As the B.C. technology industry continues to grow, it’s become home to a number of impressive ventures. As well as breakout company successes like Hootsuite, Avigilon, Slack, D-Wave, VisionCritical, and iQMetrix, the province is well-represented in lists celebrating Canadian tech unicorn companies—those valued at $1 billion or more—and boasts leaders in everything from agricultural technology to quantum computing.
Much of that rapid expansion comes as a result of collaboration and cross-pollination. The B.C. tech industry is lauded for its tight-knit culture and openness to sharing and receiving ideas. True to that spirit, this year’s BC Tech Technology Impact Awards (TIAs) both offered a grand platform to honour those companies at the forefront of the industry, and encouraged the 1,000 attendees from all corners of the industry to chat, share, and celebrate.
“The TIAs exist to celebrate the best and brightest in B.C.’s tech sector, but it’s more than just a show,” said Jill Tipping, president and CEO of BC Tech, in her written welcome. “The TIAs showcases the incredible work all of you put in every day to build this industry and empower other industries.”
Now in its 26th year, the province’s longest-running technology awards program honoured finalists from a diverse cross-section of industries, including VR, health tech, and enterprise software. Each is making an impact on their particular niche through best-of-class innovation. Companies that got the nod included Vancouver’s LightIntegra Technology, which is working to make blood transfusions safer and more efficient and aims to bring its solution to the U.S. market, and Nanotech Security, which produces nano-optic structures and colour-shifting materials for authentication of banknotes, tax stamps, government documents, and more.
New to the judging this year was a pair of categories: Spirit of BC Tech—True Grit, which celebrated bold entrepreneurship and pioneering spirit in the face of challenges, and Excellence in Global Export, which rewards growth and success on the world stage through the export of technology developed in B.C. Both highlight what is most important to the local ecosystem’s success: the growth of smaller companies into more mature businesses, and spotlighting the local industry on a global scale.
“Our Technology Impact Awards address what BC Tech and the community identify as key priorities: delivering more home-grown scale and anchor companies; and educating, attracting and retaining top talent,” said Tipping. “This year we had incredible finalists in every category, with the quality and diversity of their achievements impressing the judges like never before. From biotech and robotic welding to VR surgery training and innovative legal practice software, the 2019 winners demonstrate that technological advancement is the bedrock for industry success and positive social change. We congratulate all the winners and finalists on their contributions towards building a strong, vibrant future for BC and the world we share.”
The full list of nominees is as follows, with the winners highlighted in bold.
Company of the Year – Startup Success
Company of the Year – Growth
Company of the Year – Scale Success
Company of the Year – Anchor Success
Excellence in Global Export
Spirit of BC Tech – True Grit
Tech Culture of the Year
Excellence in Technology Adoption
Excellence in Technology Innovation
Person of the Year
- Kim Kaplan
- Thomas Ligocki
- Greg Malpass
- Lisa Shields
Kate Wilson is the Technology Editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her on Twitter @KateWilsonSays