BCIC's first-ever B.C. Tech Summit ‘not just all about downtown Vancouver’

BCIC CEO Greg Caws

Greg Caws wants to be clear — B.C.’s tech sector is “not just all about downtown Vancouver.”

So when the B.C. Innovation Council (BCIC) launches its first-ever B.C. Tech Summit in January, the Crown corporation’s CEO says the aim is to show how vital the sector is to the entire West Coast.

“We’re going to bring the whole province together, all technology — technologies that support traditional industries and make them more competitive such as in mining, oil and gas, and forestry,” Caws told Business in Vancouver.

The summit, running January 18-19 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, will feature universities and startups showcasing their latest innovations, pitch competitions and venture capital presentations allowing entrepreneurs and investors to connect.

Keynote speakers include futurist and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) engineering director Ray Kurzweil, GE Canada CEO Elysa Allan and Deloitte chief innovation officer Terry Stuart.

And keeping in line with the mandate to connect the entire province to the tech sector, the summit’s events will be simulcast from Vancouver to anyone wishing to subscribe.

“So we’ll be in the schools, we’ll be in the cities. We’re delivering, for example, interactive coding camps,” Caws said, adding organizers are also bringing students from the northern parts of B.C. to attend the event and learn about technology.

“We want the kids to realize that there’s a fantastic career (in technology) and parents to realize they should be sending their kinds that way.”