B.C. and tech startups team up to improve government services

Jinny Sims Official photo
Jinny Sims
Official photo

THREE of the province’s startup companies and government are at the BC Tech Summit to demonstrate how their projects benefit British Columbians.

The Startup in Residence (STIR) program pairs small tech firms with public servants to collaborate on technology challenges. Companies join the Province on a 16-week virtual residency to create and test solutions they can later market to customers around the world.

“It is so inspiring to see the result of the collaboration between the tech startups and ministry staff because each team created an innovative solution to a complex problem in a short period of time,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “STIR helps government benefit from cutting-edge advances in the tech sector, while also promoting growth in an industry that creates well-paying jobs.”

The program’s second group developed solutions to challenges in economic development, First Nations negotiations and consultation with British Columbians:

* The Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology teamed up with Victoria’s OrpheusKey to make it easier for organizations to find funding for projects to grow B.C.’s economy;

* Vancouver-based UrbanLogiq Software helped the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation respond more effectively in negotiations with First Nations, a critical aspect of government’s commitment to reconciliation;

* The Environmental Assessment Office benefited from the expertise of Victoria’s Kinsol Research to better understand British Columbians’ opinions on potential development projects.

“Startup in Residence is a game changer for early-stage tech companies operating throughout B.C.,” said Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO, Innovate BC. “The program’s focus on collaboration, teamwork and creative problem solving reflects how startups do business, making it easier for them to gain the valuable experience of working with government.”

Competing for government contracts can be costly and time consuming, which is especially challenging for small businesses. STIR reduces these barriers by streamlining the approach.

Participating teams receive $10,000 during their residency and each STIR project has the potential to continue for up to four years through annual government contracts. The program also gives small companies the ability to reference the B.C. government as a customer when marketing their products.

 

Quick Facts

* Each of the three companies in the program’s second group employ fewer than 15 people and are based in British Columbia.

* B.C. has one of the fastest-growing tech sectors in Canada – leading the nation in revenue growth and job creation.

* The province’s tech sector directly employs more than 114,000 people and produced approximately $31.3 billion in revenue in 2017.

 

Learn More:

British Columbia’s Startup in Residence program: 

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/startupinresidence