Published On: Friday, 12 January 2018

Government Funds Accelerate Okanagan to Boost Entrepreneurs

Government Funds Accelerate Okanagan to Boost Entrepreneurs

KELOWNA - 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.

Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, announced $473,000 in funding to support Accelerate Okanagan to scale up their programming while expanding their services to target new communities.

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.

Startup Basics was developed for early stage entrepreneurs and career-changers and provides participants with the tools and resources to accelerate their idea to the next stage. RevUP is a six month program designed to help technology companies with scaling and rapid growth issues.

"Innovation and technology have the potential to drive our economy and create well-paying jobs for all Canadians. 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," Fuhr said.

With this funding, Accelerate Okanagan will be able to expand these two programs while adding a focus on clean technology and Indigenous entrepreneurs. The funding will also help Accelerate Okanagan extending these programs into Kamloops, Nanaimo, and Prince George.

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

In 2015, the Okanagan technology industry contributed $1.3 billion to the overall Okanagan economy. By continuing to support and grow the technology sector in Kelowna and other communities, this funding will assist Accelerate Okanagan to further the Government of Canada's priorities of supporting Indigenous economic growth, clean technology entrepreneurs and innovation.