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.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Life takes an unpredictable turn for well-known South Okanagan baker

Walla Artisan Bakery and Café owner Benjamin Manea diagnosed with ALS

Smoke Eaters win overtime thriller over Vees

Smoke Eaters win Game 3 overtime thriller over Penticton Vees in Interior Division semifinal

Cure for Alzheimer’s disease remains elusive

Complexity of the brain still defies discovery of drug treatment

World Down Syndrome Day: The up side of Down

A Kelowna family’s journey with Down Syndrome: ‘There is tremendous beauty in these kids’

Community Sport Heroes recognized in Penticton

Three Okanagan residents who dedicated their lives to sport were recognized

Wilkie returns home with three medals in tow

Paralympic champion returns home with a gold, silver and bronze from the 2018 PyeongChang games

Vancouver Island university develops program to help kids cope with overdose crisis

A child and youth care professor worked with students to develop projects focused on children, families and communities dealing with opioids.

Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook data whistleblower in 2016: source

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts

No opting out: Canadians to get emergency alerts on their phones soon

Canada’s wireless providers are preparing for a looming update to the National Public Alerting System

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel and U.S. company ICM Partners

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Texas bombing suspect blows himself up as SWAT moves in

The suspect in a spate of bombing attacks that have terrorized Austin over the past month blew himself up with an explosive device as authorities closed in

Witnesses: Boko Haram returns Nigerian kidnapped schoolgirls

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants have returned an unknown number of the 110 girls who were abducted from their Nigeria school a month ago.

Most Read