BC VR/AR Industry Joins International Tech Community at SXSW 2018

VRARA Vancouver and four local companies to represent BC VR/AR industry at annual interactive art and technology conference March 2018


Vancouver, BC - March 1, 2018, British Columbia Trade & Investment and the Vancouver Chapter of the VR/AR Association, in conjunction with The BC Tech Cube, have secured an exclusive booth space at prominent technology incubator, Capital Factory, during this year’s South By Southwest Conference (SXSW).

Located in the heart of Austin, Capital Factory is an exciting incubator and coworking space devoted to the promotion and development of technology startups. This 55,000 square-foot space focuses on highlighting new and emerging technology and in 2016 created the AR/VR Lab to provide people with the opportunity to learn about and experience VR/AR. Capital Factory is the nexus of tech innovation and investment in Austin and has been visited by tech leaders including Steve Case, Tim Draper, Ash Carter, Peter Thiel, and Eric Fanning.

SXSW is an internationally renowned interactive art, music, and technology conference which attracts thousands of attendees each year. During this time, Capital Factory becomes a hub for the international tech community and in 2017 hosted the AR/VR MegaLounge where more than 20 VR startups demoed their products to over 5,000 guests. The activation brought together developers and creators, investors, business leaders, government delegations, and foreign dignitaries from around the world to meet and greet with the presenting companies.

The VR/AR Association along with representatives from Finger Food, Motive.io, Archiact, and Momentus will run the booth from March 9 - 13. This initiative will give Vancouver VR/AR companies a central location for product demonstrations, meetings, and networking during the conference. The delegation will also host a panel conversation about the BC VR/AR industry on March 12, The Rise of VR/AR: Spotlight on British Columbia. The panel will showcase BC’s dynamic VR/AR ecosystem to international stakeholders and reaffirm Vancouver as a top destination for tech investment, opportunity, and development. Ryan Peterson (CEO, Finger Food), Anne-Marie Enns (Producer, VR/AR Global Summit/VRARA), Daniel Japiassu (CEO YDreams) and Eric Hine (VP, Archiact) will round out the panel.

“We are very excited to be at Capital Factory with the local chapter of the VR/AR Association and the support of the BC government through their Trade and Investment Representative office. This will provide our companies with a unique opportunity to share their knowledge, expertise, and business know-how at this year’s SXSW.” - Alan Goldman, Chair of the Cube Society
“We expanded our US Trade and Investment Representative office in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley to give BC’s vibrant and growing tech sector greater access to the U.S. market and to promote BC tech to prospective investors. This is a fantastic opportunity for BC’s world-class VR/AR companies to showcase their products to a global audience, reinforcing the province’s reputation as a leading jurisdiction in this sector.” – Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology

The Capital Factory initiative will bring renewed attention to BC’s immersive tech industry in the run-up to the VR/AR Global Summit. The summit will take place in Vancouver September 21-22 and brings together the most intriguing and innovative leaders in VR/AR/MR from around the world.

This activation opportunity also comes in the wake of new federal funding to support the continued growth of BC’s tech industry. The BC-industry led Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster will share up to $950 million with four other superclusters as a result of the Canadian government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The BC government recently appointed a new Innovation Commissioner to advocate for the BC tech sector in Ottawa and abroad, and support the sector through the BC Tech Fund, Venture Acceleration Program, and other programs.

“There has never been a better time for VR/AR in BC. We have more than 180 companies innovating here, a thriving startup culture, and the continued support of the federal and provincial government. We are thrilled to partner with the BC Tech Cube and the provincial government to showcase these innovative companies and our dynamic tech community to the world.” - Dan Burgar, VR/AR Association Vancouver Chapter President

VR/AR Association Vancouver Chapter (VRARA) represents the coming-together of brilliant minds across the VR/AR/MR ecosystem in Vancouver, from original content creators and creative distributors to innovative hardware companies and ambitious researchers. Vancouver is a national and international hub for technological innovation and the VRARA Vancouver chapter is dedicated to supporting and strengthening BC’s position as a global leader in immersive  technology. VRARA Vancouver works across the globe with other VRARA chapters to provide members with world-wide reach and opportunities. For more information please visit www.thevrara.com/vancouver-chapter/ and find the VRARA Vancouver on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

British Columbia Trade & Investment works with international enterprises to help them build strong links to the resources, skills, and businesses that make British Columbia an attractive place to work and invest. BC Trade & Invest creates and strengthens business contacts through industry-specific trade missions and helps international organizations discover how they can profit from BC’s world-class goods and services in leading industries including technology and digital media. For more information please visit www.britishcolumbia.ca.

BC Tech Cube is a 6,000 square-foot co-working space dedicated to the growth of AR/VR/MR companies and serves as a platform for the community to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another. Supporting early stage entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, members have access to the latest tech gear, business-building workshops, mentorship and technical training programs, industry events, and access to investors, customers, and talent. The BC Tech Cube is home to the innovators who are pushing the immersive tech sector forward and putting BC on the map as a global leader in AR/VR/MR. For more information please visit www.wearebctech.com/memberships/the-cube/.


Dan Burgar, President, VR/AR Association Vancouver



Alan Goldman, Chair of the ‘Cube Society’