British Columbia is a top-notch location for startup businesses.
With its stable government that streamlined regulations, Vancouver alone is one of the best choices for investors from North America and beyond. In fact, this West-coast city is predicted to become a northern Silicon Valley.
While there are many challenges along the way, from capital to human resources, the startup scene is still thriving. And many of these startups are enjoying a steady rise.
Here are a few to keep your eye on:
Hootsuite was founded by Ryan Holmes in 2008 with the aim to revolutionize the way humans communicate. It is a social media management platform based in Vancouver and it boasts more than 16 million users from all over the world.
Leveraging the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, Hootsuite is a valuable tool for many marketers who want an easier way to monitor their social media channels and send out messages across different platforms from one convenient place. The last few years saw Hootsuite’s tremendous growth with its strategic partnerships and various acquisitions.
In 2018 alone, the startup company raised $50 million in growth capital.
A leading supplier of safe and reliable energy storage solutions, Corvus Energy primarily serves all segments in the maritime industry, from cruise and ferry to tugs and workboats. Founded in 2009, this lithium-ion battery company based in British Columbia was ranked as third in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500.
Its astonishing growth was apparent when it managed to increase its revenue by nearly 17,000 over a period of three years. The scramble for a cleaner energy source greatly contributed to this development, and Corvus has exploited the needs of the maritime sector.
Their target market alone depicts the difference between their success and the failure of other battery startup companies.
A Thinking Ape
Headquartered in Vancouver, British, Colombia, A Thinking Ape was the brainchild of two Amazon engineers, Kenshi Arasaki and Wilkins Chung. Their love for gaming led to the brilliant idea of binding the online community to gameplay. Their first creation was Kingdoms at War, which was famously described as a “thinly veiled RPG around a chatroom.” It has then amassed a large following, becoming an instant success.
As a startup company, A Thinking Ape is a visionary. They build addictive mobile apps, with several of them featuring as bestsellers on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. But their most rewarding accomplishment lies in engineering highly social experiences that have helped build communities. Groups of people who met in the gaming community actually went on to meet in real life, visiting Disneyland together and collecting more than $250k for disaster relief funds.
Founded in 2008, A Thinking Ape has become one of the top grossing developers in several app stores. It currently hosts 65 employees in its minimalist, but playful, office space in Vancouver.
LifeBooster is one of the most interesting startups hailing from British Columbia. It was founded by Stacey Wallin and Brian Statham. This company is an open-innovation worker platform that promotes enterprise health and safety through integrating wearable technologies and industrial Internet of Things.
The innovative devices aim to prevent and mitigate workplace injury and health risks like heat-stroke, and MSD (musculoskeletal disorders) injuries. Through data gathered by the real-time monitoring system, employers can create personal disability management programs and health and safety training exercises. This can then minimize occupational hazards and bring down the cost of healthcare.
LifeBooster is one of the startups that many are closely paying attention to, mainly because of its potential to grow not just in Canada but also across the globe.
In 2009, Trent Shumay and Ryan Peterson led the foundation of Finger Food in the Tri-Cities area of British Columbia. Adapting to changing technologies, the company has delved into augmented and virtual reality to wearable technologies, blockchain, games, and even robotics. It is their mission to provide innovative solutions across different platforms for global companies.
One of their most impressive feats is delivering the world’s first production-holographic application with the use of Microsoft HoloLens. They have also ventured into retail by providing VR and AR experiences.
These are only some of the promising startups in British Columbia. Their flourishing run is a testament to the business-friendly environment that British Columbia offers to startups–especially considering the fact that the majority of startup companies around the world typically fail to witness their 10th birthday.