(Backbone Magazine) BCTIA looks to grow Canada’s mid-size tech frontier

By Lawrence Cummer

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 – In the past decade, technology has been the fastest-growing industry sector in B.C., but it remains predominantly populated by small companies. Ninety-six per cent of all tech companies in B.C. employ less than 50 people, said Bill Tam, president and CEO of the BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA).

“We really have no middle class for tech here in B.C.” That’s a problem, he said, since the mid-market companies—which make up 3.5 per cent of B.C.’s tech industry—have the most broad-scale impact on economic growth, employment and R&D.

To promote the growth of mid-sized companies, BCTIA partners with government and the private sector to help connect entrepreneurs with capital and the skill sets needed, it fosters a sense of community through workshops and events where members of the tech sector can learn from each other, and it creates accelerator program like the Centre4Growth launched in 2010.

The good news is the entrepreneur spirit is strong in B.C. “We’re quite blessed with an incredibly rich entrepreneurial spirit,” Tam said. “It’s very much because we are a frontier land. A lot of the folks who have grown here or moved here believe in that ‘Spirit of the West.’”

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