We are now accepting applications for the October kick-off of the Venture Acceleration Program (VAP). This six-month program was designed to support committed entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to market through mentorship and training.
The VAP program is an initiative of Innovate BC and stands apart from other programs offered by Accelerate Okanagan because of its unique cohort model. Along with one-on-one mentorship, participating entrepreneurs will build life-long relationships with their peers as they work together through the startup process. The Venture Acceleration Program applications will be closing September 8th.
We recently caught up with Venture Acceleration Alumni and CTO of Trellis, Jay Bell to learn more about his journey on the program and what he’s up to now.
Q.What inspired you to join the Venture Acceleration Program?
“I first heard about Accelerate Okanagan about six years ago when I was a student at UBCO here in Kelowna. I joined the program almost a year later because I was the recipient of the Student Scholarship for a company I co-founded called Unite.”
Q. Can you give us the elevator pitch for Unite?
“Unite was a social discovery app designed to help friends find fun things to do in their area. It launched in Kelowna and ran here for three years. It never expanded outside of Kelowna and eventually we shut it down and I decided to go back to school. I finished my Bachelor of Science with a major in computer science and was simultaneously recruited to join Trellis as their CTO.”
Q.What did you love most about your experience with the Venture Acceleration Program?
“The biggest takeaway for me was all the networking and all the people that I met. To this day, I still know those people and lean on them when I can.”
Q. Can you speak to the power of mentorship?
“Everyone needs someone. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are in one area, there is always going to be another area that you could use support. Having a mentor, or team of mentors is such a great support system to have in place.”
Q. What advice would you give to early stage entrepreneurs?
“Get out there and meet people! Networking is king and if you can go to as many events as you can to meet as many people as you can, it will pay off later in life.”
Does the VAP program sound like a good fit for you? Apply before September 8th!
Hungry for more? Take a look at my Venture Acceleration Program | Explained blog
Curious about the program? Here is what you can expect Venture Acceleration Program | Curriculum
Enjoy this blog? Here is a spotlight on Alumni, Kathleen from NINERISING Venture Acceleration Program | What to Expect
Curious about Jay’s App Unite? The Unite Startup Story