Kelowna ‘cluster’ draws tech
Trevor Nichols - Nov 07 - Biz Releases

Image: CBC’s Dragon Den

A rapidly expanding tech company, buoyed by its recent success on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, has decided to make Kelowna its second home.

Based in Vancouver, Curatio is a “social health platform” that brings together patients dealing with similar illnesses.

Within the private communities the platform creates, users can connect and support one another; browse specially curated content; and manage and track their recovery.

Lynda Brown-Ganzert, the company’s founder and CEO, likens Curatio to a “social health prescription.” She says she created the platform so patients could be better supported once they leave health institutions.

“You might leave the hospital or your doctor’s office with a prescription, or a follow-up appointment. But guess what? You don’t leave with the one thing that decades of research has shown will support you and improve your outcomes… and that’s social support,” she explains.

Brown-Ganzert, who this September was named B.C. Entrepreneur of the Year by Startup Canada, pitched Curatio to, and secured funding from, Dragon’s Den last year.

Her success on the business pitch reality show has helped propel Curatio’s growth over the past year, and Brown-Ganzert has chosen Kelowna to be the site of a large part of that growth.

She officially expanded to the city two months ago, and is right now looking for talent—developers, directors, managers and marketers—to round out her local team.

While lifestyle is a big factor for almost everyone who sets their sights on the city, Brown-Ganzert says the weather and surroundings weren’t a significant part of her decision. Instead, she says she was attracted to the city’s tech community.

“Kelowna has got a really lovely, thriving tech sector. It’s got a strong university and college, so it’s got good talent flow, good thought leadership,” Brown-Ganzert says.

She says she looks at Kelowna “more from a cluster theory,” and after considering a number of key questions she saw potential to grow her business here.

“Is there a nucleus of activity, and seasoned experts? There is. Is there that thought leadership?  Is there community resources? There is. Then is there talent? There is.”

As Curatio settles into it’s new home in Kelowna, Dragon’s Den will once again feature the company, in an update segment that will air Nov. 9, at 8 p.m. on CBC Television.

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