Victoria | Nanaimo | Kelowna


My name is Dave Monahan and I am the founder of Smart Dolphins. The seed for Smart Dolphins came to be LONG before I actually first hung the shingle. I grew up in Victoria, BC watching my Dad run a business and, like so many little boys, I wanted to be JUST like my Dad. I can remember pretending to be a business man in my bedroom with monopoly money and an old cheque book. Here I am, living the dream.

Fast forward a bunch of years and I’m in my mid twenties. I’ve just finished getting an Economics degree at the University of Victoria and also tested my desire to become a Chartered Accountant, but couldn’t see myself doing these things for the rest of my life. I decided I didn’t want to work for anyone else. After unsuccessfully hunting for a business idea, I decided to enroll in an intense one year computer science program (AMIT) at UVic with the hopes that the content would form the base of my future business. It was actually initially for the work experience requirements of this program that I started Smart Dolphins on May 1st, 2000.

I began out of the back room of my house on McKenzie Ave in Victoria and essentially offered almost anything and everything that people would pay for. It turned out that either I was good or there wasn’t much supply of technology services as I quickly found myself with too much to do on my own. Time to add Dolphins and prepare for growth.

We continued to grow and in 2002, I decided it was time to find a “real” home for The Pod. We moved into a small office in Victoria West. It was a great first spot, but didn’t last long. We then moved to  Dupplin Road in 2004 and finally, to our current home in March of 2015.

Another notable piece to our history is the evolution of our service offering. As I said, I started with a very broad offering of products and services. We offered websites, training, hosting, database development and we serviced anyone from seniors in their homes to responding to RFPs for big government contracts. We learned with experience that it is just too hard to be great at so many things – especially with technology always changing (be wary of service providers that offer “everything”). So over time we have become much more focused on IT infrastructure (computer networks) and we (and our clients) are much better for it. I can now say with confidence that we are the best at what we do in our market, which I feel is a requirement to be in a sustainable business.

Still awake?

I won’t drag you through a play-by-play recap of every year, but there are a number of awards that I’m quite proud of:

2005 – Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce)
2005 – Technology Company of the Year
2006 – Employee of the Year (Adrian Nyland) (Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce)
2007 – WorklifeBC Award of Merit
2008 – VIATeC Member of the Year
2012 – VIATeC Employer of the Year
2017 – Outstanding Workplace of the Year (Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce)

I’m also proud that we are a decade deep and we are still standing tall. We have helped hundreds of companies, who support thousands of employees, who have serviced hundreds of thousands of customers (okay, I’m guessing here), all while feeding dozens of Dolphin families. And that brings me to the tremendous gratitude I have for so many people who have supported Smart Dolphins in the past and present: my incredibly supportive family, my fellow-Dolphins (past and present), all of our incredible customers and our many partners and business peers. I am so very thankful to you all.



Dave Monahan, BA

President and Founder

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