03 Feb 2016 The Power of We: Succeeding Together
WE ARE BC TECH. Such was the rallying call at the recent #BCTech Summit and it echoed through the multitude of events and gatherings that drew a spotlight to the growing technology industry in British Columbia.
Orchestrated by the BC Government and the BC Innovation Council, and joined by a chorus of technology organizations, the #BCTech Summit epitomized the power of community storytelling – engaging stories that demonstrate that we are all part of something bigger and part of something that matters to everyone.
What resulted was the emergence of a powerful voice – the voice of entrepreneurs, technology leaders, government supporters and tech enthusiasts across the province who understand the scale and magnitude of the opportunity. A voice loud enough to raise the awareness of everyone in the province to ultimately effect the change necessary to create a better future.
But as a relatively small tech jurisdiction that’s powered to a large extent by enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, capitalizing on the bigger opportunity requires much more than voicing our desire. It’s about harnessing the Power of We – and finding ways to succeed together.
Unlike industries of the past, tech communities work as networks – not hierarchies. Hierarchies fail to recognize the brilliance of organic innovation and the network effects of ideas. In technology, the path is not pre-established. It requires constant iteration and an ability to fuse information together with insights in a rapid fashion. The way startups and modern tech companies evolve and grow is very network-driven.
The network-driven model is what underlies the Power of We. Not only does it create a sharing platform, but it also enables a core set of capabilities that could not be otherwise realized.
There’s plenty of evidence. In Jonathan Tisch’s book “The Power of We“, he shows that the key to economic and corporate success is to build and maintain smart partnerships with individuals, community groups and other organizations. But despite all the obvious advantages of partnerships, building and maintaining them is difficult for most people and organizations, as everyone has to be prepared to put aside their focus on individual concerns.
In the BC tech ecosystem, that’s been the persistent challenge. Often, there are well-meaning, but too many organizations with too few of resources. Finding ways to come together on a consistent basis has been difficult. It relies on a fundamental belief in growing the size of the pie – together. And as Brad Feld observes, “Community is NOT a zero sum game. Growing the tech community is about attracting more people, more capital, more resources as opposed to competing for limited resources. This is the only way to build the community over the long term.”
It was with this core belief that we set about establishing an Innovation Hub a year ago – as a gathering point for the companies and tech organizations alike and as a place to inspire the Power of We. It was to be a beacon where companies can create, learn from the best, harness the energy of the community and spotlight BC as the best place to grow companies. In essence, the Innovation Hub would serve as a platform – one that in partnership with industry champions, partner organizations and government, would foster serendipitous connections, inspire new ideas, accelerate the growth of companies and attract people and capital from around the world.
We recently celebrated the first anniversary of The Hub, an occasion that recognized the pay-it-forward ethos of the founders and shared the success stories of all the companies who have grown in The Hub. We celebrated the graduates of our first HyperGrowth cohort and the tireless volunteers and mentors who personified the Power of We in propelling the growth of these companies.
The BCTIA has always been fueled by a sense of purpose in serving the needs of BC’s tech community to be all that it can be. We envision a community that can be the rival of all others, in which every company across the innovation spectrum has access to best practices and expertise that allows them to learn from the best, innovate to become the best, and harness the support the community to grow world-leading companies.
We believe the Power of We can propel BC Tech to the next level, and we hope you’ll join us.
President & CEO, BCTIA
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