24 May Aspire to Tech: Chief Digital Officer at Finning
Career Spotlight – Dave Cummings
This week we sat down with Dave Cummings, the Chief Digital Officer at Finning, to get his perspective on the ecosystem as a BC Tech Board Member and his aspirations for BC’s future
Tell our readers a little about yourself – what’s your day job and what’s your role with BC Tech? I am the Chief Digital Officer of Finning – a Vancouver based 90 year old international equipment company with 13000 employees. Within Finning I lead the global digital and technology functions. I also serve on the board BC Tech Association and am an independent director of the Canadian TSX listed Company ATS Automation and the Vancouver robotics Startup Sanctuary.ai
How long have you been involved with BC Tech? I have been involved with BC Tech since I moved to Vancouver in 2013 and I joined the board in 2019.
Why did you choose to get involved with BC Tech? I have spent most of my career curating a bridge between traditional industries and emerging technologies – such as Big Data, Mobility, AI, Digital IoT or AR VR technologies. While I could have chosen to join technology companies over the years – I find my greatest value add is finding ways to deploy new technologies in physical businesses such as energy, chemical’s, transportation and now equipment companies. The role of BC Tech is to help technology startups scale and prosper in the province – and I believe one great way to do that is to expose those startups to the possibilities for partnership in the traditional BC industries. That is my prime ambition here in BC Tech.
What do you see as the single biggest challenge in the BC Tech Ecosystem today? Three years ago I thought access to capital, peer networks of entrepreneurs and education on how to grow were the obstacles – today it is mainly about access to talent and federal and provincial government support for scale up in BC.
What excites you about the future of BC Tech’s ecosystem? The untapped potential for growth of the Tech sector in BC is huge – and the recently invigorated ESG agenda has created a focus that has multiplied the technology potential – and what a great place to live while you work to realize your vision.
Why should every tech company join BC Tech? I have been around startups for 35 years and have seen a good mix of successes and failures. Both of those often happen for the strangest of reasons. I would suggest that getting from startup to scale is a critical phase for any entrepreneur – and anything you can do to increase the probabilities for success should be explored…. Talk to BC Tech and see what they can offer you. It may be even the insight from that conversation can influence your path to success.
What advice would you like to share with other companies out there? Get involved – be curious about what is happening to the Technology industry in the province – we need advocates for the incredible talent and their appetite for innovation – and there are many ways to contribute – very often in my experience with a win-win for your company.