Credit: Vancouver Startup Week

A scene from a less socially distant instalment of Vancouver Startup Week

Besides events and networking, this year’s virtual edition features some of the leading voices in B.C. tech

The folks behind the seventh annual Vancouver Startup Week weren’t going to let a pandemic spoil their plans. The 2020 instalment, which kicks off this Friday (September 25), has gone virtual as it continues its mission to build connections among entrepreneurs, investors, leaders and friends in the Metro Vancouver startup community. VSW’s long-term vision: to make Vancouver the most attractive city anywhere for leaders of emerging businesses.

The online conference, which expects to draw a worldwide audience, will explore pressing issues facing Canadian entrepreneurs, from scaling in a recession to securing funding during COVID-19. 

“With more than half of Canadian small businesses reporting first-quarter revenue declines of 20 percent or more, VSW’s solutions-oriented community is more valuable than ever,” VSW co-chair Katty Wang said in a statement. “At the same time, our community will support attendees long after the event itself with insights on everything from growth strategies to talent acquisition.”

The week’s events include How to Grow and Scale Your Team in a Global and Remote World (September 28), hosted by SaplingHR.com; and The Pitch: How to Craft a Compelling 30-Second Elevator Pitch (September 29), featuring Ryan Kuder, managing director of Techstars Anywhere. Another highlight: Females on Funding (September 30), presented by Valhalla Angels, Pangaea Ventures and Futurpreneur.

VanHacks, VSW’s annual hackathon, returns from September 26 to 27. Organized by founding sponsor TTT Studios, this competition invites teams to create tech solutions for challenges facing their chosen Vancouver not-for-profit. All hacks will be published open-source so other groups advancing social good can reap the benefits. To participate, click here.

Despite COVID-19, local businesses keep hiring. To that end, VSW2020 is also hosting a virtual Recruitment Fair on October 1, featuring live sessions with companies such as Bench Accounting, HappyHour, Procurify and Thinkific. Check here for updates. To book a booth for your business, email recruitmentfair@vanstartupweek.ca.

This year’s gathering is by donation, and the organizers hope attendees will also give to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s Most Urgent Needs fund, which will be linked at the end of each day. The fund aims to ensure that health-care teams have the equipment, technology and research they need to save lives.

For tickets and the full VSW2020 schedule, click here.