A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support, and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.
Our community is strong and growing with record speed and maintaining a connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we've got a plan.
Introducing, We are #OKGNtech. A showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters, and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth, and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
How were you first introduced to the OKGNtech community?
I was first introduced to OKGNtech 6 years after I started with Club Penguin when I was laid off. I realized that there had been this whole community growing in Kelowna. As more and more people “graduated” from Club Penguin, they started to level up that tech community. Not that everyone came from there, but it introduced a lot of experienced talent. Talent follows innovation, innovation follows talent.
What do you like most about the tech community?
For me, the tech community is like The Truman Show. Everyone I know or have worked with over the last 6 years is working downtown, especially in the Innovation Center. It really feels like a supportive environment where everyone is rooting for each other. There’s really something amazing going on here where people are just happy for people to succeed.
Can you tell us a little bit about where you work?
I’m the CEO of RFG Software. We’re a custom software development company that creates web and mobile applications. I enjoy being able to foster an environment where we can make great software, work with creative people and make imaginary things real.
What are your favourite projects to work on?
Games, or projects where there’s a visual component, are what I enjoy most. When I worked on Club Penguin, we had cross-disciplinary teams. Having 10 or 20 people utilizing their best talents to work together on a single goal was a lot of fun. RFG isn’t there yet, but that’s where I envision us as a company growing.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
If you’re interested in a job like mine, never stop learning. Pursue an interest or a question and keep following it. It’s something that I’ve always done, but not everyone learns that way. Dive in and figure it out. Thinking about the next steps is good, but only do a little bit of planning. You want to get your feet wet as soon as you can.
Where do you see the value of mentorship in learning?
You don’t get many opportunities to just sit, talk and interact with successful people—Accelerate Okanagan’s mentorship program provides that accessibility. I can’t tell you how big that is for a growing business. The Innovation Center is an ecosystem that encourages a spirit of collaboration and AO is right in the middle of all that.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received or that you can share?
If I could share any advice it would be to not give up—it takes longer than you think to create a business. The flip side is: do your homework. Entrepreneurs should do a financial analysis so that they can be confident their business will be able to turn $1 into $1.25. If there’s one thing that can improve entrepreneurial success it’s that.
Who inspires you?
Anyone who takes the time to post a how-to video on YouTube inspires me. It takes so much effort to create those videos and put themselves out there. What they’re doing is selflessly reinvesting, altruistically, in the advancement of human knowledge for basically zero dollars.