Heivly sets sights on Okanagan
Accelerate Okanagan - Sep 05 - Columnists

Image: Accelerate Okanagan

This week, Techstars’ Entrepreneur in Residence, Chris Heivly, is visiting the Okanagan as part of a worldwide community pilot project.

Techstars–named by Forbes and TechCrunch as one of the  top accelerators in the U.S.–has selected the Okanagan as the only Canadian region to participate in the community pilot project, which aims to support local entrepreneurs and establish a long-term working relationship between startup communities.

“The Okanagan is fighting way above its playing weight. They have a robust and mature startup ecosystem  compared to the size of the overall population,” says Heivly. “I have been to the Okanagan a number of times over a year and a half period but this will be a deeper dive and a chance to really connect with what makes this community, the people.”

Heivly’s visit marks the first of four phases within the community pilot project.

Techstars will begin by meeting with a number of startup founders in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.

It will then develop a community assessment, measuring the Okanagan using a Techstars scorecard. Based on the results of the interviews and assessments, Techstars will collaborate with Accelerate Okanagan to create a three, six and 12-month community roadmap.

Finally, the company will come alongside the community and support implementation.

“We are confident that Chris Heivly’s insight will be valuable to us as our tech community continues to grow,” said Raghwa Gopal, the CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “The fact that we were chosen out of 20 applicants as one of five pilot locations is a testament to the vibrancy of our tech community.”

For more information on the Techstarters initiative, click here.

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