As Pacific coast neighbors, California and British Columbia embrace both an outlook for new ideas and an appetite for innovation. To their respective countrymen in the rest of their nations, these innovative regions are viewed with a sense of pride and curiosity as wellsprings of new trends, ideas and tastes. They also have the best waves for surfing.
At MAPLE Business Council, events are a key component of our cross-border outreach between Southern California and Canada. With a mission to connect individuals, ideas and organizations together across sectors, growth stages and regional and national borders, events are a pivotal foundation for building relationships.
MAPLE, the Canadian-U.S. Business Council of Southern California, had the pleasure this week of hosting a panel discussion on doing business with Canada at the inaugural Get Global Growth Conference in Los Angeles. Here are some sound bites from a wide-ranging discussion on the advantages and opportunities to do business in and with Canada.
Excellence spans our coast. Silicon Beach, Pasadena, Irvine, San Diego, Downtown LA and Santa Barbara – the names are all familiar. Many of us have visited for business or pleasure. But how much do we know of these communities as centers of innovation? Moreover, how are they different from each other in their sector focus and supporting ecosystems? And if I am seeking to launch my innovation in SoCal, which is the best location for my startup?
One of the rewards of growing a cross-border organization promoting trade, investment and entrepreneurship between regions are the discoveries you make. People, places and innovations. One of these discoveries is Waterloo Region in Ontario, Canada.
Ideas can travel around the world in 140 characters. But an entrepreneur is more often to be rooted in place tethered to a nurturing ecosystem as they develop their business. How can we help the entrepreneur explore new markets across borders that can provide new stimuli for their vision and in so doing fortify their model and accelerate their growth?
Many of the world’s great cities are known by their bridges. San Francisco has the Golden Gate, New York has The Brooklyn, Sydney – The Harbour, Vancouver - The Lions Gate, and Paris – Pont Neuf. There are many more that have captivated visitors and made an indelible mark on a city’s identity.
It has been seven months since we launched MAPLE. With an exciting new brand, five networking meetings in three cities, 13 organizations represented in our membership, 15 presentations, and hundreds of new friends, MAPLE is establishing itself in the Southern California communities we serve with our own unique voice.
Going international is not typically an initiative that start-ups undertake within the first six months of forming but when your mission is cross-border trade and investment, it figures more prominently on the launch calendar.
Canada is our neighbour to the north. The one who spells neighbour with a "u".
Generally it is a country we don't spend much time thinking about even though (or perhaps because) we share the longest undefended border in the world and have forged the world's largest trade and security partnership. Over $734 billion a year in two-way goods and services trade in fact. That's $1.4 million per minute. Canada is our #1 customer nationally buying more from the U.S. than does any other nation and that includes all 28 nations in the European Union - combined.