In December 2015, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark
unveiled the first part of the BC government's plan to
accelerate the province's high tech sector, announcing the
creation the $100-million BC Tech Fund created for investing in
The provincial government boasts that the technology sector
supports the BC economy at its very foundation and is a key driver
of growth for our economy, creating 86,000 jobs that pay 60% higher
wages than the average. The sector is outpacing the overall
economy, adding $13.9 billion to BC's GDP and growing 4.7%
higher than the overall provincial economy.
The new BC Tech Fund is part of the first of three
economy-building pillars in the BC government's multi-year
BCTECH Strategy to drive growth and job creation in the
multi-billion dollar tech sector. Capital is one of three pillars
in the forthcoming BCTECH Strategy. This first pillar also includes
continuing to support BC's competitive tax system and research
environment. The remaining two pillars, talent and markets, include
actions to deepen the BC technology talent pool by developing and
attracting the highest quality talent, and actions to make it
easier to access new markets.
The provincial government advised that the BC Tech Fund will be
in operation in 2016 following an open procurement process to
secure a private sector fund manager to administer it and in April
2016, the B.C. government decided that Toronto-based Kensington
manage the BC Tech Fund;
manage the $90-million of capital currently committed through
the BC Renaissance Capital Fund; and
build a more robust Provincial venture capital system by
increasing the supply of local venture capital, and drawing other
investors into BC.
Many local entrepreneurs and technology businesses are excited
to see how the BC Tech Fund will affect BC's technology
industry, which is already home to tech leaders like Markus Frind
(PlentyOfFish), Ryan Holmes (Hootsuite), Roger Hardy (SHOES.com,
Coastal Contact), Andrew Reid (Vision Critical), Alexander
Fernandes (Avigilon) and Jeff Booth (Build Direct), to name a few.
The technology industry is also hoping that with such a significant
commitment of capital, BC will receive interest from international
It's difficult to predict the effect of the BC Tech Fund,
which is scheduled to launch this month or in July. Criteria for
eligible recipients of funding have not yet been established;
however, the technology industry is eagerly waiting to see what
companies receive funding and the terms of such funding.
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