Vancouver is a VR and AR Hub of the Future
Geography, Talent and Support Are Key Pillars of This Creative City's Transformation

In the global technology race, successful cities are constantly searching for fresh ways to innovate and grow new startups. One of the emerging hot spots is the field of virtual and augmented reality, where the city of Vancouver is aiming to position itself as the up-and-coming global hub.

Here are three advantages that could turn Vancouver’s dreams of becoming a virtual juggernaut into reality:

Talent

With a stable of legendary video game studios and top mobile game developers, Vancouver has built a solid reputation as a center for digital creativity. But its film production and VFX communities also set Vancouver apart: local film studios have created many of the jaw-dropping set-pieces in recent Hollywood blockbusters, with some receiving Academy Award nominations for their work. Given the intersections of film in VR and AR, the outstanding talent pipeline that has made these entertainment studios successful is sure to play a huge role in fostering local startups.

Geography

From sea to sky, Vancouver has always enjoyed spectacular scenery. But its prime location is close enough to key innovation hubs like Silicon Valley — and even exploding digital markets like China — give Vancouver a clear advantage as VR startups seek new investors and begin launching in foreign markets. Its status as North America’s “gateway” to Asia has also attracted a diverse student population drawn to local universities and colleges seen as leaders in developing digital talent.

Ecosystem Support

Governments are now realizing the region’s VR and AR potential. The province of British Columbia announced new tax credits at the BC Tech Summit for companies that are making VR and AR entertainment. Local VR and AR talent is also teaming up to launch a center of excellence to collaborate and help startups scale more quickly.

With this depth of talent, along with an attitude of camaraderie and support in the local ecosystem, Vancouver is a sure bet to be a veritable hub of cutting-edge virtual reality entertainment.

 

IBM BlueMix