Silicon Valley North: Vancouver’s Most Famous Tech Companies

Vancouver has a reputation as a beautiful city nestled between mountains and ocean.  But beneath that pretty exterior is some serious innovation.

Many people don’t realize that Vancouver is one of the biggest centres in Canada for Internet and gaming companies.  In fact, chances are good that today at least one of the apps you used, games you played or social media sites you visited originated in Vancouver.

Here’s a list of a few of Vancouver’s top consumer tech companies, in no particular order (I know I’ve left some out – Please add some more below):

Electronic Arts: EA is the video-game developer behind the hugely successful NBA Live, FIFA and NHL sports games, as well as The Sims and tons of other games.  Their oldest and largest studio is located in Burnaby and employs 2000 people. 

FlickrNowadays, photo-sharing website Flickr is owned by California-based Yahoo.  But it originated in Yaletown.  Believe it or not, Flickr was launched way back in 2004, the brainchild of local developer Stewart Butterfield (For perspective, Facebook was still called The Facebook at that time and was available only at Harvard).  These days, Butterfield is working on an online game called Glitch.

Hootsuite: If you haven’t heard of Hootsuite, you should.  It’s an Internet-based tool for handling almost all of your social media in one place – everything from Twitter to Facebook.  They’re based in East Vancouver and now have three million users, including the NBA and Barack Obama.

East Side Games: Tech entrepreneur Jason Bailey founded this Vancouver studio that specializes in social and mobile games.  Among their hits are Slots for Facebook, Blaze Runner for the iPhone and their very popular (and slightly un-PC) game for Facebook called Pot Farm.

What are some other famous Vancouver tech companies, past or present?  Let us know below. 

Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond?  Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza

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4 Responses to Silicon Valley North: Vancouver’s Most Famous Tech Companies

  1. “Most famous” is all well and good but how about some of those nascent companies that are beginning to gain traction?

    There’s Loupe, (http://getloupe.com) a shape collage webapp that just moved out of GrowLab.

    Foodtree (http://foodtree.com) a mobile app that lets you explore the local origins of the food you’re being served. You probably see some of their QR codes popping up in your favourite places to eat in Gastown.

    Placeling (http://www.placeling.com/) a pretty mobile app that lets you check-in without telling the world your every move.

    The company that I now work for, Matygo (http://matygo.com), a learning software company that helps instructors teach online classes.

    I think the companies listed above definitely helped pave the way for an improved startup culture in Vancouver. Keep an eye on all of these companies!

    • Thanks, Tera. Really interesting companies. I can’t wait to use foodtree.

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      We also offer a one month free trial for those who want to check it out.

  2. Tai

    There is also a massive SAP office in yaletown. It used to be crystal decisions, one of the great vancouver tech successes of the last decade, and still employs over a thousand people and a full city block

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