Vancouver, Home to Startups and Cleantech Companies
While Silicon Valley has a shining reputation for being an incubator for startups and new technology, Vancouver’s growth in the last few years has it contending for similar recognition, while nurturing its own uniqueness and competitive advantages.
The city has long held a resource-driven economy thanks to the natural resources in British Columbia, but innovators in the ‘80s recognized how important sustainability would become and began funding startups to clean up Vancouver’s resource-management.
The result is a city full of cutting-edge technology and ideas, and the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) supports sectors that show the most potential along this trajectory including Technology, Digital Entertainment & Interactive (DE&I), and the Green Economy. The VEC advises investors on how to best leverage Vancouver’s unique economic environment and connects businesses and entrepreneurs to raise capital.
A City Built to Showcase Innovation
There is a common misconception that Vancouver, and all of Canada, is an impossible ecosystem for successful businesses due to sky-high corporate and personal taxes. In actuality, Vancouver is the second most competitive city in the world in terms of business taxes.
Vancouver puts its favorable tax laws to work in attracting entrepreneurs and investors alike. The VEC designed a Green and Digital Demonstration Program to allow startups and established businesses to showcase their clean and/or digital technologies. This provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to demonstrate and showcase their products and solutions. Since Vancouver is North America’s gateway between Asia Pacific and North America, this program is a unique opportunity for global investors to find technologies that have already been primed for deployment in one of the greenest cities in North America.
Human and Venture Capital
When Vancouver-based businesses need resources, they know to visit the VEC for solutions. Technology companies are no exception—especially when seeking skilled employees (of which there is a projected shortage in Canada). The VEC has an ongoing international talent recruitment campaign that reaches out to Canadians working in the US and the EU who have expressed a desire to return and take advantage of the many opportunities in Vancouver.
Of course, any startup will need venture capital as well, and the VEC works to facilitate acquiring it. Through the VEC’s efforts, both the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and the Angel Capital Association have held their annual summits in Vancouver, connecting local businesses with reliable investors. For startups trying to fund new projects and investors looking to make savvy business decisions, the VEC ensures that Vancouver is equipped to lead the way.