Lucky To Be On This Side of The Pond
I recently visited the UK and attended a few entrepreneurial and networking style events. They had somewhat of a similar feel to the events on the west coast of Canada, with one exception – the impression I left with was that I am lucky to live where I do.
Small business support for tech and innovative initiatives is far more limited back across the pond. In 2 short weeks back in Canada, I have met with some great Seattle connections, had lunch and talked with the NRC about IRAP and youth funding, visited with Monica Moore at Telefilm about the Canada New Media Fund and another team member had a successful meeting to discuss MITACS. Coming up in Vancouver we have Pop Vox, the Vancouver International Partnering Forum (VIPF), not to mention Launch Party and a number of other entrepreneurial networking events.
I have only been in Vancouver for 5 years so I am not sure how long this has been happening, but right now there seems to be a hive of startup initiatives, events and tech players. With great companies like Bootup Labs reaching across the border and into US VC land, the barriers come down even further. For a growing tech company like arcalife its key that we don’t hit dead ends when we are just starting to get some major traction. What’s great to see is that people like Brad Feld are prepared to embrace the concept that open borders on tech and investment is the way forward. Despite the differing risks levels in Vancouver versus the Valley mentioned at Beers With Brad last week, we do have a few things on our side : Geographical and time proximity, similar perspectives on the market, a shared history of successes and failures and openness of communication.
For the UK, US contact I suspect requires more work to acquire and are therefore more closely guarded – exactly what is not required for a rapid flow of new and exciting ideas. I am happy to be home again.