Connecting Canadian government

and startup community


HIGHLINE is a new venture capital company in Vancouver, BC, aiming to become the leader of the Canadian startup scene, and they'd love to work on a product for this goal.

 As designer, my job was to explore problem space and look for possible product ideas.

USER Research



HIGHLINE's Vancouver office locates at a co-working space together with around 15-20 startups. In order to create reliable and realistic representation of the their target audience, I conducted user interviews with startup founders working there.

The persona was an result of combining the information from my user interviews. It helps stakeholders to evaluate existing problem space.

Persona created based on user interviews



Stakeholder Interview

A series of contextual interviews was conducted with the stakeholder. During the interview, I used diagrams to illustration existing problems and invite stakeholders to comment during the process. I found out the key problem space: communication between government and VCs.

Research notes on how startup funding works in Canada.


The way government measures how well funded companies do is not crystal clear. In fact, I was told that venture capitals are unclear about why they receive such amount of funding. Each year all the VCs will file their reports to the government, but it doesn't really help VCs to show their effort, or help governments to evaluate how well they do and make decisions for next year's funding.



Based on the research, I came up with an product idea to simplify the communication between Canadian government and VCs.

Some people might ask why companies don't use existing platforms like Angelist or Crunchbase. Well, they do use it, but as I stated before, the funding model in Canada is quite different. Government plays an important role here and other platforms doesn't really help on connecting startup community with the government.

This platform will have the "Frontend" and "Backend".


Works like an index, which everyone will be able to check all the datas and share to social medias etc.


For companies/VCs to login and enter the data. Most importantly VCs can generate their reports here and send it directly to the government.


Design with Real Data

Having access to stakeholder's market analysis data, I was able to build the information architecture base on real data. It was important to understand the actual forms of different datas and figure out the best way to present them.

 Market Analysis from HIGHLINE

Market Analysis from HIGHLINE


Card sorting was conducted together with starkeholders.

 Card Sorting

Card Sorting

 Sketching User flow

Sketching User flow



With the user flows in mind, I started to do quick wireframing with Sketch.

My design method is called The Lego Approach. I learn this from Ryan Opina, Design Lead at Engine Digital.

I use this method to start designing from the block level, do testing and get feedback, then move to brick level.

 Final mockup

Final mockup