Here comes the FUTURE
Mixed reality. Smart robots. Electric cars. Aquaponics. 3D printing. 10 B.C. COMPANIES that are making tomorrow happen
Anyone curious about where British Columbia's economy is headed could have found some answers at the recent Bctech Summit in Vancouver. In its second year, the sold-out gathering featured more than 260 B.C. companies and other organizations, including some of the businesses profiled on the following pages.
B.C. was built on natural resources, but to paraphrase Yogi Berra, the future isn't what it used to be. The technology sector has grown to roughly 10,000 companies, according to BC Stats. Those enterprises employed almost 102,000 people as of December 2015, more than the total for mining, forestry, and oil and gas. In 2015, the tech sector contributed $14.1 billion to B.C.'S gross domestic product and generated some $26.3 billion in revenue.
Meanwhile, in a recent ranking of startup ecosystems by Startup Genome and the Global Entre- preneurship Network, Vancouver placed first in Canada and 15th worldwide. Translation: the city's advantages include a strong industrial base, an unusually diverse talent pool, and a wealth of incubators and accelerators.
Rather than keep patting ourselves on the back, let's recognize 10 companies that are moving B.C. forward. These players range from startups to established names; some represent traditional industries, while others are inventing new ones. They're just a sampling of a rich and varied community, but each one makes us better.
As this magazine turns 45, it's also time to honour the past—and to reflect on how dramatically our economy has changed over the years. When you turn the page, you'll find a guided tour of pivotal events and personalities in B.C. business history, from the early 1970s to the present. Thanks for the memories, and here's to an even brighter tomorrow.