Innovation Island nurtures hidden talent
July 23rd 2015 at 03:24 PM

BCIC Blog Post 
July 23, 2015

Entrepreneurs and tech leaders from Central/Northern Island, Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast celebrated the region’s growing entrepreneurial achievements at Innovation Island’s recent Summer Tech Party. In its third year, the event attracted over 80 guests to the German Hall in downtown Nanaimo, home to an impressive 350 tech sector businesses. “You create an environment for people to connect and network and amazing things happen,” says Paris Gaudet, Executive Director of Innovation Island.

BCIC spoke with Paris about the region’s growing technology ecosystem, the leading innovators and what’s next for the region’s expanding entrepreneurial scene.

Q: What did the tech sector in your region look like five years ago?

The sector was isolated and disconnected. Entrepreneurs were doing great stuff, but in terms of education and awareness, the Mid Island Science, Technology and Innovation Council (MISTIC)—an earlier incarnation of our organization—wasn’t really meeting their needs. We had to focus on entrepreneurial learning and development. When you ask your communities and your entrepreneurs to give you feedback, you need to be able to do something with it—which is what we did. We made it a priority to be authentically regional in our work by catering to the 400,000 people who live in the 79 municipalities and eight regional districts that we consider our stakeholders.

Read the full article here