Startup Kamloops | It Takes a Community

    Startup Kamloops | 2017 Recipient of the Startup Community of the Year

    “Leverage the resources, support, and organizations around you.”

    Startup Kamloops is an entrepreneur-led organization committed to the long-term success and sustainability of the Kamloops entrepreneurship ecosystem. In 2017, Startup Kamloops was selected to host the British Columbia Regional Startup Canada Awards, and that same year was named the Startup Community of the Year.

    Startup Kamloops is anchored within Kamloops Innovation, an organization recognized for its entrepreneurial support and impact in the region.

    Startup Kamloops is a network of tools, resources, and community organizations supporting entrepreneurship in Kamloops. They offer various programs for entrepreneurs, like Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) which is a structured venture development program assisting early-stage entrepreneurs to grow.

    Startup Kamloops and Kamloops Innovation offer programs that guide, coach and mentor early stage ventures and offer shared office spaces to host, facilitate, and sponsor events that help grow the startup community in Kamloops.

    Startup News had the opportunity to sit down with Lincoln Smith, Leader of Startup Kamloops and Director of Kamloops Innovation.

    SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

    LS: The opportunity to build something to be proud of, whether that be a product, a team, a company or a community.

    SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date? 

    LS: Welcome mistakes and failures. When mistakes happen take what the failure has shown you and use it to make something better.

    SN: What is the one thing we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?

    LS: Begin building the support for entrepreneurs outside our urban centres and create hundreds of points of distributed economic impact not just a centralized handful.

    SN: What is your vision for the next 150 years?

    LS: Kamloops is becoming a globally recognized Startup Community. In the last four years, we’ve seen the community grow rapidly, companies helping and learning from one another, and knowledge being funnelled back into the community. Over the next 5, 10, and 150 years you’ll see Kamloops continuing to grow and be an anchor city for Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

    SN: What is your message to the world?

    LS: Now has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Leverage the resources, support, and organizations around you to have an impact in communities where you live.

    SN: How have you benefited from being a recipient of the Startup Canada Awards?

    LS: The Startup Canada Awards have recognized our vibrant startup community, the entrepreneurs, and innovative companies that are driving our economy. Both the local and national spotlight have brought more awareness to Kamloops’ growing startup community.