Chasing Growth CapitalBy Kyle TreleavenMeet the panel:Dr. Gerri Sinclair, Kensington Capital, BC Tech FundManica Gautam, Campfire CapitalErik Benson, Voyager Capital (Seattle)Wal van Lierop, President and Chief Executive Officer, ChrysalixAmy Rae, Principal, Vanedge Capital (moderator)Tonight’s event started with lighting pitches, local companies had 100 seconds to pitch theaudience. They included Lincedge - resourcing platform for skilled trades, Quupe - a platformthat lets you rent your neighbors stuff, Mesh Food Exchange - platform connecting B2B surplusfood suppliers, and Seabreeze Connect - make friends with strangers that are also going on acruise ship with you.Predictions for 2017Erik Benson:- Snapchat IPO will fail- Twitter will recover (not due the constant updates from our current president)- Amazon will acquire Sears USA- VR will rebootManica Gautam- We will see more companies that are driven with purpose- Increase in companies like Dollar Shave Club being acquired by marketingconglomerates- Failure of marketplace platformsWal van Lierop- Resource companies are going to bounce back as they adopt technology- Protectionism will open opportunities for other countries, like Canada, to stepforward with new innovation- As mentioned in recent Financial Times articles, Vancouver is positioned asCanada’s hub and will flourish as tech communityDr. Gerri Sinclair- Uber will come to Vancouver- Amazon Echo and services available in Canada- Computing is eating the world and updating the resource industry- Digital Twinning will become a more common technique and practiceThe discussion jumped into the current landscape and how Vancouver’s e-gamingindustry platforms and the companies that provide support are in a great growth stageright now. Companies in this industry are starting to setup and build in Vancouver.Vancouver can also expect to see more vertical SASS opportunities and vertical brandsleveraging Omni channel.Manica talked to a new business model in LA that we might see come to our city, an“all-for-all” business model. Manica didn’t give away the company's name, but explainedit worked as follows: Say there is store in Kits and a sister store in Railtown thatprovides meals. The Kits cost per plate would be $12 to offset the price per plate inRailtown of $6 for the exact same meal. Meaning, those that could afford to pay moreare willing to do so, knowing they are helping pay for a meal that someone wouldn’tpurchase due to lack of funds.Other areas of highlighted opportunities include companies that are making batteriesand passenger drones. Aside from products, there are still big areas of opportunity todisrupt current traditional business models. Education has a great opportunity and roleto play in challenge students. British Columbia should be investing in programs andstudents to support and nurture disruption.With the current Trump megaphone and hype machine created South of Canada’sborder, the panel also talked on immigration. As the United States puts globalization onthe backburner, Vancouver is in a great position to attract foreign companies andsupport globalization with offices setup in our city.Early stage companies will find money in Vancouver, in 2016 there was over $100million given out to around 9,000 companies. This might sound fantastic, but it works tobeing around $11,111 per company. As pointed out by Wal van Lierop, maybe weshouldn’t be funding 8,000 of these companies. This would create the funds needed forserious growth companies to really make a mark globally.To sum up the evening, Vancouver has a great opportunity right now to attract talentedemployees and companies to establish offices in Vancouver. Teams can always bedistributed but the need for hubs (think the marketing, C-Suite, financial, legal teamsshould all be in one place) is perfect for our city. The topic around education anddisruption is a theme carried over from last year but is still as important as ever andcompanies that are getting into batteries, practicing strong ethics in the products andetho’s of the company as well as e-gaming and the companies that provide support iswhat Vancouver can expect in 2017.
The Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum (VEF) partnered with Science World as a venue host for tonight’s talk. In the impressive OMNIMAX Theatre, they had presentations on the big screen and chairs setup for the panelist to be on stage.
The night started with some local businesses that are currently working with machine learning.