Tim Dufour and Brian Fry founded RackForce in 2001 with the idea to bring a high-tech data center to the Okanagan Valley. Business quickly started expanding and the demand for their services was rapidly surpassing their equipment. In 2002 they approached Community Futures about support for hardware needed to keep up with their demand. As the company grew, RackForce opened up its first phase of a multi-million dollar state of the art 30,000 square foot green energy GigaCenter which will support demanding next generation IT systems to a worldwide base. RackForce is now one of the most advanced data centers in the world and Community Futures is proud to have been a part of their success.
RackForce, Canada’s largest Enterprise Cloud Service Provider, provides its services nationally and globally. In operation since 2001, RackForce has served over 12,000 customers to date ranging in size from SMB to Fortune 100 with substantial growth in the public sector including K-12, Advanced Education, Federal and Provincial governments.
RackForce’s roots are based in IT and Communication infrastructure hosting where it earned a reputation for leadership and innovation. RackForce has consistently provided market leading services by selectively leveraging emerging technologies to provide cost effective, innovative offerings. For example, as the first hosting service provider to adopt virtualization, Linux and open source management platforms, RackForce has provided more function and performance for the dollar than its larger American peers. RackForce delivers Cloud Virtual Machines, Virtual Data Centers, Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup from four geographically separated Canadian data centers all connected together by RackForce's national 10Gbps network.
Today RackForce's core business focus is to deliver secure, reliable, cost effective custom solutions for the enterprise market. It enjoys strategic relationships with technology leaders, such as, VMware, Cisco, IBM, Mitel and Kaltura. This provides RackForce early access to game changing intelligence, products and solutions and translates these advantages into the development of new advanced enterprise-class services, leveraging both its legacy capabilities and culture of innovation and the industry’s best technology. RackForce's enterprise cloud services include IaaS and SaaS services.
In March of 2015, Rackforce was sold for $33M to TeraGo. www.rackforce.com
Helios received financing support from Community Futures to help them develop their products, markets to help their company grow. Helios Global Technologies Ltd is a privately owned technology and solutions company with three divisions of product and expertise: Helios Global Tracking; Helios Defence and Security Research; and Helios Medical Group. They offer proprietary tracking and lone worker technology and industry leading solutions for clients operating at risk in a global market, as well as bringing forward leading edge technologies for survivability in the military and law enforcement sectors and advanced medical device technology.
Read more: Helios Global Technologies
Bliss Bakery is a natural, artisan bakery that opened in June 2005 in Peachland with financing support from Community Futures. Bliss is the only wholly scratch made organic, artisan bakery in the rapidly growing Okanagan corridor and the only scratch bakery in Peachland. Bliss has grown considerably and sales will continue to grow with the opening of two new retail locations and with the addition of the new commercial bakery facility that Community Futures supported with growth capital. http://www.blissbakery.ca/
The Hambleton Galleries has a long history of providing Original Canadian Art to the Okanagan. The gallery was opened by its namesake, Jack and Lorna Hambleton, in March of 1964.
The current owners, Stewart and Tracy Turcotte, have owned the Hambleton since 1999 with help provided to Stewart from the Community Futures Self Employment Program. As the business has grown, the gallery was moved from a Victorian heritage house down to the Cultural District of Kelowna on Ellis Street. The beautiful art is now showcased by the expanse of the space allowing the art to be the focus of your senses.
Hambleton Galleries represents an extraordinary group of leading Canadian Artists whose works presently grace many national and international private and corporate collections. The gallery carries original paintings, stone sculptures, ceramics and glass works. In addition to our contemporaries, we also specialize in historical Canadian art from acquisition and sales to restoration/conservation and appraisal.
The high standards set by those who have gone before continue to create a venue that captures the imagination of the artists and clients alike. http://www.hambletongalleries.com/
Owner Jim Stokes, opened Challenge Labels on September 1st, 1991. As in the saying, “Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” so it was with Challenge Labels. The first step: a staff of one and a primitive “sticker” press and the help of Community Futures to help them grow. “Without help from Community Futures and the BDC, Challenge Labels would not exist today” states Mr. Stokes in 2010.
Initially, Challenge had no pre-press facilities, artwork, imagesetting, platemaking, etc., all had to be jobbed out. As Challenge grew, it added its own art department, made their own plates and ran two to eight colour presses from facilities ten times the size of the original. Together with Labels Unlimited, an established Winnipeg-based firm, that became a partner in 1993, Challenge Labels represent a significant portion of the flexographic label production capacity in Western Canada. Challenge Labels’ made its mission as a label manufacturer to provide custom printed labels for all applications including food labels, water bottle labels, nutraceutical labels, pharmaceutical labels, wine labels, barcode labels, cosmetic and personal care labels, shipping labels, household product labels, coffee and tea labels.