27 Jun Starting a New Chapter: Goodbye C4G, Hello Growth Programs
In September 2010, Centre4Growth was born. We were inspired by the start up support model program by Communitech in Waterloo and thought that British Columbia deserved the same type of programming. The idea for the program was to bring together the power of BC’s tech networks, alumni, resources, and knowledge to build the next generation of anchor tech companies.
What started with a small, dedicated team of CEOs-in-Residence (now called Executives-in-Residence) meeting with startups in coffee shops, eventually led to Bootcamps, Demo Days, Connection Days, and hundreds of companies receiving free services from a wide network of experts, partners, customers, advisors and investors, accessing business opportunities, and establishing customer relationships. Our founding EIRs were Bill Tam, Peter Payne, Neil McDonnell, Rob Bennet, and Sandra Wear.
Over the years, we were fortunate to work with more influencers from BC’s tech community, such as: Rory Holland, Jonathan Bixby, Gina Arsens, Eamonn Percy, Michael Henson, Gary Boddington, Jennifer Thompson, and Ben Pickering. The Centre4Growth grew and expanded over the years, including our watershed moment in November of 2014 when the Federal Government announced the Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP). The result of that announcement was the launch of the BC Tech Innovation Hub, which opened to the public in early 2015.
The Hub became a platform offering amazing growth, infrastructure, and resources, elevating Centre4Growth to a new level. Now, tech companies would be able to start, grow, and succeed within the walls of The Hub, accessing services at an accelerated rate, leading to bigger outcomes, faster.
Over the past five and a half years, C4G has supported over 800 companies – helping them increase their revenue by nearly $190 million, attract over $200 million in new investment, and create close to 950 new jobs across the province. We have worked with companies that span a wide variety of tech sectors, and have participated in the growth and maturity of BC’s tech industry overall.
The support system for startups has grown dramatically since 2010, with incredible programs and services being offered by numerous groups around Vancouver and across the province. With this shift in the landscape, we have decided to focus on doing what we do best, working with tech companies ready for ‘second-stage’ growth (commercialized, in-market, early traction) to drive revenues upwards of $1 million.
Following the success of our HyperGrowth program, we have decided to dedicate our Growth Programs Team (formerly the C4G Team) to focusing exclusively on second-stage and above companies. We will continue to grow the next generation of anchor tech companies, expanding the availability of programming and support beyond early-stage and into growth-stage, where many companies find it hard to break through.
Our flagship platforms include:
What About First-Stage Companies?
We understand the importance of early-stage companies having access to incredible programming, and are thankful for our many incredible partners who are dedicated to helping companies determine their product-market fit, learned business model canvas methodology, and go-to-market strategy.
If you have an early-stage idea, we strongly suggest contacting our partners at Spring University, Launch Academy, UBC and SFU. For Mobile/IOT companies there is Wavefront and for cleantech companies there is Foresight. Across the province there is an amazing array of support including AOK in Kelowna, New Ventures BC virtually, Innovation Island in Nanaimo, Tectoria in Victoria, and Kamloops Innovation.
Many of these organizations offer BCIC’s Market Validation Program. This list is in no way conclusive, as BC now boasts one of the best start-up ecosystems in the whole world. If you are unsure which program is right for you, please feel free to email us. We can tell you more about them and can make an introduction for you.
Are You Ready for Growth?
We look forward to continuing our journey in supporting the growth of BC’s tech industry, and are always on the lookout for growth and scale-stage tech companies.
If your tech company is ready for growth, and is looking for experienced coaches and advanced connectivity, email a pitch deck to firstname.lastname@example.org.