When Amazon announced its expansion into Vancouver in April 2018, an almost imperceptible shift happened in the local tech ecosystem. With the exclusion of Microsoft’s move into the city in 2016 to establish a two-floor, 750-person office, the technology landscape has been dominated almost entirely by small, 50-employee-or-less startups. While breakout local successes like Hootsuite, Avigilon, and Slack have made a name for themselves in Silicon Valley, few Bay Area companies and Seattle giants would have considered the locale to be a noteworthy tech hub.
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Over the past year and a half, that perception has changed. Amazon may have been one of the first to look northwards for a new Canadian expansion, locking down a residency in the Canada Post building and bringing 4,000 new technical jobs to the city, but it’s far from the last. In less than 12 months, a concentration of Bay Area businesses have turned to Vancouver to set up new headquarters or hire new employees.