A new company has hit the ground running in Cook Street Village in Victoria. Upanup Studios is a digital agency that offers high-end web strategy, programming, development and design who will take advantage of Victoria’s tech talent and the region’s appeal for talented creative professionals to live and work. The company is set to provide a range of high-end web solutions to companies and organizations in the Pacific Northwest United States and Western Canada.
What makes Upanup stand out is that although it just started, it is already approaching ten employees and has systems in place to handle large clients. It also has a founder in Peter Knapp who had notable business success elsewhere in Canada prior to arriving in Victoria last year.
In the past three years Knapp was honoured by being selected for Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 for Calgary; Business in Calgary Magazine’s Leaders of Tomorrow; and Oilweek Magazine’s Rising Stars. He was president of a national corporate communications company with offices in Calgary and Toronto and the company he was leading picked up the Best Overall Communicator Award for 2008 from the Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI) Alberta Awards.
“Upanup Studios is a great example of the talent and entrepreneurial culture that Victoria is able to attract,” said Sasha Angus, Economic Development Officer with the Greater Victoria Development Agency. “Entrepreneurs like Peter, and the team at Upanup, recognize that the quality of life we enjoy is matched by the quality of opportunity in the region.”
Knapp had grown his previous company to more than 20 employees in Calgary before merging with a Toronto firm in 2007. Knapp continued as President of the 50-person firm. By 2011 the company was set up to continue succeeding without him. Knapp was ready to start again.
In starting Upanup, Knapp brought on Richard Hammond, a business associate of more than five years, as cofounder and Chief Technology Officer. Hammond is an accomplished web developer that Knapp describes as having “an amazing ability to coordinate and implement technical feats while communicating clearly with the range of people involved.”
Upanup’s team looks forward to providing high-end digital solutions such as web apps, mobile apps, responsive design, interactive websites and web marketing to forward-thinking businesses and organizations on the west coast. The company aspires to serve clients worldwide in a matter of years.