Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

Viamo is Changing the World Through Interactive Games and Hotlines

"Ask the people what they want" is a guideline normally forgotten by companies who instead push their solutions on others' problems. Fortunately, with Viamo, people are paramount and it's this vision that guided them to reach more than 6 million people last year across 16 countries through their innovative solutions and software.

Who is Viamo?

Viamo was co-founded in 2012 by engineers Mark Boots and Louis Dorval and is a current tenant of Innovation Place in Saskatoon. On paper, Viamo is a software company that creates communication software for organizations working overseas in developing countries. In practice, Viamo is a company that guides governments, shares information, connects people, and even saves lives.

Viamo's goal is to give people all over the world access to the information they need to make decisions for healthy, prosperous lives, and have meaningful relationships with governments, civil society, and businesses.

How is Viamo changing the world?

Through cellphones of course!

"So many people in the world right now have a mobile phone," Boots told Innovation Place in October 2019. "You have people that don't necessarily have access to great healthcare systems or access to high-quality education…but everybody has that mobile phone."

It was through this understanding and tweaking of their interactive, two-way, voice-response software, which initially began as an SMS polling company, that Boots and Dorval began getting high response rates to their initial surveys. "Something we found out from some of those initial surveys is just how much people appreciated the chance to be heard," said Boots.

One of Viamo's largest-scale innovations is the "3-2-1 Service," which functions similarly to a toll-free hotline service. The software repurposes Viamo's voice interactive response (IVR) channel to provide on-demand information on a range of topics from farming to trafficking to people who otherwise have little access to it. The ease and accessibility of this software has allowed Viamo to reach more people with the information they need in countries such as Ghana, Rwanda, and Mali.

For more information on Viamo's beginnings and vision for Saskatchewan's tech sector, please read our Tenant Feature.

For more information on Viamo’s success and vision for the future, please read this CBC article.

- February 11, 2020