23 Oct 2015 BCTIA Collaborates with PayPal Canada to Launch Vancouver FinTech Cluster
Kick-off event highlights emerging FinTech hub and disruption in traditional financial services industry
VANCOUVER, BC (October 23, 2015) – The BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) has announced a strategic collaboration with PayPal Canada to officially launch a financial technology (FinTech) cluster in British Columbia. The partnership seeks to establish Vancouver’s first formalized FinTech hub, including programming to support tech companies innovating and disrupting the traditional financial services industry in areas such as emerging payments, alternative lending, peer-to-peer money transfers and crypto-currencies.
“We are incredibly excited about this opportunity,” said Bill Tam, BCTIA President and CEO. “There has been a quiet, natural growth in Vancouver’s FinTech cluster for several years, mostly under-the-radar, and through our collaboration with PayPal, we will begin to showcase the possibilities that exist for Vancouver-based technology to significantly disrupt the financial industry as we know it today.”
The announcement was made during a kick-off event held at the BCTIA Innovation Hub to a standing-room-only audience of industry leaders, FinTech entrepreneurs, and members of the local banking sector. The first of several FinTech-focused events, Unplugged: Building Vancouver’s FinTech Cluster, featured ‘speed panels’ discussing disruption in several key areas of the financial industry: investments & wealth management, emerging payments, alternative lending, peer-to-peer money transfers and crypto-currencies.
Moderating the panels were Gary Boddington, Executive-in-Residence with the BCTIA Centre4Growth Program, Lauren Robinson, Global Operations Director at HIGHLINE, Joshua Bixby, General Partner at Stanley Park Ventures, and Alexander Peh, Head of Market Development and Mobile at PayPal Canada.
“The BCTIA is the right choice of a strategic partner to help us achieve our goal of supporting startups to create powerful digital commerce experiences,” said Peh. “Working together to formalize a FinTech cluster in Vancouver is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our relationships in BC. We look forward to energizing start-ups in BC by offering them mentorship, giving them direct feedback on how to make money and connecting them with successful start-ups and industry leaders.”
A full range of FinTech programming is currently in development with PayPal and other partners, and will be offered throughout the coming months.
“We are eager to formalize our programming and keep this incredible momentum going,” Tam added. “There is a strong appetite to work collaboratively in building solutions and driving innovation that will have a positive impact on both the technology and traditional financial services industries in British Columbia. The Unplugged event brought together partners, banking professionals, investors, advisors, and entrepreneurs, and the response has been extremely promising. The sky’s the limit in terms of what we can achieve, now that we have these key groups at the table, ready to work together.”
Click here to download a PDF of the FinTech in Vancouver infographic that was made available at the event.