They’re calling it Startup Surrey.
It’s a consortium of local technology entrepreneurs that was launched a couple weeks ago, that aims to build a network toward achieving prosperity for emerging businesses in Surrey.
“It’s more of a business incubation strategy to really support new businesses that are creating new technology that are needing some support to put it into commercial reality,” Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman told the Now-Leader.
It’s focus is on technology related businesses, be they in the health sector, or based in manufacturing, artificial intelligence, robotics, this sort of thing. She said “key details” will be finalized in coming months.
“We hope to make sure that these start ups have sustainability, that they’re creating good quality jobs, and we are collaborating together,” Huberman said.
She said Startup Surrey will be supported by an “ecosystem” in the form of the board of trade, Surrey’s health and technology district, Startup Canada, Startup Canada, the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, and the SFU-Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection. It’s a volunteer network comprised of innovators with aligned interests, Huberman noted, that will share inspiration and ideas for success, host events and meetings, develop skills and inspire creativity.
The city is among 50 cities now involved with Startup Canada. Surrey’s most recent business statistics reveal there are about 17,000 businesses in this city.
Huberman said this Startup concept is trendy and “so needed” because plenty of people are possessed of great ideas but haven’t yet figured out how to make a profit on them. “They need a formula of support, and that’s always been a challenge for small and medium-sized businesses,” she said.
“We’re going to start very small, so at least 20 to 30, and we’ll see what kind of interest we receive, but we’re just starting and we’ll see what happens.”
Huberman expects that by 2041 Surrey will surpass Vancouver to become B.C.’s biggest city and this initiative’s goal is to make Startup Surrey “one of the strongest” in Canada.
Among its founding members are Willianm Masih, CEO of Wellin5; Dogu Taskiran, CEO of Stambol Studios; Christina Chiu, CEO of Caren Care App; Sujoy Ghosh, CTO of Surrey’s NeuroTech Lab; Careesa Liu, co-founder of the Surrey Collaborative Outreach and Research Experience (SCORE) program; and Brett Montrose, founder of Streamline Athletes.
Rowena Rizzotti, vice-president of healthcare and innovations at the health and technology district, said it’s “great to see this group of dynamic entrepreneurs collaborate” and looks forward to seeing it create “infinite future opportunities in this region.”
Elizabeth Model, CEO of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, noted that Surrey was ranked among the world’s “seven most intelligent cities” in 2015 and 2016.
“We encourage all business leaders as well as new and potential entrepreneurs to support and join this amazing network to innovate, collaborate and shape the future of Surrey’s economic development,” she said.
Visit startupsurrey.org for more information.