With over 1,000 Vancouver startups and half a billion in venture capital registered in 2014 by CrunchBase alone, Vancouver’s startup ecosystem has increasingly captured global recognition. The city has spawned three of Canada’s five unicorns and was recently confirmed as Canada’s #1 startup ecosystem and 15th in world in the Startup Genome Ecosystem ranking, despite increasing competition and a change in methodology that now favours more mature ecosystems.
Many people think of software, hardware and apps when they think “startup,” yet Vancouver’s thriving startup ecosystem encompasses a diverse portfolio of companies.
Clean Tech jobs in Vancouver have grown by 8 percent over the last three years and the city’s nearly 1,000 Digital Entertainment & Interactive companies have made it the largest cluster of VFX and Animation studios in the world and is one of the top 10 cities for video game development.
This growing spotlight on Vancouver has also brought attention to the opportunities that exist for this ecosystem to become even stronger. The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) is bringing Startup City to The Imperial, September 21-24, to help the city do just that. The event will be part of the Startup Week celebrations, and will bring together startups at all stages of growth and technical experience, and help entrepreneurs discover the many available local resources that will help their businesses grow – and make Vancouver’s globally-recognized startup community the best in the world.
Day 1 for Non-Tech or Low-Tech Businesses: The Networked Business Boot Camp will help to demystify online tools and strategies for non-tech, low-tech startups, SMEs and social enterprises that are looking to grow or evolve their businesses through online tools and channels.
Day 2 for Angel-Ready Businesses: Highlights include Unicorn or Bust, a VEF panel on trends in angel investing led by Boris Wertz of Version One Ventures, and the invite-only Not the Usual Suspects event, hosted by Garibaldi Capital, to connect entrepreneurs and investors.
Day 3 for Green and Social Ventures: Learn all about how to achieve rapid business growth while keeping core values and vision at the heart of it at Spring Activator’s VanIMPACT 2015. Then celebrate failures that led to success at the Microsoft-hosted *@^# UP Nights.
Day 4 for Venture Ready Businesses: The BIG Story and the NEXT BIG Stories features an industry panel about accelerating growth and innovation, led by some of the country’s biggest successes, including Shopify and Hootsuite. It’s followed by HIGHLINE and BCTIA’s Canadian Tech Showcase.
Startup Alley: The VEC is also partnering with BCIC, New Ventures BC, Garibaldi Capital, the Vancouver Enterprise Forum and VanIMPACT to bring back Startup Alley, a daily “investor walk” showcasing 20 different local startups from four different focus areas: technology, local business, social ventures and investor-ready companies.
Around Startup City: Also to help entrepreneurs learn from Vancouver’s biggest successes, and about what Vancouver’s emergence as a world-class tech hub means for them, VEC is partnering with PlentyOfFish for Level Up: Vancouver on September 30. Entrepreneurs looking for top talent can learn about the “Power of People, Places and Culture” at the HR Tech Group’s Talent Conference, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Scheduled Startup City events will take place at the newly expanded Imperial, a state-of-the-art venue at 319 Main that’s used for many of the Tech industry’s hottest events. To learn more about the above and other great events happening during Startup City, please visit: www.vancouvereconomic.com/vancouverstartupcity.