A Silicon Valley company and incubator that has helped hundreds of successful information technology and life science companies will open its first Canadian office in Vancouver as part of a memorandum of understanding with the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Economic Development Commission (VEDC). Mayor Gregor Robertson, VEDC Chair Maureen Kirkbride, and Plug and Play Tech Center Chief Executive Officer Saeed Amidi signed the MOU at a ceremony today.
Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley startup accelerator brings together investment professionals with entrepreneurial experience to build profitable, global enterprises from the ground up. Plug and Play’s founders have helped a number of well-known firms, including Pay Pal. Since Plug and Play began in 2006, its tenants have collectively raised more than $700 million in funding.
“This partnership will mean new jobs and investment in our city,” said Mayor Robertson. “The startups that will take root here are the kinds of businesses Vancouver needs – ones that thrive during tough economic times and provide optimism and new opportunities. Plug and Play will strengthen Vancouver’s global recognition for being a hub for innovation and creativity.
“We’re seeing more and more businesses attracted to Vancouver because of our quality of life, our top-notch research institutions, and our culture of entrepreneurship. It is these elements that are establishing Vancouver as a Green Capital on the world stage.”
The MOU calls for the creation of a pilot project tech support centre in 2010. The goal is to eventually establish a permanent centre that will work with other partners to support up to 30 new business startups every year. This support will include providing startups with physical space, access to capital, coaching and mentoring. It is hoped that the centre will become a model for business incubation for the rest of Canada.
“In the weeks following the Winter Games, our 2010 Business Program has already delivered $70 million in direct investment for the region and created or supported hundreds of jobs,” said VEDC Chair Maureen Kirkbride. “These results have generated a return of more than 45 times the initial investment we made into the program, and far exceeds the target we set for November 2011.
“Today’s MOU with Plug and Play is an important achievement coming out of Vancouver’s vision of generating economic benefit from the Olympic Games, but most importantly it demonstrates Vancouver’s readiness as a technology centre that can produce exciting innovation and successful commercial enterprises.
“Plug and Play is eager to cultivate the startup ecosystem here that emulates the vibrancy of Silicon Valley,” Plug and Play CEO Saeed Amidi said. “Forming a more dynamic entrepreneurial community in Vancouver by increasing the number of early stage ventures and the flow of venture capital and seed money is going to open up all kinds of new opportunities for business. We are happy to be part of this.”
Plug and Play has launched similar successful tech startup support centres around the world, in locations such as Los Angeles, Malaysia and Singapore.
Photo credit: City of Vancouver