Iconic Concierge Summer 2022

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PREPARE TO LAUNCH IC: In fifteen words or less, who are you and what do you do? RW: Ray Walia, CEO and Founder of Launch.vc. I build and invest in tech companies. IC: Tell us about Launch Academy and what is the guiding purpose behind the organization that you have built over the last 10 years. RW: Launch Academy is our not-for-profit technology accelerator, built for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurs we know how difficult the journey is. We created Launch Academy as a place for entrepreneurs to get out of the garage, out of mom and dad’s basement, and into an environment where they are surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs. In this space, we can provide them with the resources that can help them build their company, in addition to in-person and online access to knowledge and expertise. IC: Your personal focus has been on developing companies in the technology sector. What’s behind your passion for this sector? RW: I think every type of company is now considered a technology company. Tech is critical for acquiring customers, differentiating from competitors, optimizing operations, reducing expenses, and making work more enjoyable for employees. I spend more time in emerging tech sectors, such as spatial computing (VR and AR), blockchain, crypto and NFTs, cybersecurity, robotics and quantum computing, for example. These emerging technologies are shaping the future of humanity and I enjoy having a hands-on approach during this evolution.

RAY WALIA CEO & FOUNDER LAUNCH VENTURES BY DR. OLIVER FINLAY

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ICONIC CONCIERGE

IC: Vancouver has started to emerge as one of the leading hubs for technology start-ups in the World. What changes have you seen in the city’s ecosystem over the last ten years that you believe have been key influences in this evolution? RW: The key element is experience. What we are seeing is a 10year, overnight success story. The entrepreneurs and the tech talent behind these successful startups have put in a lot of work, following the build/measure/learn cycles and scaling their businesses internationally. We have also seen a strong influx of Silicon Valley companies and global anchor companies opening offices in Vancouver.