The Investment Opportunity In British Columbia

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B.C.’s tech sector is thriving. Year over year, we’re experiencing consistent growth in revenue, GDP, job creation, and total companies. We have more than 10,000 companies, employing more than 114,000 people, all over the province. Emerging tech hubs in the Okanagan, Kootenays, and Vancouver Island are helping drive innovation in all parts of B.C., providing exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs, government, service providers, and of course, investors.

In 2017, the average venture capital deal size in British Columbia was 7.1 million – outpacing both Ontario and Alberta. The deal size is significant for B.C. tech companies, as the 7.1 million represents a 16.3% increase from 2016, and a 36.5% increase from 2015.

Across Canada, we’re seeing increased interest from south of the border, as 52.8% of all Canadian tech investment came from the United States during Q1 of 2019. While markets like Toronto and Montreal tend to monopolize the headlines, British Columbia’s tech sector is powering the provincial economy and is producing investment-ready companies across a variety of sectors like life sciences, cleantech, fintech, ICT, VR/AR, and quantum just to name a few.

Over the last 12 months, B.C.’s tech sector has grabbed international headlines with marquee investments into General Fusion (Bezos Expeditions, Growthworks Capital, and Government of Canada), Mojio ($40M in an oversubscribed Series B fund, led by Kensington Capital), and D‑Wave Systems (blue-chip investor base including Goldman Sachs, Bezos Expeditions, and Government of Canada). The province’s top startups have also secured significant public and private investment, with Saltworks, Aspect Biosystems, Ecoation, and Terramera all raising funds through multiple deals.

Additionally, Innovate BC, the provincial crown agency dedicated to supporting B.C.’s tech sector, has funded more than 20 market-driven research projects over the last three years through the Ignite Program. These ground breaking projects are realized by an industry/​academic partnership, solve a significant industry problem, and will commercialize within a three-year time period. Since 2016, more than $17.7 million has been invested in Ignite-funded projects, from both public and private sources. Notable past Ignite award winners include Axine Water Technologies, Hydra Energy, and Jetti Resources, who raised $24 million in Series A funding shortly after being recognized as an Ignite award recipient.

At this year’s Invest Canada conference, Innovate BC is proud to sponsor five investment-ready companies who will be showcasing their work in Silicon Valley Bank Presents: Innovation Alley. These companies offer a glimpse into the diversity and innovation that make up our provincial tech sector. The five exhibiting companies are:

Acuva Technologies (Burnaby, British Columbia)

CEO: Manoj Singh

What they do: A world leader in designing, manufacturing and integrating advanced UV-LED water purification systems.
Why you should care: The company is able to serve both customers who require point of use (PoU) purification systems as well as businesses who require water purification technology integration, creating multiple markets and revenue streams.

Careteam Technologies (Vancouver, British Columbia)

CEO: Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill

What they do: A digital health platform that enables patient-centred care collaboration for complex, chronic diseases.

Why you should care: The company has graduated from Creative Destruction Labs, are part of NY Startup Health, and have been invited by the World Economic Forum to the Annual New Champions Meeting.

Hydra Energy (Vancouver, British Columbia) 

CEO: Simon Pickup

What they do: A hydrogen-as-a-service company making clean hydrogen fuel and technology more affordable and accessible for commercial fleet operators.

Why you should care: Hydrogen fuel helps fleets run smarter, save fuel costs, and cut emissions – all while incurring zero upfront costs.

Locelle (Victoria, British Columbia)

CEO: Humaira Ahmed

What they do: A platform for women in workplaces and women entrepreneurs to easily connect with like-minded women in their area.

Why you should care: So far in 2019, Locelle’s first of its kind platform has been prominently featured at some of Canada’s biggest tech events, including Collision Conference and the #BCTECHSummit.

Motive​.io (Burnaby, British Columbia)

CEO: Ryan Chapman

What they do: An immersive training platform for enterprise that makes it possible to implement XR training at scale.

Why you should care: Their versatile software allows creatives to make VR or AR experiences without writing a single line of code.

With industry leading companies, steady annual growth, and diverse regional communities, British Columbia’s tech sector is ripe for investment. I look forward to connecting with all of you at Invest Canada next month and show you firsthand why B.C. is the best place in the world to work, play, and invest.

There’s still time to register for Invest Canada 19 (June 46 in Vancouver), Canada’s biggest event in venture capital and private equity. Register Now!