A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support, and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.
Our community is strong and growing with record speed and maintaining connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we’ve got a plan.
Introducing, The Faces of #OKGNtech. A showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters, and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth, and more excitement. Follow along (on the blog and on Instagram @OKGNtech) to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
Meet Andrew. Andrew Greer is a Programs Strategist here at Accelerate Okanagan, as well as the Co-Founder of Purppl, a social enterprise accelerator. When Andrew isn’t accelerating company growth you can find him in the garden, two-stepping at the Corral, or canning pickles. We recently caught up with Andrew to learn more about his love for the Okanagan and what he loves about #OKGNtech.
Where do you work?
“Accelerate Okanagan is pretty simple, we hire entrepreneurs to help other entrepreneurs grow tech companies, and Purppl is pretty simple too, we hire entrepreneurs to help other entrepreneurs grow social enterprises.”
What is one word that describes you and why?
“One word to describe me would be honest…and I don’t have any other switch. This comes with its problems and occasionally I get served a piece of humble pie, pretty hard, because perhaps I can be a little too honest. Being honest doesn’t necessarily mean being nice, and also there is also such thing as being too honest. We know lots of things that are totally confidential or totally inappropriate, and part of honesty is discretion. It’s a balance.”
What do you enjoy about working at Accelerate Okanagan?
“Working with entrepreneurs and being able to see the outcomes of the program delivery is the best part about my job at Accelerate Okanagan. You can see the differences in companies like Bananatag. I’ve watched their CEO Corey Wagner mature as a person but I’ve also watched the company mature as a company. That sort of like…long-term value and long-term look at progress is a privilege that most people don’t get to see.”
What do you love about OKGNtech?
“Six years ago, when I moved here from Ontario, the community here in the Okanagan was visibly more active than any other communities I had seen. We say it’s all here now, but it was all here then too and our definition of “it” and “here” and “now” has shifted as we mature. The same things that attract people today are maybe just amplified.”#Itsallherenow
Do you have a piece of advice you can share with us?
“Being able to be comfortable with the word ‘no’ is so important. I sold a lot of copiers at Xerox. I was the top sales manager in Canada and the youngest sales manager in Canada. When I was in sales I got told ‘no’ thousands and thousands of times, but you have to hear a lot of no’s to get a yes.” #copythat
“The best advice I have received is to listen, not talk. There’s lots of space for talking, but not enough space for listening.”
What do you love about the Okanagan?
“I love that the Okanagan is small enough to still get involved in whatever you want to do but big enough to create the opportunity for whatever you want to do. Like, I can text the mayor!”
What do you want to be remembered for?
“I want to be known for my impact. I actually want to see change for some of these shitty broken systems that our communities are faced with. Things like poverty, climate change, hunger, homelessness, and mental health. If we can shift to spending our time, money and brilliance on solving problems like that, I would like to be known as one of the many who contributed to the change.”
Hungry for more? Meet Kathleen.
Have you seen the rest of the OKGNtech faces? Follow us on Instagram.