14 Oct 2016 Doors Open to Technology: Inspiring BC High-School Students to Pursue Careers in Tech
One of our key goals at the BC Tech Association is to inspire our youth to explore technology and the many career opportunities within it. To that end, we were thrilled to be a partner on the delivery of the very first Doors Open To Technology (DOT), a 2-day event organized by Inventa and hosted by Microsoft. Bringing 200 high school students from all across the province to Vancouver to get behind the doors of some of Vancouver’s most prestigious tech companies, students got to experience first-hand what the technology sector has to offer, and then share their findings with other colleagues back in school.
On day one, Bill Tam, our very own CEO, opened the event by inspiring the students to “be curious” and to learn as much as they could in the two days to follow. After his speech, Camila Louzada, BC Tech’s Manager of Talent Programs, spoke about why technology matters, how it’s ingrained in everything we do, and the many career paths available for technical and non-technical students. Ryan St. Germaine, CEO of BCJobs.ca/BCTechJobs.ca and Jobcast, shared his personal story, and talked about how he built two successful tech businesses with a high school friend. The students then participated in innovation talks and office tours all throughout day one and well into day two, engaging with well-known companies such as Microsoft, SAP, EA, ACL, Absolute Software, TELUS, Intergalactic, BC Hydro, and more.
A mini hackathon was the main event on the afternoon of day two, where high-school students competed in a design thinking challenge on ‘how to get your peers interested in careers in tech’. BC Tech’s Talent team participated on the judging panel alongside David Nichols, Founder and Co-President of Inventa, Michelle Sklar, VP of Marketing at Wavefront, and the Honorable Minister Amrik Virk, to hear Dragons-Den style pitches from each high-school group.
Congratulations to the winners of the challenge from Highland Secondary in Comox, who did an amazing job pitching the game-app called ‘start-up tycoon’! The mini hackathon wrapped up with the presentation of the DOT award itself – which, as a super cool finishing touch, was made with 3D printing technology.
We wish success to these 200 amazing students, and we are proud to support initiatives to inspire our youth. We hope this is the first of many DOTs to come!