Source: Times Colonist
Author: Andrew Duffy
B.C., Pacific Northwest tech sectors start network
In a bid to bring B.C. and the Pacific Northwest together to help grow the region’s technology sectors, a broad section of organizations in the province, Washington and Oregon have launched the Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network.
Nearly 50 groups, including tech organizations, universities and investors, have signed on to the network, which will try to match startups with funding, among other initiatives.
“B.C.’s tech sector is firing on all cylinders, with businesses and researchers increasingly looking to work together on a larger scale,” said Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s minister of jobs, trade and technology. “[This] will help B.C.’s homegrown talent connect with partners across the Pacific Northwest region to boost our economy and create new jobs here in B.C.”
In its early stages, the network will focus on information technology, life sciences and clean-tech sectors.
Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, said signing on was a no-brainer.
“Of course we wanted to be part of that,” he said. “There’s obviously an opportunity for people close to each other to support each other.”
Gunn said the network might go a long way toward elevating the region and putting it on the map.
“One thing the Pacific Northwest lacks is having the same weight that maybe some other regions have, at least in terms of how it’s perceived,” Gunn said. “The Pacific Northwest is getting less attention than it deserves, especially considering the great things that are happening there.
“[The network] could start to address that, or at least play a role in addressing that.”
There are 17 founding members from B.C., including VIATEC, along with 19 from Washington state and 12 from Oregon.