Saturday August 23, 2014





Kamloops startup in running for provincial award

Software 'allows customers to do safety documentation for mining, forestry and petroleum sites'

Chris Mitra shows off his firm's software.

A small Kamloops startup is garnering recognition for computer innovation.

Western Industrial Solutions (WIS) is named among the top five small businesses in the running for a provincial award from Small Business B.C., a government-funded resource centre.

Formed by three information-technology specialists in 2011, the company has produced an integrated computer system called Tasksafe.

"What we've done is created a piece of software that includes a tablet PC, which allows customers to do safety documentation for mining, forestry and petroleum sites," said Chris Mitra.

He formed the company along with Mike Waithe and Grant Schaffer. They had worked in the field, filling out forms, and felt there had to be a better way. After working in industry and for corporations for years, they decided to embark on their own vision.

"We kind of broke the mould on entrepreneurs," Mitra explained. "We're all over the age of 45. We've all had career changes and we decided the best way to control our destiny was to start a new business."

WIS is nominated for a best concept honour in the Successful You Awards. The awards acknowledge entrepreneurial talent and creativity.

"In a highly competitive global economy, the strength of small business is critical to shaping local communities, creating new jobs and serving consumers," said Bill Adams, of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, one of the awards sponsors. "To make it in the top five is quite an achievement given the high calibre of candidates competing."

"Getting this recognition, with companies across B.C., is great because it let's us know we're on the right track," Mitra said.

This year, 172 businesses were nominated and narrowed down to the top 10 in six award categories through online voting. Each business then submitted an extended application to a judging panel, detailing why they deserved to be among the top five.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and business networking event on Feb. 28 in Vancouver.


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