BC Ignite Program

BCIC Ignite Round 6 | Deadline July 23, 2018

BC Ignite Program

BCIC Ignite provides funding to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences sectors in British Columbia.

Round 6 is up!  And with such enthusiasm over the award of $300,000 to Koots-based Advanced BioCarbon 3D, and Jason Taylor of Selkirk College (Round 4), let’s keep the momentum going!

The program provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry and will commercialize a proposed innovation within a 3-year timeframe.

Deadline to Submit Letter of Intent (LOI) to BCIC: July 23, 2018

Program Eligibility

  • Focus: Proposals must involve the areas of natural resources, applied science and/or engineering, and must provide a clearly articulated solution to an existing problem.
  • Teams: Applicants must be a BC-based consortium comprised of two or more companies, organizations and academic researchers. All consortia must include an academic member and an industry partner.
  • Matching funds: Projects must secure matching funds from industry or government sources at a ratio of 2:1 matching dollars to Ignite dollars.
  • Timing: Projects must plan to move a proposed innovation to market within a 3-year timeframe

  • Deadline to Submit Letter of Intent (LOI) to BCIC: July 23, 2018
  • BCIC to notify applicants and invite full proposal by: August 24, 2018
  • Deadline for invited applicants to submit full proposal: October 9, 2018
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: Late December 2018
  • Funding Start Date: January 2019

How to Apply

BCIC Ignite is funded by the Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment Fund, which was established by the Province of British Columbia to enhance the quality of life for British Columbians by building a strong research and development, advanced training, technology transfer and commercialization environment. Assessment services are provided in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). 

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resources for women entrepreneurs in British Columbia

Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

resources for women entrepreneurs in British Columbia

As tech explodes in the province and the number of startups grows, it’s clear that there’s never been a better time to be a woman starting a business in British Columbia!  With #BCTECH Summit 2018 on the horizon and women in tech & innovation owning a higher profile than ever before in a sector dominated primarily by men, women are making an impact on business across sectors.

It’s a great time for women entrepreneurs in BC – funding & program opportunities, support, resources!

Check this out:  From 2011 to 2016, the growth in self-employment among men in British Columbia was marginal, at only 0.9 per cent; however, the number of self-employed women in the province climbed 6.6 per cent. The increase was particularly evident among women over 55 years of age. In fact, the number of self-employed women aged 55 to 64 jumped 12.0 per cent over the five-year period, while those aged 65 and over surged 88.1 per cent.

KAST is proud of the support and programs we provide all entrepreneurs and if you’re a woman considering a startup idea or are in the initial stages of starting a business, we are sure to have a program for you!.

Take a look at our Startup Basics where we provide targeted skills coaching and action plans to those in the early stages who have an idea or are considering building a company. Startup Basics fills a gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem bringing skill progression and light-touch mentorship to help early stage entrepreneurs structure and curate their ideas.

If you’re already showing revenue growth and investment potential, KAST delivers the RevUp program where emerging and growing companies creating a new technology product receive hands-on assistance from a team of experienced Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) and “been there, done that” technology and business professionals.

Early‐stage technology entrepreneurs can also look to the BC Venture Acceleration Program, a structured venture growth program designed to guide, coach and grow ambitious early‐stage technology entrepreneurs and effectively grow their technology ventures.

If you’re looking to take charge of the technology required to develop your idea or grow your business, Ladies Learning Code provides vital programming & development education in everything from introductory HTML & CSS, to WordPress, Python, Ruby, Responsive Design, Photoshop and more.

Looking for more?  Here are some other of the more prominent groups and organizations in the province specific to women in business:

Forum for Women Entrepreneurs
Women’s Enterprise Centre
Mom CEO Academy
Young Women in Business
Minerva Foundation
Small Business BC
Hollyhock
Entrepreneur Mom Now Vancouver 
Comox Valley Women’s Business Network 
Ladies Who Launch British Columbia
Valley Women’s Network  
Oceanside Women’s Business Network  
Kelowna Women in Business 

 

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Startup Basics Program

Tools for Entrepreneurs: Startup Basics Program

Startup Basics Program

Startup Basics offers targeted skills coaching and individualized action plans developed by experienced Executives-in-Residence and supported by industry experts.

If you are a budding entrepreneur and need to learn more about about business and startup fundamentals you may be a great fit for the Startup Basics Program!

WHAT IS THE STARTUP BASICS PROGRAM?

We know that entrepreneurship can often seem daunting or intimidating to those first starting out. The Startup Basics Program helps minimize this fear by providing entrepreneurs the tools they need to get started, get validated, and get to market.

Startup Basics fills a gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem bringing skill progression and light-touch mentorship to help early stage entrepreneurs structure and curate their ideas.

This stage of entrepreneur eventually start companies and create significant community and economic benefit.  All startups and growth stage companies start at the idea stage; nurturing at this stage is an essential service in a productive ecosystem.

You will get the most out of the program if your business is in the early stages, already armed with an idea or are seriously considering how you’re going to build your company.

SESSIONS INCLUDE:

1. Startup Fundamentals

2. Positioning Statement & Minimal Viable Product

3. Legal & Accounting Basics

4. Business Model Canvas

5. Customer Discovery & Validation

6. Budget Basics & Protecting Your Idea

7. Pitching

8. Lived It & Learned it — advice from experienced entrepreneurs

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RevUP program

Program For Startups: RevUp!

Is your company already showing some revenue and investment potential but you’ve run up against some challenges?  The RevUp program may be for you!

RevUp is a six-month program that connects established companies and their leadership team with experienced mentors (Executives-in-Residence) to help them grow their businesses. This program was designed to help tackle rapid-growth issues and promote future success. Customized action plans in conjunction with targeted skill development for both founders and leadership teams, ensure the RevUP program lives up to its name.

KAST delivers the RevUp program with support from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and Accelerate Okanagan. KAST is a member of the BC Acceleration Network (BCAN) of 12 technology accelerators: some regional in focus (like KAST or Accelerate Okanagan) and others sectoral in focus (like Wavefront in wireless or Foresight in clean technology), from which we can pull EIR expertise to meet your growing company’s specific needs.

Ideal RevUp clients are growing companies making a new technology product: clean technology, agricultural technology, Life Sciences, Information & Communications (software) or Advanced Manufacturing. To be considered for the program, prospective clients apply and are evaluated based on their eligibility and their fit with the program.

How will RevUp support the growth of my business?

A Customized Plan: Company-specific plans designed to solve pain points and accelerate growth. This includes a deep dive with an EIR team to understand the company’s opportunities and challenges. From there a tailored scope of work will be developed to allow focus on the top one or two business challenges for the six-month engagement.

Mentorship and Coaching: The CEO and the management team have access to a curated team of mentors and experts who have the industry and business experience to help provide strategic feedback, guidance and support for CEO and senior leadership team.

Training and Courses: Targeted workshops focused on customer acquisition, capital management, and operational excellence as well as access to subject matter experts, market opportunities, networking, and regular investment events.

Peer-to-Peer Engagement: Opportunities to interact with a community of like-minded entrepreneurs at a monthly peer-to-peer meet up driven by CEOs at similar venture stage to support each other and candidly share challenges and lessons-learned in a confidential, safe environment.

Interested?  Prospective clients should contact operations@kast.com for an eligibility interview. Clients must be in revenue, with annual earnings of $500,000 or more annually.  Learn more HERE!

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BC Tech Co-op Grants Program

4 Ways Hiring Co-op Students Can Help Your Small Business

BC Tech Co-op Grants Program

You may have heard the term “co-op” floating around before, whether at an academic institution or a hiring fair.

But have you thought about how hiring a co-op student could help your small business grow, retain talent and spread the word about your brand?

Benefits for Businesses

Affordable Talent

Do you have projects on your to-do list that you just can’t find the time for? Co-op positions can be hired to fill temporary human resource needs or for specific projects, like that website revamp you’ve been talking about or that big event you’re putting on – all without making too much of an impact on your bottom line.

Hiring students gives you affordable talent with a short-term commitment, providing you with financial flexibility to run your business.

New Perspectives

Hiring students is a great way to bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to your business. They’re often full of energy, eager to learn and bursting with ideas that you may not have considered before.

Brand Awareness

As your business grows, you’ll eventually need to hire on more permanent help and co-op students can help with that as well. Posting a co-op job position gives your company exposure and it’s a great way to showcase your work culture in front of university students and future graduates.

Students that apply for your position will be doing research on your company, and if they like what they see, they’ll look out for future opportunities to work for you.

Easy Recruitment

Although your co-ops may only be with you temporarily, it’s always an option to offer full-time employment following their graduation. Because you and the student are already familiar with each other, this helps the recruitment process in the long term and cuts down on the time you spend conducting interviews and training new hires.

All in all, co-op students have the potential to be an invaluable resource to your small business. If you could use a helping hand and some fresh new ideas, make a call to your local post-secondary institution to see what options are available to you.

Convinced that a hiring a student is the right move for your business? Companies in BC could be eligible for up to $10,800 per year in funding from the BC Innovation Council’s BC Tech Co-op Grants Program.

Article provided by the BC Innovation Council.

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KAST is proud to receive $50,000 in SIDIT support annually for our Venture Acceleration Program

Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT) Fiscal 2017 Annual Report

KAST is proud to receive $50,000 in SIDIT support annually for our Venture Acceleration Program

SIDIT’s Fiscal 2017 Annual Report has been released, which has been prepared for stakeholders, including the British Columbia Provincial Government.  The Report showcases the ongoing support of SIDIT towards economic development initiatives in the Southern Interior, from the Thompson Okanagan Region to the Columbia Kootenay Region.

KAST is proud to receive $50,000 in SIDIT support annually for our Venture Acceleration Program.

SIDIT fiscal 2017 was a successful year for SIDIT, funding $3,759,805 in loans and investments, and have cumulatively leveraged loans and investments at 2:22 to 1.  $726,511 were awarded in grants, including post-secondary educational support.

Since 2006, SIDIT has preserved the initial $50 million allocation from the BC Government and has invested nearly $55 million in projects worth over $218 million.  SIDIT’s overall economic impact exceeds $288 million, creating and preserving more than 3,000 jobs across the region. SIDIT’s ongoing support of small to medium size businesses, including start-ups, provides them the opportunity to expand operations, attract and retain employees, and allows them to compete in the global marketplace.

As part of SIDIT’s ongoing reporting and self-evaluation commitment, a third-party Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Report was prepared by Lochaven Management Consultants/Urban Matters.  The report reviewed qualitative and quantitative impact related information, and employed both primary and secondary research.

Click HERE to read the report.