Mark Tishenko opened the doors of his company, Edge Networks, on Tuesday to welcome a stream of tech-minded visitors touring the tech scene in downtown Vancouver.
Edge Networks was one of 14 businesses that participated in the third-annual Vancouver Tech Tour. Despite some rain, about 110 “tech tourists” strolled from business to business with the aim of networking, learning about cutting-edge companies in Vancouver and finding jobs.
After participating for the last two years, Tishenko said finding new employees for Edge Networks is a perk of the tours.
“We do this because we get really talented people,” he said.
Tech tourists prowled the downtown core with maps of tech companies, including Industrial Training International. The Woodland company showed its virtual-reality construction crane training equipment and software at CoLab Coworking at the Pac Tower at 915 Broadway.
Another company, Hubb, an event management software company, opened its new office space at 1012 Washington St. in February at the former Gravitate headquarters. Nanci Meadows, spokeswoman for Hubb, said the business has been on a hiring spree since moving.
Hubb’s workspace could be seen as the typical tech-company space, boasting kombucha and beer taps, napping space and giant bean-bag chairs.
A few blocks away at 705 Main St., inside Perfect Co.‘s building with blacked-out windows, founder and CEO Mike Wallace showed off his smartphone-connected kitchen scales for measuring baking and cocktail ingredients. The space holds an industrial kitchen with ovens, utensils and shelves stacked with ingredients. It also has a video production studio and an upstairs software development office.
Wallace also said his growing company may have to find a larger space in the future, but he plans on keeping Vancouver home.
The Vancouver Tech Tour is held by the Technology Association and hosted in collaboration with Workforce Southwest Washington, Columbia River Economic Development Council and VanTechy.
“The tech industry in Southwest Washington and Portland is expected to add another 10,000 jobs in the next five years or so,” said Julia Maglione, spokeswoman for the Vancouver Tech Tour. “Part of the Tech Tour is to introduce them to the community.”
Maglione said she anticipates the tours will grow in size as more tech-minded people move to Vancouver and Portland.
“There’s a lot of interest for the tech companies to introduce themselves to the community,” she said. “They’re building great things in town.”