Before joining as the CEO of Uniserve I was running CBREs connected buildings and smart city group in Europe. As I start my journey in Vancouver, where Uniserve is headquartered, I thought I would start this regular stream of thoughts about TRENDS I see emerging and are worth keeping a watching eye on.
Interestingly, Vancouver has been ranked 15th in the world start-up Ecosystems by the Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network. It is the best city for tech entrepreneurs in the country. This is up three places from last year and one place ahead of the Toronto-Waterloo corridor.
The report acknowledges that Vancouver has the fewest startups of any city in its Top 20 list, but there are 800 to 1,100 “startups and shining success stories”.
So, what makes Vancouver a start-up success?
• Vancouver has the highest concentration of visual effects and animation studios, two of the top six video game franchises, and its ranking as one of the world’s top 20 Global Financial Centers.
• The city’s success is linked to having diverse and entrepreneurial talent, its location as a gateway to Asia and the West Coast, and an ecosystem that encourages interconnectivity and collaboration.
• Vancouver is leveraging its unique combination of assets: Hollywood North, a strong industrial foundation, enterprise data and cloud underpinnings, and a remarkably diverse talent pool, with over half of its residents having a first language other than English.
• Vancouver has more start-ups per capita than any other city in Canada.
• Funding metrics point to the Vancouver ecosystem holding steady, not rising or sinking greatly.
• Market Reach is Vancouver’s strongest factor, due to strong Global Connectedness and the world’s highest ranking in reaching foreign customers.
I recently asked the Uniserve team – “What’s the IT infrastructure like in terms of supporting start-ups?” The response from our qualitative research with all the providers, both the telecoms big four and all the managed service companies is – it doesn’t really exist.
We did some research and no technology providers in BC could provide a bundle of everything a 5, 10 or 20 person company needed with their technology. So, we are now launching “Transit bundles” this month – one bundle for three different sizes of small to medium businesses, with a few adjustable options, one great price and one ‘throat to choke,’ saving 30%-40% on what a business might spend currently using several vendors.
Uniserve will set up and monitor all the IT infrastructure for as little as $449 / month. That’s all you’d need for a 1 to 5 person company, but we’ll be ready as well when that becomes the 20-person one.
Originally posted on Uniserve’s Small Business site.