Small Business Week Open House 3-6 pm Wednesday October 18


Come join us and our facility partners for our Annual Small Business Week Open House at Community Futures in Landmark 1, 210-1726 Dolphin Avenue, Kelowna BC on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 from 3 - 6 pm. Enjoy appies and desserts by Michael Buffett from Start Fresh Collaborative Kitchen, you will not be disappointed!

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August 29, 2017
Okanagan selected as only Canadian region to collaborate with Techstars’ Chris Heivly on community pilot project Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

From August 28–September 7, Techstars’ Entrepreneur in Residence, Chris Heivly, will visit the Okanagan as part of a North worldwide community pilot project. Techstars – named by Forbes, TechCrunch and Inc. 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. They 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, they 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, 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.” 

The initiative has inspired much community support, with the following organizations acting as sponsors: Okanagan College, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Valley First, City of Kelowna, Lawson Lundell LLP., WTFast, Strawhouse, Community Futures of Central Okanagan, Bananatag, Data Nerds, Nucleus Strategies.

For more information or to secure an interview with Chris Heivly or Raghwa Gopal, please contact
Kathleen Reid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 604-724-1242.

Accelerate Okanagan’s (AO) mission is to give new and growing technology-driven businesses
the mentorship, connections, and community they need to thrive. This is accomplished by leading
the development and growth of a strong entrepreneurs and by helping companies accelerate the
commercialization of their technology products and services. The end goal is to help businesses grow
and create high paying knowledge based jobs and positive economic and social benefit to the region.

Techstars is a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars Startup Programs inspire,
educate and connect entrepreneurs. Chris Heivly is an early stage investor and entrepreneur. He cofounded
MapQuest, managed a $25 million corporate venture fund, co-founded The Startup Factory (a
Techstars-like accelerator) and has led various early-stage companies as CEO/COO. He recently joined
Techstars to leverage their collective experiences to help communities optimize their ecosystem goals
through these community projects.

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Kelowna’s INhouse Video recognized by Microsoft

inhouse video logo

Posted by:Heidi Mann, Accelerate Okanagan July 19, 2017

One of 8 marketing vendors to join the Microsoft Partner Network marketing program.

INhouse Video, a former Venture Acceleration Program graduate and current Accelerate Okanagan Patron, has been selected by Microsoft as one of only eight marketing vendors for their Microsoft Partner Network marketing program.

Microsoft has over 22,000 partner resellers in the US and 350,000 globally. These partners are  trying to find new and innovative ways to market Microsoft products and services in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The Microsoft Partner Network marketing program was designed to provide marketing resources for these partners to ensure they reach customers and achieve performance goals. Kelowna based, INhouse was selected as the preferred video marketing vendor for this program.

“This is an awesome opportunity to showcase INhouse in the Microsoft Partner Network,” says Peter Matejcek, CEO of INhouse. “Our previous work with both Microsoft and Microsoft Partners has highlighted our success in creating differentiating marketing videos. It is great to be recognized for our team’s work.  We are excited to further develop the relationship and bring more videos to the Microsoft Partner Network.”

INhouse works closely with companies to introduce video into their marketing programs. The INhouse team helps companies come up with a video strategy that aligns with their marketing goals, then produces and publishes videos quickly and cost-effectively. Current clients include primarily software companies but INhouse also creates videos for energy services firms, non-profit organizations, law firms, and educational institutions. This recent recognition from Microsoft is expected to increase brand awareness and lead generation on an international scale.

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Not A Tourist Guide

Front Cover HR Kelowna book cover
Tim Young and Hugh Philip are two enthusiastic, but realistic, long-time Kelowna residents who have gathered research from hundreds of reliable sources to create this one-of-a-kind . . . no-nonsense guide. There is no other single source of information that tackles the questions on the minds of potential newcomers. Unbiased Answers to these and many more important questions:
  • Is it true that Kelowna has a Sunshine Tax
  • Will I be able to find a job?
  • Will my family be safe?
  • Is the weather really as good as they say?
  • Give me a break, what are the challenges to living in Kelowna?
  • Is there available and affordable daycare for my children?
  • How does the housing market compare to other cities in Canada?
  • Is Kelowna business friendly?
  • What are ‘the’ best things to do for fun in the area?

Bonus! Each book is a coupon for a minimum 10% discount from trusted Kelowna businesses.

$2.00 from each book sold is donated to the Central Okanagan Food Bank.
This 6” x 9” soft-cover book includes 218 pages; 40 chapters; and 86 tables and illustrations.

Order online from ($14.95) or  Also sold at Kelowna bookstores and many other local retailers.

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Start Fresh Collaborative Kitchen Grand Opening


Come join the grand opening for the Start Fresh Kitchen. This will be an event with amazing local vendors, delicious food, live classes, and select wineries!  

The kitchen willbe open. They have been working very hard at using historic elements of Kelowna in building the space. The catering menu will be sampled at the event. Enjoy local and delicious high quality menu items paired with wine, live classes, and local vendors.

Tickets will be sold for $15 online and $20 at the door. Your purchase includes drink tickets and access into an amazing event!

- Glow Juciery
- Moonstone Ferments
- Elixir H Kombucha 
- Salt & Sage Jewelry
- Multiple local wineries will be attending for sampling 

**MUSIC** (Band will be announced soon)


When: Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 2-10pm

Bring your business cards for a draw being accounced at the end of the evening for prizes.

2:00pm - Doors will be opening, check in at the door and receive your gift 
3:00pm - Tour around the vendors, sample food, sip wine, check out live classes in our Start Fresh kitchen 
5:00pm - Live music will start
7:00pm - Prizes announced 
10:00pm - End of an unforgettable evening

Looking forward to bringing our community together and collaborating with new businesses.


Location: Ground Floor Landmark 2 Building, Kelowna BC

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SoFün - Social Enterprise Fundamentals Workshop by Pürppl

purppl workshop

SoFün is a social enterprise fundamentals workshop that has been developed for those who want to learn more about the lean startup principles for social enterprise. This full-day workshop on May 25 (9:00 - 4:00) provides in-person education, contextual examples, exercises, and tools to help you build and grow a social enterprise. Using a case study of an award winning social enterprise, Mission Possible, participants will walk through the business model canvas and then have an opportunity to build one for their own situation. Come and learn with and from social entrepreneurs.

Tools and Topics Include:

  • Business Model Canvas
  • Customer Discovery Process
  • Financial Modeling & Corporate Structure for Social Enterprise
  • Theory of Change
  • Pitching and Storytelling
  • Funding Opportunities

A social enterprise is an organization that is setup to use a business model to solve a social or community challenge. Incorporation models can include non-profit, charity, coop, for-profit, CCC, etc. It is about using entrepreneurial models to fund long-term solutions to social and community challenges.

This workshop is ideal for non-profit and charity leaders, entrepreneurs, 'wantrepreneurs,' students, government employees, employees of small and medium size companies, and anyone who is looking to implement community and social change initiatives.

Your ticket includes a copy of all content, exercises, coffee, tea, water, and lunch.

Purppl, in collaboration with the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence is excited to offer the SoFun workshop.

to register:

Price $45


Thu, 25 May 2017

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT

Add to Calendar


Okanagan College

1000 K. L. O. Road

Centre for Learning - Room E103

Kelowna, BC V1Y 4X8

View Map

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Una Gabie is Community Futures Volunteer of the Year

una gabieTo celebrate and recognize volunteers, Community Futures Central Okanagan is pleased to announce that Una Gabie has been awarded Community Futures Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations Una!

Una is a long time and active Community Futures Board Member who participates in the Loan Review Committee. Her legal and business background is constantly called upon to help evaluate and adminster complex loan applications and offers. Through leadership and community based decision making like this, Community Futures Central Okanagan has thrived in the community for over 26 years.

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