BC government announces $100 million tech innovation VC fund

Content provided by The Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER, BC (December 8, 2015) – The British Columbia government announced a $100 million technology innovation venture capital fund today to help fuel growth among tech companies in the province.

“We have to find ways to ensure there are more success stories in tech,” Premier Christy Clark told an audience gathered at Vancouver’s Mobify headquarters for the funding announcement.

Clark said the $100 million fund will help companies grow and expand.

“This should be a tech hub for the world, for talent to come to and for money to come,” Clark said of the province.

Clark said with jobs in the tech sector paying on average 60 per cent above the industrial average, growth in the sector will provide good-paying jobs.

The announcement, designed to bolster venture capital funding for companies making that step from startup to growth, was welcomed by tech sector leaders in the province.

“It closes the funding gap,” said Paris Gaudet, executive director of Innovation Island, a Vancouver Island tech association. “Acess to capital is the lifeblood of any tech company.

“ …This funding demonstrates a strong commitment to the tech sector.”

Bill Tam, president and CEO of the BC Technology Industry Association said the funding will help companies stay and grow in BC.

“It is such a super exciting day for us… .I think this announcement is very much about job creation and investing in the economic growth we see for the tech sector going forward,” he said.

Igor Faletski, co-founder and chief executive of Mobify, a mobile commerce company in Vancouver, said he never imagined “the company we started in my mom’s basement would grow into a global ecommerce leader.”

What made the difference, he said, was support from government and businesses in BC. He said if BC companies are to go head to head with well-funded global competitors, “venture capital is a crucial step.”

Faletski said had such funding had been more broadly available five years ago, there would be more tech companies in BC today.

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