i4C Innovation Centre has been nominated for the 2018 Inspirational Latin Awards in the Innovation and Sustainability Category.
An initiative conceived two years ago to promote rural economic diversification in collaboration with existing traditional industry, i4C Innovation Centre is one of the fastest growing companies in the area and has been nominated for an Inspirational Latin Award in the category of Innovation and Sustainability.
Incorporated in April of 2017, i4C Innovation opened their doors in late May 24 that same year. Even before i4C had officially launched, it had already met major milestones, including securing the 46,000 sq ft state-of-the-art building across the Trail airport through an alliance with the Columbia Basin Trust; was awarded a $1M fund in a joint collaboration with the regional economic development office, Lower Columbia Initiatives Corp.; and established the first links to Latin America.
The initial goals for the first two years were easily surpassed within just the first year in operation. Instead of five full-time jobs, eleven were created; 17 of the 20 indirect employment opportunities were fulfilled; and, rather than relocating three growth stage companies, nine relocated from Canada and the United States as well as Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. Even more impressive: blowing away the projected $1M VC fund in favour of $20M secured through an Alberta corporation to support i4C’s hub members.
In Latin America, i4C continues to evolve with representatives in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Currently, it is negotiating a deal to open a large facility in Paraguay.
i4C Innovation Centre is one of the very few female-led and solely owned technology companies in Canada. Pilar Portela, an immigrant to Canada, has forged her way over the past 30 years proving that through dedication and collaboration, with the help of a clear business model, a sustainable and innovative organization can be achieved, even in a rural area such as Trail.
i4C Innovation proudly claims 75% of its employee roster as visible minorities, primarily Latin Americans, with over 5 languages spoken, including Spanish and Portuguese. 38% of the i4C employees are female, 13% have visible disabilities, 38% are over 50 years old and over 80% live rurally.
i4C Innovation is focused on growth and sustainability. Their technological advances in the Industry 4.0 era include the development of environmental, water and wastewater sensors, naturally air-cooled and controlled environments for their servers, and the development of analytics platforms aimed at solutions for complex industrial and municipal problems.
All these careful orchestrations allowed i4C to sell over $1.5M in the first year, allowing for a continued plan for additional growth in the year to follow as well as those to come.
Inspirational Latin Awards is a program of Latincouver. The Inspirational Latin Awards recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals from the Latin American community in British Columbia.