1. Expansion & Attraction
One of the greatest things about Vancouver, beyond its natural beauty, is its diversity of people, a collective pioneering spirit and sense of exploration. From the gold rush of the 1850’s to Vancouver's hosting of the 2010 Olympics, this city has been seen as a land of opportunity. People come from across the country and around the world to live in this amazingly talented and creative city. Since the Olympics of 2010, the local digital media industry has seen many new additions (both with the establishment of new studios and through acquisitions) and Vancouver is seeing a major boom in the digital media sector. Major expansion plans are in effect for:
Japanese companies like Gumi, Namco Bandai, GREE, DeNA, CAPCOM, Sega/Relic have all recently joined our Vancouver landscape. Even Facebook and Twitter are setting up camp and surveying talent.
2. Supportive Startup Ecosystem
We have also seen our local startup support ecosystem evolve over the last few years, as more events and resources are added to Vancouver’s entrepreneurial tool kit such as:
Recent announcements from the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program indicate that BCTIA (BC Technology Industry Association) will receive $10.4 million, Wavefront $9.5 million and HIGHLINE (formerly GrowLab) will receive $600,000. Vancouver has seen startup success stories like Hootsuite, and more recently, Slack, push through BILLION dollar valuations, as other companies explore new areas in quantum computers, crypto currencies, augmented reality, virtual reality and robotics.
A video from Trade and Invest British Columbia, portrays why B.C. is a digital media hotbed.
3. Innovation & Opportunity
Vancouver is a very adaptable city, which embraces new platforms and technologies. As digital media companies explore new technologies they also see opportunities in industries beyond entertainment. We are seeing unique digital media solutions being developed for:
- health care
- urban planning
The Centre for Digital Media and the Master of Digital Media program is in a great place to help discover and create even more digital media success stories. We attract some of the brightest minds and talent from around the world and this allows us to:
- work with industry on R&D projects and talent connections
- foster an internal startup support system (with pitched projects, venture internships and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program)
- see MDM alumni companies like Hplus Technologies pushing the boundaries of technology to new places–see recent article about Hplus receiving a Vancouver User Experience award
MDM alumni company, Hplus Technologies, interactive holographic Magic Room.
Opportunities in this city are limitless and continually discovered in the creative minds and ones and zeros created in the pursuit of Vancouver’s digital economy gold rush.
Dennis Chenard is the Director of Industry Relations at the Centre for Digital Media and the Master of Digtial Media program. Also known as a ‘Director of Hook-Ups´ he has an extensive history of connecting creators, producers, and distributors of digital content with peers from around the world and works with a variety of stakeholders in industry, government and education in Canada and abroad.