The Venture Acceleration Program was designed for entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas that are passionate about building a business. There are already many barriers to entering the world of entrepreneurship. This mentorship and training program not only helps to support budding entrepreneurs but to connect them with a community of peers.
The Venture Acceleration Student Scholarship was inspired by KPMG and their dedication to the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in the Okanagan. Debbie da Silva, Partner at KPMG is passionate about mentoring future leaders and giving back to her community. “This scholarship is a way for KPMG to support the growth and development of students and graduates with strong entrepreneurial spirit.”
The Venture Acceleration program gives these entrepreneurs the kind of guidance and coaching that will support them throughout the rest of their careers and I have had the opportunity to see this first hand, says Debbie da Silva, Partner at KPMG
We recently caught up with da Silva to learn more about her involvement within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, her love of Okanagan tech, and her thoughts on supporting the next generation of game-changers.
As an organization, we strive to promote entrepreneurship because we know that entrepreneurs are the fuel our economy needs to thrive. It takes courage to get a startup launched and a community of supportive partners is key. Through years of experience, we have learned that each new business requires its own unique strategy. There is no black and white, cookie-cutter solution. KPMG has a team approach to building these strategies and this approach has formed long and trusted relationships with our community.
We have been involved with Accelerate Okanagan since the beginning and there is no question that the tech sector is an exciting place to be. The fast-moving, ever-changing pace combined with the level of talent and possibility for innovation is kind of addicting. We have been working with clients in that sector for over five years now and seeing where they were when they made their first pitch, where they are now, and what the future holds is amazing.
On Supporting the Generation
Having a good idea is great but it is only the first piece of a very complex puzzle. Mentorship and training for college and university level entrepreneurs is crucial in promoting success. The Venture Acceleration Scholarship is a way for KPMG to really get involved (we are not just writing cheques). We are able to coach and develop strategy at this critical stage, co-creating a solid foundation from which these young entrepreneurs can launch. We gain a lot from this experience too. Seeing companies we have supported then, in turn, support the Okanagan community is incredibly gratifying.
Learn more about the Venture Acceleration Program.
Connect with Debbie.