When we think of technology in BC, we think of Vancouver. No shame there—the city is home to a world-class hub of tech startups, as any reader of Techcouver is well aware.
We know that British Columbia is a very large province, however, with more to it than a single region. The Okanagan, anchored by the surprisingly entrepreneurial city of Kelowna, is home to roughly 700 technology companies employing more than 12,000 people. That renders it among the larger ones in Canada.
Initiatives such as those from Accelerate Okanagan illustrate how powerfully the region is evolving: Since its inception in 2019, the OKGN Angel Summit has contributed to over $4 million being invested into Canadian startups, training over 140 entrepreneurs, and engaging with over 80 accredited investors.
Even beyond the Okanagan, the buzz of tech and startups begins to hum. In the Kootenays, there is increasing energy pouring into the establishment of a technology ecosystem.
The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology knows that investment is an important factor in an ecosystem’s success and thus wants to educate the public on angel investment at a local level.
“At Spring Activator and KAST we have witnessed many entrepreneurs leading the charge in innovation with excellent ideas—ideas that require funding and mentorship to accelerate the transformations they seek to make,” the organizations explain. “How can investors help fuel this much-needed impact forward in the Kootenays? What does it mean to be an impact investor? What does this space look like beneath the surface, and what kinds of companies are emerging as leaders?”
Spring Activator is working hard alongside KAST to spur entrepreneurship in the Kootenay region of BC. Another example of this is the Kootenay Investment Challenge, a 10-week online program in the fall of 2022 that brings together investment-ready tech entrepreneurs and investors looking to impact the local community.
Participants of the entrepreneur cohort will learn the fundamentals of seeking investor funding and develop an investor-ready pitch. Meanwhile the investor cohort will learn how to assess a startup’s investment worthiness and conduct due diligence.
The Challenge will conclude with the investor cohort selecting one Kootenay region entrepreneur to receive an angel investment.
Spring Activator has collaborated with other BC companies such as Telus.