Work in Tech
If you decide to move here, or even if you just want to come visit, you’re going to find yourself in good company. The Comox Valley is attracting the best and brightest from all over. From pros who work remotely for startups and large corporations, to consultants, entrepreneurs and lone-wolf disruptors, to folks just starting out, the local tech scene is a cross-section of the industry as a whole. Designers and developers, marketers and analysts, scientists and engineers, business types and executives, they’re all here. When you come to the Comox Valley, you’ll find a welcoming community full of peers as laid back and ambitious as you are.
Let us help you tap into the local network by creating a profile in our MATCHMAKER Database. The information you submit is private and will not be published without your permission. We’ll use it to put you in touch with folks like you, and others who might be good connections.
I work remotely for an international company as an operations engineer. We chose the CV because it's a small town with great community, easy access to mountains and ocean, affordable housing, and being closer to California and Washington makes it easier to get to tech conferences."Jeremy A., moved from Montreal 2 years ago
number of businesses in the Innovation Island "Start Up Accelerator" program
Local Businesses using Tech
Located on the productive shores of Baynes Sound, the Deep Bay Marine Field Station is a key research facility for Vancouver Island University. The facility’s location on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island makes it easily accessible and conveniently located near community amenities.
NIC’s Centre for Applied Research, Technology and Innovation (CARTI) connects NIC expert staff and students with local businesses and organizations to develop innovative solutions to current challenges. Our goal is to connect communities through research. We offer services to support research project development, project management and funding.
Located at Canadian Forces Base Comox on Vancouver Island. Its Aurora crews keep watch over the Pacific Ocean looking for illegal fishing, migration, drugs and pollution in addition to foreign submarines. With CC-115 Buffalo Aircraft and CH-149 Cormorant Helicopters, they also carry out search and rescue operations in the busiest region in Canada.
Anandia are pioneers and experts in cannabis testing, genetics, and research. Voted the Top Cannabis Testing lab in Canada, with headquarters in Vancouver and a new lab slated for the Comox Valley in 2019. From microbial contaminants to foreign matter, we provide a range of quality-control testing services that will ensure your product is safe and saleable.
Community Tech Groups
There are lots of ways to connect with the tech community in the Comox Valley, but if you’re too shy to introduce yourself to a Mac user at a coffee shop, one of the best is the Comox Valley Tech Talk group on Facebook. This group of 400+ local and regional people has been the beginning of many beautiful partnerships and friendships, so give it a try!
Also helpful is Innovation Island. Located in Nanaimo, but serving the Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast region, Innovation Island is a local startup accelerator and connector. If you want to get the lowdown on what is happening in the local tech sector, these are the folks to talk to.
Find a Workspace
As all digital nomads know, home is where you hang your hat, but finding a friendly place to crack open the laptop can be a bit more difficult. Sure, cafés can work in a pinch, and we have plenty of great ones, but sometime you need other options. Here is a list of local spots with decent wifi and a friendly environment for your mobile office.
Worker-friendly cafes and restaurants:
- Broken Spoke (Courtenay)
- Carderos (Courtenay)
- Mudsharks (Courtenay)
- The Bayside Cafe (Courtenay – has reservable meeting area)
- Whitespot (Courtenay – has reservable meeting area)
- Rhodos Coffee and Bistro (Courtenay)
- Milano Coffee (Comox)
- Komox Grind (Comox)
- Starbucks (Courtenay)
Other spaces with wifi and/or LTE cell service:
- Courtenay Public Library
- Comox Public Library
- Mount Washington Resort
- Numerous beaches and parks
In your experience, how does working in tech in/from the Comox Valley differ from working in tech in other places?
“I can only answer this question from my own limited perspective of working in tech which is creating digital products and experiences for consumers.
I previously lived and worked in Toronto and then Vancouver. The design & technology sector in those cities has a very strong presence and is a widely celebrated economic driver. Here in the Comox Valley I’d say it doesn’t have much presence and the economic benefits are mostly hidden due to the large number of people working in tech who work from home.
That said, working in tech has allowed me live/work/play here while earning revenue from mostly outside the Comox Valley.
I didn’t move here for all the possibilities in tech, but because working in tech made it possible to move here.”
– Steve M., Denman Digital