Kamloops is offering entrepreneurs across the country a big incentive to do business in the city.
In partnership with the City of Kamloops, Kamloops Innovation has launched the Built In Kamloops contest to give away a startup package valued at more than $50,000. It will award an early-stage startup with a six-month intensive package in Kamloops to help launch their business.The deadline to apply is May 26th, with the company expected to be in Kamloops by July.
“There are two goals,” said Lincoln Smith, executive director at Kamloops Innovation. “One is to attract or support a local company to get started here in Kamloops and build the community we’ve already started and the other goal is to get the word out that cool things are happening in Kamloops and this contest is one of them.”
During the six-month period the winner will work out of Kamloops Innovation’s office space amongst other tech entrepreneurs, live downtown, receive mentorship through the Venture Acceleration Program, $10,000 cash to grow the business and be immersed in the local culture, with tickets to sporting events, shows, craft brew and wine tours and more.
In the last year, the Kamloops tech industry has been in the spotlight for its growth and innovative companies. With this contest, Smith said the city is putting “our money where our mouths are as far as what’s happening in Kamloops.”
The City of Kamloops is helping fund the initiative, having reached out to Kamloops Innovation late last year to discuss the opportunity to attract workforce to the city and help meet the needs of the growing tech sector. Venture Kamloops is also helping fund the initiative.
“Out of that came a number of projects that we put together, things we were already thinking about doing, but we’re able to do them bigger and a bit better with city support,” Smith said.
The city is looking for entrepreneurs or small companies with a business idea and in need of mentorship and resources to help launch or build their startup, Smith said. Kamloops Innovation is looking for a company that has an interest in being involved in the city’s startup community and the work the local tech accelerator is doing.
“Whoever does get awarded, the companies and the founders and the employees are going to invest their time helping us build the tech sector in Kamloops,” Smith said. “It's not just come here take the money take the mentorship. They have to become actively involved.”
The winner will be chosen by representatives from Kamloops Innovation, Thompson Rivers University, Venture Kamloops, the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures and local entrepreneurs. Local companies are welcome to apply. All the criteria and entry details are online.