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website. VIATEC used the video and site to promote Victoria as a great place to live and work at South by Southwest® Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas and continues to use it today. “As the brand of Victoria as a tech hub keeps growing, it makes our job of recruiting experts at the top of their game to move here easier,” says Scott. “Greater Victoria is a great place to live, which is a key consideration for the innovative technology people we bring into our team. Often we have to move families from around the continent to work here so livability is critical. Sometimes they get sticker shock from the housing prices, but it’s no different in Toronto or San Francisco.”

Collaboration is Key On August 23rd The Chamber, UVic's Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre (CCSIC), Island Women in Science and Technology (IWiST), South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP), Alacrity Foundation and VIATEC worked together for the first time to hold a ‘Meet a Mentor Night’ at the Summit rooftop. Through this cross sector collaboration, entrepreneurs from all partners were able to take advantage of a pool of potential mentors from inside and outside of their industry. During the event entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to provide a 90-second pitch of their business and challenges that they face. This was followed by a 90-second Q&A period and more open networking. The format of the evening allowed entrepreneurs to receive advice, perspective and counsel from a wide variety of professionals, whether a lasting mentorship relationship was made or not. The partners aim to hold this event 3 times a year.

Another challenge facing tech is raising capital and finding the right investors. “The banks are very regimented in their criteria and with investment dollars,” says Mark Smith, Chief Experience Officer of Query Technologies Corp. “I am always concerned I will give up too much too early to shareholders. Having government funding that aligned with the true financial definition of a start-up business would be great.” VIATEC has taken great strides to help foster start-ups in Victoria with their Accelerator Program which provides a structured venture development service designed to guide, coach and grow ambitious early-stage technology entrepreneurs. "Not only do our programs assist tech companies in their start-up and growth stages, but we’ve also added the RevUp Program to assist more advanced tech companies that have found market, created a product, already have sales and are ready to push hard for rapid expansion," says Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. "In September, VIATEC hosted the sixth annual Experience Tectoria, a three-day summit that brings together international venture capitalists and established tech firms to see first-hand what has shaped and supported Victoria's tech sector. They left very impressed." VIATEC is now holding three investor summits per year to showcase the tech sector, make investor introductions and help local companies gain access to experienced backers and advice. One start-up taking advantage of VIATEC's Venture Accelerator program is Metrics Chartered Professional Accounting. “Seeking advice from seasoned business professionals, and listening to it, is key,” says Regan McGrath, Founder and CEO at Metrics Chartered Professional Accounting. “As part of VIATEC's Venture Accelerator program we get access to wonderful

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BUSINESSMATTERS | november 2017


Profile for Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Business Matters November 2017  

Business Matters November 2017