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Accelerate Okanagan Takes Action to Unlock Capital for Local Entrepreneurs

Local Startup and Scale Up companies will have more access to capital than ever before thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada. Accelerate Okanagan recently signed a funding agreement with National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) that will support the continuation of its OKGN Angel Summit over the next two years. 

“Investments like this help support entrepreneurs in Canada’s technology and innovation sectors,” says Brea Lake, Acting CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “Based on the success of our inaugural OKGN Angel Summit, we have no doubt that this funding will have a significant impact on the OKGNtech community for years to come” 

Accelerate Okanagan will receive up to $213,000 in funding from NRC IRAP to support building the local capital ecosystem.

Accelerate Okanagan recently hosted former Summit participants and potential new investors at the Innovation Centre to announce the second annual OKGN Angel Summit as well as the new funding agreement. Programs Manager, Thuy Tran took the opportunity to highlight some of the success following the inaugural event.  

“Not only was the OKGN Angel Summit responsible for a $130K investment in Kelowna-based company Trellis, but it was also the catalyst for more than $4M in committed investments with multiple participating startups,” Says Tran. “We knew this Summit would be an amazing opportunity to connect local investors with local startups but we are blown away by the resounding impact of this project and overwhelmed by the amount of community support we have been able to attract”. 

Accelerate Okanagan is committed to supporting the development of an Okanagan-centric investor base and their new strategic plan reflects that. Over the next 5 years they plan to strategically collaborate with support organizations like NRC IRAP to build a network capable of unlocking the capital needed to support local founders & companies of all types and at every stage of growth. 

Quick Facts: 

  • The 2018 OKGN Angel Summit was the first of its kind in the interior of BC and was inspired and supported by John Sechrest from Seattle Angel Conference. 
  • The inaugural event not only raised $130K for the winning company but inspired an additional $4m + of committed investment into multiple local companies.
  • The inaugural event trained 26 new Angel Investors, most of which who are wanting to participate in the next round. 
  • The inaugural event had over 40 applications by companies that are looking to raise capital, and 24 were selected to participate in the Summit. 
  • Investor applications for the 2020 Angel Summit will open October 1st, 2019
  • Company applications for the 2020 Angel Summit will open October 1st, 2019

About Accelerate Okanagan: 

Accelerate Okanagan (AO) is a not-for-profit organization that gives entrepreneurs the mentorship, connections, and community they need to build technology driven ventures. At Accelerate Okanagan we work with everyone from students to well established companies. Aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, job seekers, career-changers, companies looking to expand and grow, and companies with proven track records come to Accelerate Okanagan to learn and foster their success. Our programs are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.

About the OKGN Angel Summit: 

The OKGN Angel Summit is an investor-led event put on by Accelerate Okanagan and designed to raise awareness about angel investing, its benefits and opportunities, and to educate accredited investors and entrepreneurs in a participatory manner. The inaugural OKGN Angel Summit was launched on January 28th, 2019. The next OKGN Angel Summit will be launching on January 6, 2020.

Interested in getting involved? 

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