The Province of BC announced today the launch of a new BCTECH Strategy aimed at supporting growth in the tech sector, creating jobs and strengthening a diverse economy.

The first pillar of the comprehensive BCTECH Strategy is a focus on capital, including a $100 million venture fund announced today. The BC Tech Fund will provide access to more capital for BC’s entrepreneurs and technology start-ups, in particular at the early venture capital stage, enabling them to bridge the gap between seed and angel financing and later stage growth capital.  

The BC Tech Fund will operate on a ‘fund of funds’ approach, following the model of the BC Renaissance Capital Fund, a $90 million fund launched in 2007 which has since invested approximately $69 million through eight private venture capital firms with a particular focus on information technology, digital media, life sciences and cleantech.

The BC Tech Fund will be a new fund aimed at supporting local venture capital, especially at the critical Series A stage, and attracting co-investment capital from other jurisdictions. The Province also confirmed continuing support for its venture capital tax credit programs and competitive tax rates.

The second and third pillars of the new BCTech Strategy focus on talent, by introducing younger students to technology related fields and creating better access to talent pools from other jurisdictions, and markets, by creating simplified government procurement processes and facilitating growth through exports.

The Province has opened an RFP process for fund managers for the BCTech Fund and is aiming to deploy capital by summer 2016. Further details on the second and third pillars will be announced by the Province at the BC Tech Summit in January 2016.

For further details see: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/economy/bctechstrategy/ ;  https://news.gov.bc.ca/09822