What’s in a name?

Dani Finch
May 18, 2021

The one about the name “Arcurve” and an upcoming celebration

Michael McGovern and Jay Gohill sit in Mike Bauer's church basement, brainstorming a name for their new company

When you hear a company’s name, how often do you wonder if there’s a story about how it came to be? Was it inspired by a character in the owner’s favourite childhood novel? Does it mean something in another language? Did four friends and new company founders bounce around ideas in a church basement, sitting on children’s chairs until they finally agreed on something that just stuck?  

Arcurve was founded in September 2006 by Mike Bauer, Jay Gohill, Michael McGovern and Stuart O’Connor. If you do the math, that means in a few of months, Arcurve will celebrating our 15th birthday. As we approach this milestone anniversary, we’ll be telling a series of stories relating to our past, present and future. We’ll hear from former employees and people who’ve helped us along our journey; current employees who’ve grown with our company; and even some students who are just starting their careers with Arcurve. We thought it fitting to kick this series off with the story of how the name “Arcurve” came to be.  

You’ve likely heard the story that we started with the belief that there was a better way to deliver professional services in the technology industry, and that we were built on our three guiding principles, that have been the foundation of our business for the past 15 years.  

  • A belief in the potential of technology and software
  • Execution and delivery for clients by top tier talent
  • Collaboration at all levels  

But have you heard the one about how our four founders put their heads together to come up with a name that’s lasted and still describes these values 15 years later?

The four Arcurve founders came together with an alignment on how to build Arcurve: bringing together the right people, the right assets, and the right talent. They’d all worked together in the industry in various capacities and the four of them started meeting together at the Dalhousie Station Starbucks in Calgary to work on building the company. After a while, they’d outstayed their welcome at the neighbourhood Starbucks and they needed a place to continue to work on their idea for a company, including coming up with a name.  

The founders started meeting in the Sunday School room at Mike Bauer’s church, sitting in children-sized chairs and kicking around ideas for a company name – see, that church basement thing we talked about in the intro wasn’t so far-fetched.  

The guys threw around names to do with technology, our Alberta roots, and the software industry. When they’d come up with one that resonated with any of them, they’d toss it over to their graphic designer, who would find some way to pick it apart (At one point, Mike Bauer got really fixated on the name Bertala, and to this day, that graphic designer won’t call him anything else).

And then, after putting something like 50 names out there, someone threw out the name Arcurve (it’s still debated who said it first). Ahead of the curve, ahead in the professional software game, architects of our craft who are ahead of what software can do. It said everything about what the company was and wanted to be. And, it was a dot-com-able. A requirement that meant many good (and bad) names came and went in the process.

So, the name stuck – not right away … the guys had to sit on it overnight. But here we are 15 years later and the name reigns true. We still aim to stay ahead of the curve, and to bring the best to our clients and employees so you can stay ahead of the curve, too.  

As we approach the celebration of our 15th birthday, we look back on all the people –  clients, employee’s, contractors alike – who help us stay ahead of the curve and make us Arcurve.  

We would love to hear about your business and technology goals.

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