It Takes a Village to Raise a Start-up

Blog by Kim Lawrence, Ideon Technologies

Happy Canada Day!

When I was growing up, like most other Canadian kids, I learned the story of how our nation was named – that it likely came from the Huron-Iroquois word ‘kanata’, meaning ‘village’. Although it was apparently a misinterpretation by settler Jacques Cartier back in 1535, the name came to refer to the entire country as it took shape.

Thanks to that grade-school lesson, I have always thought of myself as a citizen of a large village. My village is a collection of different peoples, perspectives, talents, and eccentricities, where everyone works together for a  better future, even when it means facing some difficult realities.

The Canadian Village

As a growing technology company created in British Columbia, Ideon has been nurtured from the start by the Canadian ‘village’. Our origins in the TRIUMF labs – Canada’s national particle accelerator centre – grew from a desire to push the frontiers of research. We have benefited greatly from a vast innovation ecosystem focused on building competitive distinction and helping industries in our traditionally resource-based economy adapt to new business and environmental standards.

Ideon may be breaking new ground in the application of cosmic-ray muon tomography to sub-surface exploration, but we’re not alone in our commitment to discovery. Canadians have been making the world a better place through innovation for years – from zippers to Java script, telecom to insulin – but you don’t really hear about it because we’re not an especially vocal bunch.


Except on Canada Day. Today, we unapologetically (and a bit uncomfortably, TBH) celebrate the ‘special sauce’ that brings Canadians together – despite our many differences and the challenges facing the world in these uncertain times. It’s not maple syrup, though it could be argued that’s also pretty important. It’s an attitude of trying to do things better, especially in times of change.

The Canadian village has shown up for Ideon and thousands of other small businesses like ours, as we try to do things better. We’re proud of our Canadian roots and grateful to those who have raised us up.

Thanks to our fellow villagers

We’ve learned critical skills and avoided start-up pitfalls by working with great people at the Creative Destruction Lab and New Ventures BC.

And we’ve received critical support from teams across the country, including:

We are also grateful to companies like Teck Resources, Orano, and Nyrstar that have contributed significantly to advances in the application of muon tomography to mining exploration, including commercial field trials.

What’s next

Today, our employees, local suppliers, manufacturing partners, friends and family are helping fuel our growth as we prepare to bring Canadian innovation to the world stage in the coming months – even if we are doing so behind a mask.

With gratitude on this Canada Day 2020, eh.