2021 12 07 | Host: Eric Gombrich | Jessica Wicks - Accelerate Okanagan
Dec 7, 2021
Through Zoom, Eric Gombrich hosted Jessica Wicks, Community Lead North Okanagan for Accelerate Okanagan. She oversees “The View,” Vernon’s Innovation & Entrepreneur Workspace at 2933 30th Ave, next to Marten Brewing. Accelerate Okanagan connects entrepreneurs, mentors, funders, sponsors & resources, etc., to help build technology-driven ventures. Members may use The View’s shared work & meeting spaces, or the larger “OKGNworks” facility at 201-460 Doyle Ave, Kelowna. In 2017, the Okanagan Tech Sector counted $1.67 billion in economic impact, & over 12,000 employees in nearly 700 tech companies, with a 15% annual growth rate. 55% of employees were under 35 years old, & many of them feel somewhat isolated, typically working at home. Accelerate Okanagan’s Areas of Focus are to “Engage the Willing, Unlock the Capital & Coach the Leaders,” through programs which help new businesses to examine their idea, validate their product & their market, penetrate their market, & facilitate expansion. They help with startups, scale ups, accessing advisors, finding investors & providing a venue for pitching to investors. Community is built through events, workshops, job boards, etc. Funding for Accelerate Okanagan comes from government grants, member fees & other sources. Both Jessica & Eric see opportunities for our SSR members to help theirs, & for them to find fellowship & community involvement through Rotary.