Danny Robinson on Vancouver’s Startup Ecosystem: ‘It’s a Leaky Bucket’

Vancouver’s startup space is humming these days, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its faults—or holes, rather. Despite the city’s rising status as a booming entrepreneurial town and a digital media mecca, its close proximity to the legendary Silicon Valley means that we continue to bleed—or leak, rather—entrepreneurs and startups.

“The analogy I’ve used to describe Vancouver is it’s like a leaky bucket,” Danny Robinson said in a roundtable discussion for monthly magazine BCBusiness. “We’ll have entrepreneurs going down south, so we’ve got to put entrepreneurs back in the bucket to keep the bucket filling up.”

Danny, who’s a veteran of multiple startups including his current project Perch, suggests the leak can’t be plugged—it’s Silicon Valley we’re talking about, after all, where  there’s simply more investors willing to inject more money into more startups. But Vancouver’s bucket can still be kept full.

“We’re trying to pull more people out of the ether by encouraging more people,” he explained, “and we’re also looking at bringing them in from the outside.”

He also noted that Canadians flocking south for more than just the winter isn’t an entirely bad situation, either. “It’s, in general, negative,” he admits, “but there are positives in entrepreneurs moving south. One of the major positives is that you have Canadians running around Silicon Valley.”

Up to 350,000 of them, in fact.