4 Innovative Ways Government is Engaging the B.C. Tech Sector

The #BCTECH Summit drew more than 5,000 delegates to the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 14-15 to share ideas and opportunities for the future of technology. The BCDevExchange team came away energized.

Through lively conversations at our booth and by participating in Summit activities, we were inspired by the breadth of innovation in B.C.’s tech sector. We went to demonstrate how government is changing the way it innovates and works with the tech sector, resulting in growth for government and the tech industry.

Here are four innovative ways government is engaging with B.C. tech talent:


  1. Startup in Residence Program

At the #BCTECH Summit, the Province launched a new Startup in Residence program that matches startups with government business areas to rapidly solve public sector challenges. There are 10 opportunities for startups to work side-by-side with a government business area over a 16-week summer residency to develop and launch a prototype in the fall.

After the residency, startups will be able to use government as a reference client and retain the right to market and sell any prototype they develop to other clients.

The deadline for proposals to participate is April 11, 2017. Learn more here.


  1. Code With Us

At our Summit booth, the BCDevExchange team talked with many developers and entrepreneurs about Code With Us, a fast way for talented developers and startups to contribute to government open source projects and to be paid for their efforts.

We designed Code With Us to meet government business needs to boost capacity for smaller projects, while keeping the process lean for developers. Developers like that proposals for Code With Us are as easy as a 200-word description of their approach to the work, with weblinks to their relevant previous work.

Both developers and government participants like the speed. We have completed Code With Us in as fast as 15 business days from launch, to selection of a developer, to completion of the work.


  1. Data Visualization Challenge

On the second day of the Summit, Ruby Industries was announced as the winner of the BC Innovation Council and BC Stats sponsored Data Visualization Challenge. At the Summit delegates heard the announcement and watched the presentations of the five finalists who were selected and ultimately given the opportunity to earn $10,000 each to develop prototypes. The winner, Ruby Industries, has the opportunity to earn an additional $25,000 for development of their prototype into a final product. Their prototype allows users to explore B.C. housing data by region and municipality, including the amount of property transfer tax paid and the number of transactions involving foreign residents.

Ruby Industries’ Sasha Bogdanovic was motivated to participate in the challenge. “I loved the idea of being able to put my data visualization skills and experience into the product that would benefit the community and help government make informed decisions,” Bogdanovic said. “BCDevExchange is a great way to make innovation in government processes more agile, involve the private sector and individual developers for the benefit of all.” Awarded the People’s Choice Award for his team’s prototype, Plot and Scatter’s Frank Hangler agreed. “We would definitely participate again in challenges like this,” Hangler said. “We appreciated the opportunity to support a government initiative that we believe reflects a smart approach to procurement, agile development, and buying local“


  1. $10,000 Internet of Things Proof of Concept

The BC Innovation Council and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) launched an Internet of Things (IoT) Challenge with $50,000 available for participating B.C. innovators.

To participate, B.C. innovators are invited to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) by the deadline on April 17, 2017. The top five submissions will have the opportunity to earn $10,000 to develop a prototype over the summer.

This is a great opportunity for B.C tech firms to win government as a reference client and to build client-tested products that you can take to market.

Want to hear first when these opportunities become available? Sign up with your GitHub account to the BCDevExchange and we will keep you in the know.