images, and a Syrian violinist will be providing the soundtrack.
The last time Hiam Al Mohamed had her photo taken was at the Canadian Embassy.
"I appreciate what Canada did for us and that's why I want to show all the people how we love Canada and how we respect this country,” she said.
Before Canada, her life was perfect in Aleppo — until the war broke out.
"I see people die in front of us. I see people, they don’t have food. I see mothers -- she lost her children. I see mothers, she lost her siblings. I see many, many terrible thing,” said Al Mohamed.
On Saturday, she was one of more than 100 Saskatchewan newcomers from Syria who had their portrait taken by Hani Al Moulia, a legally blind photographer and Syrian refugee himself.
The portraits will be displayed at FrontRunnerTM Technologies' national launch in Toronto on April 19. From there, they will be displayed in windows all across the country.
"With my photography, with my art, I wanted to introduce my perspective on these people to Canadians," said Al Moulia.
The former U of R student has lived in Canada since 2015. He was invited by FrontRunnerTM to fly to Regina from his new home in Toronto for this event, which is commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday.
“We're part of Canada now and we want to do something,” said Al Moulia. “We want to fit in. Integration is our goal. We came here to add, not to take. "
And part of Al Moulia's Canada is his family. His brother Ibrahim Al Moulia is one of his subjects for the Canada 150 project.
“When the Syrian war came, I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t do anything there, I couldn’t complete my study,” Ibrahim said. “But here, I can complete my studies. I can complete my future and just do what I want.”
It's this message of hope for the future that Nathan Elliott, founder of FrontRunnerTM, wants to get across to Canadians. Elliott met Al Moulia in 2015, and was immediately inspired.
"We were just looking for a powerful message to not only speak to Regina, but Canada as a whole. And this is what we came up with,” said Elliot. “It's the 150th anniversary of the country and we want to showcase 150 faces of newcomers that re changing the makeup of this country.”
We are invited 150 Syrian refuges living in Regina, SK. to play a part in something special.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
#102 815 7th Avenue, Regina, SK.
Music, food and honorarium provided for all participants.
Please direct all questions to:
We look forward to seeing you
Nathan Elliott admits sleep is not something he gets a lot of.
Since winning CBC Future 40 in 2015, the entrepreneurial strategist has kept busy at the helm of his consulting firm, Insight West Research, communications firm, Insight Interactive and children's' charity, Huddle Up.
He has also been tied up with AdFront; his brand new foray into digital projection-mapping advertising.
'We're pretty proud of it, and, it is starting in Regina. That's kind of the cool thing.'- Nathan Elliott
For the past six months, Elliott said he and a team have been running "secret tests" ahead of the company's official launch in Regina, in early March.
Elliott said AdFront has agreements with leasing agencies, across Saskatchewan and western Canada, that allows for empty office spaces to be transformed into digital billboards.
"We're now going to turn spaces that are sitting empty and static and [using] projection-mapping, project ads onto the windows of these vacant properties," explained Elliott.
"It is a completely new platform, that has never been done," Elliott said, stating that instances of projection-mapping are currently limited to one-offs at sporting events.
"What we've done is created a voluminous, advertising model that takes the digital billboard down to the streets and we're able to do anything with that glass space."
An example of the advertising work AdFront plans to do using projection-mapping technology. (AdFront/Submitted to CBC)
One man's empty office space, is another's advertising revolution
The 36-year-old said he got the idea for AdFront after he finished an exhibit for another project, in which he used projection-mapping technology in a presentation.
"I was sitting at a light on Victoria Avenue and I was looking at an empty office space," he said of his light bulb moment.
"We're able to produce a 3D effect because of the film that is on the window and really, redefine advertising platforms as it is know in the world today, quite literally."
Elliott said the possibilities for the technology are limitless. The company is also planning on using motion capture technology that will allow people to interact with movement on the glass of windows.
Elliott noted the projections are visible during the day and night time.
"We can make it look like a realistic setting. We can make it look like a busy restaurant or shop where people are inside shopping," he said. "It is pretty cool. We're pretty proud of it, and, it is starting in Regina. That's kind of the cool thing."
Elliott is betting that the idea will catch on, quickly.
"There's waiting lists that you wouldn't even believe."
According to Elliott, the company is focusing its efforts on high-traffic areas, in cities, across the prairies.
This month, AdFront is launching in Regina, Saskatoon and Calgary, according to Elliott.
"We hope to take in nationwide this year, pushing 100 locations," he said. "Just taking something that doesn't look great —that tends to be the sign of an unhealthy economy, where you have a lot of empty office space— and turning it in to a voluminous advertising model that I know is going to turn some heads."
Elliott's Mego seeks to upset fish oil with Saskatchewan oil seed
In addition to goals of shaking up the international advertising market, Elliott is also hoping to give fish oil a run for its money.
Mego, short for Omega On The Go, is a new product Elliott is launching with the help of CFL superstar, Geroy Simon.
Consisting of a blend of Saskatchewan oil seeds and commodities, Elliott said the new product is superior to fish oil in terms of its health benefits.
"We have the alternative to fish oil that is renewable, Saskatchewan-based, that doesn't lead to the depletion of our fisheries, that vegans, vegetarians will have no issue taking, that is organic and home-grown in Saskatchewan," he said.
Elliott said Mego is available as a bar, drink and powder.
"What we're going to do with Mego is completely reverse the psychology of an industry, which is a six billion dollar industry in North America alone, to show that oxidization effects fish oils to such a degree that within minutes it actually becomes a placebo and that in a short time something called rancidity kicks in whereby it creates a culture in your body that is bad for you," Elliott said, stating this claim is the result of a year-long series of tests.
Elliott said Mego gives consumers the recommended daily dosage of omega-3 and omega-6.
Future 40 a chance to be part of positive change in Sask.
Elliott said winning Future 40 helped him connect with people from various backgrounds, who all want to change Saskatchewan for the better.
"You become part of a group that is focused on making the province better," Elliott said. "The array of winners is so diverse, that speaks to the province."
Nominations for Future 40 close today at 12 p.m.. CST. You can nominate someone you know, or yourself, here.
Here is the link to his interview. http://ckom.com/sites/default/files/on-demand/GORMLEY1200_15.mp3
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