Entrepreneurs will now have access to more capital activities in the Okanagan than ever before. We are thrilled to announce that Accelerate Okanagan is receiving funding of $275,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) that will support the creation of new and improved capital training activities for entrepreneurs over the next two years.
The startup ecosystem hinges on the support of active investors and fundraising opportunities. Accessing early-stage capital can be a difficult process for startups located in regions like the Okanagan. In 2018, we launched the first annual OKGN Angel Summit to unlock the capital in our region by creating meaningful connections and learning opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Since its inception, the Summit has supported over 100 companies and engaged over 60 local investors. We want to build on the momentum of the Summit and see more funds created, deals struck, and robust capital training made available for entrepreneurs.
We will leverage the funding support from NRC IRAP, to create new capital initiatives and activities that support small to medium-sized enterprises. These initiatives will be designed to increase confidence and knowledge of investment options as well as the process of fundraising, so entrepreneurs are properly prepared when it comes time to make a deal. These new activities will also focus on the inclusion of diverse voices to ensure a greater range of perspective is present in the Okanagan’s startup and investment communities.
“Entrepreneurs need access to investors who understand their business but also them as founders,” says Thuy Tran, Acting CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “We know there is a gap in the diversity of our investment community and the types of entrepreneurs that are seeking to raise private capital. We want to open more doors and windows into the world of fundraising for individuals from all walks of life”.
Having a healthy local capital ecosystem increases the strength of startups, creates opportunities that accelerate new innovation, and drives economic growth and recovery. In recent years, it has been incredibly promising to see more funds and investment groups forming in the Okanagan that recognize the need for more angel investors. Most recently, the Women’s Equity Lab opened an Okanagan chapter and Valhalla Angels launched their BC Investment Summit. All of this activity is promising for the sustainability and growth of entrepreneurship in our region.
Some of the most successful angel investors are those who were entrepreneurs themselves. Through on-going skills training and community building, Accelerate Okanagan also hopes to see entrepreneurs gain the knowledge and skills to become investors in future, and eventually, end up giving back to the startup community in the Okanagan. With a growing number of mergers and acquisitions happening regularly in the region, there is an opportunity to make that happen.
An Elevated Investment Experience
Opportunities to plug in to the 2022 OKGN Angel Summit are now available for companies, angel investors, and sponsors.Start The Journey