Women Entrepreneurs featured at #BCTECH Summit

Women Innovators Featured at #BCTECH Summit & Important Summit Deadlines!

BCTECH Summit Deadlines!

Mark Your Calendars for April 1st – important #BCTECH Summit deadline!

We are on the approach to the #BCTECH Summit, and as a result, there are various important events with definite deadlines.  Here are two pretty important ones:

The #BCTECH Summit is Western Canada’s largest technology conference and it welcomes some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry, locally and globally.

It is anticipated that over 6,000 people will make their way through the doors this year, up from 5,550 in 2017. Popular programs are the Investment Showcase and B2B Matchmaking Programs (deadline April 1!), which connects technology buyers with solution providers. Youth Innovation Day is designed to inspire young attendees’ to consider various career possibilities they might not have even considered.

“The conference is built for everyone: government, academia, industry and companies of all sizes that are looking to take in knowledge, and hear from leaders, to help their businesses succeed,” says Lindsay Chan, #BCTECH Summit’s director. The Summit will showcase technology’s transformation of key sectors such as natural resources, forestry and banking but some of the sessions will be getting out ahead, addressing emerging technologies such as robots ethics, blockchain and crypto-currencies.

Female technology entrepreneurs will see a higher profile at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit.

The Summit boasts many high profile and successful entrepreneurs, leading with keynote speakers Brent Bushnell, CEO of Los Angeles-based experiential entertainment company Two Bit Circus, and Jared Cohen, founder of Google Ideas and CEO of Jigsaw; but this year, the #BCTECH Summit will also make a bigger point of showcasing the talents of several innovative female technology entrepreneurs.

Women Entrepreneurs featured at #BCTECH Summit

Addressing the importance of investing in women-led businesses to fuel growth and innovation will be BDC Investment Manager Michelle Scarborough. Scarborough was recruited to lead the Women in Tech Venture Fund when she joined the bank’s investment arm, BDC Capital, in May 2017 to head up the strategic investments team. Launched in November 2017, the fund has already increased its allocation from $50 million to $70 million. As of January of this year, nine investments were made.

“The growth of the number of women starting technology companies is expanding dramatically,” Scarborough says. The criteria for success of female-led (or any) technology enterprise are a global market opportunity, a scalable service offering and a marketable product. These, she says, together with hard work, a belief in oneself and tenacity in the face of a “no” are recipes for success. “Every no gets you closer to a yes,” she says.

Norma Biln, founder and CEO of Augurex, was named to Women’s Executive Network’s list of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2017 and will also be speaking at this year’s event. Biln, who has a background in both business and biological sciences, was awakened to the marketing capabilities of the business of science while working for Pfizer.

Augurex is a biotechnology company that develops biomarkers that can predict rheumatoid arthritis in patients prior to diagnosis. The company’s JOINTstat blood tests help doctors to determine and diagnose joint damage before it happens. Already used on hundreds of thousands of patients, the product is available in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia.

While seven of the eight people in Augurex’s core team in Vancouver are women, Biln says the company hires based on qualifications, not gender. “We are looking to hire more men. [And] it’s just as important for male-dominated companies to start increasing the number of women. It’s not to do women a favour; it’s because it’s good for the organization. It adds to the richness of the organization—and to the bottom line.”

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