Bringing the Tech Community Together – Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum
At Pender Ventures we actively look for opportunities to volunteer within our local tech community and help build out the technology ecosystem. A non-profit organization I am excited to work with is Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum. Launched over 30 years ago, VEF is recognized as an organization that succeeds in bringing the community together.
VEF is a networking forum for technology entrepreneurs which brings the ecosystem together with relevant, vibrant and fun events, designed to stimulate ideas, conversations and connections. It is the longest running forum of its kind in Vancouver and has a successful history of supporting the tech sector and helping bring the community together.
For the last two seasons I have had the privilege of serving as co-chair with Kookai Chaimahawong, helping to organize events, bring people together and support the community. Thank you to VEF’s executive committee (Heali Thirlwell, Kari LaMotte, Bonnie Mah, Angie Schick, Lindsay Chan, and Tim Swanson) and events director Michelle Sklar, for curating the past season’s events. Please reach out to this group for anything related to technology and Vancouver. VEF is always looking to develop new connections and collaborate with community partners in putting on exciting events.
VEF hosts several events per year, kicking off the season every September. A snapshot of the past season’s events highlights how VEF brings the community together through the support of its sponsors and volunteers. These events include hybrid participation but notably almost all attendance is in-person enabling networking between entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem supporters.
- Future of Transportation – A collaboration with CoMotion, TransLink, Invest Vancouver, CBRE and AutoZen with panelists from Canadian Advanced Air Mobility, Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate, Telus Ventures, Harbour Air
- M&A: Growth & Exit Strategies – With panelists from Daily Hive, Otter, Operto, PWC, Fasken
- BC’s Health Ecosystem – With panelists from Careteam Technologies, Omega Labs, HaloHealth, Forbes Group, Relentless Pursuit Partners
- Fireside chat with panelists from Mintlist and Canary Medical
- VC Reverse Pitches – With panelists from Pender Ventures, Angel Forum, The Venture.Fund, Panache Ventures, Lumira Ventures, Deloitte Ventures, Vanedge Capital, OMERS Ventures, Telus Ventures, Telus Pollinator Fund for Good, Silicon Valley Bank
- Going Global – With panelists from AbCellera, Spark, Deloitte, H+K Strategies, Futurepreneur
- Metaverse – With panelists from PrecisionOS, Motive.io, Ethos Lab
- Impact Frameworks for Early-Stage Financing – With panelists from Pender Ventures, The Venture. Fund, Spring Activator
VEF is also thankful for its many sponsors which, for the upcoming 2023/2024 season include Innovate BC as lead sponsor, Telus Ventures as a session sponsor and North Eastern University Vancouver as the Lightning Pitch Sponsor.
A highlight this past season has been the addition of community announcements which are 10 second sound shoutouts creating engagement with attendees on a variety of topics. VEF also kicks off events with a series of 100 second ‘Lightning Pitches’ from entrepreneurs leading early-stage companies, high-potential innovators and non-profit organizations supporting entrepreneurs. Up to five presenters are given the opportunity to pitch their venture, funding initiative or collaboration goals.
VEF enjoys the support and network of its board at large, and there is an opportunity to get involved for the 2023/2024 season. Board members provide leadership and governance, actively participate in event planning, ensure diverse representation from the entrepreneurship community and oversee the financial performance of VEF. Board applications are open until September 3, 2023.
We hope you are able to join us when the VEF season kicks off on Tuesday, September 26 back at UBC Robson Square in collaboration with entrepreneurship@UBC, as part of their Entrepreneurship Immersion Week. Check out vef.org to stay updated.Back to top ↖