Ottawa commits $2.25m to BC Tech in bid to cultivate anchor companies

Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announces $2.25 million in funding for BC Tech Association on August 28 in Vancouver | Submitted

What happened: Federal government announces $2.25 million in funding for BC Tech Association

Why it matters: The industry association is using the funding to help turn tech startups into anchor companies

Ottawa is committing $2.25 million to the BC Tech Association in a bid to help startups on the West Coast stake a future claim to anchor-company status.

“This is just such a fantastic … shot in the arm to keep us going,” BC Tech Association CEO Jill Tipping told Business in Vancouver following the August 28 announcement at her organization’s Hub space.

BC Tech will use $1.5 million from the government to continue offering programs aimed helping startups in the province scale up, grow and enter global markets.

For example, the organization’s HyperGrowth program offers training to executive teams to help boost annual revenues from $1 million or more to $10 million or more.

The remaining $750,000 in federal dollars will go towards keeping open BC Tech’s 18,000-square-foot physical Hub space.

The Hub, which sits along Great Northern Way in Vancouver, provides resources and facilities to startups.

Tipping said the funding would allow her organization to continue offering the programs and the physical space into 2020.

“We’ve got a number of companies here that we want to make sure are able to have the [resources] they need to be able to grow,” she said.

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, former chairman of the BC Tech Association, told BIV the province has long been grappling with how to turn small companies into medium-sized companies and then turn those medium-sized companies into anchor companies.

“But that requires money, it requires collaboration amongst many of the folks involved in the tech sector,” Wilkinson said after making the funding announcement at the Hub.

“We believe that by investing in BC Tech and these new vehicles that they’ve developed, we’re going to catalyze an even bigger tech sector, which is going to be a key engine for growth for B.C. going forward.”