CEO Dan Gunn spoke with Gregor Craigie, CBC about this year's event... see more
On The Island with Gregor Craigie | Live Radio | CBC
VIATEC Food Bank Challenge pits local tech companies against each other for a good cause. CEO Dan Gunn spoke with Gregor Craigie about this year's event...
Tech enthusiasts gathered at Fort Tectoria to hear from a panel of entrepreneurs in YYJ's tech hub see more
Source: CBC All Points West
Tech is a $3B industry in Victoria, with 900 companies responsible for 2,200 jobs
Tech enthusiasts gathered at Fort Tectoria Friday morning to hear from a panel of entrepreneurs in Victoria's burgeoning tech industry, hosted by CBC British Columbia as part of its Inspiration Series.
"With 900 tech companies, 22,000 employees and over $3 billion in total revenue, it's hard to deny: the old stereotypes are dead," said Craigie.
The panel discussion, called Victoria 2.0, covered topics ranging from gender imbalance in tech companies to the impact of a low Canadian dollar on local businesses.
The three panelists had a range of experiences and came from a variety of backgrounds, but when it came to talking about why they chose Victoria as a place to live and work, they all agreed: Victoria is a close-knit community and that's good for startups.
"One of the great things about Victoria is it is a smaller community, you're able to really make those deep connections," said Nicole Smith, founder of Flytographer.
Best of all, the city is affordable, she said.
"And you're actually able to afford a house."
Smith worked in Vancouver and Seattle before moving back to her hometown on the island seven years ago.
Charles Lavigne moved to Victoria three years ago from the Lower Mainland.
"It really came down to the community. It was just so inviting and so supportive," said the co-founder and CEO of LlamaZOO.
"I think Vancouver is a lot bigger, so it's more dispersed."
Entrepreneur Brad Van Vugt said choosing between the Silicon Valley and Victoria was easy. The small B.C. city offers something other places don't, he said.
"You have this incredibly tight community, incredibly dedicated, smallish group of founders, but they're trying to do big things," said Van Vugt, co-founder and CEO of Sendwithus.
"If you go to a larger city you're going to get a lot more noise."
A prank that got radio air time Friday morning may have inadvertently helped the Food Bank Challenge see more
December 5, 2015: Victoria, BC - A prank that got radio air time Friday morning may have inadvertently helped the local high-tech sector’s annual food bank challenge.
An impostor claiming to be Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council chief executive Dan Gunn called into Gregor Craigie’s On the Island show on CBC and, after talking about the challenge, went on a foul-mouthed rant.
“It definitely wasn’t me,” said the real Dan Gunn. He said publicity that surrounded the stunt — Gunn received a slew of emails, texts and tweets after people heard the show — resulted in a number of tech companies coming up with more donations for the Mustard Seed Food Bank.
Gunn said as long as it helps feed the less fortunate he’s all for it. “I tweeted out earlier that if we raised $250,000 I would read a transcript of what the impostor said at the next VIATEC awards,” said Gunn with a laugh.
Using the hashtag #therealdangunn, Gunn pointed out that since the prank aired, Rasool Rayani and Heart Pharmacies pledged $3,000 and 100 pounds of food, Latitude Geographics stepped up with a $2,000 donation and start-up AOT Technologies pulled together $500.
It wasn’t clear if Gunn would have to go through with his pledge to get a tattoo of the VIATEC insignia if the challenge raised in excess of $100,000 for the Mustard Seed food bank. Late Friday, the total came in at $60,000.