BC Innovation Council’s #BCGO Tour Brings Business Opportunities to Local Tech Innovators in Kelowna

Rio Tinto, IBM Canada, and BC Lottery Corporation among presenting companies seeking innovative tech solutions

KELOWNA, BCOct. 27, 2017 – The BC Innovation Council, a Crown agency of the Province, is promoting innovation across British Columbia through the BC Growth Opportunities Tour (#BCGO), which stopped off in Kelowna this morning. The six-city tour aims to grow regional economies across the province by connecting companies with business challenges to local innovators. Solving the business challenge gives the local innovators entry to an immediate market, providing them with an excellent growth path.”

BC Innovation Council’s #BCGO Fall 2017 tour is looking to build off the success of the inaugural tour, which took place earlier this year. As a result of the first tour, 600 connections have been made, six cross-sector deals have closed, and over 30 deals are currently under discussion.

#BCGO pairs local innovators with industry to exchange ideas and bolster B.C. innovation,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “The tour is opening the door for collaboration that will create jobs for British Columbians around the province and grow B.C.’s economy.”

“BCIC’s #BCGO Tour creates a unique opportunity for companies and local tech innovators to come together and solve real, market-drive challenges,” said Carl Anderson, President & CEO of the BC Innovation Council. “This collaboration gives innovators the chance to meet potential customers first-hand and build companies right here in their own community of Kelowna.”

BCIC’s #BCGO Kelowna event featured 12 organizations presenting their business challenges, including Rio Tinto, BC Lottery Corporation, and FortisBC, among others. Examples of some of the tech and innovation needs presented included:

  • A solution for providing low cost air quality monitors that can accurately measure very low concentrations of SO2 in all seasons, by Rio Tinto
  • A game design challenge for new games to engage with non-traditional partners more effectively and help bring new gaming content to market by BC Lottery Corporation
  • A need to efficiently capture carbon from residential natural gas appliances by FortisBC

Kelowna currently has over 290 tech firms that employ nearly 3700 people. Known as “Silicon Vineyard”, Kelowna has developed into a high-tech hub and boasts one of the province’s strongest tech communities. Accelerate Okanagan, a BCIC funded accelerator, has been a strong supporter of the Kelowna tech sector, helping create hundreds of jobs since its launch in 2011. Kelowna also has three post-secondary institutions – UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College, and The Centre for Arts and Technology – which offer tech-focused programming.

#BCGO Fall 2017 will conclude next Friday in Kamloops. For more information about BCIC’s #BCGO tour and how to register, visit http://bcic.ca/events/bc-growth-opportunities/.

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