January 16, 2020

Design for Startups to receive funding from the Digital Technology Supercluster’s Capacity Building Program

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On January 16, the Digital Technology Supercluster announced Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship‘s Design for Startups as one of the eight recipients of funding under its “Capacity Building Program”.

The Capacity Building Program aims to capture a broader talent pool for employers by engaging under-represented groups such as women and Indigenous peoples, thereby supporting the growth of diversity and inclusion across multiple sectors. The projects also foster leadership development for entrepreneurs, deliver relevant digital skills for workers in the natural resource sector, engage Indigenous youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM), and support the pursuit of careers in digital technology.

“Design for Startups boosts capacity by building a bridge between the worlds of design and technology. We are making a systemic impact by connecting 40 designers with 40 tech startups,” Director Kate Armstrong said. As a kickstart for the much-needed talent pool in the tech ecosystem, the program is driving diversity and inclusion in the sector. Currently, the number of female web designers and developers in B.C. sits at 31% compared to the national average of 48%. By leveraging Emily Carr’s diversity, where more than 70% of participants in entrepreneurship programs are women with design backgrounds, this project will develop improved products, platforms, and services for startups. The Supercluster funds will support the program over the next two years. 

To read more about the announcement, visit Digital Supercluster Technology Supercluster website.

About Digital Technology Supercluster:

The Supercluster aims to position Canada as a global leader in digital technologies by bringing together small, medium-sized and large companies, post-secondary institutions, research organizations and not-for-profits. The Supercluster co-invests in ambitious technology development projects and new solutions to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of natural resources, healthcare and industrial sectors and energize the economy. The projects announced will help create good jobs, drive economic growth, and elevate the reputation of Canada’s world-leading digital economy.

The Digital Technology Supercluster is led by global companies such as MDA, Microsoft, Telus, Teck Resources Limited, Mosaic Forest Management, LifeLabs and Terramera, and tech industry leaders such as D-Wave Systems, Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, and LlamaZOO. Members also include BC’s post-secondary institutions such as Emily CarrUniversity of Art + Design, British Columbia Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. A full list of Members can be found here.

About Design for Startups:

Design for Startups cultivates tech-based entrepreneurial activity amongst design students in BC by creating connections and exposures between design students and technology entrepreneurs. The program has proven itself to be a highly effective model for knowledge transfer to emerging businesses in British Columbia and has evolved to become a larger umbrella initiative that builds and supports entrepreneurship through multiple modalities. Developed by Living Labs in 2013, the program is now delivered within the framework of Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship.

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