The City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) announced today a collaborative new program for local entrepreneurs and startups. The Green and Digital Demonstration Program (GDDP), which allows innovators to test their products or technologies on city-owned assets, helps businesses to quickly scale, commercialize, and access new overseas markets, using VEC’s support and the City as a reference. The GDDP is now looking for its winter 2016 intake of green and digital technology companies.
“We’ve heard first-hand from entrepreneurs and startups around the city that the greatest risk in the development cycle comes when they set out to test their product or technology – there are major barriers and costs that can prohibit them from getting the meaningful and measureable results that matter to investors,” said Vancouver Economic Commission CEO, Ian McKay. “What the GDDP strives to do is remove these critical barriers and create a more complete success stories for companies. This, in turn, will drive real world opportunities and growth.”
“This program is the latest step in making Vancouver a hub for entrepreneurship, and recognizing the role City Hall can play in supporting start-ups,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We are excited about the ability to see new technologies in action around Vancouver, and are confident that they will move us closer to our ambitious targets of being 100% renewable by 2050 or sooner, and the Greenest City in the World by 2020.”
For the winter intake, the VEC is seeking GDDP applications from Digital and Clean Tech companies. To apply, companies should review the program’s evaluation criteria and selection process before submitting an application before February 9. Applications will then be shortlisted according to the criteria; successful applicants will be notified of their opportunity to present their proposals to senior City staff by February 22.
The VEC and the City have been piloting the GDDP since late 2014. Several applicant companies who entered the program at the pilot stage are already seeing significant benefits from participating, including:
- Saturna Green Systems’ proprietary technology is the first fully integrated electric scooter sharing service through mobile, wireless technology and location based services. Through validation in the GDDP program, Saturna was able to secure additional funding to grow their business. Saturna will be providing City of Vancouver staff 55 e-scooters for a field trial in the coming months.
- TSO Logic’s software gives visibility into servers to control the energy consumption of servers based on energy demand. Through the GDDP, TSO Logic’s technology will provide actionable recommendations to City of Vancouver staff, with estimates for the total annual potential energy reduction in energy consumption and the impact of the City’s carbon footprint.
- BokoEco’s Osimfy product is a natural, probiotic based product that controls odours and repels flies and rodents in on food waste and in compost containers. BokoEco will be launching a trial of its product through the GDDP at Carnegie Centre in the coming weeks.
Selected shortlisted applicants for the GDDP will have the opportunity to present their business ideas to City of Vancouver managers at GLOBE 2016, taking place in Vancouver March 2-4, to gain more exposure and feedback on their technologies, and show them that testing their technology would be a ‘win’ for the company and the City as it works towards its goal of being 100% renewable by 2050 and the Greenest City in the World by 2020.
The VEC will be accepting applications for the GDDP until February 9. Companies interested in applying for the GDDP’s spring intake can find more information on the VEC’s website: https://vancouvereconomic.com/gddp/
Quotes from GDDP pilot participants on the benefits of the program
Anwar Sukkarie, President and CEO, Saturna Green Systems
“The support the GDDP provided Saturna over the past two years was instrumental in validating Saturna’s electric scooter sharing technology and business model. Saturna’s empowerment from the GDDP program, along with an endorsement from the City of Vancouver on our service, was instrumental in helping us land funding to take our business to the next level.”
Aaron Rallo, CEO, TSO Logic
“TSO Logic is excited to be a part of the GDDP, working with the City of Vancouver to improve data centre operations and support its goal to be the greenest city in the world. Leveraging our software platform, the City is analyzing trends in server utilization to identify areas where resources can be allocated more efficiently in order to reduce energy consumption as well as costs and greenhouse emissions.”
William Jung, CEO, BokoEco
“The GDDP has helped BokoEco showcase our Osimfy® products to the hospitality Industry and it has opened opportunities to other industries in controlling odours and reducing the attractants in the disposing of organic waste (compost).”
GDDP in the News
- Roundhouse Radio – Bryan Buggey from the VEC and Juliet Jones of Saturna (A successful GDDP applicant) talk about the GDDP – January 29, 2016
- Vanity Buzz – Electric scooter sharing service to launch in Vancouver this summer – January 22, 2016
- Global News – Vancouver considers scooter-sharing program – January 21, 2016
- Business in Vancouver – Vancouver to let tech entrepreneurs use city property to demonstrate innovations – January 21, 2016