TechImpact Launches Online Hub To Connect Tech Providers With N.B. Businesses
FREDERICTON – TechImpact’s new one-stop-shop for New Brunswick’s booming community of tech purveyors is live.
CollabHub, a free, bilingual online platform, is a bid by TechImpact to connect businesses that need digital products and services with those who can provide them.
TechImpact, a private-sector-led tech organization, launched the platform on October 12, and in doing so, has begun to build a directory of New Brunswick tech providers to link businesses to tech companies.
“What we found was that businesses were telling us they didn’t know who was in New Brunswick, what products they have or what services were available, so we said, ‘Let’s figure out if this is really a problem, and if it is, let’s find a solution to it, first and foremost,’” said TechImpact CEO Cathy Simpson in an interview with Huddle.
“This right now is like a software launch. This, as they’d say in the tech community, is ‘version 1.0.’ We got that out the door, and we’ve already got inquiries coming in from tech companies wanting to get listed as a provider.”
Simpson said CollabHub will help businesses across the province struggling to find the technology and digital products they need tap into the pool of tech talent already existing in the province.
She noted the platform will help New Brunswick retain talent, by connecting students looking for co-ops and considering potential career paths, being linked to many popular job boards, such as NB Jobs and Indeed.ca.
“That’s important because we need these students to stay in New Brunswick,” Simpson said. “In the future we might have a spot for people looking for work, to upload resumes.”
CollabHub will also help place the province’s startups at the forefront, informing about government programs and bringing every piece of the public and private puzzle together in one place.
“We need international students to come and see there’s a thriving tech ecosystem and say, ‘I’ve got to stay here,” Simpson said.
“Right now, one of the biggest draws is being able to have a solution provider directory,” Simpson, said.
“I’m most excited today for the capability of that platform.”
Simpson encouraged any and every New Brunswick tech provider to create a free profile on CollabHub’s online database.
The platform will also aggregate content, forwarding news and resources for students and newcomers.
“Anyone moving to New Brunswick and wondering about the thriving tech ecosystem here can use this as an educational platform,” said Simpson.
CollabHub is the product of consultation between government agencies and the private sector last summer, which developed initiatives to understand the pandemic’s impact on the tech sector supported by more than $3.7-million in federal and provincial funding.
“We know that more and more businesses were focused on digital, so if more and more businesses focused on digital roadmaps and tech projects, we want that work done by a New Brunswick-based company – that’s why we started here,” Simpson said.
Going forward, Simpson told Huddle she’s working on a five-year IT workforce strategy for the province to cater to a growing need for tech employees. This will involve networking efforts for tech providers and building a collaborative space.
“We have problems in multiple areas, we need to use a platform like this that builds the tech brand of New Brunswick,” she said, noting that the brand includes success stories like the $100-million funding round completed by Fredericton-based Introhive last July and the growing presence of larger global firms in the province.
“We are trying to raise brand awareness of just how darn-good these companies are. As we evolve the service and get feedback on the platform, we’ll enable it to do even more collaboration – that’s the whole goal and objective,” said Simpson.
In the future, it could become a hub for all four Atlantic provinces.
“We can put future functionality in, with more collaboration and providers can upload stories and events – we’re going to be working on that,” she said.
“We want to look at, perhaps, having other industry segments. What we’ve learned during the pandemic is that supply chains are fragile and we want to make sure if you’re trying to find a product and service, and if they are built in New Brunswick, you know where you can buy some of those products and services”
Sam Macdonald is a Huddle reporter in Moncton. Send him your feedback and story ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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