New Ventures BC (NVBC) is a non-profit organization that recognizes, encourages, and supports entrepreneurship in BC’s technology sector. For over 20 years it has made an incredible impact on emerging ventures, namely through the annual New Ventures BC Competition, known as a rite of passage for the best new startups across the province.
With past winners such as LightIntegra, AbCellera, MediaCore, DarkVision, MineSense, Ecoation, Aspect Biosystems, and Jane, New Ventures BC has recognized and contributed to the journey of some of BC’s fastest-growing and most successful startups. And the journey doesn’t end there.
New Ventures BC: 20 years of impact
Initiated over 20 years ago by Wal van Lierop, New Ventures BC has now supported thousands of tech companies in its lifetime. These diverse ventures hail from cities across BC, creating world-changing innovations in cleantech, life sciences, biotech, IoT, robotics, AR/VR, fintech, and more.
Since its inception, winners of the annual New Ventures BC Competition have become “ones to watch”. With four rounds of competition that include a business plan submission, venture pitches, mentorship, educational seminars, and networking opportunities, the rigorous process is more than just a contest, it’s a training ground for the innovators of tomorrow.
The organization has continued to grow over the years, diversifying its programming to support startups in new ways, during critical stages of their development. For the past five years, NVBC has offered a Distance Venture Acceleration Program for early stage startups, providing weekly, one-to-one mentorship and online market validation training with an experienced Executive in Residence. By pairing ventures with someone who has “been there, done that”, companies have the sound guidance they need to move their startup forward with confidence.
Wal van Lierop, NVBC Founder and Board Member
In addition, NVBC now administers the Innovator Skills Initiative grant program, on behalf of Innovate BC, which has provided over two million dollars to tech companies to hire post-secondary students. Each grant helps startups commercialize a product, build an MVP, or get their first sale in the door. In turn, each student gains entrepreneurial training and new technical skills, plus valuable work experience before graduation. Through the exposure of entrepreneurial thinking, many have also been hired on permanently in the tech sector or have been inspired to start their own tech companies.
New Ventures BC has now supported over 2530 startups in its lifetime, which have created 3720 jobs and raised over 335 million dollars of financing, right here, in BC.
They can’t wait to see what the next 20 years may bring.