Opportunity Knocks Vol. 9 | The Innovator Skills Initiative

Blog August 16, 2019

Posted by Alex Goodhew

Opportunity Knocks Vol. 9 | The Innovator Skills Initiative Featured Image

Let’s face it, it’s not easy to take an idea and turn it into a reality. Being an entrepreneur is hard because it’s all on you! Success is on you. Results are on you. Making the call is on you. 

The truth is that being an entrepreneur will test you in ways you didn’t think possible, but we want you to pursue it anyway. We also want you to know that you’re not alone. There are a ton of support services and funding opportunities available to entrepreneurs in the Okanagan who are ready to take the plunge.

Growing your team, finding passionate students and paying their salary line item can be tough for startups. Let’s talk about how to make that a bit easier with an awesome hiring incentive: The Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI).

Innovator Skills Initiative

This amazing hiring program is facilitated by Innovate BC and New Ventures BC to help tech companies around the province hire talented students. They are incentivizing the process of hiring students by providing opportunity for companies to apply for 10k in funding! This helps to cover some of that salary cost, while simultaneously providing opportunities for students to work for local companies and build their skill sets and network. Talk about win, win. 

As a company, you know that talent is key. By hiring students and using incentives like this, you are also helping to create and support the growing talent base in our community. 


You must be a BC-based tech company or tech startup and your student must be: 

  • not a co-op student for the semester they would be receiving grant funding

  • taking on a business or tech role 

  • enrolled at an accredited BC post-secondary school or is taking one semester off (ie. summer) 

  • Can work part-time or full-time at your company 

Not sure if right now is the best fit, no worries! Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Also, approvals are quick; you can expect 2-4 weeks processing time. 

How can Accelerate Okanagan help? We thought you’d never ask!

If you have more questions about the program, I can connect you directly to Rachel from New Venture’s BC. We’ve also partnered with them to make sure that eight grants are specifically available for OKGNtech companies. 

Want to learn more about funding and support resources? Come check out our next Funding and Support presentation on August 28th or connect with me and let’s find funding and support that will work for you and your business. 

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