Vancouver technology start-ups have a lot to cheer about

UCW News Team  |  November 07, 2016

Tech start-ups

Technology start-ups in Vancouver are getting funding support from unexpected sources. The provincial government recently announced a $100 million start-up fund for technology companies, and the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) is noting a positive trend in venture capital investment. During the first quarter, the CVCA reported $207 million in venture capital investment in BC, and experts believe this will turn out to be a record-breaking year for the province. 

Now Chrysalix, a Vancouver-based clean technology venture capital firm, has joined forces with a Dutch accelerator specializing in robotics to establish a new venture capital fund of $146 million to spur robotics start-ups. 

Chrysalix Managing Partner Mike Sherman stated that global technology in robotics is evolving rapidly, but there are not currently any robotics-focused venture capital funds. Many technologies are stagnating in national labs and universities due to a lack of early-stage funding, and this is preventing the technologies from becoming commercially available. Sherman hopes his venture capital fund can rectify this problem. 

Chrysalix specializes in providing funding to clean technology and energy start-ups. Now it has joined forces with RoboValley, an accelerator based in Delft, The Netherlands. The founder of Chrysalix, Wal van Lierop, is originally from The Netherlands. 

Sherman stated that when most people think of robotics, they immediately visualize “android”. However, he feels it is more accurate to describe robotics as intelligent automation. He went on to say that the money for the VC fund will be raised from financial institutions and large industrial corporations by the end of this year. 

The RoboValley fund will initially provide venture capital funding to about 15 to 20 technology and robotics start-ups. The fund will look to match market demand with robotics start-ups and universities that develop innovative approaches to robotics. 

Chrysalix is one of just a few “pure play” VC companies that focus on clean technology. It has managed to raise $300 million through international blue chip companies. The funds were provided to disruptive technology companies, including General Fusion and Liquid Light. 

The low taxes and provincial incentives in BC have attracted many start-ups to the area. With Justin Trudeau’s government focusing on innovation and creating federal accelerator and funding programs, Vancouver is becoming a hub for innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs. Its location in the Pacific Time Zone allows companies to be in touch with Asia on the same day, while its proximity to the US is also a big advantage. All of this makes Vancouver a preferred destination for start-ups and global companies.

 Aspiring entrepreneurs should consider acquiring a UCW MBA degree. The UCW MBA program is designed for entrepreneurial success. It instils innovative and critical thinking in students, who also learn financial management and tactics for finding hidden opportunities for business success. 

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