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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna’s strong history of producing elite level athletes

A look at some of the most notable professional athletes from Kelowna, B.C.

Fireside Festival gears up for day three in Kelowna

Sunday’s lineup includes the Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Lazy Syrup Orchestra and Frig Off

Rockets grab overtime win over Giants, aim to make it 3 straight with Sunday night rematch

Kelowna’s won their last two games and conclude 3-game weekend against Vancouver

Big White celebrates Aussie Day with a series of fundraisers for wildfire relief

Big White Ski Resort’s restaurants Globe Tapas and Blarney Stone raised $6,000 for charity

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Classic tale seeks North Okanagan ballet dancers

Anne of Green Gables, by Ballet Jorgen, in Vernon

North Okanagan youth ready to make some NOYSE

Showcase of excellence features talents of young local performance

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

Rockslide obstructing traffic on rural Shuswap road

Large boulders rolled onto Sunnybrae Canoe-Point Road in the South Shuswap.

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Most Read