BCTECH Summit

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Among the list are three VIATEC Members: Priologic Software, Plurilock, and Flytographer! see more

    BCTECH Summit's Top 50 Tech Startups announced

    These 50 B.C. tech companies (Click here for list), have been chosen as the most investable startups in their sector by BCTECH Summit's Selection Committee, a group of top-tier VCs and angel investors. Among the list are three VIATEC Members: Priologic Software (HardHat Connect), Plurilock, and Flytographer!

    They'll be pitching in front of local and international investors at this year's Investment Showcase, happening May 15th. 

  • Photonic Public Relations Inc. posted an article
    Last week's B.C. Tech Summit proved just how unified the province’s entrepreneurs are. see more

    With record-breaking attendance of over 5,000 innovators, strategists and academics, the B.C. Tech Summit proved just how unified the province’s entrepreneurs are.

    "The sold-out #BCTECH Summit underscored the dedication, passion and success of B.C.’s diverse technology innovators and entrepreneurs across the province,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.

    "Our #BCTECH Strategy is driving momentum, helping B.C. technology companies grow and create jobs throughout the province.”

     B.C.’s technology workforce is one of the largest in the country encompassing 101,780 jobs equaling a 2.9 per cent increase last year. The booming sector has also created over $26 billion in revenue and $15 billion in GDP.

    This year’s #BCTECH Summit was filled with a palpable desire for innovators to connect and share their stories about perseverance, determination and tenacity. From JB Straubel, Co-founder and CTO of Tesla to Tanmay Bakshi, 13-year-old IBM Cloud Advisor with a resume that also includes software developer, cognitive developer, IBM Watson developer, author and YouTuber.

    “Innovation means filling the gap for programmers,” explained Tanmay Bakshi in his keynote speech, emphasizing a need for more kids to learn to code with specialized programs and resources.

    “It's about how the youth can get involved in technology, why they should get involved in technology, and of course, the present and future of technology, which is — beyond doubt — artificial intelligence," said Bakshi.

    Premier Christy Clark also unveiled a major announcement that the provincial government will deliver a series of initiatives to boost the tech sector including a $10 million program to fund five research chairs at universities and colleges.

    In addition, an expansion of tax credits will help support the abundance of virtual reality and augmented reality companies gathering momentum.

    “When others are withdrawing from free trade, we are going to reach out around the world and find new connections, for business and for people,” said Premier Christy Clark.

    The mission is to cultivate and nurture talent worldwide, with a clear assertion that British Columbia’s doors are open to educated foreign technology employees.

    The importance of building strong teams through beneficial partnerships was a central theme to the summit and in the conversations that arose.

     These conversations between innovators, visionaries and strategists at the #BCTECH Summit play an undeniable role in shaping the future of the technology sector in the province. The dynamism sparked by the exhibitors and speakers provided a positive platform to ignite collaboration between all those hoping to accelerate the growth in B.C.’s tech sector.

     

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  • LlamaZOO Interactive Inc. posted an article
    LlamaZOO one of Top 10 education startups worldwide in SXSWedu’s 2017 Launch Competition see more

    LlamaZOO one of Top 10 education startups worldwide in SXSWedu’s 2017 Launch Competition

    March 14, 2017 - LlamaZOO Interactive Inc. (LlamaZOO), was recognized as one of the 10 most innovative education startups worldwide after presenting at last week’s SXSWedu Launch competition in Austin, Texas. SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest (SXSW) family of conferences and festivals, which are internationally recognized as the convergence gathering for creative professionals.

    LlamaZOO reached the SXSWedu Launch finals in part due to the success of its 3D veterinary anatomy software, EasyAnatomy. LlamaZOO’s proprietary process for converting MRI and CT images into 3D anatomical models has made EasyAnatomy the most medically accurate virtual guide to canine anatomy available, and paved the way for EasyAnatomy’s world’s-first launch in virtual reality.

    EasyAnatomy is revolutionizing veterinary education by providing students and educators with an engaging and convenient evolution from 2-dimensional textbooks and ethically-contentious cadaver dissection. The application has been purchased by top veterinary medicine schools including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Missouri, and the University of Saskatchewan. 

    “EasyAnatomy has been making an international impact in veterinary education since its initial launch last fall, and it’s icing on the cake to be recognized for innovation on the global stage at an event as prestigious as SXSW” said LlamaZOO co-founder and CEO, Charles Lavigne. “To be the only Canadian company to reach the finals in Austin provided us with further encouragement to represent the tremendous wealth of tech talent back home in British Columbia, particularly in AR/VR.”

    LlamaZOO will again have the opportunity to demonstrate their AR/VR innovations and technology platform during the #BCTECH Summit in Vancouver, March 14-15. During the summit LlamaZOO will exhibit their groundbreaking VR/AR canine dissection on both the Microsoft Hololens and HTC Vive, from their booth on the Microsoft sponsored “Future Realities” floor.

    “For a growing company, it’s encouraging to see the BC Government and organizations such as Microsoft increasing the spotlight on AR/VR technologies and companies” said co-founder and VP Sales, Kevin Oke. “It’s validation for the innovation already occurring in BC, and the potential yet to come, and LlamaZOO’s aim at the #BCTECH Summit is to exceed expectations.”

    About LlamaZOO
    LlamaZOO is a leading education technology company that develops award-winning interactive software. The company’s proprietary platform provides a means of interacting with and viewing complex data and structures as 3D models in Virtual and Mixed reality. LlamaZOO is headquartered in Victoria, BC, and has previously been awarded “Top Regional Startup” by BCIC New Ventures, the VIATEC Startup of the Year Award, and the “Innovation Award” at the Greater Victoria Business Awards.

    Media Contact:
    Charles Lavigne, Co-Founder & CEO, charles@llamazoo.com
     

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Armstrong has worked with angel investors, tech startups and educational institutes to commit $280k see more

    Source: BIV
    Author: Tyler Orton

    (Image: Kate Armstrong, director of Emily Carr University’s Living Labs, has worked with angel investors, tech startups and educational institutes to commit donations and in-kind support to teach code and web development to refugees | Rob Kruyt)

    Kate Armstrong recalls feeling helpless last fall as the Syrian refugee crisis unfolded.

    There would be 25,000 refugees entering Canada by the end of February, and the director of Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s Living Labs wasn’t convinced they would all crack the code to enter the job market successfully.

    But since November, Armstrong has worked with angel investors, tech startups and educational institutes to commit $280,000 in donations and in-kind support to teach code and web development to 100 refugees.

    The Startland initiative (stylized as “#Startland”) plans to raise another $150,000 through the FundRazr crowdfunding platform to provide refugees entering the tech workforce with free workspace, laptops and smartphones.

    “We’re in desperate need of new coders,” Armstrong said. “It’s sort of a win-win because the technology sector needs new people, and there is a skills gap.”

    A 2014 BC Technology Industry Association report found the gross domestic product (GDP) of the province’s tech sector has grown by 12% since 2007.  B.C.’s overall GDP has grown 6% over the same period.

    Meanwhile, about 84,000 British Columbians are working in the tech sector, and startups have long lamented a shortage in talent.

    Premier Christy Clark announced in mid-January as part of B.C.’s technology strategy that the province would begin phasing in coding to the school curriculum this fall to deepen the tech talent pool. Clark said Victoria would also streamline the B.C. provincial nominee program to bring in specialized tech talent from overseas to fill in the labour market gaps.

    But Carla Morales, director of the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISS), said the Startland initiative stands out because the private sector is taking the reins from the government to find talent shortage solutions.

    “That for me is the future of business,” she said, adding that the initiative is the first of its kind.

    ISS has partnered with Startland on the initiative to provide it with access to and support for refugees entering B.C.

    Armstrong admits it was a necessity because none of the organizers had prior experience working with refugees.

    The ISS evaluates labour markets to ensure refugees are being aligned with in-demand jobs, and Morales doesn’t expect that to be an issue for clients trained to code. But applicants to the program could face major language barriers or be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    “It’s a very individualized process,” she said. “You might have one client that comes in that has excellence language [skills], that may be interested in code, that may be the age of 21 … and then you may have a client on the other end.”

    B.C. is expected to welcome about 3,000 refugees from Syria, but ISS does not have a breakdown of the demographics entering the province.

    If B.C.’s intake heavily favours children or the elderly, Startland might be left with few refugees able to join the program.

    While the Startland initiative will be open to all refugees no matter their countries of origin, Armstrong said the program would not likely start until late February at the earliest so that Syrian refugees arriving in B.C. would have time to adjust.

    In addition to partners such as ISS, the Startland initiative includes Wantoo, Lighthouse Labs, Red Academy, CodeCore Bootcamp and BrainStation.

    Armstrong added Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Espresso Capital have also provided seed donations to the initiative.

    While 100 refugees will be trained to code initially, Armstrong said Startland will “step that up and get it moving.”