Vancouver is a global centre for new media business and investment
Vancouver is positioning itself as a major player on the world map of digital media creation and development. Ten years ago, the pose was wishful thinking based on forecasted potential. Now, after a decade of hard work from key parties—entrepreneurs, skilled and creative knowledge workers, angel and venture capital investors, and educators--the vision is becoming reality.
Figures on the size of British Columbia’s digital media industry vary. At the high end of the range, industry watchers estimate the sector’s size at over 1000 companies employing more than 16,000 people generating $2.3 billion in annual revenue. B.C. digital media industry players run the gamut from small start-ups and specialized shops to international brands like Electronic Arts and Radical Entertainment.
B.C. struggled for decades to diversify its economy and break free from dependence on cyclical, commodity-based resource and extraction industries. Government policy and encouragement played a role in securing B.C.’s current place on the global new media map.
Key factors driving digital media growth in B.C.
Several key factors are the main drivers behind Vancouver’s current status as a world leader in digital media. Conditions are ripe for continued growth, success, and investment opportunities. Vancouver has available talent, angel and venture capital investors willing to evaluate and finance new ideas and early stage ventures, educational and government support, and a growing appetite and demand worldwide for digital media products and services.
Another key factor in B.C.’s success formula is location. Vancouver’s Lower Mainland region is a good place to live with ample professional and recreational options. Skilled people with ambitious ideas have choices. They weigh the pros and cons of locating a business or working in B.C. or elsewhere. Opportunities with companies at all stages of growth and a comfortable setting for working and living have reduced the flight of skilled people.
The Canadian knowledge worker brain drain is now a brain gain. New and established companies are luring expatriates back and drawing newcomers to Vancouver to work for and run companies from start-ups to established large-scale enterprises. People are staying in Vancouver to build businesses because the elements they need for success are present.
Vancouver’s digital media start-up and private investment scene
Another key factor in the emergence of Vancouver as a digital media centre is the growth of an entrepreneurial culture. The high visibility and openness of American start-ups and angel and venture capital investors provided models for Canadian entrepreneurs and financiers. Now, people who built successful companies locally or elsewhere are choosing to build new ventures or re-invest in B.C.
As a result, Vancouver has an established start-up culture. People with business ideas seeking capital now have local venture capital and angel investor options along with established American financing sources. Money, financial understanding, and a willingness to risk put private Vancouver investors in the mix of options for entrepreneurs seeking financing.
Vancouver has a thriving, active, and visible angel and venture capital investment community. Entrepreneurs now have more avenues in Vancouver for meeting with private investors and for making private investment deals. Skilled and creative people are staying in the province to turn ideas into viable products and services rather than looking to the United States for all their funding, talent, and infrastructure.
New media industry in B.C. set for future growth.
Experienced local digital media entrepreneurs with access to angel and venture capital is a potent combination for growth. Vancouver has a critical mass of skilled people starting and building businesses and exploring financing options offered by private investment funds, investor groups, and individuals.
Vancouver is a desirable place to live and do business. B.C. has the engineering, business, and creative talent to dream up ideas, take them to market, and develop ongoing revenue streams. Vancouver also has angel and venture capital options for new and growing B.C. digital media ventures seeking local investment funding. The pieces are all in place for continued new media industry investment and growth in B.C.
Goal Holdings Group (http://www.goalholdings.com) is a Vancouver-based private angel and venture capital investment company specializing in venture capital gains.
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