2012 London Olympic Business Program Produces Early Promising Results

October 5, 2012 | Jobs and the Economy

Results of the City of Vancouver’s business program in London are starting to be seen just two months after the Games, with the completion of two significant business deals, and others currently in negotiation.

Building on the very successful 2010 Winter Games business program, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) hosted a follow-up business program at the London Olympic Games in August 2012.

Led by the Mayor and supported by the High Commission, the three-day program connected 25 BC-based companies in the green, digital and ICT sectors and four Vancouver-based industry groups with more than 650 people from 115 UK and EU companies.

Participating company Reunion Pictures, one of the top Film & TV production companies in Vancouver, has now sold the broadcast rights to its popular TV series Continuum to the Syfy Network in the UK. The show went to air on September 27th. Tom Rowe, one of the Partners with Reunion, expressed that this deal, “goes a long way in ensuring a second season which will generate over C$25M in BC expenditures.”

Vancouver-based Recombo innovates mobile document automation solutions with its cloud-based software, Agreement Express, which encourages companies to go paperless by automating and integrating the entire contract lifecycle. Recombo has closed a deal with Global Payments UK, a leader in the payment processing space.

“Agreement Express allows Global Payments UK to sign up merchants faster as they complete applications online and save days or weeks off an old paper process. Now they can preload data into the forms, customize the self-enrollment process and eliminate data entry errors, paper, shipping costs, and time,” says Mike Gardner, CEO of Recombo.

The total value of the two deals is more than C$2M. There are several other multi-million dollar deals pending, potentially worth more than C$10M.

“It's fantastic to see more Vancouver companies growing and creating new jobs after another successful, targeted business mission led by the Vancouver Economic Commission,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City of Vancouver will continue to do everything we can to support our world-leading digital media and clean technology industries in landing global trade opportunities, new talent and investment.”

The VEC is also following up on more than 30 inquiries from talented artists in the UK who were targeted to participate in Vancouver's talent attraction events in London.

"This is great news for our growing digital media and visual effects companies," said VEC CEO Lee Malleau. "VEC's over-riding objective is to support greater performance in Vancouver's economy, and some of the areas where we can improve are around talent attraction and export market development."

Vancouver's business program in London was designed to produce bilateral trade and new investment, and is consistent with global best practices on business and economic development.

"We are pleased to celebrate these early successes with our companies and look forward to a number of significant announcements over the coming months," said Malleau.

Vancouver participants in the program also attended nearly 50 additional business meetings and 16 other related events to further engage with industry contacts to promote the city and its companies.

Through the involvement of participating companies along with in-kind support by the High Commission at Canada House, the overall value of hosting the London 2012 business program was approximately C$575,000, with VEC investing about 25 cents on the dollar.

The City’s investment in the area of foreign trade and investment is fundamental to supporting its local industries and businesses to develop critical business connections, attract foreign investment, open new opportunities for exports, remain globally competitive and ensure our city has the diverse economy that makes Vancouver so livable.