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Check out what we have been up to, what some of our companies we work with are accomplishing, and hear more about some of the great TRU Students and Alumni that are making things to be proud of.

Comp Sci student applies skills in transport sector

Buckley, a Bachelor of Computing Science student, will be working for Arrow Transportation Systems—a transportation and logistics solutions company headquartered in Kamloops—in her second term as a co-operative education student.

May. 9. 2016. | TRU Newsroom

“I researched the local co-op opportunities in technology and discovered the position with Arrow. I knew it was a unique opportunity to be a part of a tech startup,” she added, referring to a newer division of the nearly century-old company that has developed an innovative technology to track transportation performance.

Read More

Drones could be used to save lives

They’ve been used to help fight wildfires now drones could help save lives.

November. 25. 2015. | CFJC News

Kamloops Search and Rescue announced a new partnership with local business hummingbird drones. The infrared technology is being touted for it’s capability to detect missing people in a much faster and cost effective manner.…Watch here

Generating ideas at Thompson Rivers University

On Thursday, the TRU Generator will be open for tours as the public is invited to an open house in the Irving K. Barber Centre in the House of Learning at TRU. It begins at 5 p.m.

November. 23. 2015. | Kamloops This Week

When you’re working with alumni, the phone call could come from anywhere.

Most recently, the Thompson Rivers University’s Generator program received that kind of call from an alum now living in London, England, who had seen an article about the program and wanted to know if he could also take advantage of it.
The answer was yes, said Lincoln Smith, director of research partnerships and enterprise creation at the university, the department that also hosts the TRU Generator.

Essentially, it’s a room in which students both past and present can go for help in developing and bringing to fruition any business ideas they have.
On Thursday, it will be open for tours as the program hosts an open house in the Irving K. Barber Centre in the House of Learning at TRU.…Read more.

Kamloops Search and Rescue tests potentially lifesaving drone technology

Drones are getting a bad rap for everything from endangering aircraft and invading privacy, but a Kamloops company is using the technology to do good.

November. 21. 2015. | Kamloops Info News

Hummingbird Drones is teaming up with Kamloops Search and Rescue to see if drones equipped with infrared cameras will help find people lost in the bush.

Search manager Alan Hobler says they will be testing out the unmanned aerial vehicles tonight, Nov. 21, at their regular weekly training exercise to see how effective they are.

The hope is they will be able to find missing people faster with less risk to the searchers.

Hobler does expect the heat seeking technology to have some limitations. He says bad weather may hamper the drone’s flight or the tree canopy might block heat signatures from the missing people. As well, the infrared camera might not see a person wrapped in a survival blanket or who is heavily dressed.

Despite the possible technological limits, he is cautiously optimistic.

“This could definitely be a game changer,” Hobler say. “At the very least it’s going to enhance our ability to search and it’s going to be an extra tool for us to use out there.”…Read more.

TRU Generator Showcases Local Business Success

Thompson Rivers University Generator is hosting an Open House which will be showcasing university talent and entrepreneurial success.

November. 12. 2015. | KamloopsBCNow

The networking and showcase event is open to students, alumni, faculty and staff who have an interest in entrepreneurship and the local startup community.

The generator is an opportunity for students to pitch an idea and seek guidance and support.

“The TRU Generator was created through a unique partnership between Kamloops Innovation and Thompson Rivers University. The Generator is a place for students to start new ventures while receiving support every step of the way,” said Lincoln Smith, Director of Enterprise Creation at TRU. “This Open House will showcase TRU students and alumni founded startups and their impressive successes.”…Read more.

Find out how to turn your idea into a business at TRU Generator Open House

Join TRU’s expanding Startup community during this networking event designed for students, alumni, faculty, and staff interested in entrepreneurship and the emerging startup community on campus.

November. 6. 2015. | Castanet

Meet the young innovators and entrepreneurs on campus, and become inspired by the #startuplife over appetizers and drinks.

“The TRU Generator was created through a unique partnership between Kamloops Innovation and Thompson Rivers University,” explains Lincoln Smith, Director of Research Partnerships and Enterprise Creation. “The Generator is a place for students to start new ventures while receiving support every step of the way.”…Read more.

Hummingbird Drones from Kamloops awarded for helping with wildfires

While the B.C. government plans to toughen up the laws prohibiting the operation of drones near wildfires, one company is being awarded for their operations of the unmanned aerial vehicles.

November. 6. 2015. | CBC News

Robert Atwood and Richard Sullivan started Hummingbird Drones — an aerial imaging, remote sensing and technology development company.

Last summer they partnered with the B.C. Wildfire Service to test out how drones could be used to fight wildfires.

As part of that endeavour, they flew drones equipped with infrared scanning technology and gathered data that was then given to fire crews to help them focus their efforts. …Read more.

Drones tested to help fight blazes during BC wildfire season


Drones flying above wildfires in British Columbia last summer hampered aerial efforts to control the blazes. But around the same time, the province was also using the unmanned aerial vehicles to determine if drones could be used to help fight wildfires.

November. 3. 2015. | CTV News

The B.C. Wildfire Service contracted two commercial drone companies in July and August to soar above the Boulder Creek and Elaho fires near Pemberton and the Rock Creek fire just north of the Canada-U.S. border.

“It was very much kind of a small-scale trial to see how they could integrate, what kind of products they could generate for us,” explained chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek. …Read more.

Using drones to suppress wildfires

This past summer, Hummingbird Drones became the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) service provider in North America to be engaged in wildfire suppression activity.

September. 18. 2015. | Kamloops this Week

What began as a conversation between two firefighters on their way back from a forest-fire deployment took shape over the following year at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and culminated in a fast-growing tech company. Our accomplishments can be attributed to support from within the community of Kamloops. The Kamloops Innovation Center and the The Generator at TRU gave us the tools and training required for our start-up.…Read more.

Students make it their business to save lives

The Lifeguard Outreach Society (LOS) was formed in Spring 2015 by TRU business student Paul Wechselberger with the goal of teaching drowning prevention and providing swimming lessons in communities that aren’t served by traditional swimming lessons.

August. 20. 2015. | TRU Research

“What we learned is that no matter how many people we can save by jumping in the water, the odds are so much better if we can actually teach them how to swim and how to help others who are drowning.”

Wechselberger connected to Kamloops Innovation through the TRU Generator, where he was put in touch with business professionals who helped guide him through the development of LOS. The society now includes TRU students Tim Bientjes and Deanna Keller. TRU Law Faculty member Ryan Scorgie sits on the LOS Board of Directors… Read More

CFBX Radio Interview

We went on air with CFBX Radio at Thompson Rivers University to chat about the entrepreneurial community at the Generator and with one of our graduated companies, Hummingbird Drones.

July. 28. 2015. | CFBX Radio
Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with CFBX Radio at TRU to chat about The Generator and one of our graduated student companies, Hummingbird Drones…Take a listen!

A Kamloops business with a lot of buzz

A Kamloops company is making drones. We’ll go with them on a test flight.

March. 30. 2015 | CBC Kamloops

They look like miniature flying machines from a sci-fi movie. But a new Kamloops company believes drones have a very real future. A group of TRU students have formed a business called Hummingbird Drones.

They’re aiming their new venture at forest and resource industries. And maybe the occasional wedding video too.

Daybreak’s Tara Copeland went out for a test flight. Listen to the interview.

Drone Startup takes flight

TRU students, alumni launch aerial imaging company Hummingbird Drones

Feb. 24. 2015 | TRU Omega

Last summer, a car ride from Dease Lake to Smithers was business as usual for two TRU students – both wildfire fighters at the time – until they struck up idle conversation.

Robert Atwood and Richard Sullivan began talking about remote control vehicles and drone aircrafts. The topic was as routine as their commute, but this particular road trip took an interesting turn when the duo spontaneously decided they wanted to start their own aerial drone company.

“By the time we got down to Smithers, we stopped in at The Source, bought this $400 drone and immediately crashed it,” Atwood recalled. “That was essentially the birth of Hummingbird Drones.” …Read More

TRU Generator opens doors, boosts Startups

TRU Generator opens, boosts startups like Hummingbird

Feb. 24. 2015 | TRU Omega

Around the same time that Hummingbird Drones was starting up, TRU enterprise creation director Lincoln Smith was working on a project of his own: the TRU Generator.
The TRU Generator is a startup incubator and workspace in the House of Learning basement, closely modelled after existing incubators at other universities, like the e@UBC incubator at UBC, according to Smith.
TRU received $40,000 of support from Western Economic Diversification and a $50,000 grant from the BC Innovation Council (BCIC) last April to build the TRU Generator, according to TRU’s website. Events like H4CK Night and Startup Coffee have been running in the workspace since May, but Smith said the actual TRU Generator program officially launched this semester. …Read More

TRU Alumni Profile of the Month: Nathan Froese

Joy Factory Films owner to give TRU students the head start he never had

Feb. 13. 2015 | Thompson Rivers University

Television commercials and online films can get pretty pricy – that’s no secret. But Nathan Froese wants to help local business broadcast videos they can be proud of, and he finds ways to make it happen on a “Kamloops budget,” as he calls it.

“With the technological revolution that’s happening,” Froese began, “we’re consistently gaining access to better and better equipment than we ever could have dreamed of 10-15 years ago.

“It’s up to us to stay ahead of the curve.”

Froese just signed up to become a mentor to TRU students, partially because he didn’t have a mentor when he started Joy Factory Films in 2010. …Read More

TRU Alumni Profile of the Month: Kamloops Innovation Center impacts Alumni


Kamloops Innovation Centre Impacts Alumni

Nov. 12. 2014 | Thompson Rivers University

The Kamloops Innovation Centre (KIC) is a non-profit organization that fosters entrepreneurs in tech start-ups through a collaborative work environment in Kamloops B.C. Since its inception, KIC has been home to over 20 TRU Alumni through start-up ventures. KIC began with four founders that helped secure the government funding for the Centre, one of which was TRU Alumnus, Dan Erikson.

“There’s never a better time to start making a business out of your idea,” said Erikson. …Read More

The Generator, from idea to exit

Node-School (1)The Generator, From Idea to Exit

May. 29. 2014 | TRU Research and Graduate Studies

Ideas and excitement fuel The Generator, and collaboration and innovation will keep it running smoothly.

Thanks to $40,000 of Western Economic Diversification support, and a $50,000 grant from the BC Innovation Council, the venture acceleration centre is designed to encourage and develop the start-up tech companies of tomorrow. …Read More