• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Students toured Limbic Media, Robazzo, VIATEC and Bambora... see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Island students get taste for tech at Doors Open to Technology event

    More than 100 students from around the Island got a peek Tuesday into the region’s growing tech sector with the first regional Doors Open to Technology event in Victoria.

    It was a chance for high school students to see what life at a tech firm is like and, according to organizers, an invaluable opportunity to dispel some of the myths about the sector.

    “We were seeing a disconnect with some kids in high school,” said David Nichols, chief executive of Inventa, the company that organizes the Doors Open events.

    Nichols said some students were discouraged from entering the industry because they believed there was no place for them unless they were “super smart” or devoted to coding.

    “Meanwhile, the industry was telling us that there are so many different jobs in the industry,” he said, noting the event was all about showing them what’s possible and that a career in the industry is attainable.

    “We are trying to highlight the immense opportunity there is for the growing tech industry and careers in that industry,” Nichols said, adding technology is actually part of almost every industry.

    There is no question there is plenty of opportunity in tech locally. An economic impact study commissioned by the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council last year noted the tech sector boasts a $5.22-billion annual economic impact on the region, with combined annual revenue of its 955 companies of $4.06 billion, and employing 16,775 people directly.

    The study also suggested there could be another 15,000 people working in the industry by 2030, but companies are at a loss when it comes to where they will find those people. Province-wide, the technology industry expects there will be over 83,400 tech-related job openings by 2027.

    “The companies in B.C. see a real challenge in finding people,” said Nichols, who said the goal of the event is to light a spark in students to get them on the path early. “This gives them more understanding of what the opportunity is here.”

    Students toured Limbic Media, Robazzo, VIATEC and Bambora, and watched presentations from companies such as Microsoft and B.C. Hydro, tech insiders and government representatives.

    “B.C.’s tech sector holds incredible promise for young people looking to start a career, offering well-paid and engaging work,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

    “DOT helps students by giving them first-hand exposure to some of the innovative companies that are spurring economic growth on Vancouver Island and across the province.”

    The DOT program, which was launched in 2016, has toured more than 600 students through the working spaces of tech firms in Victoria and Vancouver. They expect to run three events this school year.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A total of $45,224.40 in cash and 3,246 lbs of food has been collected for the Mustard Seed. see more

    Tech community continues support of local food bank with a $51k donation

    VICTORIA, BC - December 10, 2018 - A total of $45,224.40 in cash and 3,246 lbs of food has been collected for the Mustard Seed as a direct result from the 2018 VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge! The weight in food is a new record, more than doubling last year’s weight and is equal to $6,492 ($2 per pound). This brings the total 2018 value to $51,716.40!

    It is our honour to continue to play a role in encouraging and directing the generous members of our community,” said VIATEC CEO, Dan Gunn. “The participants got creative with their fundraising this year; There were wine raffles, bake sales, pancake breakfasts, chili cook-offs, office parties, plenty of interoffice competition and even a push-up competition between two companies. They’ve been digging deep, having fun and making a difference as part of the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge for over a decade and it’s because of them that many families will have food on the table this holiday season, and throughout the year. All the credit goes to our members and donors and we look forward to aiding them for many more decades to come.”

    Since its inception in 2002, $2,201,714.40 worth of food and cash has been donated to the Mustard Seed through companies participating in the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge. With this year’s amount, the challenge has raised a total of $2,253,420.80!

    The weight in food is a new record, more than doubling last year’s weight and is equal to $6,492 ($2 per pound)


    This year’s top contributors:

    Greatest Per-Employee Contributor

    • 1st place: Aviary Technologies ($727 cash & food per employee)

    • 2nd place: RevenueWire ($309.10 cash & food per employee)

    • 3rd place: AES Engineering ($219.60 cash & food per employee)

    Greatest Overall Contributor

    • 1st place: RevenueWire ($12,364 cash & food)

    • 2nd place: Starfish Medical ($7,090 cash & food)

    • 3rd place: AES Engineering ($5,490 cash & food)

    A plaque presentation took place on December 7th at VIATEC and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s Sweater Weather Get Together event, bringing out over 300 attendees.

    2018 Participants:


    About VIATEC:

    VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. Our mission is to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector (Technology is Victoria's #1 industry with a $4.06 Billion Annual Revenue, a $5.22 Billion Economic Impact and over 16,775 employees across 995 high-tech companies - and growing!)

    We work closely with our members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the front door of the local tech sector and as its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, we acquired our own building (Fort Tectoria) where we offer flexible and affordable office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering/event space for local entrepreneurs.


    About the VIATEC Foundation:

    A fund, held with the Victoria Foundation, that provides a simple way for VIATEC members to give back. Launched in June of 2017 (Raising $177,242 on its first day), the VIATEC Foundation is a result of seeing the philanthropic efforts of VIATEC Members being made privately or members lacking a direction for their goals. Because it is an industry that thrives on competition and challenges, VIATEC saw an opportunity to offer people a way to direct their generosity and show the Victoria community what’s possible.


    About the Mustard Seed Street Church:
    The Mustard Seed Street Church has been essential in fighting hunger and restoring faith to a large portion of people living in poverty, as well as the working poor, in Greater Victoria since 1975. The Mustard Seed’s operations are nearly 100 percent community funded and include Vancouver Island’s largest Food Bank, a Family Center, Hospitality programs, and addictions recovery at Hope Farm Healing Centre as well as more traditional Church services.

    The Mustard Seed Street Church positively impacts, on average 5,000 individuals per month, with more than 50 volunteers keeping things running everyday.  With your help, lives are transformed on a daily basis!


    Tessa Bousfield
    Marketing & Events Director
    Cell: 250-896-7668