While much of British Columbia’s technology and startup sector appears to be concentrated along the coastline the Interior of British Columbia is bustling with growth. Amidst the beautiful mountains, deep blue lakes, and manicured vineyards there is a lot going on in the tech community. Kelowna is home to world-class tech companies like StarDyne industries as well as host to Canada’s biggest tech retreat, Metabridge. Here’s a glimpse at some of the resources available to entrepreneurs in the Southern and Central Interior of BC:
Backed by the British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC), Accelerate Okanagan acts as a Kelowna-based tech accelerator that supports startups and entrepreneurs with the necessary tools for growth. They offer a variety of specialized programs that are targeted at specific stages of startup growth. They vary from Startup Basics, which is open to everyone at an affordable $110 CAD, to programs with unique mentoring opportunities like Venture Acceleration, where startups can apply to be paired with an executive mentor.
Up is a global movement focused on supporting new ventures, providing resources for entrepreneurs, and connecting the community. UP Okanagan is oriented at supporting these initiatives locally while connecting the local innovation community with the larger global network. They offer a variety of programs and events, such as Startup Weekend Okanagan, which can be found on their website.
Metabridge is a 2 day international tech retreat that takes place in Kelowna each year. The top 15 startups from across Canada are selected and connected with Silicon Valley to take them to the next level. It’s competitive to be get chosen but worthwhile if you’re on of the lucky 15. You can apply on their website.
This meetup group acts as a hub for all the various technology community events happening in the Okanagan. Their events range from weekly coffee meetings to special events and talks. Check out the metope group for a full listing of all the happenings.
The Okanagan Developer Group is a provides a free, casual forum for tech professionals to network, collaborate, and share ideas. They meet up once a month in Kelowna.
Co+ Lab is a co-working space located in downtown Kelowna. It’s open to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small working teams alike. They offer a broad variety of membership packages ranging from once a month drop-ins to private offices with 24/7 access.
The Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT)
This is a government backed initiative to foster economic development and diversity in the Southern interior of British Columbia. They provide grants and funding to startup and business initiatives that meet their requirements.
Kamloops Innovation is a non-profit and partner of BCIC that connects entrepreneurs in the central interior region of BC. In their own words Kamloops Innovation ‘offers affordable programs that guide, coach and mentor early stage ventures, collaborative and shared office spaces, and host, facilitate, initiate, partner, sponsor, and generally support all sorts of events that help to grow the tech community in Kamloops.’
Venture Kamloops is dedicated to fostering economic development and advancement in the City of Kamloops. They’re website is a great resource for entrepreneurs providing guides, resource lists, labour and industry information and statistics, as well as an overview of the Kamloops business climate. Anyone looking to start a business in the Kamloops area should take a look through their well laid out website.
Powered by Startup Canada, Startup Kamloops provides a space for budding entrepreneurs and businesses to gather, network, collaborate and share.
At Gravit-e Technologies we are excited to see the startup movement is thriving throughout BC. We also understand that while there is a lot going on, resources remain limited for many businesses in the BC interior and the search for talent and affordable development is a struggle everywhere, including Vancouver. That is why we are happy to extend our software development services far and wide to accommodate businesses and startups outside of Vancouver to ensure they don’t get left behind. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business grow.