The top 15 Canadian technology startups came to Kelowna on Thursday to participate in metabridge, the sixth annual tech retreat hosted by Accelerate Okanagan.
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services kicked the event off with remarks to the sold out crowd of 300 people at the Laurel Packinghouse.
The metabridge retreat provides Canadian startup companies with access to partners from the Silicon Valley and other technology centres across North America. It provides networking and relationship building opportunities with global technology leaders through pitch competitions, networking events and leisure activities.
High-level executives from Google, Twitter, Dropbox, Disney, Intel, Adobe and more were in attendance.
Canada's top startup technology companies came from as far as Halifax to attend.
"Congratulations to all of the companies named as Canada's top 15 startups attending metabridge. Naturally, we're particularly proud of the nine from right here in BC," said Wilkinson. "Many of the relationships that are made here translate directly into new customers and new investors."
Jeff Keen, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan said "metabridge is quickly becoming known throughout the industry as a must attend event for global technology leaders, high performing Canadian startup companies and top tier services providers."
"We were thrilled with the response to this years' event that attracted a record 83 applications from companies vying to attend metabridge as a Top 15 Canadian startup."
The BC high tech sector employs 29 per cent more people than mining, forestry, oil and gas combined, he said. "Events like metabridge are more important than ever in sending the message to the world that when it comes to technology, the West means business."