Microsoft is committed to empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. We believe in their potential and we believe that with access to technology, everything is possible. As we prepared for this year’s #BCTECH Summit, we thought about what it means to our team to be at the Vancouver Convention Centre, talking about the work they’re doing and meeting new people from across the industry. We also thought about how we could give that same experience to a group of students from across Metro Vancouver.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve invited two dozen students in five teams from Simon Fraser University, BCIT, Riverside Secondary and Centennial Secondary to spend some time with us. Working alongside our Program Manager in our maker space, The Garage, they’ve had an opportunity to explore, create, and maybe even find their passion. The Garage is central to hack culture at Microsoft, celebrating unique skills, experiences and interests.
Regardless of role or discipline, everyone is challenged to experiment with technology and turn ideas into reality. Each team has spent several days in the space, getting hands on with 3D printing, wearable technology, game development, HoloLens and more. The projects are diverse, wearables, AI, mixed reality and more, but they share a common thread – discovery.
Every company at the Summit is working hard to build the products of tomorrow and these students will play a significant role in our success. Vancouver is on the cusp of becoming a global innovation hub, with a skilled workforce, renowned research universities, and deep commitment by local and provincial governments. We are part of the growing Cascadia Innovation Corridor and we have the opportunity to leverage our long-standing strength in gaming and digital media to drive innovation in augmented, virtual and mixed reality. But to do that, we’ll need a steady stream of graduates ready to hit the ground running.
Solving that will take effort on our part. Youth Innovation Day at the #BCTECH Summit is a great start and we know our mentors are looking forward to it. The connection between industry and students opens doors. You know that saying, “It takes a village”? Well, it does. Together we need to create opportunities, inspire these kids and then hire them. It all starts here. So, if you’re at the Summit, and have a few minutes to spare, come by Booth 125 in the Marketplace and meet the teams we’ve invited to share our space. They are the future.