By: Neil Huff, Managing Director, Foresight
According to the most recent report from our friends at Smart Prosperity, clean technology will be a $2.2-trillion industry worldwide by 2022. So how does Canada – and BC – claim our piece of the clean innovation pie?
While Canada’s market share in the global cleantech industry has fallen 12 per cent in the last decade, we have a lot of strengths to build upon. For starters, a record 13 Canadian companies were named to the Global Cleantech 100 list in 2018. Right here at home, Metro Vancouver has emerged as one of Canada’s leading hubs for tech. At Foresight, we’ve been fortunate to work with diverse BC-based companies such as Hydra Energy, Neurio and Novarc Technologies, and it’s clear to us that we have the ideas and talent to reap the economic and environmental benefits of the transition to a clean economy.
A recurring challenge for our homegrown entrepreneurs and companies is attracting growth-oriented talent from around the world – particularly people with executive/management and international business development experience. We all know the realities of moving to BC: the cost of living and real estate is steep. How do we make BC companies attractive to outside talent and funding? How do we catalyze and support a few significant growth companies so that they generate spin-off corporations, technologies and talent?
Investment and domestic support are critical, and Foresight is aiming to be part of the solution. Earlier this month, we launched a brand-new accelerator for cleantech, advanced manufacturing and robotics companies: Foresight Growth. Funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), Foresight Growth will help later-stage companies increase their access to financing, grow their talent pool, and break in to international markets.
Our experienced Foresight Growth mentors will guide companies in expanding their sales and marketing capabilities and building out their supply chains. We will also connect companies with domestic and international cleantech customers through the Foresight Growth Challenge DialogueTM program and help our client companies close strategic purchase orders.
Foresight Growth complements our initial program, Foresight Launch, which was launched in 2013 with funding from the BC Innovation Council (BCIC). Thanks in no small part to BCIC’s ongoing support, companies that have gone through our Launch program have created 170+ jobs and secured $45m in funding. We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.
By offering both Launch and Growth programming, Foresight can support companies from across the spectrum. We will continue to work with startups on customer discovery and refining their value proposition, while also helping companies that are poised to grow and scale their businesses and commercialize their technologies. We are looking forward to helping BC cleantech, manufacturing and robotics companies take their place among global leaders.
For more information, check out our website: www.foresightcac.com
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Connect with us on Twitter: @ForesightCAC
Meet Neil at the #BCTECH Summit, where he will MC the “Radical Transformation in Key Sectors” track on Wednesday, May 16th from 1-4:30 pm.