Robots, drones, AI technology and all different types of tech filled the Crystal Gardens in Victoria on Friday (June 2) for Discover Tectoria.
The not-for-profit VIATEC hosted more than 75 Greater Victoria tech brains and companies that set up booths throughout the event centre. This gives the tech community in Victoria a chance to connect face-to-face, showcase research projects and present interactive displays.
“It’s (Victoria’s) largest private industry and most people don’t know that,” according to VIATEC CEO Dan Gunn. “When you walk in this room and see all of this you can see why it’s having such a huge impact on our local economy and community.” Since the 2003, Gunn and his team “reach out to all the tech entrepreneurs in town and say ‘how bout we get together and have this big event where everybody gets to see what you do.’ Because most of it’s invisible to the locals.”
Not only is it a chance for attendees to interact with the people interested in tech and their creations, but it could be a chance to make connections that lead to potential careers because as Gunn put it, “probably the highest IQ concentration in the city is in this room right now.”
“We want to catch some talent from this event” says Salman Almishari with IT company Myra Systems. He likes the in-person aspect of the event, saying, “person to person is way different from behind the screen or just meeting on the phone. It’s definitely beneficial for students who’re looking for a jobs.”
“Events like this bring people outside of Victoria to come and see all the tech companies that started up here” says Almishari. “All the time we’re a little more recognized internationally,” added Gunn. “About 15 years ago, we were like, ‘Well, we need local people to know we have a tech industry.’ Then it was people in Vancouver and Seattle. We just keep building it out that way. We have visitors from all corners of the world now that come out and see our tech.”
A highlight for Gunn was when “even Vogue magazine referred to the city as Tectoria.”
This year what was new about Tectoria was the week-long event Scale YYJ. Members of the tech community in Victoria ran events all week across the city. Tectoria was the grand finale event to close the weeks festivities.