Why Vancouver? Start-up Tips from Grow Conference

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HootSuite's CEO, Ryan Holmes, presents "Why Vancouver?" A presentation centered on the importance of maintaing a local tech startup community including: success is not a place, beer and bacon, available talent, grant programs, proximity to San Francisco and livability. Presented at Grow Conference, August 18, 2011.

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  • Despite what you hear, we (and others) have done it.
  • #canstartup -everyone said Health care/education/family was top
  • Stagnant Thought Pool - easy way for creativity come to a halt Startups - bring the new, ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ The valley is supposed to be a hotbed of innovative thinking, but instead it’s turning into a stagnant pool. You never drink from a stagnant (thought) pool. Basic survival technique used by living creatures around the world. apply this to startup and compare to SF. Creativity and out of the box thinking is what defines a startup. Without that it’s just #mynewhaircut. Everyone is the same. “Portlandia” but instead of hipsters it’s dotcommers.
  • Building. Have to start somewhere
  • Skype, airlines, webinars ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ It’s not Toronto. 2hr flight and you’re in SF Same timezone, calls aren’t at 3:30am to catch someone in the morning. You’re on the West Coast: Access to Asia, mountains oceans, lower power bills,
  • Exchange Rate - Before $1 CDN = $0.64 USD, now $1 CDN = $1.04 USD Salaries - paying in USD for talent Investments - Higher value for investments ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ At 0.64 it’s hard to attract international talent. @1-1.04 easy. The problems of paying in US salaries are no longer an issue. Canadian investors are now seeing a higher value for their investments in US$. ex. Acquistion of Taleo Corp., April 2011, purchased for CDN $11m worth US $11.4m.
  • Engineers - Smartest most kickass engineers. UBC - Engineering talent, programs International Gateway - Chinese and Indian engineers coming over ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ UBC’s Engineering Access to this talent pool right at your front door Programs are receiving massive attention and funding Gives you a chance to work with young talented minds as well as old pros International Gateway Cosmopolitan culture invites powerful minds from all over the world Canada is rank #5 in the World Economic Forum in quality of educational system China engineering school. gateway to world. and India
  • SR&ED (Shred) - Tax incentive program NRC-IRAP (National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program) - Coaching/networking/financing program GrowLab - 4 month project for startups. Gov is injecting money into R&D - OECD Cdn., as a % of GDP ranks above the US, UK, and Japan for R&D investments ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ SR&ED (Shred) tax incentive program to foster experimentation and technological advancement Canadian taxpayers can recover up to 82% of their expenditures Providing an excess of CAN$2 Billion annually to over 16,000 participants NRC-IRAP (National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program) stimulates wealth through tech innovation, provides tech advice, assistance and services, financial assistance, and networking opps. to SMEs gives customized solutions to some 10,000 SMEs/year GrowLab newly launched start-up “boot camp” program for entrepreneurs, is issuing those who are accepted up to $25,000 in seed start up business funding funding + 4mo of mentoring, free office space, and the opportunity to meet and pitch to reputable investors 3mo in Van, 1 in SF started by GROW founder Boris Wertz BDC Ventrue Capital will offer certain graduates of the GrowLab accelerator program up to $150,000 in follow-on funding Gov is injecting money into R&D according to OECD Cdn., as a % of GDP ranks above the US, UK, and Japan for R&D investments For the 125 Vancouver Anniversary grants are over 1m for non-profits
  • Venture Capitalists - getting outbid Investment in US - VC industry is struggling Canada’s undervalued but soon to be booming - 10th largest GDP, 2010 biggest IPO for tech in a decade ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Venture Capitalists VC’s are looking for deals and are getting outbid on sf deals. They need to look further abroad and vancouver is perfect location wise and opportunity. Canadian VC history shows us that investors inject businesses at a smaller amount but high quantity. rather than the US trend of investing big cash into one or two places. (according to OECD) Investment in US Companies that are moving to SF to bloom and are withering instead For the past decade the VC industry in the US was struggling with poor aggregate returns. June 2010 -4.6% in returns. Canada’s undervalued but soon to be booming Can. the 10th largest GDP, at US $1.3 trillion as of July 2010. Based on Thomas Reuters stats, Cdn’s estimated VC resources under management is $76 billion at the start of 2010. increasing with an average of 3% 2010 gave us the biggest tech IPO in a decade up 38.4%. World Economic Forum and World Bank ranks Canada #2 worldwide for ease in starting a business. #1 - NZ. Message has not been lost in investors FDI inflows into Cdn. = US $363 billion. 6th largest inflow in the world
  • Most beautiful city in the world Canada vs. USA ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Most beautiful city in the world Not many places in the world where you get the bustle of a city while being surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature in the world having this nature right in front of you gives you the sense you are ‘somewhere’ and not just lost in a concrete jungle or another anonymous character in a city full of characters. The diversity of Van. is also another factor that makes it beautiful. Convergence of nations from around the world not only promotes thinking outside the box, new cultures, it also makes for some fresh and amazing cuisine! San Fran doesn’t even break the top 25 if you’re looking to make a choice it seems quite obvious Van out ranks SF in Childcare, family-friendly residential area, mobility for families, average wage, safety and public transportation Canada vs. USA we still care about our roots. Totem pole @ YVR, stanley park. Health Care. Overwhelming amount of people #canstartup results: majority of the people said Healthcare, education, salary, and family. Business. it’s a hub for international business. The port alone brings in $75billion and deals with 130 economies ----- For the fifth year running Vancouver topped the list of the world’s most livable cities, while Melbourne claimed second place from Vienna and Australian and Canadian cities dominated the list’s top 10 spots. In the annual survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit , the Canadian west coast city and 2010 Winter Olympics host scored 98 percent on a combination of stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure – a score unchanged from last year. Vancouver has topped the list since 2007. ---------
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