Last week, the City of Vancouver signed a memorandum of understanding with the Silicon Valley based start up incubator, Plug and Play Tech Center, to create a support center for local entrepreneurs. They will be providing start-ups with workspace, access to funds, and mentoring. “Plug and Play is eager to cultivate the startup ecosystem here that emulates the vibrancy of Silicon Valley,” Plug and Play CEO Saeed Amidi said. “Forming a more dynamic entrepreneurial community in Vancouver by increasing the number of early stage ventures and the flow of venture capital and seed money is going to open up all kinds of new opportunities for business. We are happy to be part of this.”
I am completely surprised that this hasn’t been covered more in the news, as this is very exciting for the local digital industries. The biggest complaint about developing things here in Vancouver has been the lack of knowledgeable investing. For many years, it appeared that most investors were only in it to make a quick buck, to build a company and flip it. This has unfortunately resulted in a very limited, short view of things and is not sustainable in the long term. Many of us looked at the scene in the San Francisco with envy, wishing we had incubators such as those that helped PayPal and ebay get started. And now we do.
So what’s it all mean? Hopefully, it means that we are finally turning the corner and that over the next couple of years, we should start seeing some really interesting companies form. It should also increase the competition in all areas, including how businesses are managed and how things are financed. We may even be able to escape the old publisher/developer model that has hindered innovation here. At a minimum, it will bring in some new cash and opportunities. The future is definitely a little bit brighter.