Written by: Kyle Treleaven
Tonight’s event started with lighting pitches, local companies had 100 seconds to pitch the
audience. They included Lincedge - resourcing platform for skilled trades, Quupe - a platform
that lets you rent your neighbors stuff, Mesh Food Exchange - platform connecting B2B surplus
food suppliers, and Seabreeze Connect - make friends with strangers that are also going on a
cruise ship with you.
Dr. Gerri Sinclair, Kensington Capital, BC Tech Fund
Manica Gautam, Campfire Capital
Erik Benson, Voyager Capital (Seattle)
Wal van Lierop, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chrysalix
Amy Rae, Principal, Vanedge Capital (moderator)
Predictions for 2017:
- Snapchat IPO will fail
- Twitter will recover (not due the constant updates from our current president)
- Amazon will acquire Sears USA
- VR will reboot
- We will see more companies that are driven with purpose
- Increase in companies like Dollar Shave Club being acquired by marketing
- Failure of marketplace platforms
Wal van Lierop:
- Resource companies are going to bounce back as they adopt technology
- Protectionism will open opportunities for other countries, like Canada, to step
forward with new innovation
- As mentioned in recent Financial Times articles, Vancouver is positioned as
Canada’s hub and will flourish as tech community
Dr. 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 practice
The discussion jumped into the current landscape and how Vancouver’s e-gaming
industry platforms and the companies that provide support are in a great growth stage
right 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 brands
leveraging 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 explained
it worked as follows: Say there is store in Kits and a sister store in Railtown that
provides meals. The Kits cost per plate would be $12 to offset the price per plate in
Railtown of $6 for the exact same meal. Meaning, those that could afford to pay more
are willing to do so, knowing they are helping pay for a meal that someone wouldn’t
purchase due to lack of funds.
Other areas of highlighted opportunities include companies that are making batteries
and passenger drones. Aside from products, there are still big areas of opportunity to
disrupt current traditional business models. Education has a great opportunity and role
to play in challenge students. British Columbia should be investing in programs and
students to support and nurture disruption.
With the current Trump megaphone and hype machine created South of Canada’s
border, the panel also talked on immigration. As the United States puts globalization on
the backburner, Vancouver is in a great position to attract foreign companies and
support globalization with offices setup in our city.
Early stage companies will find money in Vancouver, in 2016 there was over $100
million given out to around 9,000 companies. This might sound fantastic, but it works to
being around $11,111 per company. As pointed out by Wal van Lierop, maybe we
shouldn’t be funding 8,000 of these companies. This would create the funds needed for
serious growth companies to really make a mark globally.
To sum up the evening, Vancouver has a great opportunity right now to attract talented
employees and companies to establish offices in Vancouver. Teams can always be
distributed but the need for hubs (think the marketing, C-Suite, financial, legal teams
should all be in one place) is perfect for our city. The topic around education and
disruption is a theme carried over from last year but is still as important as ever and
companies that are getting into batteries, practicing strong ethics in the products and
etho’s of the company as well as e-gaming and the companies that provide support is
what Vancouver can expect in 2017.
Up next: Internet of Things, Cyber Security on January 24, 2017. Buy Tickets.