Three days of high-tech hoopla kicks off today as the Victoria Advanced Technology Council opens up Experience Tectoria, a chance for the rest of the world to dive into the local tech scene and for firms to strut their stuff.
The three-day conference and networking event has seminars, workshops, pitch opportunities and entertainment for tech firms and the public.
Dan Gunn, executive director of VIATeC, said the event serves a number of audiences.
“We bring in what we call VIPs — investor types, tech bloggers — basically people of influence from markets that are important to our members,” Gunn said, adding it is also a chance for firms to take in seminars on how to better run their companies, raise capital or find talent.
There is a broad creative component, including music at Rifflandia, speaking with artists about the creative process and a question-and-answer session with comedian Nathan Fielder (lead actor in Nathan For You on Comedy Central).
“But the most important thing is the great networking opportunity this is,” said Gunn, noting the events bring together sector leaders and mixes them with local companies.
An economic impact study commissioned by VIATeC and released last year shows the sector has a total annual impact of $4.03 billion on the local economy. Total revenues generated by high-tech's 900 local companies is $3.15 billion annually.
The sector directly employs 15,000 people as well as more than 3,000 consultants and advisers, and another 5,000 individuals working in technology for companies outside the high-tech sphere.
Many of the events at Experience Tectoria are open to the public and tickets are still available online at experiencetectoria.ca.