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  • VIATEC posted an article
    The tech sector in Greater Victoria has a total economic impact of $5.22 billion and employs 16,775 see more

    VIATEC releases Economic Impact Study of the Technology Sector in Greater Victoria

    There is a total economic impact of $5.22 billion and the sector employs 16,775 people.

    VICTORIA, BC (October 15, 2018) - The Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC), has surveyed local technology companies and commissioned an independent researcher (Alan Chaffe, senior economics lecturer at the University of Victoria), to collect and analyze the data - releasing a brand new Economic Impact Study. 

    The study shows there has been a growth of 30% since the last study was released in 2013:

    The technology sector in Greater Victoria has a total economic impact of $5.22 billion and employs 16,775 people.

    The tech sector contributes significantly to employment and economic output in both the local community, as well as throughout the Province of British Columbia. Growth in revenue and the number of technology firms for Greater Victoria outpaces the national average.

    Greater Victoria is home to a vibrant, diverse, and successful technology sector that has been a major driver of innovation and economic growth for the BC economy. The technology sector in Greater Victoria has experienced significant growth over the past decade—with industry revenues (direct impact) increasing from $1.0 billion in 2004 to $4.06 in 2017. This represents a more than fourfold increase over this period.

    The combined direct ($4.06 billion) and indirect ($1.16 billion) economic impact of the technology sector in Greater Victoria for 2017 was $5.22 billion—a 30% increase from the $4.03 billion estimated in 2013. The technology sector is responsible for a substantial portion of the region’s employment. In 2017, there were 16,775 employees in the sector.

    The technology sector in Greater Victoria is expected to continue to grow. The number of technology firms in Greater Victoria is expected to increase, reaching over 1,000 before 2020. VIATEC recently adopted a strategic plan focused on supporting the region’s tech sector in growing to $10 billion in annual revenues by 2030. Based on the findings of this study, it is expected that this goal will be achieved if not surpassed in that time frame.

    Click here to download the full 2018 Economic Impact Study.

    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Dan Gunn
    CEO
    VIATEC
    dgunn@viatec.ca
    250-882-2820

     

    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 (Victoria's biggest industry).

    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.

    Our Focus Areas are: Regional and Sector Promotion, Networking and Connections, Talent and, Education and Mentoring. www.viatec.ca

     

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “Growing 30 per cent sounds like a lot, but honestly I think the sector’s potential was higher..." see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Greater Victoria’s tech sector still booming, but recruiting a challenge

    Victoria’s high-tech industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five years, but it’s still likely under-performing, according to the head of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council.

    Dan Gunn, chief executive of VIATEC, said the sector might have grown 30 per cent since 2014, but it could have grown bigger and faster.

    “Growing 30 per cent sounds like a lot, but honestly I think the sector’s potential was higher than that,” he said. “We under-performed and we under-performed for one specific reason — we haven’t been able to find enough skilled and experienced talent.”

    Gunn was reacting to a new economic impact study commissioned by VIATEC and written by Alan Chaffe, senior economics lecturer at the University of Victoria. The study, which VIATEC will release publicly on Monday, shows the tech sector has 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.

    “We were under the impression and pretty confident we were at $4 billion in revenue based on the level of activity since our last study, but it’s great to have that reaffirmed,” said Gunn. “We are confident of the numbers and we know there are a number of ways we could have used higher numbers to get a big story, but we wanted something accurate and conservative.”

    The study, which predicts there will be in excess of 1,000 tech firms in the region by 2020, suggested the sector is on target to meet its goal of combined annual revenues of $10 billion by 2030. “We wanted to set a big, hairy, audacious goal to motivate the sector,” said Gunn. “This study revealed that not only is that attainable, but highly likely that we are going to hit that level of growth before 2030, which is fantastic.”

    But it also comes with problems. Gunn said that kind of growth likely means as many as 15,000 more people working in the sector, leading to the questions of where those people will be found and how they will be housed when they are here.

    The study pointed out housing availability, affordability and a skills shortage have been limiting factors to growth among the region’s tech firms.

    Gunn said the region needs more breadth of opportunity — more companies and larger companies offering a variety of roles in order to attract talent.

    But despite the challenges, the study revealed a highly optimistic sector in the region.

    It noted the firms responding to the VIATEC survey estimated total revenues are expected to increase by nearly 13 per cent this year alone, while 77 per cent of all respondents indicated they expect to hire additional staff over the next two years.

    If that happens, total employment in the technology sector would be expected to hit 18,280 by the end of 2019.

    The study suggested that optimism is because of Greater Victoria’s quality of life, access to an educated workforce and close economic links within the Pacific Rim.

    Gunn said studies like this are important both within and outside the sector.

    “It shows the sector the value of what they are offering in their community, and seeing if they are ahead or behind pace,” he said. “And it gets the attention of policy makers to understand the value of it.”

    Gunn said despite its growth and increasing profile, tech remains a pretty quiet industry, taking up anonymous real estate in the second floors of downtown buildings.

    aduffy@timescolonist.com