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General Context

The Sidney Breakfast Club first started meeting in the late 1990′s. Attendees included manufacturers, industrialists, engineers and technology companies from the Sidney business district and surrounding areas.

The club meets monthly on the 2nd Thursday of every month at the Victoria Flying Club Restaurant “Dakota Cafe”. From the early days, Bill Cooke has been the lead organizer and energy behind this excellent technology and business based breakfast meeting.

Meeting dates are the 2nd Thursday of every month, 7am at the Dakota Cafe on the Airport lands.

John Juricic – Chairperson

Email: john@harbourdigitalmedia.com
Cell phone: 250.812.8827
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/johnjuricic
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jbj59
LinkedIn – http://ca.linkedin.com/in/johnjuricic

Historical Context

The following is an article written by past SBC Chair Bill Cooke for the October 2014 Seaside Magazine. It provides an excellent summary of the history of the Sidney Breakfast Club.

The Technology and Advanced Manufacturing industries today rank as two of Lower Vancouver Island’s major economic drivers. Often hard to separate and effectively categorize, companies in these industries continue to experience robust annual growth numbers.  It was recently reported by VIATeC (Victoria Advanced Technology Council) that The Greater Victoria tech sector has grown to over 900 known technology companies, employing more than 15,000 people and generating in excess of $2.5 billion in annual revenues with an economic impact of over $3 billion, making advanced technology Greater Victoria’s #1 private industry. Did you know that a large percentage of these companies are located on the Peninsula?. When and how did this phenomenal success story start and why does it continue to this day? These are a few of the questions that we will briefly explore in this introduction.

The Peninsula is renowned for its beautiful and active maritime, oceanographic and coastal environment.  Whereas we’re inclined to appreciate its beauty and tourism related features, it was this ocean environment that provided the catalyst and spark for the region’s initial technology industry cluster to form on the peninsula. Early in the 1980’s through to the 1990’s , the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS) laboratories seeded our local community with technology transfers and highly educated, entrepreneurial individuals wanting to start their own private companies.  At that same time, the companies recognized that if they were to succeed, they were going to have to cooperate and share business and market knowledge amongst themselves.  They consequently created the Sidney Breakfast Club (SBC) in 1992 as an informal group used to discuss their management issues, interact with government agencies and focus marketing efforts.  As a direct result, over that period, a core group of about 30 companies were formed and were soon collectively generating over $60M worth of revenues per year with products exported world-wide.  The SBC is continuing to operate today still sharing knowledge with successful experienced CEOs helping new entrepreneurs to grow their own start-up companies.

 In addition to the local SBC group, the more formal technology industry association, VIATeC, had been started in Victoria in 1989.  This group was focussed on the whole technology sector of lower Vancouver Island and encompassed all types of technology companies and support sector services.  Taking advantage of Industry Canada business related funding, fostering entrepreneurship and encouraging networking were all essential ingredients to industry growth, features that are prevalent in all aspects of Peninsula based business entrepreneurship. But there are other factors that have been conducive to Peninsula based industry growth. The Airport and its associated land-lease policies have directly contributed to helping grow business on the Peninsula. Progressive land-use policies, accessibility to convenient transportation options and required large land parcels have been key business development drivers.

Today’s Peninsula Technology and Advanced Manufacturing environment benefits from 30 years of creativity and innovation, progressive land-use policy and pioneering entrepreneurs. It’s an exciting place to conduct and grow business.