New Ventures BC and BioTalent Canada today announced a new partnership to assist BC biotech companies to access funding to hire post-secondary students for business and tech roles to help drive their objectives forward.

The Innovate BC Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) grant program was launched by New Ventures BC in June 2018 and is now accepting applications through March 2020 for BC tech companies hiring post-secondary students in BC. The program is designed to provide skills, work experience, and entrepreneurial training to students, while helping tech companies grow their teams.

New Ventures BC (NVBC) is a non-profit organization that supports, recognizes, and grows entrepreneurship in BC’s technology sector. “The ISI grant program provides funding to start-ups to hire for critical roles that help them to expand, develop, and commercialize their businesses,” said Angie Schick, Executive Director of New Ventures BC. “Partnering with BioTalent Canada will help maximize the participation from BC biotech businesses, and we are pleased to ensure BC’s biotech community will be represented in this exciting student employment program,” she said.

BioTalent Canada, a national not-for-profit HR association has been marketing and operating wage subsidy programs for post-secondary students for over 14 years. This new partnership will allow more British Columbia businesses to hire new talent through the New Ventures BC program. “The bioscience industry in British Columbia is a growing and vibrant industry and has been one of the most avid employers of student and young talent,” said Rob Henderson, BioTalent Canada’s President and CEO.  “This program and our partnership with New Ventures BC will allow the innovative biotech businesses of BC maximum access to this exciting new program, and a great new opportunity to hire the innovative talent they will require to continue to drive the BC economy,” he said.

BioTalent Canada launched a highly successful Student Work Placement Program in 2017 and to date, has placed 520 post-secondary students in subsidized work-integrated career placements, 153 of them in British Columbia. While the Innovate BC Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) program is not for co-op students, BioTalent Canada intends to ensure the program is marketed widely to BC biotech businesses who have traditionally been enthusiastic student employers in its past programs. In the past 14 years, BioTalent Canada has placed over 1800 students and new graduates in new career placements across Canada. BioTalent Canada’s provincial partners include LifeSciences BC, the industry association for BC biotech companies, and Vancouver based STEMCELL Technologies, Canada’s largest biotech company in Canada.

Companies that are interested in the Innovate BC Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) can find additional information and apply to the program by contacting New Ventures BC.

About BioTalent Canada

BioTalent Canada™ is the HR partner of and a catalyst for growth in Canada’s bio-economy. Our engagement with employers, associations, post-secondary institutions, immigrant serving agencies and service providers has built a dynamic network that is strengthening skills, connecting job-ready talent to industry and creating opportunities. Please visit for more information.

Media inquiries:
Siobhan Williams
Director, Marketing and Communications
BioTalent Canada
613-235-1402 ext. 229

About New Ventures BC

New Ventures BC (NVBC) is a non-profit organization that supports, recognizes, and grows entrepreneurship in BC’s technology sector. Each year, they run the New Ventures Competition, offering over $250,000 in cash and prizes to BC’s best new start-ups. NVBC’s Distance Venture Acceleration Program supports early stage tech companies through dedicated mentoring and Market Validation Training. For companies looking to grow their teams, the Innovator Skills Initiative grant program provides up to $10,000 per year towards hiring post-secondary students.

Media inquiries:
Rachel Burns
Program Manager, ISI grant program, New Ventures BC


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