Idaho Partners THE IDAHO TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL

Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

The technology industry has been firmly anchored in the Boise Valley for almost 40 years with the establishment of HP and Micron in the 1970s. Today, technology is among Idaho’s largest and fastest growing industries, and the Boise Valley is home to hundreds of high-tech businesses spanning a diverse range of sectors, from software and semiconductors to online services and nanomaterials. The Chamber and its economic development arm, the Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP), are committed to doing all that we can to support and grow this industry.

Through the Chamber’s partnership with ITC, it is successfully serving Boise’s technology sector and ensuring that the region remains attractive for new technology businesses considering a move to Idaho. Recently, the Chamber and the ITC partnered on the “Cloud Services Clarification Act”, legislation to clarify existing tax code to ensure that cloud-based computing services are treated as services under the law, thereby exempting them from taxation. This legislation was important not just to technology companies, but also to the growing number of Chamber members who rely on cloud-based computing services to perform a variety of functions in their businesses.

Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP)

BVEP is all too familiar with the national shortage of software talent. Over the past year, several of the area tech companies came to the table to identify solutions to the shortages of tech talent in our area. They were joined in the conversation by the Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP), Idaho Departments of Commerce and Labor and the Idaho Technology Council. Taking ideas and putting them into action takes collaboration. Working collectively with the tech companies and support organizations of the Valley, BVEP took on a role in creating some marketing resources tech companies can use to attract specialized talent.

In 2013, BVEP introduced a new tech video and shared a brochure local companies can use to promote the Valley. These resources can be found here: http://bvep.org/sectors/technology.aspx. BVEP is the economic development organization for the Boise Valley with a mission to keep, grow and attract jobs and investment to the region. Between 2006 and 2011, the Boise-Nampa MSA ranked 1st in the top 25 metro areas for high tech employment growth at 82.9%. By partnering together, we can continue to see growth in the tech industry. Learn more about the Boise Valley Economic Partnership here: http://bvep.org/about/

Idaho Department of Commerce

Idaho recognizes that economic development focused on science and technology has the potential to add jobs with higher salaries and long term business retention success, ultimately creating a high quality of life centered around an educated workforce. Idaho Commerce is committed to pursuing constructive strategies to make these segments thrive and appreciates industry groups like the Idaho Technology Council to help convey industry needs to state policy makers.

Idaho Department of Labor

Idaho's high tech jobs pay a median wage that's 85 percent higher than the state's overall median wage. That's why the Idaho Department of Labor supports Idaho's high tech sector with customized employee recruitment services, job fairs, hiring incentives, training resources, skills assessments and much more. Working in partnership with the Idaho Technology Council, Idaho Labor is dedicated to helping Idaho's high tech industry grow.

Idaho TechConnect

Idaho TechConnect evolved out of the work of the Governor’s Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC) that was established in 1999 by Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. The STAC, following nearly two years of work with industry, colleges, universities and Idaho National Laboratory, developed a Strategic Plan for Science and Technology in the State of Idaho. The plan had the following vision statement:

Idaho will have, and be recognized as having, a vibrant technology-based economy that provides employment opportunities and high wage jobs for Idaho citizens. Increased emphasis on the application and use of science and technology in Idaho will continue to spawn new companies and industries, while contributing to the global competitiveness of its traditional industries.

TechConnect has relied significantly on “partnerships” with a wide variety of organizations across the state to carry out the efforts put forth by the strategies above. Efforts like TechLaunch (now in its 10th year), Kickstand (Startup Boise, Startup Speed Dating) and the Idaho Innovation Awards have benefitted from the support of the Idaho Technology Council and its members. In a state with limited resources it is critical that organizations like TechConnect and Idaho Technology Council work collaboratively toward increased economic growth.

For over three decades, the Wayne Brown Institute (WBI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been a premier resource for both entrepreneurs seeking funding and for investors who want to help promising young companies achieve their potential. The Institute’s mission is to improve the human condition through technological entrepreneurship for the purpose of creating new wealth, jobs, and tax base. WBI is the most efficient and cost effective economic development organization in the country. 70% of its companies go on to receive funding from investors, and 80% of those companies are still in business after ten years.

With its recent expansion into Idaho, WBI has seen remarkable growth in Idaho’s technology company deal flow. Working with its Cooperative Venturing Network of seasoned professionals, WBI educates companies with promise in the art and science of becoming attractive and viable investments and helps establish a bridge to Utah’s capital market. Partnerships with organizations such as the Idaho Technology Council have led to collaboration and synergy in the community that will continue to propel the economy forward by creating jobs in the high-tech sector.

Don't Fail Idaho

The most significant challenge the Idaho technology industry faces everyday is the need for highly skilled workers. The Idaho Technology Council supports initiatives to build a stronger workforce that can meet the demands of growing technology companies, which is why we are supporting immigration reform and seeking to bring qualified workers into America and aid businesses now.

For any systemic change to happen, we need to improve the quality of education our students receive to help prepare the next generation. This is why we are partnering with Don’t Fail Idaho.  The public awareness campaign is joining forces with a diverse group of Idaho businesses and associations to make education Idaho’s top priority and collaborate to improve education.

By concentrating our collective voices, we can make a difference. The Don’t Fail Idaho website has a host of informative articles, data and thought-provoking material from education resources around the country.

Please take a moment to visit the Don’t Fail Idaho website (www.dontfailidaho.org), sign up for the Don’t Fail Idaho monthly e-newsletter or get connected through Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for more opportunities to collaborate with Don’t Fail Idaho.