The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) is a Crown Agency of the Province of British Columbia, Canada, and the largest funder of entrepreneurial support programs in the province.
BCIC focuses on the support of technology startups and entrepreneurs through programs, sponsorship and competitions that facilitate technology commercialization. To meet the needs of British Columbia (BC) growing technology sector, BCIC partners with academia, government and industry organizations to deliver programs, initiatives and events that accelerate company growth – resulting in jobs, increased revenue and economic development in BC.
By encouraging the development and application of advanced and innovative technologies, BCIC works to meet the evolving needs of industry.
The British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC) was first formed in 2004 after a merging of the Advanced Science Institute BC and the Innovation and Science Council of British Columbia.From 1983 to 2012, BCIC, in partnership with the BC Science Teachers’ Association, handed out over 8,000 Science Achievement Awards to students who showed exceptional academic performance in Science 11 and 12 to encourage careers in science and technology.
From 1990 to 2012, BCIC supported the Innovation Exploration Program, an initiative that connected more than 800 young scientists and innovators to role models and careers in BC’s science and tech industries.
In between 2007 and 2010, BCIC awarded Graduate Scholarships to 82 MBA and 67 Masters and Doctoral students to encourage entrepreneurship.
Since 2008, BCIC has been title sponsor of the BCIC-New Ventures Competition, one of the largest technology competitions in North America.
In 2011, the BC Venture Acceleration Program for tech-focused entrepreneurs was created. The program has since supported the creation of 993 jobs for British Columbians and has attracted over $89 million in grants and equity investment. 2011 also marked the inception of the BCIC Mentor Program, which was designed to improve the success of technology entrepreneurs by delivering guidance and support in developing their ventures. At its peak, the program had 78 active mentors working with more than 135 ventures.
In 2014, BCIC received the award for Government Organization of the Year by Startup Canada.
In 2015, BCIC introduced BCIC Tech Works, which offers valuable work experience for post-secondary students and expertise for BC tech companies through the BC Tech Co-op Grants Program and the Innovator Skills Initiative.
BCIC’s supported programs aim to provide entrepreneurs with the tools, resources and expert guidance they need to build successful companies. BC Venture Acceleration Program Offered through 13 regional partners in the BC Acceleration Network, the program encourages a disciplined approach to building a technology company and help define a business model for sustained growth and profitability.
Accelerate Okanagan – Kelowna, BC
Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association (BVEDA) – Smithers, BC
Foresight Cleantech Accelerator – Surrey, BC
Innovation Central Society (ICS) – Prince George, BC
Innovation Island Technology Association (IITA) – Nanaimo, BC
Kamloops Innovation Centre – Kamloops, BC
Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (KAST) – Rossland, BC
Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council (KRIC) – Golden, BC
New Ventures BC (Online)
Sumas Regional Council for High Tech (SRCTec) – Mission, BC
ViaTEC/Accelerate Tectoria – Victoria, BC
Venture Labs – Vancouver, BC
Wavefront Acceleration Centre – Vancouver, BC
The BCIC-New Ventures Competition gives early-stage tech entrepreneurs education, mentorship, and exposure to help build a successful venture. Participants compete in 3 rounds of judging to compete for top honours and over $300,000 in cash & prizes. The competition has generated over 3,300 jobs for British Columbians and raised over $200 million in investment financing since 2001.
BCIC Tech Works unites students with valuable training opportunities at innovative companies in B.C.'s technology sector through the BCIC Innovator Skills Initiative and BC Tech Co-op Grants Program.
The Innovator Skills Initiative Program is delivered by BCIC’s technology industry partners and driven by regional industry needs. Students are employed by BC-based technology companies with a BCIC ISI Voucher valued at up to $7,500, which is then matched by the company.
The BC Tech Co-op Grants Program is delivered through co-op departments at BC post-secondary institutions. The program encourages student training and job readiness with work terms at small technology firms.
Launch Academy is Western Canada's leading tech startup hub and early-stage incubator, where entrepreneurs launch ideas off the ground, accelerate startups to success, and connect with Vancouver’s largest community of mentors, investors and thriving entrepreneurs. Since 2012, Launch Academy has helped over 1000 entrepreneurs, 450 early-stage startups. To this date, they've collectively raised over $80 million and created more than 700 jobs for our economy.
The Next Big Thing is a non-profit charity that empowers young entrepreneurs with the mentorship, education, resources and technology they need to succeed. Ten young Canadian innovators are chosen to participate. Their residency includes: $10,000 in grant funding each, six months fully furnished local accommodations, flights in/out of Vancouver, dedicated co-working space and a full-time curriculum.
Technology [email protected] is a high-tech entrepreneurship initiative in partnership with BCIC, Dr. Ken Spencer, Simon Fraser University's (SFU) and the Beedie School of Business. Through the tech [email protected] program, SFU’s brightest third and fourth year Mechatronics and Entrepreneurship students are brought together to develop a market-inspired technological product and pitch for the funds.
The [email protected] ([email protected]) Accelerator Program supports the development and growth of UBC-linked ventures. Employing the Business Model Canvas, new venture teams iteratively test business model hypotheses and build a validated start-up opportunity.
Design for Startups is an initiative of the Social + Interactive Media (SIM) Centre at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Through this initiative, 5 Emily Carr designers are matched with 5 early-stage companies in residence at Highline (previously Growlab) a startup accelerator based in Vancouver.
NRAS Research Team Program is developed collaboratively by BCIC and BCFRST. The program supports BC's most accomplished researchers working on projects that hold potential for significant social, environmental and economic benefit to the province in both the near term and future.
ACETECH is a non-profit training and mentoring organization for CEOs of technology, life sciences and innovative companies looking to grow their revenue faster with less risk.