In 1991 the early founders– and eventual titans–of BC’s tech industry met over dinner in Whistler, BC.
These informal get-togethers were driven by a very basic need–someone to talk business with. For these early founders, innovating and breaking ground in a rapidly evolving industry was a lonely place. They needed other like-minded CEOs who understood the industry and could provide validation and support for new ideas, products, funding opportunities, and different ways of thinking and doing business.
As the industry grew, so did the number of tech-founders who needed to talk shop. It wasn’t long before the early founders realized they needed to expand their dinner conversations and engage a larger and growing group of tech CEOs in BC–that’s when ACETECH and the Whistler Summit were born. ACETECH’s Whistler Summit continues to be BC’s foremost tech leadership and innovation conference and our signature annual event.
The pace of growth and innovation in the tech sector began to accelerate and so did the number of tech startups in BC. While there was no shortage of brilliant minds that could build innovative new technology and products, there was a shortage of knowledge about how to secure funding and build a company.
ACETECH responded to this need by building a Market Validation Program to help early start-ups. While ACETECH no longer offers this program, it was licensed to BC Innovation Council (BCIC) where it continues to be offered as the Venture Acceleration Program.
While ACETECH no longer offers this program, it continues to be delivered as the curriculum for the BC Innovation Council (BCIC) Venture Acceleration Programs across the province, and through Wavefront, across the country.
Many of BC’s early tech companies began to achieve commercial success, and with this success came new challenges: effective leadership, profitable growth and building sustainable companies. ACETECH CEOs decided to offer a member-based model that would better serve BC’s tech founders by providing ongoing engagement, learning and support, and the Growth Strategy Program was created.
We’ve survived and thrived over the last 25 years because our CEO leadership team has committed the same incredible passion, innovation and expertise to ACETECH and its members as they’ve committed to their own companies. Better yet, they care about BC’s tech community and economy, and they know what it takes to succeed.
Today, ACETECH continues to be the leading not for profit organization created by CEOs for the advancement of CEOs of second-stage tech companies. When you join ACETECH you become a member of the most connected, empowered and high-performing community of tech-founder CEOs in BC.