Burli Software was founded by Stefan Ellis in a small home office in the Canadian city of Vancouver in 1996. Stefan created the computer newsroom system to make news production easier for a local radio station.
Word of the new software — then called RadioStar — spread quickly from newsroom to newsroom and before long it had been adopted by a variety of newsrooms in Canada and overseas. A short time later the product name RadioStar was dropped and the software simply became known as the Burli Newsroom System – and more often just ‘Burli’. Stefan’s software sold quickly and was soon running newsrooms in countries from Poland to South Africa to New Zealand.
Both the software and the company are named after a real bird – a cockatiel called Burli (that’s him sitting on the company logo). The word Bürli (with an umlaut on the u) is used in parts of Austria and Switzerland and roughly translates as “little boy”. The bird was named by an Austrian woman living in Vancouver who came across him outside her apartment. He had likely escaped from a home or shop but his true origins and age were never discovered. The bird was soon adopted again, this time by company founder Stefan Ellis. Stefan borrowed the bird’s memorable name and likeness for his fledgling software company, and Burli Software was born.
In the earliest days of Burli (the company), Burli (the bird) would sit on Stefan’s shoulder, keeping a watchful bird’s-eye perspective on the code he was writing that was about to run newsrooms worldwide. The bird kept watch over the company for almost a decade, but in late 2004 finally succumbed to old age. The company that bears his name, however, is as busy and dynamic as ever.
Burli’s head office and core development staff are still based in Vancouver but a network of resellers, partners, and technicians worldwide have helped to expand Burli into a leading solution for newsrooms across the globe. New products, features, and updates continue to flow from the company as it welcomes a steady stream of new customers in newsrooms of all sizes, on myriad platforms, in countries around the world.