Vancouver Startup Week postponed, plans for 2023 in-person return

Vancouver Startup Week event
VSW cancelled as “pandemic rages on globally,” the org said.

Vancouver Startup Week (VSW), the annual week-long tech startup event in Canada’s west coast, has cancelled its plans for this year.

According to the organization, the decision to cancel its 2022 event arose from growing concerns over COVID-19 cases globally.

“As a team, we decided that our next VSW would be in person but with uncertainty still surrounding COVID-19, we don’t believe we can realistically plan and bring you a VSW that we’d be proud of and that you’d be stoked to attend this year,” VSW’s co-chairs said in its announcement.

VSW has promised to return in 2023, adding that it plans to use the extra few months to “implement new initiatives internally and continue conversations with members of our community to plan a fun and impactful Vancouver Startup Week in May 2023.”

VSW would have celebrated its ninth year in 2022, after the organization shifted the event to a virtual platform over the past two years. The organization is made up of Vancouver Startup society members, a team of volunteers from the startup ecosystem in and outside of Vancouver.

RELATED: Startupfest plans a “fresh start” for in-person event return in July

In 2020, VSW said it attracted over 2,000 attendees across 80 virtual events, including panel discussions, fireside chats, interactive workout sessions, and networking events.

As Canadian provinces have begun lifting some pandemic restrictions, other tech conferences have announced their return to holding events in-person this year after being forced to cancel or transition to virtual meetings in previous years.

Montréal-based Startupfest plans to take its festivities to the streets of Old Montréal in July after having to digitally host the event in 2021, and cancelled its 2020 edition altogether due to the pandemic.

In addition to an in-person return, Startupfest announced that it is launching a tech platform that it has been developing since before the pandemic hit.

Major North American tech conference Collision is also set to return in-person in Toronto this June. It recently opened up the sale of early-bird tickets for the event. It was originally set to be held in Toronto for three years, with its first year taking place in-person in 2019. In the last couple of years, Collision created a virtual platform for attendees to allow users to view the conference and connect with other attendees.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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