Meet the Speakers at the 2022 KORE Rec-Tech Summit
The Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Enterprise (KORE) Outdoor Rec-Tech Summit is Canada’s first-ever conference dedicated to the outdoor rec-tech manufacturing and product design sector. The summit will be held October 19-21, 2022 at the Kimberley Alpine Resort’s Conference Centre in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia and there will be an optional “stay and play” day on the 22nd for those who would like to explore and recreate.
Industry thought leaders and speakers will be giving presentations throughout the event and anybody interested in outdoor rec-tech manufacturing and product design in British Columbia, Alberta, Pacific Northwest and the U.S. Western States are invited to attend.
For more information about the speakers at the event, see the listings below. And to register to attend, click here:
Dustin Adams is the CEO of We Are One Composites in Kamloops and his presentation is about “Reshoring: Its Benefits and Limits. How to Build a Sustainable Business Around Your Capacity.”
Dustin says of the topic: “Many businesses in our sector have grown to immense size and scale. Take a great product designed and built here and try to push it to a global reach. What if you could think more locally, be competitive, and have a large customer base that would allow your ideas and business to prosper? What is your aim? And is manufacturing in Canada something that will sustain that aim, or will you surpass this and end up having no option but to offshore your production? All of these questions should be a large part of your initial planning stages and look well into the future of your business goals and objectives. I will open up the path laid out for We Are One and how a diverse objective with a local focus has allowed us to grow rapidly while others focus on global domination.”
Megan Zeeb – Sustainability Professional, Western Colorado University’s Outdoor Industry MBA Program
Megan Zeeb started her career working in the wine & spirits industry before changing gears to focus on her passion for sustainable business operations through Western Colorado University’s Outdoor Industry MBA program. She has since worked with REI, mountainFLOW eco-wax, and Out&Back Outdoor in a variety of capacities to further sustainability initiatives in the industry.
In her presentation Megan will address the topic of sustainability in ski manufacturing. She will highlight initiatives and opportunities happening across the ski category with a goal of fostering collective conversation and action towards scalable solutions in ski manufacturing and operations.
Cam Shute of Dark Horse Innovations worked for G3 for 18 years before setting up his own company that designs and engineers a variety of outdoor products. His presentation will be about “Sustainable Product Development and the Circular Economy.”
Cam says, “Many companies assume that making sustainable products just costs more and doesn’t offer other benefits. There are many concrete things we can do at the design stage to make a product more inherently sustainable. My talk will explore things we can do in design, what materials we should be thinking of using, and we’ll see some real world examples of companies doing these things right now. Our future is bright if we choose to focus on what we CAN do rather than everything we can’t.”
Cedric Eveleigh – Owner, LAL Bikes
Twenty-seven-year-old Cedric Eveleigh is the inventor of a completely redesigned mountain bike drivetrain called the Supre Drive and is the recipient of Pinkbike’s 2021 Innovation of the Year Award.
The drivetrain system replaces the hanging derailleur on mountain bikes, which was prone to damage, and it’s proved to be so popular, Cedric founded his own manufacturing company on BC’s Sunshine Coast called Lal Bikes. His presentation will be “From Basement to Boom Time: Things I Learned Commercializing a New MTB Drivetrain.”
“I’m stoked to be contributing to the improvement of mountain bikes so that the sport becomes even more awesome of an experience,” he says.
Rob Gomme helped start Kuma Outdoor Gear in Jasper eight years ago and since then has seen 100% growth year over year thanks to developing what he calls a “Love Brand.”
“One of our underlying beliefs is people buy stories before they buy things,” Rob says. “It is so important that you tell your story as a brand. It is what identifies you from everyone else. A commodity has no story, it is just for sale. A brand tells its story so that consumers can identify emotionally throughout the buying process and long after when they are back around the campfire.”
Rob will be speaking about the importance of story branding, marketing, distribution and team building in the Canadian marketplace as well as supply chain management and financing.
Danielle Wiest, MITACS Researcher
A born and raised Kootenay-ite, Danielle Wiest is a graduate of the Business Administration program at Selkirk College and has been working with KORE as a Mitacs grant research student with College of the Rockies and Selkirk, researching electric recreational vehicle technology trends.
She’s been exploring the many opportunities available for the rapidly growing e-rec industry here in the Kootenays and will be presenting her findings at the Summit and giving an in depth look at the trends and possibilities.
Kaj Gyr has made his living as an inventor for 32 years and has licensed sports-related designs to companies such as K2, Black Diamond, Converse, and others. He is currently working on a number of inventions that will be manufactured in Nelson, British Columbia and which will compliment his current products made locally including several versions of the Slopedeck Snowskate, the NeoLuge toboggan, and the Bag Dryer, a unique eco-product that makes re-using plastic bags easier.
He will be joining representatives of NRC IRAP for a presentation as he has received funding from them for several projects including Glueless Climbing Skins and Slopedeck Snowskates.
Dave Damer & Bruce Hardy, Industrial Technology Advisors, NRC IRAP
Dave Damer and Bruce Hardy are Industrial Technology Advisors delivering the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program in the Kootenay-Boundary Region. For 75 years NRC IRAP has provided innovation assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises at all stages of the innovation process, to help them build their innovation capacity.
Dave is a seasoned entrepreneur who recently joined NRC IRAP. With a degree in Computer Engineering and over 30 years’ experience working with building technology companies and focussing on Artificial Intelligence, SaaS, and telecommunications. Bruce has been assisting businesses with innovation for over 27 years, first with the Science Council of BC and now with NRC IRAP. He’s helped hundreds of companies from a wide range of industry sectors undertake R&D projects and prepare for financing and business growth. An avid skier and mountain biker, Bruce moved to Nelson in 1998 to deliver IRAP. Together with inventor and entrepreneur Kay Gyr, the trio will present about the various programs and resources that business owners can tap into to strengthen and grow the rec-tech sector in the Kootenays.
Dave Kasper is vice president of sales and product development at General Recycled, the only company in the world offering a closed-loop program for proper disposal of 100% non-biodegradable aramid garments (aka flame resistant PPE apparel) at the end of their useful life cycle. The company is a 100% Made-in-Canada success story that owns a patent on the product and a patent is pending for their process.
Dave’s presentation will highlight their recycling process and the resulting recycled yarns, fabrics and garments. He will speak to the corporate paradigm shift required for proper disposal of used aramid garments and he will explain how recycled aramid fabrics and garments out-perform similar virgin products in the industrial workwear marketplace.
Jason Taylor, Chair, Selkirk Technology Access Centre
Jason Taylor developed the Advanced Manufacturing division of Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation department and is the current chair of the Selkirk Technology Access Centre, a 9,000-sq-ft research lab housing over $2 million worth of advanced manufacturing equipment. His presentation will be “How Outdoor Gear Companies Can Access Futuristic Technology.”
Jason says of his talk, “If your business needs help prototyping, streamlining processes, or accessing new technologies and getting the related training, the Selkirk Technology Access Centre (STAC) is here for you. We help apply new technologies to workflows, prototype new designs, reverse engineer critical parts, find advanced technology solutions, and enhance manufacturing processes. STAC is your one-stop shop to access the advanced technologies you need to drive business innovation.”
Robert Button of British Columbia-based Zoa Engineering will be speaking about Zoa’s first product, the PL1, a portable rope tow device for backcountry skiers and snowboarders. The device weighs 10.5 lbs (4.8kg), fits in a regular backpack, and can help users get twice as much vertical in a day. The PL1 has been in development for the last three years and a successful kickstarter campaign was launched in January. The team at Zoa is currently working on the production of the PL1 for their backers, with the goal of shipping out the first units before the start of the upcoming ski season.
Robert’s presentation will be geared at makers and entrepreneurs, and will cover the process of product development, crowdfunding, and production.
Richard Myerscough, CEO, Ocean Rodeo & Aluula Composites
Richard Myerscough is a former Olympic athlete and founder of three companies in Victoria, BC. He is currently the CEO of two of them including Ocean Rodeo, which exports kiteboarding equipment around the globe, and Aluula Composites. The latter company was spun out of Ocean Rodeo in 2019 and a year later the first kites featuring Aluula Composites hit the market. They were 50% lighter and many times the strength of competing brands and as a result Ocean Rodeo tripled in revenue in one year.
Today, Aluula is the manufacturer of the world’s lightest and strongest composite materials and has caught the interest of businesses in many different industries including outdoor, aerospace, sailing, athletics, fashion and many more. His presentation is called, “The Phoenix rising: Ocean Rodeo and Aluula. Patent wars and all in innovation.”
Cole Bernier is an outdoor enthusiast who became a paraplegic in 2015 resulting from a workplace accident. Upon his search to get back into the outdoors post-injury, Cole discovered Bowhead Corp, a company that designs and manufactures adaptive e-bikes. Since 2019, Cole has become an integral part of the team, and has significantly contributed to the development of Bowhead’s product line.
Bowhead Corp. was founded in 2018 by Christian Bagg and Dean Miller with the goal of providing outdoor accessibility on an entirely new level. That year the flagship model, the “REACH,” was launched and two more models have since been added. His talk will be, “Through innovation and engineering, this is how companies can change the lives of people around the world.”
Anoush Poursartip is the co-director of the Composites Knowledge Network (CKN) based out of the University of British Columbia. The CKN mission is to translate world-class knowledge of composites manufacturing and design to Canadian industry quickly and effectively to benefit small businesses, their employees, and the communities they serve.
His talk is called “How the Composites Knowledge Network can support outdoor rec-tech manufacturing and product design in Canada” and it will share how the CKN currently works with BC-based and Canadian small and medium enterprises. He will focus on recreational technology companies, showing how they have improved their product design and manufacturing, and will invite discussion and feedback on what should be done next.
David Nagy has worked in the ondline marketing realm for the past 15 years with a wide variety of companies including GM and Virgin. He is the founder of eCommerce Canada and says that because over $200 billion worth of revenue is now being done in online sales, it’s important all businesses should get into web-based selling. But he stresses that “opening a Shopify account isn’t enough. This isn’t a Field of Dreams scenario because when you build it, they might not necessarily come.”
To help businesses find success through online sales, Nagy will be presenting about the three e-commerce indicators every small company must track.
Tracy Lydiatt, Founder, Sustainable Living School
Tracy Lydiatt holds a M.Sc in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability, is a 3x TEDx speaker, and an award-winning author of the personal sustainability guidebook Your Green Family Blueprint. She is the founder of Sustainable Living School, an online, on-demand education platform focused on providing sustainable living guidance for individuals to accelerate their positive impacts from home.
Sustainability for organizations is a multi-faceted topic that covers many major issues including GHG emissions, energy and water use, procurement, packaging, waste management, raw material selection, and employee health and wellbeing. Getting it “wrong” can dramatically impact your bottom line plus increase risks to organizational reputation, raise costs for insurance, and can make employee attraction and retention an uphill battle. So how do you know what to do first? In her talk, Tracy will cover key themes on how to operationalize sustainability, manage trade-offs and identify your biggest ROI steps. She’ll present a fundamental, science-based sustainability framework with world class success stories that have resulted from embedding sustainability at their core.
Steph Nitsch is the founder of Pallas Snowboards and a master of the side hustle. With a career in branding and marketing for some of the world’s largest ski areas and outdoor brands, she’s used her experience to build one of the few woman-founded snowboard companies in the world, while still keeping her day job in brand communications.
Her presentation is called “The story of bootstrapping: pros, cons and opportunities of marketing a small business” and she’ll share her story about the challenges and opportunities she’s faced bringing a niche brand to market, and the one element that has helped her company build a loyal following on a shoestring budget: brand storytelling. She’ll discuss the importance of creating and defining your brand values so you can cut through the noise of your competitors and let your story do the talking.