M Power Series Preview: Maura Rodgers

Chatting the future of work in Vancouver with serial internet entrepreneur and start-up dynamo Maura Rodgers

On Monday (May 11), Vancouver magazine presents a dialogue on engaging the next generation of Vancouver entrepreneurs and keeping them and their ideas in our city. The panel, at Brian Jessel BMW (2311 Boundary Rd.), features Business Council of B.C. CEO Greg D’Avignon and Maura Rodgers, founder of several successful companies locally and in Silicon Valley. We asked her to set up the conversation.Q: Do we have a problem of entrepreneurial flight in Vancouver? A: The numbers may certainly reflect that, but I’ve seen more entrepreneurial activity and companies launching than at any other time that I can remember—certainly way more since I started my first company here.Q: Why do you think the entrepreneurial activity has grown?A: It has a lot to do with a lot of the support programs that have popped up to support this launch culture in Vancouver. The education programs that have been created to provide alternative paths to entrepreneurship have also helped. I’m seeing more service providers—from lawyers to banks—tailoring offers to the young company. Silicon Valley is amazing at this, so it’s good to see those support systems at work here.Q: What else can we do to ensure a sustainable business culture that will draw head offices back to Vancouver?A: We’re not doing a good enough job to get entrepreneurs to choose Canada. We’ve worked so hard to establish the Start-Up Visa program to facilitate immigration for in-demand entrepreneurs into this country, and I don’t think the program is what it needs to be. The U.S. has been struggling to get a start-up visa of their own for years and have not been able to do it. We have it, and we’re not using it to its potential.Want to hear more? The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 11, at Brian Jessel BMW. Reserve your spot to attend this free event here.