media release

VentureLabs client Semios wins Verizon prize

January 23, 2014

Ian Hand, VentureLabs, 604.836.7600,
Michael Gilbert, Semios Technologies, 604.229.2044 x101,
Dixon Tam, SFU media relations, 778.782.8742,


Semios Technologies, a client of the Simon Fraser University-affiliated VentureLabs business accelerator program, has won a $285,000 Verizon Powerful Answers Award for its high-tech pesticide-free agricultural pest management system.

Using wireless networks and integrated devices, such as farm-based weather stations and camera-enabled traps, the system lets growers use non-toxic pheromones—the chemicals insects secrete to communicate with each other—for pest control.

This significantly reduces or eliminates the need for toxic insecticides.

“We’re obviously thrilled with the win,” says Semios founder and CEO Michael Gilbert, who accepted the award sponsored by U.S. telecom giant Verizon at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month.

“We are very proud of the work the Semios team has accomplished to date and look forward to great progress with the assistance of this award in 2014. And we’re grateful for the expert strategic advisory services we’ve received from the VentureLabs’ team, who’ve been extremely supportive of everything we’re doing.

“In the past two years of field testing in North America and Europe, we have proven that better information from the field improves a grower’s ability to manage pests across their crop. Recognition of our solutions in this forum is inspiring.”

Semios participated in the sustainability category of the Powerful Answers competition, which promotes innovative technologies to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems in the areas of healthcare, education and sustainability.

In total, $10 million was awarded to the top-15 winners at the competition, five in each category, after a selection process that included some 1,300 entries and in-person pitches from the top-30 finalists.

Semios was the lone Canadian finalist in the competition.

VentureLabs is a world-class business accelerator program delivered by SFU, the University of Victoria, the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Emily Carr University of Art + Design, in partnership with the B.C. Innovation Council. Other partners include the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Mitacs, a private not-for-profit organization that pairs companies with academics and government to promote Canadian research and development and training.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

<p><a href="/content/sfu/sfunews/comment_guidelines.html?keepThis=true&amp;TB_iframe=true&amp;height=700&amp;width=700" class="thickbox">Comment Guidelines</a><br>