Monday will be an exciting day for Team Genesis! Our organization will take up residence at the Signal Hill Campus of Memorial University. Our new space is one that is steeped in a rich history of technology and creative success and one that has seen amazing NL companies create tremendous opportunity for our province. We are planning to build on that rich history and write an incredible story of our own.
In December 1901, Guglielmo Marconi assembled his receiver on Signal Hill and on the 12th of December he received the first Transatlantic wireless signal from more than 2100 miles away. He created a technological advancement that arguably has transformed how we live our lives and run our businesses.
Jumping ahead almost 100 years, in the winter of 1995, a little band named Great Big Sea moved into the space that Genesis will soon occupy, this space was mostly vacant and proved to be the perfect place to record some upbeat, edgy and traditional Newfoundland music, that would soon become world famous. The band recorded it’s 4x platinum record Up in this space, as well as it’s award winning Play album with chart toppers such as When I’m Up I can’t Get Down and Ordinary Day.
The following year, newly-minted engineering graduates, Emad Rizkalla and Tony Whalen, moved into the space to operate ZeddComm, an IT consulting firm. As Rizkalla will attest, they convinced the staff to rent them the space at $8.40/ sq. ft. all in and it was all they could afford at the time. Zeddcomm was the start of what blossomed into two very successful technology companies in province. Bluedrop, now led by Rizkalla and Group Zed, now led by Whalen. Bluedrop (TSX-V: BPL) is an e-learning company with more than 200 employees and revenues exceeding $23M annually. Group Zed houses an award-winning portfolio of IT companies that employ over 400 people in offices across Canada, United States and Europe.
Shortly after ZeddComm’s departure from Signal Hill, Cathexis Innovations moved in. Cathexis was a graduate of Genesis and was focused on asset management. The founders of Cathexis shifted their focus to the services side of the energy sector and they quickly realized that a new business opportunity existed. Radient 360 was born and they secured their first major contract with a large oil and gas company before leaving the Battery space. The company recently secured more than $3M in investment. Radient is working with some of the top energy sector companies in Atlantic Canada and the company moved out of the space as it was being purchased by Memorial University in 2012.
As we move into the new space on Monday with 20 companies in tow, we are excited to see what their stories will be and who they will become. While the space may be different (and the views will be much better), some things will remain the same. Genesis will maintain a very high level of customer care and clients will continue taking on global markets and will continue to walk in the footsteps of the companies before them.
To our clients at Genesis, I will quote Great Big Sea:
“You know the world could be our oyster,
Just put your trust in (us)
Cause we’ll keep the good times rolling
Wait and see, wait and see, oh wait and see!”
We look forward to writing the next chapter for Genesis at Signal Hill campus and helping to build the next set of amazing technology companies that will grow the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador.
By: Michelle Simms| CEO