A well-designed space can have a transformative effect on its inhabitants. This is especially true when it comes to the environment in which to build a company. For local startup Vonigo, The BC Tech Innovation Hub has been instrumental in their incredible growth and explosive expansion. We spoke to Vonigo’s co-founder John Carter to learn more about their story and how their tenure at The Hub has helped them grow.
Vonigo is a cloud-based business management and online booking platform for mobile service companies. Founders John Carter and Roman Azbel built Vonigo with a mission to help these kinds of companies become more efficient and profitable. ”Both our backgrounds included operating mobile service companies where we experienced a number of operational challenges firsthand. We figured there must be a lot of companies with similar pain points so we came together and said let’s build a solution. Luckily it turned out our pain wasn’t unique,” said John, when describing how they came up with the concept for Vonigo.
Vonigo became The Hub’s first tenant in 2015. Looking for a space that was more than just an office, John and Roman decided on The Hub. “We wanted to find a place where our team could access all of the resources it needed, and where the ability to collaborate with other tech companies was not only possible but encouraged. When we first saw the space we thought it was beautiful, we loved that it was located in a central area, and there were a lot of opportunities to grow.”
In the two years that have followed being a Hub tenant has paid off in multiple ways—beyond being an office space The Hub became a place for meeting and connecting with the tech community. “The environment is incredible—the connections that are made through the events are great, and the support that’s been offered in terms of government services that are here and ready at hand have been invaluable. We’ve been able to secure government funding for certain projects with support from the BC Tech team, which have had a significant impact on our business.”
“There has also been introductions to investors that have been made by the folks at BC Tech that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We see the BC Tech team face-to-face every day, and I feel like these types of intros to investors and government officials are more readily available to Hub tenants than to those in the tech community at large as the team has had the opportunity to get to knows us on a deeper level.”
After a booming couple of years, the Vonigo team has outgrown the Hub and will be heading to their new office in Gastown this May—a bittersweet move for both Vonigo and BC Tech team. “Vonigo has been part of the Hub experience from the very beginning. In fact, they were the first company in the Hub, and we’ve played a privileged role in supporting their growth. Like all of our graduates, we’re sad to see them go but are looking forward to seeing how their next chapter unfolds. We expect a lot of great things from them in the future,” said BC Tech’s President and CEO, Bill Tam.
For those looking for a new home for their tech company, John offered the following advice. “It’s a great place to get started as a company. We were the first tenants and took a leap of faith that it would be a good spot and it’s worked out very well. I think any tech company that is looking for space in Vancouver should take a serious look at the Hub. It’s welcoming, a great environment, and a wonderful place to nurture a business.”
Looking for a place for your business to call home? Or a dedicated desk to get some work done? Check out the BC Tech Innovation Hub.