“Progressive” and “forward-thinking” are often used to describe Vancouver. Here, scientists, engineers, researchers and designers dream up boundary-breaking ideas and concepts that span industries and capture global attention.
Entrepreneurs helped form the backbone of Vancouver and BC’s economic recovery post-pandemic, while programs like Vancouver Economic Commission’s Angels for Climate Solutions channel investor capital towards innovative ways to protect the planet. With Vancouver earning the moniker “A Place of Ideas”, it’s easy to understand why the TED Conference organizing committee chose Vancouver when they decided to look beyond California, or that UN Habitat was conceived at a Vancouver-based conference.
A place of ideas
While many factors contribute to cultivating and harnessing great ideas, Vancouver’s stable business climate, first-class educational institutions and outdoorsy lifestyle are driving forces behind visionary companies such as D-Wave (quantum computing), General Fusion (development of viable fusion energy) and Aspect Biosystems (3D bioprinting). So, too, are a strong professional services economy that caters to local and international needs, and a reputation for exporting expertise in engineering, sustainability, management, financial and technical services to companies and governments the world over.
In Vancouver, entrepreneurs and innovators have freedom to think outside the box, while collaborative energy encourages businesses to push boundaries and cultivate fresh ideas. That’s partly why the city ranked among Startup Genome’s top 30 global startup ecosystems, and why companies big and small, established and on-the-rise, are choosing to (re)locate here. There’s also support from companies and initiatives like Innovate BC, which offers business coaching, hiring grants and funding opportunities for innovators to research, commercialize or scale their ideas; and Project Greenlight, which forges partnerships between innovators and Vancouver enterprises to promote decarbonization and accelerate smart and sustainable transformation.
Building the world of tomorrow… today
Vancouver entrepreneurs consistently set the bar when it comes to unexpected ideas necessary to progress the economy – particularly when it comes to sustainable solutions addressing climate change. Star startups include Circular Rubber Technologies (winner of the Angels for Climate Solutions program in 2022), which converts the rubber in end-of-life tires into a rubber reclaim that substitutes virgin material; SkyAcres Agrotechnologies, which has developed a low-cost vertical farming system to combat food insecurity; and Solaires Enterprises, which enables solar cell manufacturers to produce a new generation of solar panels.