Each month, I share my favourite local stories that showcase the incredible work being done by members of our B.C. tech and innovation community. The objective of these posts is to shine a brighter light on the innovation that’s taking place across this province.
Here are the stories from October that caught my eye.
The Battle for Talent
What Happened: A new report from the TAP Network reveals how The Great Resignation is increasing competition and wages for tech talent.
Why We Should Care: The war for talent isn’t new, but it’s intensified as talent reshuffling kicked into high-gear during the pandemic. This excerpt from Isabelle Kirkwood’s VTJ piece does a good job of illustrating how resignations are hitting all parts of the industry:
According to the report, voluntary turnover almost doubled from previous years in Canadian tech, with organizations reporting nearly one-fifth of employees left their jobs voluntarily. Sectors that saw the most turnover included ecommerce, visual effects and animation, artificial intelligence, data science, machine learning, and robotics.
For companies looking for solutions to hiring and retention, here are some resources that may work for your business:
More on this:
Training the Next Generation of Metaverse Creators
What Happened: Ethos Lab and Vancouver’s Centre for Digital Media received a Higher Ed XR Innovation Grant to provide underrepresented youth with increased access to AR/VR hardware, educational content, and resources.
Why We Should Care: As the demand for XR increases, so does the demand for XR talent. However, the high costs of VR/AR hardware combined with the lack of available resources and support for educators can make training the next wave of talent an expensive and uphill battle. These challenges can also prevent underrepresented groups from gaining access to the necessary skills, training, and connections to pursue a career in this emerging industry.
Ethos Lab is a non-profit innovation academy for teens that’s on a mission to increase representation in Innovation. This new funding will help Ethos Lab and CDM launch an XR Media Lab Program that aims to increase the representation of black youth and girls in the industry. The funding will enable the program to serve 300+ underrepresented youth and 190+ high school educators over five years.
The XR Media Lab Program launches in January 2023 for students in grades 8-12. You can get on the waiting list now and be the first to know when registration opens.
More on this:
- From 2022: Centre for Digital Media Appoints Mary Lim as New Director of Programs and Innovation
- From 2022: Meet Atlanthos -- Ethos Lab’s Digital Space Connecting Youth To The Web3 Ecosystem
OVOU is BC’s Top Tech Startup
What Happened: The smart business card startup took home the $110K grand prize at the 22nd Annual New Ventures BC Award, presented by Innovate BC.
Why We Should Care: OVOU is a great homegrown success story, born out of hard work and determination.
The company’s founder and CEO, Reza Varzidehkar, launched OVOU in 2019 just as COVID-19 was coming to Canada. Starting a business that helps people build and nurture new contacts while the country headed into a lockdown would deter most founders. In Reza’s case, he simply persevered and came out the other side with a thriving business that facilitates more than 4,000 connections a day and is trusted by blue-chip clients like Re/Max and the US Army Recruiting Operation.
OVOU’s win caps off another successful competition for New Ventures BC. 207 companies entered, 11 made it to the final round, and 6 took home more than $250K in cash and prizes.
Congratulations to Angie and the entire NVBC team for delivering another great competition. I hope you get some rest, because next year’s competition is less than six months away!
More on this:
- From 2020: Vancouver entrepreneur attends 100 networking events in 100 days
- From 2022: New Ventures BC Announces its Top 11 Finalists for the 2022 New Ventures BC Competition
Have a great November.
Want to subscribe to this column? Sign up here.