• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    BC Innovation Council tour connects local tech to business opportunities see more

    Source: Victoria News

    Victoria entrepreneurs can pitch ideas to tech giants

    Local tech entrepreneurs who’ve dreamed of working with big companies like IBM will have their chance with the help of BC Innovation Council.

    The second BC Growth Opportunities Tour is making its way across the province and stops in Victoria on Friday (Oct. 13). The tour is a networking event for local business owners who pitch solutions to challenges presented by tech giants, including IBM Canada, FortisBC, RioTinto, Lightship, Schneider Electric, British Columbia Construction Association and the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

    Carl Anderson, council CEO and president, said a tour earlier this year was so successful they decided to bring it back.

    “Just about everywhere we went, people would come up to us afterward and say ‘I’ve never been to anything like this ever. This is great,’” he said.

    Anderson said the B.C. Innovation Council, a provincial Crown corporation, could go and solicit ideas from companies, but instead the tour connects the big and the local companies directly.

    “We have people from the actual organizations talking about what they need, and you can go and talk to them. You can actually go and buttonhole that person.”

    And a stop in Victoria makes sense; the region has [904 tech firms, employing 15,000 direct tech workers (Plus an additional 5,000 indirect and 3,000 self employed), and has an annual revenue of over $4 billion!]. The tour stopped in Prince George and Nelson last month, and after Victoria the tour heads to Surrey, Kelowna and Kamloops.

    Friday’s event happens at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort, with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. There will be networking and coffee and presentations from each company of around 10 minutes each. Participants can register for free at bit.ly/2gvmckM.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    BCIC established the program with Accelerate Okanagan and VIATEC to assist small tech companies... see more

    Source:  News.gov.bc.ca

    Tech accelerators create 1,640 jobs

    An entrepreneurial program launched by the BC Innovation Council to help British Columbians transform their ideas into successful businesses is helping drive B.C.’s growing tech sector.

    Over the past five years, the Venture Acceleration Program has created 1,640 jobs, attracted $196 million in investment and generated more than $81.6 million in revenues provincewide.

    “B.C. boasts many innovative thinkers who are choosing our province as the place to start their technology companies,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services. “The Venture Acceleration Program helps harness those ideas and bring local innovation to market more quickly, growing our tech sector and creating jobs.”

    The program helps entrepreneurs bring ideas to market faster, like LlamaZOO’s revolutionary 3D veterinary training platform, EasyAnatomy.

    “Participating in the Venture Acceleration Program gave us a formula and process to make sure we did the right things to validate our product, from finding and defining the customers to segmenting the market,” said Kevin Oke, LlamaZOO Interactive co-founder and vice-president of sales. “It was really instrumental to our success.”

    The program also helps experienced tech developers hone their business skills and make new connections, such as AirSenze Solutions and FreshWorks Studio founders Samarth Mod and Rohit Boolchandani who joined the program after immigrating to B.C.

    “We decided to stay in Victoria and start our own mobile app development company after completing our masters of business administration at the University of Victoria,” said Samarth Mod, AirSenze CEO and co-founder. “Participating in the Venture Acceleration Program at VIATEC provided us with mentorship, helped us get office space and network. Most importantly, by attending their fireside chats and other local tech meetups, we got to know the local tech community and learn from the experience of industry veterans.”

    The Venture Acceleration Program is delivered by a team of experienced professionals known as Executives in Residence, who act as mentors to help aspiring entrepreneurs bring new ideas to market more quickly, using a set of best practices for growing tech companies. Every entrepreneur in the program is assigned an Executive in Residence who becomes their primary advisor, often acting like an active member of their management team.

    “In just five years, program participants have successfully generated over $81 million in revenues through locally generated ideas, products and services,” said Carl Anderson, president and CEO, BC Innovation Council. “I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments of our entrepreneurs provincewide, which I’ve witnessed first-hand when I was an Executive in Residence for BC Innovation Council’s Venture Acceleration Program.”

    The BC Innovation Council established the program with Accelerate Okanagan and Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC), to assist small tech companies, which make up the majority of B.C.’s tech sector, develop growth opportunities.

    “Programs like Venture Acceleration are incredibly important to B.C.’s growing small business sector because they allow entrepreneurs and start-ups to hone their skills and grow,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “With the majority of the high-tech industry made up of small businesses, it’s essential to have the right support to help them achieve their goals.” 

    The Venture Acceleration Program supports the #BCTECH Strategy by helping B.C. tech companies develop revenue growth opportunities.

    The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.

    In partnership with its Crown agency, the BC Innovation Council, the Province continues to drive tech through B.C.’s second #BCTECH Summit, March 14-15, 2017, with made-in-B.C. tech innovations, thought-provoking keynotes and networking opportunities. To register or learn more, go to: http://bctechsummit.ca 

    Quick Facts:

    • As of February 2017, the Venture Acceleration Program has trained more than 995 entrepreneurs from over 589 companies.
    • The program is supported by the BC Acceleration Network, which is made up of 14 partners in nine regions throughout B.C. including:
      • Accelerate Okanagan Technology Association (Kelowna)
      • Bioenterprise (provincewide)
      • Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association (Smithers)
      • entrepreneurship@UBC (Vancouver)
      • Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre (Surrey)
      • Innovation Central Society (Prince George)
      • Innovation Island Technology Association (Nanaimo)
      • Kamloops Innovation
      • Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (Rossland)
      • New Ventures BC (provincewide)
      • Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (Mission)
      • VentureLabs (Vancouver)
      • Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council
      • Wavefront (Vancouver)
    • 95% of B.C. tech firms are small businesses, with most employing fewer than four employees.

    Learn More:

    BC Innovation Council: http://bcic.ca/

    Venture Acceleration Program: http://bcic.ca/for-entrepreneurs/vap/

    #BCTECH Strategy: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/

    LlamaZOO Interactive: http://www.llamazoo.com/

    AirSenze Solutions: https://www.airsenze.com/

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    What started as 153 companies has now been narrowed down to 25. see more

    Source: BCIC

    What started as 153 companies has now been narrowed down to 25. The 2016 BCIC-New Ventures Competition announced the 25 companies who advanced into round 3. Round 3 will see more companies narrowed down with 10 advancing to the round 4 Finale.

    Learn more about the 2016 New Venture Competition Top 25 companies.

    10 companies are moving to round 3 due to advancing in round 2.5:

    The companies above will be joining the companies below in Round 3:

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Shirley Vickers has been appointed BCIC’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. see more

    Source: BCIC

    Vickers set to drive innovation in all industries across the province

    BRITISH COLUMBIA (August 3, 2016) —The Board of Directors of the BC Innovation Council (BCIC), a Crown Agency of the Province of British Columbia, today announced that Shirley Vickers has been appointed BCIC’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

    Vickers is a serial entrepreneur that brings an unparalleled understanding of multiple industries to the table. Her record includes building several multi-million dollar companies, developing technologies in the resources sector and working in senior health care and medical technology industry roles. Vickers’ distinctive background will allow her to lead the organization during a pivotal time, where B.C.’s tech sector is strong and growing. With over 9,000 companies and more than 86,000 jobs, the tech sector plays a crucial role as the third largest economic contributor to B.C.’s GDP. With the recent launch of the #BCTECH Strategy, Vickers will work to fulfil the government’s vision for technology as the foundation for growth in every industry throughout the province.

    “I’m honored to be taking on the leadership of BCIC, an organization that recognizes that technology is everywhere and that is laser-focused on increasing growth opportunities of high value to B.C. industry,” said Vickers. “By uniting our unique expertise in venture acceleration, strong regional networks, partnerships in communities across the province and our access to technology developers and solution providers, BCIC will power B.C.’s economic engine forward.”

    Greg Caws, BCIC’s former President and Chief Executive Officer, has accepted a new #BCTECH-related role.

    “I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to Greg Caws, whose leadership and insight over the past three years has been instrumental in supporting B.C.’s growing technology sector. I’m looking forward to the details that will be announced soon regarding Greg’s new role,” said Derek Lew, Chair of BCIC’s Board of Directors. “I’d also like to extend a warm welcome to Shirley Vickers. With experience that spans the natural resources sector; technology development and commercialization; healthcare; and government; Shirley has the requisite knowledge, skills and relationships to guide BCIC as it advances technology adoption across the province.”


    About the BC Innovation Council

    The BC Innovation Council, a Crown Agency of the Province of B.C., accelerates the growth and success of B.C. companies by providing resources and market opportunities for applied innovations that solve challenges and drive competitiveness in B.C. industries. Through the #BCTECH Strategy and annual #BCTECH Summit, BCIC is fostering the growth of competitive companies that generate revenue, produce high-paying skilled jobs and drive economic development in B.C.

    PDF: BC Innovation Council Appoints Shirley Vickers as President & CEO – August 3, 2016

    For more information:

    William Johnson
    Acting Director, Marketing & Communications
    BC Innovation Council
    Office: 604 602.5258
    Mobile: 604 619.4163

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Archipelago develops and implements CCTV-based monitoring and review solutions... see more

    Source: BCIC

    Tech innovations are changing how we live and work in every sector of the economy. #BCTECH Transformations profiles BC companies that provide technology that is helping natural resource industries increase their productivity and competitiveness. Part 3 of the series looks at how Victoria’s Archipelago Marine Research is a major part of a transforming commercial fisheries industry. 

    Whether you’ve enjoyed the water off British Columbia’s south coast or dined at an area restaurant, you have felt the benefits of Archipelago Marine Research. Through a commitment to fisheries, coastal communities and industry regulators, Archipelago assists multiple facets of the commercial fisheries industry.

    Archipelago develops and implements CCTV-based monitoring and review solutions for commercial fishing fleets. The company’s deep understanding of electronic monitoring software and hardware enables them to provide fishers and industry regulators with quality, customized insight. Once installed, Archipelago’s onboard monitoring system can help reviewers verify fishing times and locations, identify size and species of catch, and display fishing activity in real time. Archipelago also trains and certifies fisheries observers for at-sea and dockside monitoring.

    The past

    “Fishermen don’t like having someone or something looking over their shoulder,” says CEO Shawn Stebbins.

    Due to this feeling, fishers were not always willing to consider efficiency tools. Trip decisions were made on a hunch and without the proper data and analytics. Commercial fishing is also an industry that is at the whim of the weather; this means that fishers need to make the most out of opportune days. So, they’re warming to the idea of using monitoring and review technology to improve their expeditions.

    The future

    “The importance and value of having quality datasets and preparation is really being seen,” says Stebbins.

    In addition to the value observers and electronic monitoring solutions have had on the industry, Archipelago has facilitated a focus on environmentalism. The organization works alongside other industries who share space with marine land to ensure environmental factors are accounted for. They’re also fierce advocates for sustainable fishing.

    “This focus has extended from fishermen to restaurants to consumer,” says Stebbins. “There’s a desire to do things better and more sustainably than in the past.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    In 25 years our tech sector has more than tripled from $1 billion in annual revenue to $3.15 billion see more

    Source: BCIC and VIATEC

    Over the past 25 years, Victoria’s technology sector has more than tripled from $1 billion in annual revenue to $3.15 billion. That type of growth doesn’t happen by chance.

    Countless individuals from different backgrounds including industry, academia and government have worked together to build the city’s advanced technology sector. At the centre of this major collaboration has been the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC).

    VIATEC, part of the BC Acceleration Network, has served as a community hub, connected entrepreneurs to resources and information and been the largest local proponent of advanced tech in Victoria. As a result of their efforts, the city’s sector is now the largest private industry and boasts the following:

    • 900 tech companies
    • 15,000 workers employed
    • $4 billion annual economic impact

    To learn more about how VIATEC has helped to transform Victoria’s economy through the development of their tech industry, read the report: It Takes A Community: How Community-Based Organizations Can Help Grow Advanced Technology Companies in Regional BC

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    BCIC is pleased to announce the launch of their newest program, BCIC Ignite see more

    Source: BCIC

    Monday, February 29, 2016 - BCIC is pleased to announce the launch of their newest program, BCIC Ignite. Funded by the National Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment Fund, BCIC Ignite provides funding support of up to $300,000 to teams of researchers and industry partners that are conducting research leading to commercializable projects. The focus is on technologies in the natural resources and applied sciences in BC.

    You can find all the details on their new web page: www.bcic.ca/ignite

    This is an exciting opportunity to support innovations that address a demonstrated problem faced by industry. The first deadline is May 2nd for Letters of Intent for the Spring 2016 program.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A key step towards supporting the technology sector in BC to reach its potential see more

    Today, at the #BCTECH Summit Government launched the full #BCTECH Strategy, as a key step towards supporting the technology sector in British Columbia to reach its potential, create high-paying skilled jobs, and build a strong and thriving economy.

    This announcement reveals the final two pillars of the #BCTECH Strategy: deepening the B.C. talent pool, and making it easier to access markets. It builds on the foundation established with the creation of the $100 million BC Tech Fund, announced on Dec. 8th, which provides access to capital for promising tech companies.   Further details about today’s announcement are available on the #BCTECH Strategy website:  https://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/

    The Strategy includes 50 actions the Province is taking to bolster our burgeoning tech sector, some highlights include:

    • Government has committed to ensure 25% of post-secondary’s operating grants are used for programs related to in-demand occupations including more focus on technology jobs;
    • B.C. Completion Grants for students completing programs related to the technology sector;
    • Hands-on experiences for students by ensuring new technology-related degree programs include co-operative education or work-integrated learning components;
    • New K-12 curriculum that will provide every student with the opportunity to learn coding by the end of Grade 9;
    • Funding for a foreign qualifications recognition project that will help new immigrants fit their skills into alternative, in-demand careers in B.C.’s technology sector;
    • Making it easier to sell to government though continued streamlining of procurement processes, modern procurement tools and collaborative approaches;
    • Improved reliability of high-speed internet access for northern and coastal communities;
    • Making it easier to find and use services offered by government that equip businesses to expand and sell to new markets.

    The technology sector has become a major engine of economic growth in British Columbia – no matter where you live in the province, or what you do, your life is affected by technology.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    BCIC is seeking applications from BC-based consortia to deliver the BCIC Innovation Commercializatio see more

    Request for Proposals: BCIC Innovation Commercialization Pilot

    The BC Innovation Council is seeking applications from BC-based consortia to deliver the BCIC Innovation Commercialization Pilot, a funding program that will support innovation projects that help BC companies or organizations increase efficiencies, become more competitive and create jobs.

    Who should apply?
    Qualified applicants must be consortia comprised of BC-based:

    • post-secondary institution
    • one or more economic development entities and/or not-for-profit entities

    Among additional requirements, the successful applicants/consortia will be expected to:

    • review key industries in their regions and determine their innovation needs
    • find three relevant innovation commercialization projects to be funded up to $30k each
    • disburse and manage project grant funding

    The RFP deadline is February 2, 2018.

    For full RFP details and to apply, please visit BC Bid and follow these instructions:

    1. Visit BCBid.gov.bca
    2. Click ‘Browse for Bid Opportunities or Bid Results’
    3. Click ‘Browse opportunities by organization’
    4. Click ‘BC Innovation Council’