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Ayogo and Buyatab get good news for the holidays

Both Ayogo's Michael Fergusson (left) and Buyatab.com's Matias Marquez (right) have something to celebrate this holiday season.

As the end of the year approaches, here’s a couple of updates about local tech stories featured in Megabytes this year.

First, Ayogo Games, a Vancouver-based videogame company, was named “Hottest Digital Media Company in Canada” at the annual nextMedia event in Toronto for its Facebook-based “HealthSeeker” game. The game incorporates technology that Ayogo CEO Michael Fergusson calls a “GoodLife Gamification Engine” and aims to help people living with diabetes learn healthier behaviour around diet and exercise.

“I'm proud that Ayogo, and our GoodLife Gamification Engine, is being recognized for being at the forefront of this exciting new trend, and for using the power of constructive play to help make people's lives better,” Fergusson said.

Fergusson and a partner founded in 2008, determined to create games that would help change the world, “one game at a time.” My original profile of the company can be found here.

Another young company, Buyatab.com, has just launched an innovative partnership with the Cactus Club. Buyatab.com started in 2009, the brainchild of young entrepreneurs Matias Marquez from Simon Fraser University and Ross St. George from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Buyatab lets you send instant electronic gift cards to friends, family, employees, etc. for hundreds of restaurants, spas, salons and other businesses. The recipient receives an email notification and can then print out the “tab” and present it at the business location for redemption.

The partnership with the Cactus Club Cafe chain goes one step further in eliminating the need to print the tab. Instead, you can just call up the tab on the screen of your mobile phone and show it at the restaurant. There's also a selection of preformatted tabs for various occasions from which you can choose (see image below).

The new feature, called Socially Mobile, "encourages delivery methods through e-mail, SMS text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and countless other social media platforms,” he says. “It’s extremely eco-friendly and eliminates the need for any waste from plastic cards or packaging.”

You can find my original story on buyatab.com here. Cactus Club's mobile site is at m.cactusclubcafe.com.

Congratulations to both Ayogo and Buyatab; good examples of Vancouver's innovation and creativity.

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