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‘Maybe even a unicorn?’ 13 predictions for Victoria tech in 2023

‘Maybe even a unicorn?’ 13 predictions for Victoria tech in 2023

We asked the Victoria Tech Community Awards finalists for their number one Victoria tech prediction for 2023. Here are the top responses.

As we’ve written recently, Victoria’s tech sector is a giant hiding in plain sight. Its tech economy is closing in on $5 billion and has 1,000 companies that employ nearly 17,000 workers. To learn more about what makes the city’s tech professionals tick, what gets them excited, and what they think about the future, we partnered with VIATEC to ask over 40 local executives key questions about the ecosystem. This is Part 1 of a four-part series.

What will 2023 bring for Victoria’s tech community? To find out, we asked the Victoria Tech Community Awards finalists for their top Victoria tech prediction for 2023. Here’s a snapshot of their answers.  

The influence of UVic

Dr. Stephanie Willerth, CEO at Axolotl Biosciences: “I think we will continue to see more interesting innovative companies being spun out of the University of Victoria.” 

Dr. Karolina Valente, CEO and chief strategy officer at VoxCell BioInnovation:“The national and international recognition of Victoria as a tech hub, emerging from the shadow of larger cities, such as Vancouver. It feels like there is a tremendous amount of momentum in the tech space with buy-in from local governments recognizing the need to build out our tech space capacity in Victoria with examples like the new UVic Bioinnovation Hub in Saanich. The recognition from local governments for the need for this workspace, in conjunction with the number of companies that feel like they are on the precipice of becoming household names in their fields like YouCount, Solaires, Axolotl, Eupraxia, to name a few, feels like the perfect storm for Victoria to have an exciting emergence on the international stage for innovative technologies.” 

Harrison White, CFO at Natureblocks: “Victoria will see a number of AI-based tech companies emerge. These will propel the growth of our tech community. A world-leading university, and an abundance of highly skilled workers, means Victoria is in prime position to take advantage of the AI revolution. (This paragraph was mostly written by AI).” 

‘Recession? What recession?’

Armon Arani, co-founder and head of growth at Cognito Health: “I think we're going to see some massive funding rounds in 2023. There are 40 funds in Canada sitting on a pile of dry powder and Victoria has an insane pool of talent building Canada's next unicorn.” 

Dr. Sahar Sam, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Solaires Entreprises: “With the many grants offered by BC as well as the InBC fund starting its investment efforts next year, we expect many new tech startups to be calling Victoria home in the coming year.” 

Andrew Crawford, co-founder of Origen Air: “Recession? What recession? Victoria doesn’t care what you are saying on the news. We are going to push through 2023 with more momentum and certainty than ever. You cannot slow us down in 2023.” 

Burgeoning industries

Dr. Scott Beatty, CEO of MarineLabs: “Crypto is tanking and the new hot business is going to be one that is profitable and makes real change. The Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies is going to catalyze some incredible new collaborations in the ocean tech sector. Watch that space.” 

Patrick Kelly, CEO of Frontly: “In Victoria, a rising tide lifts all boats. We have some great companies here making big names for themselves and putting us on the map, and I can only see that accelerating more in 2023. Maybe even a unicorn?” 

Juan Orrego, founder and CEO at Cuboh: “With remote work being here to stay I think we are going to see important tech figures (VCs and founders) move to the Island. From a product standpoint I think automation of work is going to become more prevalent, so more AI to help developers, marketers, etc… We don’t have much AI on the local scene yet so I see it as a massive opportunity.” 

Philip Caines, co-founder and CEO at Up Digital Marketing: “With social networks being shaken to their core, losing users and attention share, there will be a shift in the market for more real-world, sustainable tech solutions that are focused on balance. Victoria is well-positioned in this space.” 

An abundance of talent

Anita Pawluk, president and co-founder at RaceRocks: “I don’t like to make predictions, but I do think that the Victoria tech community is going to get bigger in 2023. I know our company is going to grow. There have been a lot of layoffs in the tech world recently. However, the situation here is more stable. I think the Victoria tech community will have the opportunity to hire new talent, but I also think the layoffs will create a lot more startups out there as more entrepreneurs step out on their own after being laid off. Twitter alone has thousands of smart and talented people who will be looking for new opportunities.” 

Mike Wozniewski, president and CTO at Hololabs: “With EA and Skybox Labs possibly arriving soon to Victoria, we may see a lot more game developers, artists, designers, and creative folks being drawn to the city.” 

Justin Tse, CEO and founder of Feature Media: “My prediction for Victoria tech is that it will continue to grow. The talent pool within the city continues to increase, and with that builds innovation. With the increase in demand for commercial office spaces, some of which are in construction, I imagine it being a strong West Coast hub that provides many benefits that complement traditional large city hubs such as Vancouver.”

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Media Contact : VicTJ Staff

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