Innovators from across Western Canada will head to Kamloops for the The Startup Canada Awards in September. The regional B.C. and Alberta awards will be given out at an event spearheaded by Kamloops Innovation.
It will be one of a series of events across Canada celebrating achievement in the entrepreneurship and innovation community.
Lincoln Smith, executive director of Kamloops Innovation, said the opportunity to host Startup Canada is recognition that Kamloops is a growing entrepreneurial hub.
“What’s going on in Kamloops is not well known,” he said. “It’s also a bit of a surprise at how far above or weight we are punching and I believe that the awards will give us the opportunity to get that awareness out and ultimately have companies and workforce look at Kamloops as a potential place they would move their operations or look for work.”
Awards in 17 categories recognize successful startups, including a new award in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary. It will commemorate an iconic Canadian business “that has propelled Canada’s brand on the global stage through its determination and leadership.”
Kamloops is home to several past recipients of Startup Canada Awards: Robert Atwood of Hummingbird Drones was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015; iTel Networks was nationally recognized for high-growth entrepreneurship in 2016; Kamloops Innovation was recognized for entrepreneur support in 2015; and John Zubak, entrepreneur-in-residence at Kamloops Innovation, was given the Adam Chowaniec Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Thanks to funding from the city, Kamloops Innovation attended and sponsored part of a similar Startup Canada event in Vancouver last year. Smith said that involvement helped Kamloops Innovation in its bid to host the awards this year.
The nomination deadline for the 2017 Startup Canada Awards is June 16th. The complete list of award categories is available online.