There’s never been a better time to launch a tech startup company in BC. Only a decade ago, a tech company would have to search far and wide to find the supports it needed to get off the ground. Now there are 25 accelerators in BC alone.
If you are launching a tech startup, you need all the help you can get. This article aims to inform you what you need to know about accelerators, as well as other R&D funding opportunities that you should not overlook.
How can an accelerator help you?
Accelerators, also known as incubators, typically offer low-cost office space, access to tools and equipment, as well as proximity to other start-up leaders. In addition, some will invest in start-up companies or provide mentorship networks and organize funding events to draw investor interest. A good example of this is the Cascadia Summit, an event organized by the Launch Academy incubator in Vancouver.
Are accelerators effective?
The jury is still out on the effectiveness of start-up accelerators. However, if you read tech news you will notice a trend of articles about tech companies whose successful launch included a beginning at an accelerator. Companies cite a number of advantages to working at accelerators, including a quicker path to understanding the causes of business pitfalls through good coaching and advice, as well as help identifying the most appropriate target markets.
The other side of the story is that it’s hard to define what success looks like for an accelerator program. The fact remains that a large percentage of tech start-ups fail. A Start-up Genome report by Stanford University and University of California Berkeley which analyzed 3,200 early stage tech companies found that over 90% ended in failure. The causes? Rather than competition, failure was mostly due to internal problems like premature scaling, or hiring too many people too soon, as well as focusing on acquiring users before the product has been through enough testing.
What are the top funded accelerators?
Recently a couple of accelerators topped the lists of Federal funding recipients with the mandate to match the funding on a one to one basis: The BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA), which received $10.4 million and Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society, which received $9.5 million.
How many accelerators are there in BC?
There are a number of other accelerators in BC including the following:
- Accelerate Okanagan
- Accelerate Tectoria, VIATeC
- Centre4Growth, BCTIA
- Discovery Parks
- Foresight Cleantech Accelerator
- GreenTech Exchange, SFU
- Innovation Central Society
- Innovation Island
- Institute B
- Invoke Labs
- Kamloops Innovation Centre
- Kootenay Association for Science & Technology
- Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council
- Launch Academy
- New Ventures BC
- SFU TIME Ventures
- Spring Activator
- Vancouver Island Technology Park
- Victoria Square Labs
- Zen Launchpad
R&D funding to support your venture
It’s important for tech start-ups to realize that in addition to investor funding, there are also a number of research and development funding programs to support a startup’s growth.
Enhanced Capital Recovery (ECR) is dedicated to helping companies discover the full potential of innovation funding and R&D incentives available. To best support start-ups financially, ECR only charges fees based on results, never before.
If you are new to the innovation game and foresee spending resources in this area, let us help you setup in the right way to take advantage of all of the opportunities.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to explore all of the possible funding alternatives that may be available for your company.