Tech startups to benefit from new pilot program
March 17th 2017 at 09:29 AM
Tech startups to benefit from new pilot program

BC Government News - Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training
March 15, 2017

Today the Province of British Columbia announced the B.C. Startup in Residence Pilot Program, that will enable companies to work within government to deliver innovative solutions to digital challenges.  

The pilot program is a made-in-B.C. model designed after a successful program run by the City of San Francisco. Companies, including tech startups, can compete for the opportunity to work within a government department where they identify and rapidly deliver a digital solution that enhances services for British Columbians. 

Both startups and government will receive significant benefits through this new partnership. Startups will gain valuable experience by working with government over a 16-week residency as they develop a prototype responding to the digital challenge. In addition, startups will receive the benefit of using government as a reference client and will retain the right to market and sell any prototype they develop to other clients either in B.C. or worldwide. Government will also benefit by having the opportunity to work side-by-side with innovative startups and by receiving a co-designed digital solution at an affordable price.

A call for proposals to help with 10 digital challenges was released on March 14 on BC Bid, and closes in early April. Successful proponents will sign contracts in late June, with a residency period running from June through October and final prototypes presented in November.

The Province is always assessing new ways to make it easier to do business with government while at the same time finding new, digital means to deliver services to citizens. As well, the Province sees the benefit of having innovative thinkers from the technology sector help solve the digital challenges of today.

The B.C. Startup in Residence Program is another example of government responding to the technology sector and working with them to help grow B.C. businesses and create more jobs. The pilot supports the #BCTECH Strategy by helping tech companies find a potential first customer in the government, a relationship that can be referenced by the company as it enters the market.

The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.

Read the full News Release here.

Check out more about the program and the 10 Challenge statements here.