CapU announces plans for an innovative Indigenous Digital Accelerator (IDA) project

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Tag(s): Media

NORTH VANCOUVER B.C. – Capilano University is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Western Economic Diversification Canada to develop an innovative Indigenous Digital Accelerator (IDA) project at CapU’s North Vancouver campus.

Expected to launch in 2020, and located in CapU’s planned Creative Tech Community, the IDA will provide resources to promote Indigenous business growth in BC’s tech, digital-creative and cultural sectors. The project will scale up early stage Indigenous companies with high growth, commercialization and innovation potential within a framework that emphasizes community development and low environmental impact.

“We are so pleased to have this support from Western Economic Diversification Canada for Indigenous digital business and organizational development. It is perfectly aligned with CapU’s institutional mission and commitment to truth and reconciliation,” says Doreen Manuel, director of the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation at Capilano University.

Building on CapU’s history in Indigenous digital storytelling, the first wave of development at the IDA will involve Indigenous alumni who have had small business success in film, animation and digital media fields.

The vision of the IDA is to grow a cluster of digital-creative businesses/organizations. The project aims to:

  • Scale and grow 10-20 businesses/organizations by 2023
  • Create 100 new Indigenous jobs by 2025
  • Create new student employment and research opportunities

CapU intends to partner with industry leaders, elders and an established Indigenous accelerator—Indigenext—to bring experienced business and community leaders and mentors on campus.

The IDA also plans to address significant gaps in the participation of Indigenous peoples in the high technology, digital-creative and cultural sectors including film, TV, games and digital media. It aims to contribute to the development of low-carbon jobs and also grow Indigenous digital intellectual property (IP) and technology development as well as digital/cultural products/services. As the IDA matures, it may include other sectors, such as tourism and hospitality.

“From Indigi-futurism to Indigenomics, Indigenous knowledge is a marketable base for all realms of digital storytelling. The North Vancouver Squamish territory offers tremendous opportunity to support and grow Indigenous digital-creative businesses,“ says Helen Haig-Brown, CEO of Elagi Productions and one of Chatelaine magazine’s 2018 Women of The Year.

Potential partners are encouraged to contact idaccelerator@capilanou.ca for more information.

About Capilano University
Capilano University is a teaching-focused university based in North Vancouver, with programming serving the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky corridor. The University enrols more than 10,000 students each year and offers 95 programs, including bachelor's degrees in areas as diverse as film, jazz, early childhood education and tourism management. Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. Our campuses are located on the territories of the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh) Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:
Lara Chibuk, Senior Communications Officer
Capilano University
t: 604 986 1911 x 3011
e: mediarelations@capilanou.ca

About Western Economic Diversification Canada
For more than 30 years, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has been working to diversify the western economy while improving the quality of life of western Canadians. WD aims to be a leader in building a strong, competitive West by focusing on business development, innovation and community development and operates as a federal institution that is part of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio.

About Indigenext
We help connect the vision of growth and community balance with opportunities, partners, mentors, and investors. We are a team of storytellers and technologists involved in business and social impact. We recognize the value of being seen and heard, information and story can transform lives and communities.  We combine long term vision with near term actions to create measurable results.

Submitted by: Lara Chibuk


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Communications & Media Relations

Linda Munro