Whistler, British Columbia: The Best Place For A Startup

As a technology startup on the west coast of Canada, most people would expect that we’re based in Vancouver. Which isn’t a bad guess really considering that Vancouver has incubated some amazing startups, including Hootsuite and 7Geese. But, as awesome as Vancouver is, we decided to buck the trend and move 90 minutes north to a resort town called Whistler – and here’s 3 reasons why:

1. Adventure Engineering

We’re looking for Adventure Engineers who are as comfortable in the bike park as they are leading an orchestra of disruption with RoR, JS or another weapon of choice from your vast array of code bases.
Never seen Whistler Bike Park? Watch this video.


– Ad-ven-ture En-gin-neer-ing                                                                                            Noun: An unusual and exciting experience or activity built around a flexible work schedule

Adventure Engineering is just as much a lifestyle choice as it is a set of personality traits a person must have to be successful in a startup. Adventure Engineers have a thirst for learning, for experiencing new things and they actively seek discomfort over predictable situations – these are the very foundations that PayrollHero was built on. After living in Whistler for many years I realized that the town’s transient, travelling, adrenaline junkie (and extremely well educated) community was naturally breeding the Adventure Engineers I needed. I just had to convince them to stop travelling (for a short-time), not to go back to their existing jobs and to stay in Whistler with PayrollHero.

To attract and retain the best software engineers we started offering full time and flexi-time working hours, with great success. We then added our Adventure Engineers in Residence (EIR) program with the purpose of:

1.Cultivating our thirst for learning by bringing different methods to the table and new ways of thinking from across the globe

2. Enabling engineers from different cultural backgrounds and experiences to join us at PayrollHero, without the pressure of making a permanent move to Canada

Our first Adventure EIR, who is currently making a very big impression, is Dane Natoli from Australia – you can read more about his story, here.

Sound like something you’re interested in? Get in touch, and if we think you’re the right fit we can help you move to Whistler. We have excellent relationships with local immigration lawyers who are experts in working holiday visas, permanent residency and citizenship.

2. Jam with Incredibly Smart, Entrepreneurial People from all over the World

Most people who travel to Whistler have one thing in common – they’re all pretty damn smart! And I’m not talking about university smart, I’m talking about entrepreneurial smart. They have masters and doctorates; want to run or currently do run their own business; and are usually here on some kind of sabbatical or a career break. Whistler is a fruitful intersection of international disciplines and skills that is ripe for the picking.

We feed off this at PayrollHero. France, Australia, Poland, India, England and Canada are just some of the countries representing the team in our Whistler office; and each person brings their own unique brand of knowledge, experience and wisdom from their respective corner of the globe. In an environment that promotes high levels of developer collaboration and has constant focus on improvement it’s easy for creativity and innovation to spread through our products like wildfire.

3. Happy People make Happy Employees

Whistler Blackcomb in full summer bloom

Whistler in the full bloom. Taken from the top of Flank Trail on Sproatt Mountain

Vancouver is constantly listed as one of the top 10 most ‘liveable’ cities in the world, and one of the reasons is its proximity to the mountains and to world class ski resorts such as Whistler. So we skipped Vancouver and came right to the source.

Video on Whistler summer

Biking, golf, lake swimming, hiking, skiing  frisbee golf, bear watching and more, whistler has it all. Watch this video and experience a small fraction of summer in Whistler

With endless activities and flexi-time at work, we encourage everyone at PayrollHero to exercise their brains outdoors, as well as at the office. Here’s just a few examples of what we have to play with:

Einstein on a bike

Even Einstein rode bikes to help fuel his creative thinking!

I like to think we’re running PayrollHero in the spirit of the book, Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard. To get a better idea of how easy going life is at our office, read my other blog post: Do You Work to Live or Live to Work?

Having said that, don’t be fooled into thinking that every day is a holiday, here. We play hard and we work hard. If this sounds like the kind of environment your talents could thrive in, get in touch!