Vancouver Startup City Wrap up and Highlights - Nik Badminton at the VEC Networked Business Bootcamp. September 2015. Photo by Matt Jacques.

Vancouver Startup City Highlights

After the amazing week we had at Startup City, we wanted to thank our many great partners, whom the programming was meant to showcase, and look back at some of the highlights before looking forward.

Overall, this programming platform by the Vancouver Economic Commission showed that Vancouver is a top global ecosystem for creating great companies and entrepreneurs, and that there are ample opportunities to address the key needs of the startup community – capital and talent.

You can see our programme guide for the details of the event or see the photos, but below are a few of the highlights:

Day 1

  • Networked Business Bootcamp: Katrina Prescott, starting up a social venture called ChopSwap, won a scholarship to Brainstation and started that night.
  • New Ventures BC Awards: Vancouver-based Tech companies swept the top prizes. TechStars grad Edvisor, Ziva Dynamics and ChangeHeroes (also won the Vancity Social Innovation Prize) rounded out the top three with Recycle Now winning VEC City Innovation Prize. Read more
  • Startup Alley: Over 100 companies participated in Startup Alley including the Wavefront Investor Summit, Networked Business Bootcamp and Product Alley. Thanks to support from BCIC for sponsoring this.
  • Mayor Gregor Robertson: Our Mayor, and our CEO Ian McKay, inspired the crowd with some really impactful remarks.
  • BreakSomething: The showing of this video on the big screen was a crowd pleaser and kicked off the Microsoft Afterparty, thanks to BCIC and Microsoft.


Day 2

  • Tinkerine: The day kicked off with a 3D printed hovercraft workshop, showcasing the importance of getting the community excited about Tech and the role of education in inspiring a passion for innovation.
  • Not the Usual Suspects: Eight companies pitched to a discerning audience of investors that don’t typically attend pitch sessions or public events.
  • VEF Panel: This standing room only panel on the early stage funding environment was moderated by Boris Wertz (founder, Version One Ventures/board partner, Andreessen Horowitz) and featured Marianne Hudson of the Angel Capital Association (formerly of the Kauffman Foundation) and Recon Instruments Co-Founder Fraser Hall.

Day 3

  • Spring: CEO from Toronto’s Vanhawks spoke about disrupting urban transportation with technology and Grouplend CEO Kevin Sandhu spoke about how innovation and impact are essential to company growth.
  • Fuckup Nights: Probably the biggest laughs and most fun of the week came from FUNVancouver, organized by Kei Baritugo of BoldLove Communications. Ian McKinnon (founder of Latergramme) left the night stunned at his fans debate over who was a better presenter, Lindsay Smith (Massive Media) or Tarah Ferguson (BCIC & Tarah Talking Tech).

Day 4

  • The Big Story: We heard the unfiltered passion and ideas of our next generation of Tech leaders, moderated by two Vancouver tech stalwarts – Matt Switzer, VP of Corporate Development atHootsuite and Dr. Alexandra Greenhill, CEO at com. This was followed by the biggest startup story of 2015, Tobi Luke of Shopify. We were able to live stream this fireside chat from Ottawa to our audience in Vancouver, thanks to an innovative partnership with Invest Ottawa and their Accelerator Ottawa conference, and the support of Fasken Martineau and SFU’s Management of Technology program.
  • Canadian Tech Showcase: It showcased our highfliers, wave makers and the growth stage companies that we all should be paying attention to. We were paying particular attention to Control and Pressboard.


  • We collaborated with CiTR Radio and Microsoft to bring some of Vancouver’s creative entrepreneurs to the forefront through our Microsoft Afterparty series. It included the Valuables, East Van Soul Club DJ, and Vancouver-based rising star RAMZi with visuals powered by Generate at the Betakit closing party.
  • Matchstick coffee kept us fueled throughout! Now doing corporate distribution for businesses around Vancouver:
  • The Imperial: An unbelievable venue that was instantly recognized as the natural home for this central hub of Startup Week’s activities.