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June 19th, 2023
Vancouver Startup Week 2023: A Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Vancouver Startup Week has been a staple in energizing and motivating local founders and the business community since 2014, and it was great to see it come back in its full glory in 2023. We had the pleasure of attending the eight-day series of informative events and networking opportunities between entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors, and beyond. There is so much great insight and learnings to unpack, that if you’re anything like us, you tried to soak in as much as you could.

However before going further, we wanted to recognize and thank the Vancouver Startup Week team and volunteers who made it all happen! The amount of work and planning required to create such a welcoming environment to share and learn was a direct reflection of the warmth from Vancouver's startup ecosystem, working under the non-profit Vancouver Startup Society, and partnering with Techstars. To learn more about the talent behind VSW, head over here. And a special thanks to Jane from Vancouver Startup Week for helping me (Malina, from Secur3D) with this solid recap.

Our first day of #VSW2023 had us hitting the ground running in the best possible way! We made mental notes of Spring Activator’s lessons on raising capital in 2023, discussed sustainable success and work-life boundaries with the Beacon HR Team, examined team structures, benefits, and productivity with NoW, Hangeh Labs, and Benefy, and even got a front-row seat at UNIQUEWAYS Consulting’s workshop on Prototyping. And to wrap it all off, we were reenergized by the Vancouver Startup Week opening reception which wrapped up the evening.

Come Monday, our team was in full connect and learn mode. Our creative leads especially enjoyed diving into digital strategy with HubSpot and Boast representatives; Kelsey Aina (HubSpot), Anastasia Hambali (Boast), Byron Thom (previously with Boast and most recently with Cymax), and Lyndsey Dyer (The Coaching Studio). We also have to highlight how glad we were to begin the day with Innovate BC’s chat on the importance of protecting intellectual property (IP), a matter close to our own hearts as a company focused on IP rights and protection.

As founder-centric workshops filled the schedule from Tuesday through Thursday, our co-founders were promptly impressed by the wealth of knowledge, experiences, and shared learnings from diverse speakers, seasoned entrepreneurs, and business maestros. Among the various panels and workshops, the morning coffee sessions, founder happy hours, and social gatherings were brilliant platforms to digest and reflect upon newfound knowledge and engage with fellow members and founders of Vancouver’s diverse startup sector. Special shout out to the Vancouver Tech Journal Team for their insightful and timely discussions, and their overall dedication to spearheading coverage of Vancouver’s tech landscape and fostering meaningful connections among members.

Seasoned entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, Vancouver’s own Mayor Ken Sim, partnered with Ray Walia of Launch Ventures for the final day of VSW2023. Their candid and refreshingly straightforward discussion was a must-see. Reflecting on lessons from his past ventures, Rosemary Rocksalt and Nurse Next Door, Mayor Sim offered valuable advice on underrepresented issues like founder burn-out, loneliness, and mental health awareness. He also unveiled significant news about the City of Vancouver's appointment of a Chief AI Officer, effective immediately – the job opening is now live and waiting for applications. “Every company is a tech company,” advised Mr. Sim, indicating that no matter the industry, all companies must adapt to emerging technologies and leverage them for their ultimate benefit.

Unsurprisingly, the remaining events were a hit. By the time we found ourselves at the closing party, we couldn’t believe how quickly VSW2023 had flown by. The connections made and insights shared will remain valuable reminders of this year’s Vancouver Startup Week events. Though we eagerly anticipate next year's events, we are excited to apply our newfound knowledge to another year of developing Secur3D, and to continue to collaborate with those in the Vancouver space who are tirelessly advancing similar goals and projects.

Thank you again to all those involved with Vancouver Startup Week as well as the many sponsors and speakers, for bringing local and international thought leaders together to collectively advance the potential of our local community.

Until next year! See you soon.

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