Funding boosts Island technology business

A $255,000 grant will help technology advocates support developing businesses on the central Island.

A $255,000 grant will help technology advocates support developing businesses on the central Island.

The money comes from the Western Economic Partnership Agreement between the federal and provincial governments and goes to the Mid Island Science, Technology and Innovation Council.

It will pay for a number of initiatives to highlight innovative businesses and entrepreneurs, said Paris Gaudet, executive director of MISTIC.

Review panels will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their ideas to potential investors and receive feedback.

Networking opportunities and an investor network will help entrepreneurs access the people with knowledge to expand their business, like a trade commission, which brings investors from all over to the central Island.

The money will also pay for an annual awards and trade show.

“It really showcases the hidden technology taking place within our own backyard,” Gaudet said.

Access to capital is always a challenge for growing businesses, particularly for those outside the Lower Mainland where only 10 per cent of investment happens, said Gaudet.

“It’s a hidden market,” she said. “If people don’t know about it there’s a barrier to that capital. If we can bring it to the Island, the success rate will go up.”