Meet the trailblazers elevating Vernon’s entrepreneurial community.
The Vernon Innovation & Entrepreneur Workspace (The VIEW) is a hub for collaboration and connection in the Vernon startup community. And that is a feat we continue to strive for. As we engage with Vernon’s entrepreneurs, one question we frequently get is ‘“is my business the right fit for The VIEW?’” To which we say, “there is no one ‘right fit.’”
Instead, there are questions you can ask yourself:
Do you challenge the status quo? Rethink how things are done? Or look for opportunities to create value?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re probably our type of person.
Since we opened, we’ve had some amazing coworkers pass through our doors. They join us so that they can be surrounded by people who inspire them every day, for the peer mentorship that happens when discussing projects, because they are ready to take their professional and business’s growth to the next level.
We love to celebrate the journeys and milestones reached within our community. So, let us introduce you to a few of our current tenants and what they’re up to.
These days, Dave typically describes his work as digital consulting and website development. This can include everything from developing a full Shopify ecommerce website for retailers to helping small- and medium-sized businesses get started with Facebook and Instagram advertising.
Although he doesn’t gig professionally anymore, Dave is a lifelong musician who still writes and produces music. When not in the midst of a pandemic, he loves to go travelling with his family and is hoping to head back to the Baja of Mexico in early 2022.
Karen is the co-founder and CEO of Made Live, which offers picture book publishing software to authors so they can manage and automate key aspects of their project faster than ever before—taking them from inspiration to publication and beyond.
You can visit made.live to apply to be a beta tester for their service or sign up for updates. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for their product launch this spring!
When she’s not helping children’s authors write and publish picture books, Karen likes to hang out with her amazing kid and devours podcasts and audio books.
How can a ship travel safely without ever hitting the bottom of a river? How can a fruit importer make sure its fruit resides in the warehouse as little time as possible? These are all questions that companies contact Bas at Studio Excel for.
With his teammates, Bas creates intelligent software solutions. Currently, he is creating a suite of software solutions focused primarily on lessening the daily administrative burden for freelancers.
Bas moved to Canada last year, so he is interested in being in and around nature. In September he even tried to cycle the Kettle Valley Road, but after an hour his bicycle resigned. He plans to retry next spring.
They have a variety of clients across Canada receiving their assistance with different private sector initiatives such as entrepreneurial development, tourism development, citizen attraction, and inbound investment.
Nick loves being active while exploring the Okanagan Valley with his wife and dogs. Other than that, he loves playing guitar and songwriting in his spare time.
Through executive coaching and business consulting, Tas supports and coaches leaders of not-for-profits so they can generate sustainable revenue for their organizations.
One of her main clients is Purppl, a social enterprise accelerator who is currently supporting a number of companies locally including HOPE Outreach. Tasia recently helped them to start a social enterprise jewelry line called Jewels of HOPE, where all revenue returns to vulnerable and exploited women in the Okanagan.
Living up at Silver Star, mountain biking and skate skiing are Tas’s jam. She also dabbles in knitting as well as zone 2 gardening.
Aaron teaches people how to use story work visualization to achieve their peak performance by squashing performance anxiety, self-doubt, and lack of confidence. He also speaks to audiences on grit and how they can achieve it through visualization, especially in times of adversity.
When he’s not coaching, speaking or writing, Aaron likes fishing, hunting, camping and playing guitar.
Jessica runs outdoor yoga events at Predator Ridge, retreats with Okanagan Yoga Retreats, and educates prospective yoga teachers. Grace & Flow recently introduced an athletic apparel line, so their online store is currently being expanded. In addition to yoga events, Grace & Flow hosts women’s conferences called Boss Up.
What are Jessica’s interests outside of work? Yoga! As a yoga teacher she loves to do as much yoga as she can. She also loves hiking, biking, and spending time with her two little boys.
Josiah operates and assists on the production end of live events. Moving his business into a corporation and the details associated with that has been his newest focus.
Outside of work, Josiah’s interests include coffee, craft beer, new restaurants, and travelling.
Alison plays the role of the connector between students and jobs or WIL (Work Integrated Learning). She is always happy to meet with employers in the community who are looking to be connected with students. She is currently focused on growing student co-op opportunities in the North Okanagan with Okanagan College.
When she is not helping people start their careers, Alison’s hobbies include art, art and more art. She is also passionate about climate and environmental protection.
Emilio oversees project management in the construction industry including due diligence, project design, budgeting, execution, supervision, and keyhand projects. He is also involved in real estate investment and engineering projects for the construction industry.
Outside of his work, Emilio enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, listening to music, reading and hanging out with friends. He also loves sports—from playing tennis, basketball, and racquetball to watching NFL, NBA, NHL, and UEFA Champions League soccer games.
Melanie helps businesses make tasks easier for their staff. She helps to implement change in organizations undergoing system or process changes. This work is typically done with a project management team handling the system aspects while Melanie’s focus on the people side. She also assists in creating or refining procedures, workflows, and tools that automate manual processes.
Outside of work, Melanie enjoys all things food, beer, and cider. She also loves trips to amusement parks and exploring new places with her husband and doggo Sadie.
Eric has spent his career working in sales and marketing for cloud software companies that sit alongside big tech software giants like AWS and Microsoft. His area of specialization is customer and employee experience software and design. Eric has a special affection for companies that are “born digital” vs. those that are “digitally transforming”.
Eric enjoys taking advantage of all the outdoor pastimes that the Okanagan has to offer, from wake surfing to dirt-biking to x-country skiing. Currently, he is navigating pandemic obstacles of building a new home in the Vernon area.
Debby manages projects, plans events and provides training related to intimate partner violence response. Her clients are usually government organizations and non-profit agencies.
She is currently working on projects for a network of BC Domestic Violence Units. In addition, Debby is providing virtual training via Zoom for collaborative groups from across BC.
In her downtime, Debby is all about her pets, her home, and her family.
Curt manages operations for a small digital marketing agency that is laser-focused on scaling dealers who sell a variety of luxury outdoor living products. He works with some of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies in America to help them build their dealer networks.
After recruiting new dealers, Deepwater Digital plugs them into their systematized process that creates sales and growth for their company. Here is a recent landing page revision for one of the luxury outdoor living products they market.
Curtis loves burning off steam with an active lifestyle whenever possible. Hiking, camping, golf, tennis, snowboarding—he finds most of these activities are best followed by drinks with friends.
The VIEW is run by Accelerate Okanagan and supported by many organizations including Community Futures North Okanagan and the City of Vernon.