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Canada's First Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Hub Opens in Vancouver

BC Tech Cube signals opportunity for startups in 3D development for entertainment, business and industrial applications.

VANCOUVER, Oct. 12, 2017 /CNW/ - Vancouver's tech industry is gathering today for the opening of Canada's first Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Hub, the BC Tech Cube ("The Cube"). Its creation marks continued growth for 3D development in the city, which has already resulted in 17,000 jobs and 2.3B in revenue, and will stimulate the creation of new startups, further solidifying British Columbia's reputation as a leader in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) for entertainment, business and industrial applications.

The Cube, located in the Railtown district of Vancouver, is designed to support the growth of companies in the AR/VR/MR space and serve as a platform for the community to connect, collaborate and learn from one another. It was established as an extension of the BC Tech Innovation Hub in collaboration with local tech companies and industry leaders. The 6,000-square-foot hub supports early stage entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, enabling connections with partners, customer applications and investment opportunities, ultimately leading to faster growth.

"By providing entrepreneurs with the tools, support and environment, we'll be able to supercharge the growth of BC's burgeoning AR/VR/MR sector and reinforce our reputation as one of the top ecosystems to grow a tech company," said Bill Tam, CEO of the BC Tech Association.

Members at The Cube have access to the latest tech gear, business-building workshops, mentorship and technical training programs, industry events held at the hub and access to investors, customers and talent. The workspace features a fifty-desk open office, private offices, virtual tech gear and a custom-built green room.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and The Honourable Bruce Ralston, BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology joined Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to jointly announce the launch of The Cube. The Cube was made possible by support from sponsors including the National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program's Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program, Microsoft Corp., AMPD Game Technologies, Finger Food Studios, Archiact and Work at Play.

The opening of The Cube is part of a digital transformation within the province that is not limited to the technology industry, but encompasses some of British Columbia's leading industries such as healthcare, natural resources, environment, architecture, medical research, bioscience, data analytics, video games, transportation and more. As the world moves rapidly towards a data-centric economy, the developments in virtual, augmented and mixed reality will be essential to allowing companies to visualize information, make better business decisions and create new tech jobs that will cement Vancouver and British Columbia as a global center of excellence for AR/VR/MR.

QUOTES:

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"Congratulations to the BC Tech Cube for bringing together British Columbia's top talent in 3D development and helping grow the industry. In today's knowledge-based economy, it is precisely this spirit of innovation and collaboration that will help us build the economy of the future, creating the jobs of today and tomorrow, and ensuring Canada's success."

The Honourable Bruce Ralston, BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology
"B.C. is a world leader in tech innovation with our homegrown talent and international collaborations. With the opening of the BC Tech Cube, our province has the chance to gain a competitive edge in augmented, virtual and mixed reality applications, leading to the next wave of technological advancements."

Mayor Gregor Robertson
"It's great to see the BC Tech CUBE come together as a collaborative effort in support of Vancouver's local AR/VR/MR start-ups looking to accelerate their growth. Vancouver, as North America's third largest film production centre and the world's largest VFX and animation cluster, is uniquely positioned to be propelled into becoming the world's best AR/VR/MR cluster. The CUBE will not only support local companies in sharing in this growth but also spur an economic boom in our local innovation ecosystem."

David Gratton, Co-Founder of the BC Tech Cube
"The BC Tech Cube is a testament to the BC tech community's drive to become leaders in AR and VR technologies. Local entrepreneurs, designers and engineers came together very rapidly to form our association and establish this hub to share resources and learning. With BC Tech Association and our many corporate sponsors adding their weight behind this grassroots movement, British Columbia is sure to become one of the top centers for starting an AR/VR company in North America." 

Edoardo De Martin, General Manager of Microsoft Vancouver
"We expect holographic platforms – augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) – to grow rapidly in the coming years, and have a transformational effect across traditional industries of the B.C. economy. British Columbia can be a global leader in platforms of the future."

About the BC Tech Cube
The Cube supports the growth of companies in the AR/VR/MR space and serves as a platform for the community to connect, collaborate and learn from one another. Supporting early stage entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, members have access to the latest tech gear, business-building workshops, mentorship and technical training programs, industry events held at the hub and access to investors, customers and talent. The Cube features a fifty-desk open office, private offices, virtual tech gear and a custom-built green room.

About BC Tech Association
The BC Tech Association is guided by our mission to make BC the best place to grow a tech company. For more than 20 years, BC Tech has been providing opportunities for the tech industry to collaborate, learn and grow together. We are dedicated to connecting companies, developing talent, sharing stories and advocating on behalf of tech companies to keep our industry thriving.

Since our founding in 1993, the tech industry has quintupled to nearly $25 billion in revenue. In that time, we have played a privileged role in supporting the growth of the tech community that now includes over 9,000 companies, employs more than 90,000 people and that has been one of the strongest contributors to BC's economic growth over the past decade.

SOURCE BC Tech Association

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