Why the Vancouver Tech Showcase and events like it are vital to the continued health of Canada’s #1 Startup Ecosystem
Vancouver was recently acclaimed by Startup Genome as the top-ranked startup ecosystem in Canada, and the 15th strongest in the world. In addition to identifying the various areas where Vancouver outperforms other ecosystems (Market Reach, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Team Experience), the 2017 study also highlights areas in which Vancouver could improve. One immediate way for Vancouver to enhance the success of its local startups is to increase the availability of early-stage (seed and Series A) funding.
According to Startup Genome’s research, the sum of all of Vancouver’s seed and Series A investments is $328 million, which is well behind our peers in Toronto ($680 million) and Los Angeles ($1.8 billion), placing us at 24th in the world. Furthermore, our seed median index ranks even lower, at 26th. However, the same research states, that once our startups achieve Series A funding, they tend to do very well — our Series A median amount is the 6th best among global competition. In short, Vancouver-based startups average fewer overall investments, but the rounds they do close are typically much larger.
This means that heightening the engagement of our angel and VC investor community — and providing plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to pitch at deal flow events — is the most obvious and immediate step necessary to improve support for high-growth companies at this stage.
Vancouver Tech Showcase Convenes with Purpose
We need events like the Vancouver Tech Showcase to not only maintain our standing as Canada’s top startup ecosystem, but to increase our competitiveness on a global scale.
The Vancouver Tech Showcase is an event designed to facilitate startups’ access to critical capital by providing deal flow opportunities with groups of engaged investors — and does so in an environment conducive to discussion and networking. In a departure from the usual showcase format, successful startups field questions from groups of investors in deep dive sessions. This format encourages investor engagement and facilitates discussion.
To this end, the VEC, Highline BETA, and other partners involved in the Discovery Foundation Capital Mentorship Program have tapped deeply into their networks to extend invitations to prominent investors and venture capitalists, some of which are part of the official Showcase Selection Committee. Representatives from BC Tech Fund, Vanedge Capital, Vancouver Founders Fund, ScaleUP Ventures, Yaletown Partners as well as Highline BETA comprise the panel reviewing the applications of the standout startups vying for a spot in the Vancouver Tech Showcase.
If you are a Series A+ startup poised for growth and would like to submit an application to be part of this intimate and highly curated deal flow event, we encourage you to apply to the Vancouver Tech Showcase today.
Deadline to Apply for the Vancouver Tech Showcase: September 4th, 2017
If you are an investor and interested in attending this event, please contact Sean Elbe.