Saskatchewan Technology Companies Benefit from SOCO's Supportive Environment
The province’s vibrant technology sector continues to grow due in part to the supportive environment offered by Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation (SOCO), a Crown corporation that operates under the business name of Innovation Place.
SOCO’s 2017-18 Annual Report, released today, highlights a wealth of technology companies that have experienced notable growth and development at Innovation Place.
“SOCO helps grow Saskatchewan’s technology sector through its ongoing support of new technology businesses and growth of existing companies by fostering tenant collaboration and providing access to a broad range of technical and scientific facilities and services,” Minister Responsible for SOCO Joe Hargrave said.
SOCO manages technology parks adjacent to the province’s universities in Saskatoon and Regina. The two parks are home to 142 tenants employing more than 3,700 people.
“Of the 161 new technology companies started at Innovation Place over the last 25 years, 117 or 73 per cent are still operational today – more than twice the five-year survival rate for new businesses in Canada,” SOCO President and CEO Van Isman said. “Of these, 111 or 69 per cent are still operating in Saskatchewan, with 54 at Innovation Place and 57 at other locations in the province.”
Highlights of the 2017-18 Annual Report:
- SOCO generated net income of $5.6 million.
- Innovation Place received a 98 per cent approval rating from tenant CEOs who would recommend the park to other technology organizations.
- Strong tenant programming included 156 business development and networking events, attracting more than 8,300 attendees in Saskatoon and Regina.
- In June 2017, Co.Labs, Saskatchewan’s first technology incubator, was launched at Innovation Place in Saskatoon. Co.Labs provides support and mentorship to early-stage technology startups and entrepreneurs.
- In March 2018, Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) Environmental Analytical Labs moved into the East Atrium Building in Saskatoon – the result of a multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation project that addressed SRC’s specialized needs.
- Innovation Place received the first place Mission: Zero Award in the Medium Employer category, recognizing an exemplary safety record and strong safety culture.
The 2017-18 Annual Report is available online at www.soco.sk.ca.