Vancouver Startup City showcases innovative positive impact ventures

Jun 9 2016, 5:02 am

If you have an innovative idea you think could impact the world for good, Vancouver is the city for you – and Startup City: Impact wants to help you make that impact.

The series of events, organized by the Vancouver Economic Commission, is showcasing Vancouver’s “impact entrepreneurs” to inspire others who want to create positive change.

“Since 2010, the impact sector has grown 35% in Vancouver,” Pietra Basilij, Manager of Sustainable Community Development at the commission, told Daily Hive.

“This week is all about celebrating impact entrepreneurship in Vancouver…To be inspired by what’s going on and what our local entrepreneurs are doing.”

Many Vancouver Startup City events are already sold out, but we tracked down three you could attend tonight or into the weekend.

Mythbusting Mixer

  • What: 21 positive impact entrepreneurs from Vancouver set out to debunk common myths around what it means to be an impact driven company – from the idea that there are no jobs in the sector to the belief that philanthropy and business do not mix.
  • Where: Science World – 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, June 8, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Tickets: Available on Picatic, priced $11.65

Mythbusters include Tamer Mohamed of Aspect Biosystems, which 3D prints human tissue, and Barbara Alink of Alinker, which makes walking-bicycles for people with mobility issues.

Suzanne Ma, co-founder of Routific, which aims to help reduce emissions for delivery trucks through route optimization, told Daily Hive she’s also excited to be taking part.

“We are so grateful to live and work in a great city like Vancouver where there’s a lot of support and enthusiasm for companies that are focused on bringing about real change,” said Ma.

Ma plans to bust a myth about package delivery firm UPS, thought to be the most efficient fleet in the world because its trucks are forbidden from making left-hand turns.

“The truth is, UPS has done a lot more than that,” said Ma. “They’ve achieved world renowned efficiency by investing in ‘route optimization.’

“I’ll be explaining what route optimization is and how we at Routific are making this technology available to local delivery businesses around the world, including Vancouver.”

If you can’t make the MythBusting Mixer, here are a couple of other events to try:

SpringU Demo Day

  • What: Spring U, a startup “incubator,” has helped launch more than 120 companies in the past two years. They’ll be on hand at Demo Day to showcase what they’ve done so far – and help anyone thinking of starting their own positive impact company.
  • Where: Unbounce – 400-401 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, June 10, from 6 to 10 pm
  • Tickets: Available on Picatic, completely free

ProtoHack for Breast Cancer

  • What: A 12-hour hackathon to create a tech-based solution for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Don’t Forget to Check campaign. No coding is needed, the event is open to everyone, and you’ll go from an idea to an interactive prototype in one day.
  • Where: Launch Academy – 128 W Hastings St., Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, June 11, from 9:30 am to 11 pm
  • Tickets: Available on Picatic, priced $10
Jenni SheppardJenni Sheppard

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