Kelowna and Okanagan - Beginner's Tech Guide
First things first, there is a very active Kelowna tech community on Slack of over 1.3K people. The first thing you should do is join. Fire me off a message using the contact form and I'll send you an invite :)
The tech industry in the Okanagan has a billion dollar impact for the region, behind only the winery industry in economic value added. This information is based on my experience moving to Kelowna and being part of the tech industry for over five years. This is the information that would have made my life easier when landing in Kelowna.
Updated last: September, 2018. (Missing something? Let me know!)
Below is a very good directory or resources from Jeff Keen, who was the first person I met regarding technology when I moved to Kelowna:
This is the mother ship of the Kelowna tech scene. Contact them and arrange a meeting to get a lay of the land. I don't usually enjoy email lists but this is one you want to sign up for. Also if you're looking for a tech job in the region, their job board is the first place to start > https://www.accelerateokanagan.com/community/job-board/ . Their FB page is a great way to keep up to date on their community events.
This is where I worked out of for many years. It's a coworking space that is primarily focused on tech. Since coming to Kelowna, this is where I've met most of my network from. Check out their FB page for lots of local events.
Okanagan Centre for Innovation
The new tech building in Kelowna. This is a big deal for the city. This is where a lot of the big tech fish swim. Large tech startups and some coworking spaces means there's a lot of tech activity going on. Accelerate Okanagan is located on the second floor. Large tenants: Bannnatag, FreshGrade, Accelerate Okanagan. Check out the view from the rooftop!
Kelowna Tech on Slack
There is a very active Kelowna tech community on Slack of over 1.3K people. Please contact me using form below and I'll send you an invite :)
This group facilitates a network of tech entrepreneurs and professionals on or from the Okanagan to generate business opportunities. News, events + #oktech https://www.facebook.com/okanagantech/
Are you a self-employed business owner running a one-person show? Are you a creative professional looking to to network with others who are running their own business in or from the Central Okanagan? As solopreneurs one of the challenges we face is that of working alone. Join a group of like-minded professionals to network, share contacts and contractors, collaborate on projects, or get feedback on business ideas, creative projects, or other initiatives. Join the 900 plus entrepreneurs for events in Kelowna. https://www.meetup.com/OKentrepreneurs/
Digital Okanagan on Meetup
This used to be a really active Meetup group but has died down a bit over the years. It still has the largest amount of members with over 1K members. https://www.meetup.com/DigitalOkanagan/
MAD Nights Kelowna - Marketing and Design
Mega Geek Beers
New Year Kick Off Party - Accelerate Okanagan
OKGNtech Live - Accelerate Okanagan
Kelowna Tech Slack (contact for invite)
Other Community Groups:
Okanagan Young Professionals - new to town or thinking of moving? Contact Drew.
Okanagan Changemakers - social enterprises
JCI Kelowna - junior chamber
MAD Nights Kelowna - Marketing and Design
Larger tech Companies (former startups / still startups?) in Kelowna. In no particular order as of yet:
Club Penguin / Disnery Interactive
Get In The Loop
Volinspire / Do Some Good
Crew Marketing Partners
Trellis - fundraising simplified
Hockey by Design Market (partner in company)
Digital Marketing Agencies
Branding and Design
Video and Photo
Yeti Farm Creative
Hyper Hippo games
Hosting / Servers etc.
Non Profits / Community
Arts & Culture
Web Dev - Smaller Shops
Meeting People in Kelowna
Little bit of a different avenue then Tech but the one thing I wish I would have done earlier when landing in Kelowna is signing up for Urban Rec's All Sport League. You play a different sport every week with your team but more importantly, it's a great way to meet people and grab a drink afterwards.
New to Kelowna? I'm always up for a coffee, you can reach me on the social medias or below!
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