Connecting with the right people with new ideas can help you make magic in the tech scene, whether you’re an entrepreneur, coder, angel investor, or wannabe-startup founder. Yet, for many who regularly attend events in and around Vancouver, it doesn’t take long to feel like you’re stuck in a silo (“Weren’t all these same people at the other event last month?”). BC Tech Summit 2016, a sold-out 2-day conference happening January 18-19 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, aims to solve that problem by bringing everything under one roof to gain insights and opportunities you can’t get elsewhere.
Keynotes will include global players like the renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil, Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts and Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada.
“The BC Tech Summit will bring together business leaders, technology solutions providers and global thought leadership to discuss the most important topics impacting business technology decisions today,” says Greg Caws, the President and CEO of BCIC, which is putting on the event in partnership with the BC government. Keynotes will include global players like the renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil, Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts and Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada.
The summit is not just one event, but many-in-one, Caws says. Along with the speakers panels, it includes a trade show with over 200 exhibitors, a job fair, pitch sessions for entrepreneurs looking for VC funding, B2B meetings, a coding camp for over 600 students, an after-party hosted by Launch Academy and much more. “Be prepared not to sleep!”
The vast scope of the event is reflective of synchronous trends in technology and business. “Everyone’s talking about the converging world, with rapid innovation and adoption of the cloud, smart machines and more. All businesses are becoming tech businesses,” Caws says. “That’s why we’re putting all kinds of businesses under one roof, with not just traditional tech companies, but engineering, forestry and other industries that are using new technology. Here, you’ll get more opportunity to cross-pollinate across industries.”
That overarching aim of the conference is in tune with the economic strategy for the province, Caws notes. “One of the reasons we’ve done so well here in BC, even in harder times, is because the economy is diversified. We’ve created a place where everyone is learning from everyone else, where green tech that cleans water is used for mining, forestry or drinking water – crossing boundaries. So this event is not just focused on the online or digital world that you might see with other events. The BC-area tech cluster is very diverse, more green oriented than the tech cluster in the east, with a strong online app base community that includes technology for film and video games, health care, life sciences, etc. There’s a hospital-government-university network here that connects people – which is why BC companies are on the absolute leading edge of delivering this type of stuff.”