Centre4Growth Surrey Meetups Full of Opportunity

As seen on surr3y.ca

Surrey Centre4Growth meetups bring together tech entrepreneurs

November 8, 2013 — In the private nook of Central City Brewing Company, a group of well-dressed men are gathered. They are members of the Surrey Centre4Growth Tech Entrepreneur Meetup that has been holding meetups each month for the past six months.

Upon arrival I shake hands and exchange business cards with a diverse group of people, including City of Surrey economic development staff, an IT implementation specialist and entrepreneur, and a seasoned IT executive, Eamonn Percy, who is an organizer of this Centre4Growth meetup.

Conversations flow easily and over the next few minutes, a few more people arrive and are easily absorbed into the circles of conversation. I meet even more diverse entrepreneurs—the host of a popular Youtube channel teaching men to dance and the CEO of a Surrey-based company specializing in tough hardware.

In total, there about a dozen people present. As meetups often do, the number fluctuates, and for many here tonight it’s their first time. This meetup is organized as part of the BC Technology Industry Association’s (BCTIA) Centre4Growth initiative. Percy, executive-in-residence for the Centre4Growth, explains that it is an “accelerator program to help technology companies, particularly startups and entrepreneurs, grow faster and quicker.”

The meetup is a grassroots way to support these tech entrepreneurs. There’s a lot of good old-fashioned networking going on, but also opportunities to connect across sectors and to resources that can help them grow.

In Surrey in particular, Percy sees a lot of opportunity for the tech sector. There’s the new SFU Surrey campus—visible through the windows of the Central City Brew Pub—as well as all the new development going on happening around the SkyTrain line and health care technology expansion taking place just down the road. There’s room to grow here, a business-friendly city council and the young, diverse, and well-educated population in Surrey want the good jobs a thriving tech sector will create.

As diverse as the tech entrepreneurs I met at the meetup were, the one thing I kept hearing was energy and enthusiasm for Surrey. Everyone in the group was optimistic about the city’s future, excited about the changes happening in the downtown area. There was also some glee expressed about the undiscovered joys of living and working in Surrey, such as the ease of commuting against rush hour traffic, convenience of travelling to the US or airports, or the “million-dollar views” from its heights and ridges (and distinctly non-million-dollar housing prices).

The meetup brings together people who see Surrey’s potential as not only an attractive market but also a dynamic hub of tech innovation. To join them, visit the Surrey Centre4Growth Meetup page and RSVP for the next get-together on December 4, 2013, at Central City Brewing.

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