What the BC technology industry really needs
Gary Mason had a great article in the Globe and Mail yesterday analyzing the performance of some of the BC government organizations charged to drive forward the tech sector in this province. And this paragraph probably sums it up best:
There are many well-meaning and hard-working people at both the innovation council and Premier’s technology group. But it’s time to take a hard look at both organizations with an eye to reassessing their roles and either getting rid of them altogether or giving them higher profiles and more focus.
While I agree that fewer and better focused government organizations are certainly a good thing, I also think that the ONLY thing that will substantially change the trajectory of the local tech industry will be more entrepreneurs and more start-ups. The government needs to start focusing on initiatives that will either get more talent into BC or get more local talent to start new companies. So support initiatives like Startup Visa Canada that aims to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world to this country; support accelerators with great mentorship programs that help first-time entrepreneurs get their idea off the ground; and implant entrepreneurship more into the curriculum of schools and universities. What we certainly don’t need are more high-level reports about where we stand as an industry, more government run events or more programs where the beneficiaries are only people in the know.
There is some great traction developing here in BC, there is a new generation of amazing entrepreneurs emerging, and the engineering and design talent base is as deep and wide as in most other markets. Let’s just put the foot to the gas pedal and create more entrepreneurial activity. Much, much more entrepreneurial activity.
Full discloser: I am one of the initiators of Startup Visa Canada and also one of the co-founders of GrowLab, a Vancouver based start-up accelerator.