New Agri-Food Tech Accelerator In Mission

Release. Technology and agri-food entrepreneurs in the Fraser Valley will
now benefit from $844,000 in provincial funding for a new agriculture- and
technology-focused program, delivered by the Sumas Regional Consortium for
High Tech (SRCTec).

Photo from Simon Gibson, Twitter.

“There are huge opportunities for business development and technological
innovation by having the technology and agriculture sectors work together.
Supporting a diverse range of entrepreneurs and startups through the BC Agri-
food Venture Acceleration Program will create more opportunities and economic
prosperity within both sectors.” – Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Amrik Virk

The new BC Agri-food Venture Acceleration Program based in Mission will
provide entrepreneurs and startups in the Fraser Valley with training,
coaching and the network to help them accelerate growth. This new program
expands on BC Innovation Council’s BC Venture Acceleration Program, which now
delivers a successful technology accelerator program in 13 communities around
the province.

SRCTec is a non-profit society founded in 2006 with the intent to attract
technology companies to and promote skilled technology training and education
in the Fraser Valley. For instance, SRCTec works with local First Nations to
increase their technical capacity within the rural east valley communities,
and the Mission school district to help prepare students for careers in

“Agriculture is a prominent industry in the Fraser Valley and the delivery of
an intense training and coaching program aimed at agriculture-related
innovators and entrepreneurs is critical to our local economy. Now that this
level of support and resources is available here, those individuals no longer
have to commute to receive assistance. On behalf of SRCTec, I’m pleased to be
working with the BC Innovation Council as the newest partner of the BC
Acceleration Network to bring this important program to the region.” – SRCTec CEO and chairman of the board Raymond Szabada

The expansion of the Venture Acceleration Program into the Fraser Valley is
made possible through a grant provided to the BC Innovation Council from the
Ministry of Agriculture to drive technology commercialization in the agri-
food sector. SRCTec anticipates this funding will allow them to take on 12 to
16 program clients per year.

The $844,000 in funding also allows SRCTec to bring on dedicated executives-
in-residence who will provide coaching and mentorship to companies in the
program. These are experienced entrepreneurs who have grown technology
businesses from the ground up and who provide invaluable one-on-one business
mentoring for clients.

The Ministry of Agriculture is committed to working with farmers, producers
and other ministries and agencies to promote the use of new technologies to
support B.C.’s agri-food industry. The program will help drive the growth of
technology and innovation in the province and benefit local farmers,
producers and food processors.

Technology and agri-foods are among B.C.’s most competitive business sectors
and two of the eight key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan – the Province’s
strategy to grow the economy. The BC Innovation Council supports these
sectors through programs and activities that accelerate the commercialization
of technology in B.C. and strengthen its entrepreneurial community.

“British Columbia’s food producers are business people and innovators, well
known for their ingenuity in developing new products and processes. The
support and connections provided through the BC Agri-food Venture
Acceleration Program will help develop the next generation of agri-
entrepreneurs in the Fraser Valley.” – Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick

Quick Facts:

* Established in 2004, the BC Innovation Council is a Crown corporation of
* BCIC’s mandate is to support technology-focused startups and entrepreneurs
by funding a wide range of programs, competitions and industry events.
* The Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services contributed
$6.09 million to BCIC in 2013-14.
* The provincewide BC Venture Acceleration Program is delivered by 13
regional partners around the province.
* Since 2011, the BC Venture Acceleration Program has had the following
successes: * 296 companies engaged in the program;
* 471 entrepreneurs trained by 30 executives-in-residence; and
* 850 jobs created.

* B.C.’s technology sector is the third-largest contributor to the province’s
economy. It makes up 7.6% of B.C.’s gross domestic product, and produces
$23.2 billion in annual revenue as well as $3.1 billion in exports. Wages in
the sector are 66% higher than the average wage in B.C.

Learn More:

BC Innovation Council: and:

BC Venture Acceleration Program (VIDEO):

BC Jobs Plan:

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