Speakers talk about hiring and retaining rock star employees at the Fraser Valley Tech Forum, Nov. 7, 2019 at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Fraser Valley Tech Forum united startup enterpreneurs with tech resources

Just under 200 people attended the daylong tech event at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel

The Fraser Valley Tech Forum featured an astounding array of speakers and vital information about tech startups at the Coast Chilliwack on Thursday.

Just under 200 people attended the daylong event.

Successful startup leaders rubbed shoulders with government, educators, tech influencers and community stakeholders.

READ MORE: Getting ready for the 2019 Tech Forum

The third annual Fraser Valley Tech Forum, presented by tech hub XLRator in partnership with Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation, zeroed in on how to connect with investors and attract stellar employees for new startups and tech companies.

“We are very proud to be supported by local industry, regional municipalities, businesses and services organizations in elevating the tech scene and growth of tech ecosystem in the Fraser Valley,” said Raymond Szabada, CEO and chair of XLRator.

Since the beginning the tech hub XLRator has set its sights on building a strong and connected tech ecosystem through events and programming.

“As XLRator launches new programs in the coming year for entrepreneurs and investors across the region, we are very positive about the outlook for the Fraser Valley to leverage the digital and knowledge-based economies,” Szabada added.

During the panel on hiring and retaining “rock star” employees, UFV’s David Harper shared his vision for Fraser Valley as the “solution” for the future of tech — not just in B.C. but for Canada.

“I look at what we have here, and all the things that are going on,” Harper said. “We have a beautiful place to live, we have a border, we have a highway, we have a river that is a fisheries river, we have FN communities here.”

Add to that great diversity, and the best country in the world to live in, according to UFV’s director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“We have this really dynamic, innovative culture here,” Harper said. “We produce more startups than most. I think we’re number fourteen on the planet in terms of startup production.”

B.C. produced 13,500 jobs last quarter, that’s “number one in North America, for the rate of production of jobs in the tech sector.

“This place is just booming,” Harper underlined. “But we have a problem. And the problem is a lot is happening in Vancouver, and Vancouver is too expensive to expect that C-level seeding to grow your company into a unicorn or $100 million-revenue company.

“We have the solution: seed the Fraser Valley. We have the best quality of life.”

In 20 years, he predicts people won’t even be talking about Silicon Valley as the epicentre of startups.

“That’s going to be old and hackneyed. They’re going to be talking about the Fraser Valley. They’ll be talking about how we developed our community into a modern agro-tech community that encompasses all that is good about Canada.”

All the region needs is the entrepreneurial energy, the money, government buy-in, and the long-term planning.

“This is the place that we can build it,” Harper said. “This is the place that we have to build it.”

READ MORE: Unleashing Chilliwack’s potential


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Keynote speaker Randy Thompson of Valhalla talks about big ideas at the Fraser Valley Tech Forum, Nov. 7, 2019 at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

XLRator program manager Gurwinder Singh addressing participants between speakers at the Fraser Valley Tech Forum, Nov. 7, 2019 at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Keynote speaker Randy Thompson of Valhalla talks about how to avoid zombie startups at the Fraser Valley Tech Forum, Nov. 7, 2019 at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Online submissions now open for virtual Chilliwack Fair

No fee this year to submit entries for food, arts and more in 148th annual Chilliwack Fair

Handgun pointing complaint draws strong RCMP presence at Chilliwack residence Wednesday night

One in custody after brief standoff involving Emergency Response Team and canine unit

Iconic Chilliwack store passes clothing racks on to downtown neighbours

Chilliwack Mission Thriftstore given racks and fixtures as downtown store closes for good

Exercise and cancer to be explored via webinar

UFV’s Dr. Iris Lesser to lead Zoom event for cancer patients and supporters

Overnight closures for Vedder dike gates this summer rather than full closure

Working with anti-dumping and angling advocates, City of Chilliwack came up with compromise

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Most Read