Citizens' Services

$100M fund to boost B.C.’s tech sector and job creation

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Citizens' Services

$100M fund to boost B.C.’s tech sector and job creation

Contacts
Sam Oliphant
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 952-7252
Joanne Whittier
Communications Manager
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
250 387-0172
Kieran Lawler
Director of Communications, Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
Direct: 416 487-0519 x204
Mobile: 416 303-0799
klawler@cvca.ca
Contacts
Sam Oliphant
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 952-7252
Joanne Whittier
Communications Manager
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
250 387-0172
Kieran Lawler
Director of Communications, Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
Direct: 416 487-0519 x204
Mobile: 416 303-0799
klawler@cvca.ca

Backgrounders

Highlights from the capital pillar

Improve Access to Capital and Continue to Support our Competitive Tax System and Research Environment

Investing in a New Venture Capital Fund

  • $100-million investment to expand the availability of venture capital in B.C. and address the early stage (A-round) funding gap (though we also recognize the need for access to capital at later stages for continued company growth).

Continue our competitive tax rates and credits

  • Increase the number of B.C. technology companies claiming the Digital Animation or Visual Effects (DAVE) credit or the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC).
  • Continue B.C.’s Small Business Venture Capital Act which provides $33M of tax credits annually.

Continue to Build a Strong Research Environment in B.C.

  • Genome BC will continue to facilitate turning important insights from genomics into new diagnostic and treatment services.
  • Attract and keep top research talent in B.C. to generate the development and application of new ideas in areas of key importance to the health system through funding to The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR).
  • Revised the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund criteria to focus on provincial government priorities.
  • Provide funding to post-secondary institutions to increase commercialization potential.

What is Venture Capital?

Venture capital is a key vehicle through which technology companies, particularly those that are small- and medium-sized, acquire funding needed to grow their business.

Venture capital funding is money invested into a company (primarily in the technology sector) that helps its growth through the seed, early stage, and subsequent growth stages, and typically seeks a return on this investment through an initial public offering or sale of the company.

It is an essential mechanism for growth in the technology sector – providing funding plus mentorship and international connections.

How does it work?

Millions of people around the world watch venture capitalists at work when they tune into the popular television show Dragon’s Den, which features a panel of venture capitalists judging the pitches of small businesses asking for an injection of money to grow their businesses.

Although cameras may not be rolling for many small businesses needing investments to make their small operations bigger, their reality is not far from the one on television and could look like this:

  • An entrepreneur with an innovative idea starts out by getting some seed funding from family, friends and their own savings to build a prototype and see if their idea works.
  • From there, they often seek angel investment in the range of $200,000 to $2 million or more from high net worth individuals to develop their business plans and activities.
  • They then seek venture capital financing in rounds to fuel rapid business growth; for example early-stage (A-round) and then subsequent larger financing rounds B, C, etc. to expand markets and grow revenue, which increases the value of the company.
  • This all culminates in a return on investment through an initial public offering or sale of the company.

Examples of B.C. companies assisted by venture capital include D-Wave Systems, Avigilon, BuildDirect, Absolute Software, Hootsuite, Rackforce Networks, Recon Instruments, and Vision Critical.

Examples of major international companies that benefitted from venture capital during their earlier stages include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Cisco and FedEx.

Why is it important?

Without capital, many entrepreneurs with great ideas and technology would never succeed. The growth of B.C.’s small and medium-sized technology companies is particularly dependent on venture capital.

The technology sector is critical to a diverse and innovative B.C. economy. It employs more than 86,000 British Columbians, contributed $13.9 billion to provincial GDP in 2013 and is growing quickly.

Why is B.C. creating a new VC fund?

Following a lengthy review of its venture capital policy the Province determined it has a significant role to play in ensuring a sustainable venture capital system that supports job creation, economic diversification and competitiveness.

In particular, the review found that many companies at the angel investment stage in B.C. could not find funding for the next stage – called early stage or A-round – to fuel their growth to the next stage.

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