Meet the Vancouver delegation taking frontier tech to the U.S.

Vancouver Day at Austin’s SXSW festival will showcase local innovation to international leaders.

Previous Vancouver Day activations at SXSW festival. Photo: Frontier Collective.

The metaverse, VR/AR, generative AI, VFX, NFTs – all have been heralded as the future of technology, and all have a strong foundation in Vancouver.

The Frontier Collective is looking to showcase that talent on the world stage. A group that promotes the region’s tech and innovation ecosystem globally, the collective will be hosting the Vancouver Takeover at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas next month. SXSW is one of the U.S.’s largest conferences that encompasses tech, innovation, and entertainment, with past events attracting more than 160,000 attendees. The Frontier Collective will be hoping to scoop a portion of that audience to spotlight local up-and-coming frontier technology companies, and help build links between Vancouver leaders and international investors.

Between March 10 and 14, the Vancouver Takeover will connect a local delegation of executives with potential partners. The Frontier Collective has planned programming to match founders with funders and collaborators, and has designed opportunities to showcase their tech. The organization is still finalizing its roster of companies, and interested startups can apply to join the Vancouver Takeover delegation, with some funding support available.

In addition to heading up the official SXSW delegation, the Frontier Collective will host Vancouver Day. The event will take place on March 12 at the Swan Dive music venue, and promises a program of fireside panels with prominents guests, keynotes, tech demos, and networking. A number of speakers have already been announced, including Cynthia Maller, head of 3D at Walmart; Winston Choe, director of innovation at LG Nova; and Rakesh Apte, innovation leader at Dell. Also in attendance will be Brenda Bailey – B.C. minister for jobs, economic development, and innovation – and Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim.

“We're seeing something exciting emerging in Vancouver – a renewed energy and optimism about the future,” says Sim. “For Vancouver to realize its potential as a global hub for technology, innovation, and creativity, it's important that we continue to support the initiatives that highlight our city. I applaud the work being done by the Frontier Collective to showcase Vancouver and our emerging technologies sector.”

Vancouver Day will conclude with the Future of Innovation VIP party, which the Frontier Collective suggests will offer the chance to connect with Vancouver’s up-and-coming companies, investors, and thought leaders. Those hoping to attend Vancouver Day and its closing party are asked to RSVP.

Building in Vancouver

On the Canadian side of the 49th parallel, the Frontier Collective is concurrently working on growing investment and frameworks for early-stage talent, including strong links between industry and universities, and building the physical infrastructure that the organization believes will accelerate partnerships and collaboration in the local tech ecosystem. Its flagship project is the Innovation Hub: a 150,000-square-foot building which it suggests will act as a “centre of gravity for tech and innovation.”

“We’re embracing this new Vancouver and showing that we can be bold – telling our stories and be incredibly proud that we’re from here,” says Frontier Collective CEO Dan Burgar. “It's nice that we have the mountains and ocean, balance, and lifestyle, but the Frontier Collective believes that we can be known for much more ingenuity and creativity. As a city, we’re finally changing our tune, with our chests puffed a little more. We really do believe that Vancouver has potential to lead the world in this new paradigm of technological revolution. Now it’s time that we embrace it like we never have before.”

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