More opportunities are on the way for entrepreneurs in the Okanagan, thanks to new funding from the federal government for Accelerate Okanagan.
The non-profit organization announced Wednesday, Dec. 1 it’s receiving $275,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, funding that will support the creation of new and improved capital training activities for entrepreneurs over the next two years.
In 2018, Accelerate Okanagan launched its first OKGN Angel Summit to help startups access early-stage capital in the region. The summit has so far supported more than 100 companies and engaged more than 60 local investors. Accelerate says it wants to build on the momentum of the summit and see more funds created, deals struck and capital training made available for all kinds of entrepreneurs.
The organization says it will leverage the new funding to create new capital initiatives and activities that support small to medium-sized enterprises.
“Entrepreneurs need access to investors who understand their business but also them as founders,” said Thuy Tran, acting CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “We know there is a gap in the diversity of our investment community and the types of entrepreneurs that are seeking to raise private capital. We want to open more doors and windows into the world of fundraising for individuals from all walks of life.”
The number of funds and investment groups that have formed in the Okanagan in recent years is “incredibly promising,” Accelerate said. Most recently, the Women’s Equity Lab opened an Okanagan chapter, and Valhalla Angels launched its BC Investment Summit.
Accelerate also hopes to see entrepreneurs gain the knowledge and skills to become investors in the future and eventually end up giving back to the startup ecosystem in the Okanagan.
To participate in the OKGN Angel Summit, visit www.okgnangelsummit.com.