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KAST Joins Hubs Across the Province to Form the BC Technology Ecosystems Network

BC’s Technology Ecosystems Network Builders Establish Alliance Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation and Venture Building in British Columbia.
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kast article bcten 22 june 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Vancouver, BC, Canada, Thursday, June 22, 2023] BC’s leading technology ecosystems builders announced today that they are establishing an alliance of not-for-profit innovation hubs, known as BC’s Technology Ecosystems Network (BCTEN). The goal of this alliance is to leverage their diverse and dynamic regional ecosystems into one powerful network that supports transformative company building across British Columbia. Following years of collaboration on best practices, strengthening industry intelligence and deep domain expertise, the alliance will showcase how BC born companies start, scale and grow their businesses by accessing fundamental resources provided by BCTEN.

In celebration of a decade of collaboration as members of Innovate BC’s BC Accelerator Network (BCAN), the launch of this new alliance aims to build upon the BCAN performance record which has resulted in the creation of over $1.2 billion of economic activity, added 4500 new tech sector jobs, and supported 1500+ companies. Leveraging their years of experience in developing and delivering tailored initiatives and advocating for entrepreneurship, this alliance has galvanized their communities around the early-stage startup to scale-up entrepreneurial journey. As backbone organizations of BC’s innovation ecosystem, this group is on the frontlines of supporting the economy by providing the critical resources necessary for the commercialization and scale for BC technology ventures.

The alliance includes the following organizations:
Accelerate Okanagan
entrepreneurship@UBC
Foresight Canada
Hubspace
Innovation Island
Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST)
New Ventures BC
SFU VentureLabs
VIATEC

“The founding members of BCTEN recognize that fostering a truly vibrant innovation ecosystem demands a comprehensive approach,” states Dan Gunn, CEO VIATEC and BCTEN Chair. “From nurturing nascent ideas to empowering scale-ups, and supporting not-for-profit hubs, we believe that an inclusive strategy encompassing skills development, connections, access to capital, community engagement, best practice sharing, joint initiatives and beyond are pivotal to achieving long-lasting success” Mr. Gunn further elaborates.

Central to the work of this group is ensuring that the diversity of people and solutions are unencumbered by systemic barriers, paving their way to becoming attractive and investable ventures that anchor in BC. Together this alliance of not-for-profit innovation hubs will continue to identify meaningful collaborations that harness best practices and leverage shared resources while building relationships designed to enable equity of entrepreneurship so that founders, inventors, new teams, and small businesses solving the world’s most pressing problems can bring their game-changing solutions to global impact.

“Over the last 10 years, BC has established an incredible network of organizations committed to ensuring innovation and sustainable economic development thrive in this Province. The impact of these accelerators and ecosystem builders goes beyond just the number of jobs created, dollars of new revenue generated, and dollars of investment attracted,” notes Jeanette Jackson, CEO Foresight Canada. “Through the BCAN Network this group has provided safe, unconditional support for thousands of companies across all regions and sectors. We are excited to see what is possible over the next 10 years with existing and new partners in the BCTEN alliance.”

Over the next 90 days BCTEN will begin sharing collective impact stories and purpose-driven initiatives that demonstrate both a decade’s track record of success, as well as new opportunities aimed at catalyzing awareness and growth of the next generation of BC company leaders.

For more information, contact:

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

or

Michelle Sklar, Head of Venture Growth Strategy, entrepreneurship@UBC
(604) 418-8526
michelle.sklar@ubc.ca

About BCTEN members:

Accelerate Okanagan
Accelerate Okanagan (AO) is a not-for-profit business accelerator with office locations in Vernon and Kelowna, BC. We exist to give entrepreneurs the mentorship, connections and community they need to build technology-driven ventures. We believe a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem has the power to inspire innovation and transform community.

entrepreneurship@UBC
Since 2013, entrepreneurship@UBC has been providing UBC students, researchers, faculty members, alumni and staff with the resources, networks, and funding they need to succeed. As one of the world’s top 40 research universities with 80,000 students, faculty and staff and over $770 million in annual research funding, UBC has long been a catalyst for innovation. Part of the Innovation UBC network, entrepreneurship@UBC supports UBC entrepreneurs and ventures to generate social and economic impacts in B.C. and around the world.

Foresight Canada
Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator – relentlessly accelerating the growth and impact of cleantech ecosystems across Canada to achieve deep decarbonization and net-zero climate targets through problem-driven innovation. Since inception in 2013, Foresight has supported 1,000+ ventures in our accelerator programs, 150+ industry partners through our industry programs, and 500+ investor firms through our various access to capital programs. Foresight’s leadership has helped secure $1.48 billion in capital, $439+ million revenues, and 7,370+ high- paying jobs for our ventures with an economic impact of over $2+ billion. Our domestic and international engagement includes collaboration with 2,000+ stakeholders and partners.

Hubspace
Hubspace is a not-for-profit business accelerator operating in Northern BC for the last 10 years. We believe that Northern BC is a hotbed of innovation and that our economy can grow and diversify by harnessing it! Hubspace’s mandate is to see new technologies and innovations commercialized with founders and businesses thriving, we do this through targeted programs and mentorship. We support founders through the ideation, market validation, and scale up phases of their businesses. We are active in connecting industry, academic institutions, and firms to form a vibrant innovative tech sector in Northern BC.

Innovation Island
Innovation Island has supported local tech-driven entrepreneurs and aspiring ventures for over 20 years. Our service region comprises greater Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, and Haida Gwaii. We provide programs and services for Startups, small
business innovators, and moonshot inventors who live in our communities and who are changing the world! We foster working relationships with the 50 First Nations communities whose unceded territories comprise the region where we gather, live, work and play. As a non-profit, Innovation Island is extremely proud of its regional impact. Working with our partners at Innovate BC, we deliver high-impact coaching and mentorship for the Venture Acceleration Program, savvy industry intelligence, and winning strategies to advance product and service commercialization.

Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST)
The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is a non-profit society that has been supporting science and technology innovation in the Kootenays since 1998. KAST works to foster a culture that values science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship as activities vital to maintaining and enhancing the competitiveness of the region and the wellbeing of its communities. KAST has headquarters at the Nelson Innovation Centre in Nelson, BC and partners with local educational institutions, community organizations and industry to deliver programming for youth, mentorship for emerging entrepreneurs and community engagement activities aimed to diversify and inspire our communities.

New Ventures BC
The New Ventures BC (NVBC) Society’s mandate is to recognize, encourage, and develop entrepreneurship and innovation in B.C.’s start-up technology sector. Since 2001, NVBC has supported this mandate with programs including the $250K annual New Ventures BC Competition, which offers education, mentorship, networking, cash prizes, and recognition. Outcomes have included thousands of new jobs, enhanced entrepreneurial skills, increased investment, technology commercialization, and above all, economic growth for B.C.

SFU Venture Labs
SFU VentureLabs® accelerates science, technology, and innovation-based companies that have winning value propositions and strong potential to scale up. Based in Vancouver, B.C., our programs and services are tailored to each company’s needs to not just grow but grow smart. For more than 10 years we have connected entrepreneurs with experienced mentors and a network of resources focused on tackling the unique challenges and complexities faced by technology innovators.

VIATEC
VIATEC’s mission is to cultivate the most cohesive tech community in the world by providing resources to tackle shared opportunities and challenges while boosting a sense of belonging and shaping our region. VIATEC started in 1989, when a community of technologists and entrepreneurs joined together to share information on how to build companies and support the tech industry. We work closely with our members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. VIATEC serves as the front door of the Greater Victoria tech sector and acquired it’s 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.

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KAST

Since 1998, the Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (KAST) has led our region’s economic development through technology and innovation. We are the only non-profit tech association serving the entire Kootenay region.

Picture of KAST

KAST

Since 1998, the Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (KAST) has led our region’s economic development through technology and innovation. We are the only non-profit tech association serving the entire Kootenay region.

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