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PlaceSpeak named a 2014 “Emerging Rocket” in Civic Technology


For the second yearPlaceSpeak has been recognized as one of British Columbia’s Emerging Rockets in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) by Rocket BuildersEmerging Rockets is a recognition program for British Columbia companies focusing on  information, communications, wireless, new media and internet technologies.


PlaceSpeak Board Chair, former Vancouver Mayor and BC Premier Michael Harcourt, says the company has already ‘achieved liftoff’.

A growing list of municipal, state/provincial governments and their agencies, non-governmental agencies, urban developers and the natural resource sector have integrated PlaceSpeak into their public consultation programs.  PlaceSpeak has drawn international profile as one of the world’s most innovative start-ups at such events as the ‘Disrputathon Cascadia’ event in Seattle and the Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland.

Colleen Hardwick, an urban geographer and founder of PlaceSpeak, says inclusion on the Ready To Rocket list is a strong signal of positive returns from two linked investments:

One investment was our work to understand the public’s expectations for honest, open and respectful dialogue and real input into decisions that have an impact on their quality of life.  At the same time we needed to recognize the needs of decision-makers for genuine intelligence from their communities and constituencies.

The other investment was in the platform and its technology, which we designed to deliver on these expectations, to be easy to use and, most importantly, to broaden and enrich civic engagement while purposefully protecting citizens’ privacy.

Hardwick added that inclusion on the Ready To Rocket List is important recognition that PlaceSpeak is poised to grow by virtue of achieving our critical goals and building a solid reputation as a worthy investment in our own right.  PlaceSpeak recently closed its seed round financing, which will allow us to accelerate our commercialization.

PlaceSpeak is designed to strengthen public engagement and dialogue, and to provide decision-makers with more valuable public input. It uses a ‘geo-authentication’ process that allows individuals to confidentially verify their location, claim their place on the community map and engage on matters of interest to them.


What is an Emerging Rocket?

An Emerging Rocket company is a business entering the market and trying to establish a base of early customers and its primary milestones are first sales, partnerships and investment. In its twelfth year, the annual program showcases top private tech companies with new markets or business models and great potential for significant market milestones in the coming years.

To qualify, the company must have a completed product offering and initial customers. The selection committee looks for companies with a clear business model and a go-to-market strategy that will be attractive to early stage investors.  These companies represent companies to watch over the next few years and are likely to mature into “Ready to Rocket” companies.

About Rocket Builders and the Rocket Recognition Program

Rocket Builders“Ready to Rocket” and “Emerging Rockets” are trademarks of Rocket Builders, a respected management-consulting firm providing sales and marketing services. With a focus on helping technology companies to grow and prosper, Rocket Builders has a proven track record of success with its clients. Since 2000, Rocket Builders has been engaged in market research, market planning, business development initiatives, strategic selling, and product launches for over 200 organizations.

Ready to Rocket is a business recognition program for British Columbia’s tech sector that showcases the revenue growth leaders of tomorrow.  Ready To Rocket has significant corporate sponsor support from Colliers International, Espresso Capital, Fasken Martineau, Go Recruitment and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Emerging Rockets list profiles technology companies from multiple technology sectors with great potential for investment and market breakthroughs in the coming year. Both lists are predictive of future success making them unique in approach and unique in value for our business audience.

The technology sector continues to grow in B.C. and presents a growing challenge to select and identify the most likely to succeed. Three elements characterize these ‘most likely to succeed’ high growth firms: a growing market opportunity, a unique competitive position and customer validation of a must-have value proposition.

Geoffrey Hansen, Managing Partner at Rocket Builders 




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