What an outstanding year for everybody involved with Accelerate Okanagan. We have over 630 tech companies throughout the Okanagan Valley and over 7600 people working in the tech industry. Our community is thriving!
Over the past year, we have helped 56 startup and growth stage companies through our mentorship programs and we regularly see new entrepreneurs come through our doors with big ideas and even bigger dreams. The companies on our programs continue to generate revenue ($16.8M -90% increase over the past fiscal year), secure more investment ($6.9M – 72% increase over the past fiscal year), and create more high paying jobs in the Okanagan (130 new jobs created — a 93% increase over the last fiscal year.)
As of March 2017, we are also proud to call the Innovation Centre home. Our shared co-working space is up and running at full capacity supporting over 44 people and 30 companies. Since moving into the Innovation Centre, we have hosted 49 events in the space with over 1300 attendees (including Justin Trudeau and liberal ministers who were visiting Kelowna this fall).
For the last five years, Accelerate Okanagan has supported the tech community by providing new and growing technology-driven businesses with the mentorship, connections, and community they need to thrive. We have now expanded our focus in an effort to support other accelerators throughout the country who are trying to do the same. We’ve developed playbooks for our most successful programs and our innovative programming is now running in communities throughout the country. Below is a look at our goals and results for 2016-2017. Given our growth, focus, and experience, I believe the best is yet to come,
FIVE STRATEGIC THEMES
Accelerate Okanagan exists to give new and growing technology-driven businesses the mentorship, connections, and community they need to thrive. To make this happen, we developed five key strategic themes designed to act as our north star and ensure we continue to deliver on our commitment to serve #OKGNtech.
Build a strong, unified voice that can spread #OKGNtech news around the world is critical because we know this is what it takes to effectively share our success, attract talent, and promote future growth.
We believe a strong and healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem is what leads and feeds #OKGNtech. By building community (on and online) we are proactively creating an environment designed to connect companies, customers, and supporters. The connections will in-turn bridge the talent gap and make the space for what’s to come.
Tech and tech-enabled companies are the reason we exist and a huge part of why the Okanagan is thriving. The #OKGNtech industry has a $1.3 billion impact on the Okanagan so we know to support #OKGNtech is to support the community as a whole.
By continuing to be innovative in how we use startups to propel and grow we can ensure we are ready to take on big initiatives that have a provincial, federal, and global impact.
Having the right team in place is an integral part of getting the job done… right. We are constantly reviewing and tweaking the roles and responsibilities within our organization to ensure high-level performance and rich development is achieved.
Looking for a way to plug into this thriving #OKGNtech community? Let’s connect.