Bridging the Digital Divide for Remote Canadians. ISM, an IT managed services provider and subsidiary of Kyndryl, and OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, have partnered to offer competitive internet access to remote organizations and communities across Canada. ISM has deep roots in the Canadian IT sector, with nearly a half-century of experience delivering leading-edge solutions to its clients using local resources. This partnership with OneWeb will enable the companies, through their newly created service, to connect the hardest-to-reach areas of Canada with fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency broadband service.

The partnership is designed to help bridge the digital divide by improving connectivity in remote areas, extending access to higher quality audio and video calls and increasing the ability to stream a wide range of services. By bringing in this service, the benefits to rural and remote Canadian communities may include:

 Expanded access to distance learning, telehealth, government services, and telework

 Economic growth, fuelled by businesses becoming able to reach new customers around the world

 Additional ways to connect and communicate.

“At ISM, we believe in offering equitable access to connectivity technology regardless of postal code,” said Hasnain Versi, President and CEO of ISM. “We are excited to realize our shared vision with OneWeb to further enable remote communities via wireless internet connectivity. We partnered with OneWeb because they have the right combination of technology, innovation, and skills to successfully design and deliver our new solution. This service will help remote organizations and communities by providing an essential service in an accessible way.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with ISM to expand OneWeb’s footprint in Canada and provide some of the most remote areas with broadband service,” said Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb. “We are committed to bridging the digital divide, and we pride ourselves on removing connectivity barriers that hold economies and communities back. This new service by ISM will enable essential services in new areas and further enable digital transformation across Canada.”

ISM is a provider of innovative IT business solutions serving Canadian clients and delivers technology-based solutions combined with personalized services in managed services including analytics, cloud, network, application management, digital transformation, and more, ISM offers a wealth of business intelligence to help clients achieve their strategic business objectives. OneWeb is a global communications network powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.

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Breathing New Life into Atlantic Canadian Main Streets. An investment support effort to reanimate main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods is coming for small towns down east. Atlantic Canada’s main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods are vibrant spaces where people gather to enjoy all that our urban and rural communities have to offer. These spaces drive the economy by being hubs of social, economic and cultural activity. For more than two years, public health restrictions have made it necessary for businesses throughout Atlantic Canada, particularly those in the arts and culture, tourism and hospitality, and small retail businesses to shut down or to limit operations. These businesses are found in communities of all sizes, and often operated by women and under-represented groups. As restrictions begin to ease, the Government of Canada is committed to breathing new life into main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods, where many of these hard-hit businesses reside.

Tapping the potential of local and regional collaboration. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, is leading a new initiative to fuel local economies by supporting community-led projects that bring more people to main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods. As Atlantic Canadians make plans beyond their social “bubbles”, the Rediscover Main Streets initiative will foster collaboration that will create events, increase marketing and promotion of local institutions and happenings, and encourage residents and others to visit main streets, downtowns, and neighbourhoods. Through the Rediscover Main Streets initiative, ACOA will contribute up to $10 million to provide funds to non-profit organizations across Atlantic Canada, including business improvement associations, tourism associations, chambers of commerce, and destination marketing organizations to help them generate new ideas that inspire locals and tourists alike to rediscover all that their main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods have to offer.

Non-profit organizations are encouraged to team up to take a problem-solving, active approach to drive consumers back to vibrant activity hubs. By supporting these locally and provincially tailored initiatives, the Government of Canada is taking real action to build a strong and resilient economy that is innovative, diverse and inclusive. “Our main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods are at the heart of our vibrant rural and urban communities here in Atlantic Canada,” said Petitpas Taylor. “The new Rediscover Main Streets initiative will foster collaboration and generate new innovative ideas and projects to encourage residents and visitors to come out and enjoy everything our communities have to offer.”

ACOA will accept applications for the Rediscover Main Streets initiative from April 4, until April 29, 2022. More information on deadlines and eligibility criteria is available on ACOA’s website. The Rediscover Main Streets initiative complements other federal, provincial and municipal measures to help businesses and communities build back better. Since the beginning of the pandemic, ACOA has invested just under half a billion dollars to help businesses and organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting more than 5,000 jobs in communities across the region.

The plan is to bring consumers back to their community main streets, downtowns and neighbourhoods; bring back arts and culture events that had been cancelled or reduced by health measures; support collaborative projects by non-profits that bring people back to the businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, helping them build capacity; increase community engagement through new partnerships; entice Atlantic Canadians to explore their provinces on a local and regional level; help build an inclusive economy through projects that support underrepresented groups and take into consideration their unique challenges.

The Government of Canada will be investing up to $10 million in non-profit organizations such as business improvement associations, tourism associations, chambers of commerce, and destination marketing organizations to create projects and activities that will encourage people to revisit and rediscover what their downtowns, main streets and neighbourhoods have to offer. Funds for the Rediscover Main Streets initiative will be disbursed through the existing Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program.

Contributions under this new initiative will be non-repayable; and could cover up to 100 percent of eligible costs. Contributions will range from $25,000 to $500,000 for targeted initiatives. Larger region-wide projects could receive more on a case-by-case basis. Information on eligible and non-eligible costs and activity is available on ACOA’s website.

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Keep an Eye on Christina Pilarski, Named Top Entrepreneur. Christina Pilarski, CEO of Calgary-based full-service marketing and communications agency CIPR Communications, has been recognized by the Entrepreneur Herald as a leading entrepreneur. She was named to their list of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs to Look Out for in 2022. Entrepreneurs Herald, a digital publication for leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world, highlights the stories and ideas of the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and creates opportunities for meaningful conversations that help to educate and motivate its readership. According to the announcement, “Entrepreneurship is vital in the present era of globalization to ignite transformation in different industries . . . entrepreneurs are constantly enriching their industries and creating a better, more improved world for innovations, advancements, and development in their specific area of work.”

“I am incredibly honoured to have been included among this esteemed list of trailblazing entrepreneurs,” said Pilarski. “With the help of my incredible team, I look forward to continuing to challenge the status quo and drive innovation in marketing and communications.”

Pilarski’s entrepreneurial spirit is bolstered by her academic credentials. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (with honours) and Master of Arts, both in Communications Studies, from the University of Calgary. Her thesis focused on the ability to affect policy change through online engagement and had a strong focus on social media. That work proved helpful when she started CIPR Communications in 2010 before jumping in with both feet in 2015.

Last year was a difficult year for many small businesses. However, with Christina’s business acumen and strong understanding of the industry, coupled with the vision of her partner – in business and in life – Peter Pilarski, CIPR Communications was able to triumph. CIPR had its most profitable year to date, experiencing more than 55 percent growth – and they have no plans of stopping: growth is on track to exceed 60 percent in 2022.

“Like any entrepreneur, I recognize that with great risk comes great reward,” continued Pilarski. “I’m looking forward to continuing to engage in meaningful work and build meaningful relationships with our incredible clients across North America in 2022 and beyond.”

CIPR Communications is a full-service marketing communications agency that services clients in various industries across North America. CIPR puts their clients and their business goals at the centre of everything they do and their strategies, execution, and reporting all focus on adding value.

CIPR Communications is a strategy-first agency, meaning they take the time upfront with every client to understand business goals, their competitive environment, past marketing and communications successes and failures, and the strength of their marketing and communications foundation.

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Jerome Dwight, Chairman & CEO of BoomerangFX, a Toronto headquartered software as a service (SaaS) company. BoomerangFX recently closed private series A and series B funding rounds of more than $20 million. (CNW Group/BoomerangFX)

Who launches and markets a company during a pandemic? Toronto-based software as a sales (SaaS)company BoomerangFX, launched in 2021 — at the height of a global pandemic and national lockdowns —continues along an arch of exponential growth as it scales to meet the demands of the market.

BoomerangFX is uniquely situated at the intersection of Martech, (marketing technology) which is a $120-billion-dollar industry growing more than 22 percent annually, and aesthetic and cosmetic health care market valued at $270 billion, experiencing a growth of more than 35 percent a year, Dwight noted, adding the company is presently on a hiring spree in areas such as technology development, data science and digital marketing.

BoomerangFX is a SaaS-based technology company that has developed one of the world’s first end-to-end healthcare practice management solutions designed for the non-insured, private-pay cosmetic surgery, dermatology, medical spa, ophthalmology, hair restoration, dentistry, women’s health, and podiatric industry segments.

Built on advanced artificial intelligence (AI), the technology includes marketing automation, telemedicine and virtual consultations, clinic management dashboards, e-scripting and electronic medical records, all in a single easy-to-use platform.

“We have invested in a multimillion-dollar product roadmap to build AI across all our platform capabilities,” said Jerome Dwight, Chairman & CEO, BoomerangFX. “Artificial Intelligence has the potential to radically transform the inside of a medical practice and lead to better patient outcomes by allowing healthcare practitioners to spend less time on day-to-day administration and more time serving their patients.”

“Our technology, guides clinic-owners through critical business decisions with real-time insights into patient engagement, optimal clinic revenues, retreatment patterns, and the allocation of digital advertising dollars to continuously attract a steady pipeline of new patients,” he continued.

“Our decision to launch in the middle of a North American shutdown was not an easy one,” Dwight said. “But it was guided by our mission to support healthcare business owners with our technology and tools and a commitment to help them reboot their practice growth and profitability.”

BoomerangFX is currently experiencing exponential growth of over 500 percent within its first 12 months and has a growing roster of medical practice clients across the U.S. and Canada in markets including Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Oregon, and several Canadian cities.

The company also has plans to open a technology and sales office in the U.S. later this year. The Leadership team at BoomerangFX includes executives from Silicon Valley, Digital Marketing, Fintech, and leading SaaS technology start-ups.

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Simplilearn for Business Looks to Upskill One Million Canadian Professionals in Digital Skills & Seeks Strategic Partners in the Country

Simplilearn for Business Looks to Upskill One Million Canadian Professionals in Digital Skills & Seeks Strategic Partners. Simplilearn, the world’s #1 online bootcamp for digital economy skills training, has seen rapid growth of its enterprise arm, Simplilearn for Business, over the last two years. Simplilearn for Business has seen accelerating adoption of its offerings globally and over 100 percent YOY growth that is tracking towards $100m in B2B revenue in the next 2-3 years. Simplilearn for Business is now expanding its focus beyond the markets of the US, EU, and India; for Canada, Simplilearn has three core focus areas:

 Powering new-hire onboarding for large enterprises in areas like Software Development, Data Science, Cloud, Digital Marketing, and others

 Powering digital transformation training across 35 critical digital roles

 Building strategic relationships with channel partners and distributors to expand global reach and take Simplilearn’s products into even more countries

Simplilearn has helped more than three million professionals upskill in digital technologies across 150+ countries. For enterprises, Simplilearn offers a scalable platform for live interactive workshops and bootcamps in digital skills. To reach global markets, Simplilearn works through partners, which include channel partners such as Accenture Academy and PWC Academy, and distributors like Deviare in South Africa, Saudi Business Machines in the Middle East, and the ILX Group in the UK.

Kashyap Dalal, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer, Simplilearn, said, “Over the last two years, the pandemic has accelerated the move towards digital business models and created a global need for over 200m digitally skilled professionals in areas like Programming, Data, Cloud, and Cyber Security. According to the World Economic Forum, with effective upskilling Canada could boost GDP by $56 billion, equivalent to 2.7 percent of the total GDP. Our experience in other regions has shown that for ramping up digital skills, organizations need to hire for aptitude and have solutions to skill them for job readiness. We are excited to announce our plans to enter the Canada market and work closely with enterprises and partners to chase our goal of upskilling one million professionals in the region in digital skills.”

Simplilearn’s online training programs address all critical digital domains, such as Data & Artificial Intelligence, Software Development, Cloud Computing, DevOps, Agile, Digital Transformation, & Digital Marketing, through comprehensive learning paths that are tailored to 35+ critical digital economy job roles. These programs are co-created with leading universities like MIT and Caltech, and alongside leading industry partners such as IBM, Microsoft Azure, and Facebook, ensuring the best learning outcomes.

Founded in 2010 and based in San Francisco, California, and Bangalore, India, Simplilearn, a Blackstone company is the world’s #1 online Bootcamp for digital economy skills training. Simplilearn offers access to world-class work-ready training to individuals and businesses around the world. The Bootcamps are designed and delivered with world-renowned universities, top corporations, and leading industry bodies via live online classes featuring top industry practitioners. For businesses, Simplilearn offers products to power new hire onboarding, digital transformation skill development and leadership development.

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