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Your Event Guide to Vancouver Startup Week 2019

With over 100 events over the entire week, it gets a little overwhelming to choose which events to go to and which ones you’ll have to miss. In a perfect world we’d be able to attend them all, but until teleportation tech hits VSW you’ll have to stick to good ol’ prioritization.

As a starting point, we’ve created a mini guide of just the essentials organized by our event tracks: Founder, Funding, Growth, Networking, and Technology. You’ll find five recommended events for each track spread out across the week — feel free to mix and match to create your ideal event line up.

Remember, this is just to help you get started. There are so many more events beyond this list that you can check out on our full schedule. Don’t forget to register for the event by clicking “Add to My Sched,” and keep in mind we are operating on a first-come, first-served basis so try to arrive early.

We can’t wait to have you during the big week!

Top Events for Founders

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to develop a startup, VSW has events specifically dedicated to sharing the expertise, experience and insights from founders all over Vancouver.

The Language of Culture presents 'Entrepreneurial F***-ups-Stories of Failure

Learn from 4 successful Vancouver area founders on stories of their biggest failures, what they learned from it, how they overcame it, and what advice they have for others in similar situations, featuring panelists such as Tyler Hatch, Founder & CEO of DFI Forensics Inc.

Monday September 16, 2019 10:00am - 11:30am

BC Sustainable Energy Association Presents Sustainable Startup Ideation Workshop

If you want to create a startup or get involved in one but don’t know where to start, this is the workshop you need to attend! BCSEA’s Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (EN4S) focuses on tackling the sustainable energy challenges of today while building networking and career opportunities for participants.

Monday September 16, 2019 6:00pm - 7:30pm

SPARK Creations Presents: Founding Partners: The Secret to Building a Strong Partnership

Many startups have several founders. Finding the right partner and building relationships can be tricky during the startup phase. What key elements do you need to build the foundation between founding partners? How do you strengthen that partnership?

The 90 minute interactive session features insights from Founding Partners at MuseFind, Jennifer Yemu Li Chiang, CEO/Co-Founder and Andry Tanusdjaja, CFO/Co-Founder; at Routific, Marc Kuo, and more.

Wednesday September 18, 2019 10:00am - 11:30am

Startup Vancouver presents '#VanStartupStories'

Startup Vancouver presents #VanStartupStories: “Celebrating New Canadian Entrepreneurs”. Join us as six diverse speakers will share their personal and entrepreneurial journey that brought them to Vancouver build their companies.

A casual dinner will be provided during our pre-event networking time.

Thursday, September 19, 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Brainstation Presents: Female Founders: Startup Stories

Women who want to start a company or get involved in a startup, this is the session for you! While only 2.2 percent of venture capital dollars invested in 2018 were invested in female-founded organizations, there are several female led companies that have found success.

Some of Vancouver’s most inspiring female entrepreneurs share their startup journeys, toughest challenges and advice they’d give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs.

Friday September 20, 2019 8:00am - 9:30am

Top Events for Fundraising

You’ve spent months developing your product and now you’re looking to find investors. But do you have everything you need to create an awesome pitch? Or, if you’re looking for businesses to invest in, do you know where to start? Check out these events that will help you reach the investors you need and find the business ventures you’d like to invest in.

Etiquette Page Presents Pitch Like A Pro

Learn how to pitch investors like an expert with this session. Refine your pitch and discover how to bring your A game and find investors and funding that you need.

Monday September 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Valhalla Angels Network Presents Angels 101 & Live Valhalla Angels Forum

If you’re a new investor and unsure of how to find ventures you’d like to invest in, Valhalla Angels Network will help you find the right opportunities by discovering what you need to look for from accredited fellow angel investors.

Tuesday September 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Capiche Presents: Automate Your Fundraising

This informative workshop will put founders in the shoes of potential investors to learn more about the pitfalls of raising capital. Founders will gain exposure to tools that can be used to automate the fundraising process in order to avoid the pitfalls.

Tuesday September 17, 2019 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Small Business Finance Forum presents 'Be Your Own VC & You Just Closed Your Seed Round... Now What?'

The early bird gets the worm and in this session you will get ahead of the game, finding out how to minimize dilution by thinking like a VC and leveraging your business. This is an interactive session so come prepared to ask questions.

Thursday September 19, 2019 8:00am - 9:30am

Valhalla Angels Network Presents Angels Den in Valhalla

Founders can get direct tips and constructive feedback on their pitch from the Valhalla Angels. They can also win a chance to present their pitch to the Valhalla Deal Screening team (who see more than 500 request a year).

Thursday September 19, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Top Events for Growth

Growing and expanding your business can be tough to do if you don’t have a plan on how that expansion will go. Learn from the experts on how you can scale up your startup, build inclusive culture among employees, incorporate environmental/sustainability policies and create effective business frameworks.

Grammarly presents 'Calculated Risks: How Grammarly went from a niche product to a Global brand'

Max Lytvyn, a Grammarly co-founder and its current Head of Revenue, talks about how Grammarly went from a niche product to a global brand, describing calculated risks you can take to realize the potential of your business.

Monday, September 16 • 10:00am - 11:30am

Spark to Substance Presents: Humanizing Wicked Problems for Startup CEOs, Business and Technology Leaders

Borrowing fundamentals from first principles, behavioral science, strategy, systems thinking and product management, you’ll learn the tools to solve problems from product development, innovation, building differentiation, rebuilding business models, market expansion, customer retention among others. Learn the superpowers that enables startups to progress from launch phase to growth and then to hyper growth!

Tuesday September 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:30am

Groundswell Presents: Radical Women in Business

This panel focuses on what does it mean to get paid as a woman? What does it mean to hold power as a woman? What challenges and advantages do women have in building a new social economy? Five unique voices on the panel share stories of doing business while female, featuring impact investors and feminist social entrepreneurs.

Tuesday September 17, 2019 6:00pm - 7:30pm

RED Academy Presents Zero Waste Startups

Discussions on this panel include the challenges around being a startup that helps people be zero-waste, or being a startup that wants to be zero waste? And at the end of the day, can startups really make a difference? Speakers will share their expertise, and opening discussion up to the audience to share their experience!

Wednesday September 18, 2019 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Prototype Thinking presents 'User Testing and Recruiting for Startup Founders'

This event will consist of two sessions:

12-12.40pm: User Testing Learn how to run unbiased tests using world-class techniques from Prototype Thinking Labs. In this crash course, we'll show you the right & wrong ways to conduct a user test.

12.50-1.30: User Recruiting How do I find my target user? What if they're hard to reach? How do I convince users to test with me if I can't compensate them? Get all of your biggest questions about user recruiting answered in this group coaching session led by Olivia Wong, co-founder of Prototype Thinking Labs.

Friday, September 20 • 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Top Events for Networking

If you’re looking to expand your network, hire new talent or learn more about the new startups who are on the rise, these are the events you need to attend!

#VSW 2019 Community Crawl

Experience the coolest companies in Vancouver with our signature Community Crawl! Some of Vancouver’s top companies will be offering tours and fun activities!

Friday September 13, 2019 2:00pm - 6:00pm

#VSW Recruitment Fair

Reach Vancouver’s rising top talent at our signature recruitment fair! The city’s largest recruitment fair is back for the 5th year connecting top local talent and companies for great conversations. We're back at Science World and building on last year's count of 36 hiring companies! If you’re looking to reach top rising talent or interested in joining a startup, this event is for you!

Monday September 16, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Hervana Coworking Collective Presents The Positive Impact of Building Community Around Your Startup

This event features facilitated small group roundtable discussions on success and failure experiences of community building and takeaways will be shared on how building communities can benefit startups.

Tuesday September 17, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Block Party with KPMG & TTT Studios | 19+ ONLY EVENT

KPMG & TTT Studios are hosting Vancouver Startup Week's 'Block Party', a VIP Reception in the Ignition Centre and TTT's office. We look forward to welcoming entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, and friends within the Greater Vancouver startup community to kick-off this amazing week of activity.

Tuesday September 17, 2019 5:30pm - 9:00pm

Innovate BC Presents the New Venture BC Competition

The top 10 finalists will be present at the 18th annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition Awards Ceremony, so you’ll get to see who takes home the $275,000 in cash & prizes!

Thursday September 19, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm

#VSW2019 Closing Party | ALL AGES WELCOME

All good things come to an end....

So come join us to celebrate another week full of collaborations and connections. A week where new ideas were born and partnerships made.

We will be throwing another party at SPACES Gastown, complete with food from Donnelly, Earnest Ice Cream, UpMeals and FED plus locally brewed beers from Bomber Brewing. Our very own DJ Luc will be on the deck to keep the good times flowing.

Friday, September 20 • 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Top Events for Technology

Learn new technological skills, discover how technology can be put to use for social good and what’s new in financial technology, AR/VR, robotics and machine learning.

#VSW2019 + Van Hacks Hackathon

Our signature hackathon is back! Join us over a weekend to create tech solutions to solve challenges for local non-profits! All hacks will be published open source to help as many non-profits benefit as possible.

You must have a hackathon ticket in order to attend this event as a #VSW2019 pass will not get you access into the hackathon.

Saturday September 14, 2019 8:00am - Sunday September 15, 2019 5:00pm

Women In Tech: Build a Robot

Learn how to build a functional robot for fun! The evening will end with a friendly Battle Bot competition. Bring your adventurous spirit and find out what your potential career in robotics might look like!

Monday September 16, 2019 6:00pm - 8:30pm

SFU Venture Labs Demo Day

Over 50 companies will be showcasing science and technology innovations of Vancouver based start-ups in the Venture Acceleration Program here at SFU VentureLabs. See new innovations in AR/VR, machine learning, robotics, hardware and software and more!

Tuesday September 17, 2019 10:00am - 6:00pm

Brainstation Presents: FinTech Democratization through Digitization

FinTech companies are making financial literacy and financial planning more easily accessible to everyone. With heightened competition, better alternatives, and increased transparency – all in the palm of your hands – the way we understand, manage and invest our money has fundamentally changed.

Join us as we discuss how FinTech has transformed our relationship with financial service providers and what industry leaders are working on next.

Wednesday September 18, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm

LatinPlaza presents 'Opportunities in Latin America for Tech Companies'

Hear more about Latin America and the startup ecosystems in the region. Understand what Canadian organizations are available to help you escalate and expand your business in the regional market. Interested in expanding your company to an international market? Join us as we explore the Latin America market; its opportunities, risks, and untapped potential. Learn how Canadian companies can develop sustainable growth in this new market.

Thursday, September 19 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Looking for more events? Check out the official VSW schedule here.