New Ventures BC
Credit: New Ventures BC

150 teams will be matched with mentors for their chance at a piece of the prize purse

B.C. tech startups have an opportunity to shift their businesses into overdrive. For the 19th  year in a row, New Ventures BC, a non-profit that encourages and develops B.C. tech entrepreneurs, is hosting the province’s largest technology competition. Sponsored by Innovate BC, the program accepts applications from tech entrepreneurs across the province.

Those selected are mentored, educated and coached, and in the end, seven contestants will emerge among B.C.’s top innovators in the technology space, winning a tidy sum of cash as well as invaluable exposure.

“The New Ventures BC Competition is recognized as a training ground for tech startups that are serious about getting their business ideas in front of experts,” said Angie Schick, executive director of New Ventures BC, in a release. “The community the competition connects you to is invaluable.”

And it couldn’t come at a better time. B.C.’s tech sector is one of the faster-growing industries of the provincial economy, with some 100,000 positions earning an average of $73,000 a year for entry-level jobs, according to a release by human resources professional association HR Tech Group, and more than 10,000 businesses in the field, says New Ventures.

Even those who don’t win could cash in from the exposure. Byron Thom, principal at Vancouver-based Framework Venture Partners, explained in the release that just by competing, past hopefuls have put themselves on the radar of angel and other investors, raising significant funding.

Last year, 48 of the competition’s alumni were named to Rocket Builder’s Ready to Rocket list, a unique website which analyzes and recognizes tech startups in B.C. with high growth potentials.

The contest, which is accepting applications until April 10 at 11 p.m. Pacific, takes on 150 new startups and puts them through a six-month boot camp. The winners will go home with a piece of $250,000 in cash and prizes. To learn more about the program, interested teams can attend a free seminar on March 27 and a networking event on April 3.