Thank you everyone for coming to the opening of the Vancouver Corporate Innovation Group (VCIG). We had a wonderful evening of interacting and networking with 21 different Vancouver intrepreneurs. A special thanks to Ken Bell from BDO for offering the door prize and The Profile for hosting us!

Here are the highlights of the event:

  • It seems that the main innovation challenge for most participants is the organizational mindset (which is in line with what we observe in the State of Global Innovation by Imaginatik)

  • Most of the innovation challenges identified in this evening comes from initiatives.

  • It is very difficult to educate high levels executives to accept innovation.

  • According to the quick survey we conducted during the session, the top four barriers to innovating within organizations are:

    1. Organizational Culture and Mindset

    2. Poor Executive Support

    3. Insufficient Resources

    4. Inadequate Innovation Skills



Among the participants who came this evening, we have individuals from a variety of industries and backgrounds representing the following organizations.

  • 1QBit

  • Analyticy Technologies

  • BDO

  • Barbarossa Investment & Advisory

  • Blue Marble Labs

  • Bye Bye Mortgage

  • Creatific

  • Creativity at Work

  • Innovate BC

  • Insight Out Consulting

  • Invoke Digital

  • Ledcor

  • Mitacs

  • Moneris Solution

  • PH1

  • PNC Consulting

  • REITIUM Blockchain Technologies




From this evening’s activity, we’ve learned that organizational culture or mindset and insufficient resources represent the two most significant innovation challenges in Vancouver.

Download the presentation here.

Attendees built a dashboard mapping some of the most common innovation challenges intrapreneurs see at their organization.

Attendees built a dashboard mapping some of the most common innovation challenges intrapreneurs see at their organization.


Insufficient resources

  • Red tape and regulation

  • Government restrictions

  • More government help needed

  • Lack of incentives for innovation

  • Insufficient or lack of resources for innovation

Lack of follow through

  • Tackling definitive roles

  • Lack of follow through

  • Lack of accountability

  • Implementing and getting buy-in from executives

  • Deploy and run

Inadequate innovation skills

  • Lack of clearly defined roles

  • Too many siloed companies competing with one another rather than collaborating

  • Lack of skills in subject

  • Narrow vision

  • Resilience of adopting new ideas

  • Canada’s economy is resource focused

  • Lacking tools for innovation

  • Jumping to the end instead of going through the process

Innovation objectives not clear

  • Identify the R.O.I.

  • Are you asking the right questions?

  • Constructive feedback process doesn’t exist; not aware of the best areas for R&D

  • Organization and role clarity

  • No use case ahead of its time; no clear innovation objective

Poor executive support

  • Reorganization hell

  • Red tape to set decision made

  • Hierarchical barriers to collaboration

  • Lack of commitment

  • Poor executive support with new initiatives

  • Super conservative mindset; must be proven to be valued

  • Can’t always understand objectives; too focused on implementing outcomes

  • No clear corporate objective

  • Indoctrination towards control in large organizations

  • Buy vs innovate in house

  • Leadership training for intrapreneurs

Organization culture or mindset

  • Hardcore honesty

  • Fear of the unknown

  • Reliance on structure over leadership when introducing initiatives

  • Fear of failure implies collision with performance appraisals

  • Wrong metrics

  • Too narrow minded

  • Seeing beyond their own bubble of reality

  • Lack of trust

  • Lack of leadership training for intrapreneurs

  • Lack of interest

  • Lack of urgency

  • Hard to change and lack of desire to change

  • Laid back culture

  • Misaligned incentives

  • Too many decision makers (red tape)

  • Risk averse and resource economy mindset

  • Challenges accessing customers (relationship owners risk averse) or incentives misaligned

  • Different risk profiles between product and portfolio managers

Lack of time and focus

  • Opportunity overload: too much of the same thing out there

  • No clear objective

  • Lack of focus and time


What’s Next?

So where do we go from here?

From the feedback and inputs that we’ve collected, we’ll start planning a series of events focusing on these themes for 2019 and beyond.

Also, we’re always open for community partners or sponsors to support VCIG. If you’re interested in becoming one, feel free to reach out to us at

Stay tuned for the next VCIG event!