The newly-elected Board of Directors for Innovation Central Society (ICS), the region’s technology accelerator, has the organization poised for growth in the upcoming year.
The new Board Chair is Will Cadell, CEO of Sparkgeo, a local web mapping company which serves a worldwide clientele from its head office in Prince George. ”There’s this crazy idea that you need to be in a big city to do technology. Really, it’s the reverse. The great thing about tech is that you can literally do it from anywhere. Here in PG we are in the same timezone as the biggest technology hub on Earth and have much better quality of life and cost profiles. I joined ICS to underline that places like PG are PERFECT for tech. We just need to demonstrate our advantage and encourage more people to give tech a go. That’s where Innovation Central comes in!”
“Sparkgeo is a great example of how you can operate a world-class tech company from right here in Prince George” said Matt Hutcheon, ICS’s Executive Director. “Our job is to help foster more of these kinds of companies in our region, and Will along with the rest of our Board provide us with a great mix of experience and skills to achieve that.”
Other members of the Board include local entrepreneur John Kason, Renata King of NDIT, Tracy Calogheros of The Exploration Place, Kate Armstrong of Emily Carr University Living Labs, Robert Knight of UNBC, Carolynne Burkholder of Heather Sadler Jenkins, and Sagar Saxena of School District 91.
“As we continue to build our partnerships with important organizations like the educational institutions and local professional advisors to our clients, these direct connections through our Board will be invaluable in fostering the next generation of innovators, as well as coaching and supporting those who are currently creating new products and establishing new businesses” said Hutcheon.
In addition to these many partnerships, ICS is also working with the City of Prince George and other partners on a tech-focused version of the Move Up Prince George Campaign to help position Prince George as a destination for tech skills. This includes both individual remote tech workers contracting to firms worldwide from wherever they live, or other entrepreneurial companies like Sparkgeo setting up shop in Prince George.
“ICS has a vision for a robust technology sector in our region which provides great career and entrepreneurial opportunities, and which is a major economic driver” said Cadell. “The year 1 ahead will see us work to raise the profile and understanding of technology and innovation, as well as see some of our clients commercialize their ideas and provide us with more success stories for the region. The tech sector in the province of BC now employs more people than forestry, mining and oil and gas combined, and we will ensure that our region is participating in and contributing our fair share to that sector.”
ICS also operates the Hubspace, a downtown collaborative space which offers a variety of coworking memberships, and events for entrepreneurs. “People can join the Hubspace on a drop-in basis, or on a month-to-month basis with a dedicated workspace” said Hutcheon. “Our membership base will be growing steadily over the year, and therefore so will the chances for members to make great new connections which add value to their business.” Businesses need not be tech- or innovation-based in order to belong to the Hubspace.