Entrepreneurs, tech to benefit from Enhanced Acceleration programs

Accelerate Okanagan to expand programs targeting clean technology and Indigenous entrepreneurs

Clean technology companies, Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities in rural British Columbia will get help turning business ideas into reality thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada.

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr announced on behalf of the federal government, $473,000 in funding to support Accelerate Okanagan to scale up its programming while expanding its services to target new communities.

“Innovation and technology have the potential to drive our economy and create well-paying jobs for all Canadians,” said Fuhr. “By expanding their services across British Columbia, Accelerate Okanagan is helping more people—especially those who live in rural and Indigenous communities—to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into economic success stories.”

Accelerate Okanagan’s mission is to give new and growing technology-driven businesses the mentorships and connections they need to thrive through programs like Startup Basics and RevUp. With this funding, Accelerate Okanagan will expand the two programs, while adding a focus on clean technology and Indigenous entrepreneurs. The funding will also help Accelerate Okanagan extend the programs to Kamloops, Nanaimo, and Prince George.

“I strongly believe that mentorship programs are key to the successful growth of any company and critical in creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through this initiative, our mentorship programs will now have greater reach and impact and this will ensure we continue to build a strong future for Canada’s economy,” said Raghwa Gopal, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan.

At the announcement Thursday morning in Kelowna, Gopal said the Okanagan is the fastest growing tech region in the country with 15 per cent growth year-over-year in each of the last two years.

He said as of the end of 2015, there were 630 tech companies in the Valley, 7,600 people were employed in the sector and it had an annual economic impact on the Okanagan economy of $1.3 billion.

The funding announced by Fuhr will also support an increased emphasis on clean technology at Metabridge 2018—an annual retreat that connects Canadian technology companies with their peers in California’s “Silicon Valley.” By attracting clean technology entrepreneurs to this event, more local companies will benefit from exposure to global entrepreneurs and venture capital.

And Fuhr said its not just the industry that is taking notice of what is happening with the tech sector in the Okanagan. He said the federal government is also paying attention—and that makes it easier for him when he lobbies for funding from Ottawa for his riding.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 8.0 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Young PIB man skips jail time for grad party assault

Aaron Jack-Kroeger was sentenced to a 15-month conditional sentence in Penticton’s courthouse

Angels at The Mule

Penticton nightclub introduces angel shots for safety

Honesty turns to harsher jail sentence for Penticton man

Jakob Holmes kicked a cop in the face while she was on the ground after she attempted to arrest him

Update: Fire at Osoyoos business believed to have started on lower level

A fire started on Sunday night at the East Indian Meat Shop and fruit stand

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Dryer explosion at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Most Read