Meagan Noel looks on as Jean-Marc LaFlamme gives his formal remarks on the launch of Startup Revelstoke at Begbie Brewing on Feb. 22. 2018. Noel works remotely for Junior Achievement, a non-profit that provides business education to children grades 5 - 12 across the country. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

PHOTOS: Tech Summit and Startup Revelstoke launch could mark transformation of local economy

The Startup Revelstoke launch party on Thursday night brought together local entrepreneurs and tech experts from across the country

The energy was electric on Thursday night. About 50 local entrepreneurs, members of the city staff, two city councillors, and national experts in their fields gathered to share ideas.

The event marked the climax of a full day of networking for members of our community who got to engage with industry professionals as part of the Revelstoke Tech Summit, which began at Mt. Begbie Elementary Thursday morning with a keynote address by Vancouver based software developer David Ascher, and ended at Mt. Begbie brewing with the formal launch of Startup Revelstoke: a social network and business platform that seeks to connect tech experts with the capital, resources, and expertise they require to get a startup business off the ground.

It’s exciting, says Jean Marc LaFlamme, who has been part of building Startup Revelstoke over the last two years, and whose partnership with Community Futures has guaranteed the organization will continue to thrive for years to come.

Those involved think it could radically transform the economy of this community, and help solve some big picture problems like climate change by connecting the local to the global. As LaFlamme says during his speech on Thursday night, a central part of the mission of Startup Revelstoke has to do with “social impact.” But it is also about creating community.

“In the past I wish I had the same thing, there are so many difficult times as an entrepreneur,” says Laflamme, during his address.

Before LaFlamme spoke Kevin Dorrius of Community Futures introduced Ascher, who spoke about Revelstoke and what it can offer to entrepreneurs. He said that local entrepreneurs should think about what this community can offer to people who emigrate from elsewhere, and touched on the importance of building infrastructure to retain ambitious local youth.

“The most ambitious seventeen year old might think they need to go elsewhere to succeed,” said Ascher. “But it’s important for this community to think about what success means on a Revelstoke basis.”

Throughout the day some of our local ambitious youth got to engage with the possibilities of building a career in technology during a tech trade show at Revelstoke Secondary School. Two of those students said it was amazing to be able to think about the possibility of working in careers that they hadn’t considered before, like video game development.

Co-founder of Kamloops based Hummingbird Drones Richard Sullivan remarked on how nice it was to be able to engage with young people and show them some of what they do. “It’s really different for us,” said Sullivan. “But very cool to see the kids imagining the possibility of working in our field. I hadn’t really considered before that my career didn’t even exist when I was a kid. Who knows what the future will hold for them.”


@Jnsherman
jake.sherman@revelstokereview.com

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City councillor Scott Duke networks with Derek Watson, the Chief Technology Officer of TWG, a Toronto based software development firm. Currently TWG is working with Avalanche Canada to build software that Watson says helps save lives. “The energy in the room is fantastic,” said Watson during the Tech Summit. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

David Ascher, a Vancouver based software developer delivers an address on the value of startup communities and what they could mean for Revelstoke. He said Revelstoke needs to think about what success means on its own terms and how to attract international talent. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Jean-Marc LaFlamme introduces Startup Revelstoke’s purpose and mission to cap off the Revelstoke Tech Summit. He says that having “social impact” is a tremendously important part of creating change in our community and economy. The local entrepreneur is so connected that his phone rings during his live stream of the event. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Local entrepreneurs network with one another and national experts during the launch of Startup Revelstoke at Mt. Begbie Brewing. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Catherine Brown is an avalanche technologist at Parks Canada. During the Technology Summit trade show at Revelstoke Secondary School she spoke to local youth about her work involving webcams and their role in promoting safety in the backcountry. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Luke Norman and Ben Clark of the Canadian Avalanche Association showed off some the avalanche forecasting software they use for local youth at Revelstoke Secondary School. They use the information from the program to generate forecasts. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

A representative of Okanagan College talks to a student about technology related programs at RSS. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Robert Atwood, Co-Founder of Hummingbird Drones, based out of Kamploops, poses with a drone before demonstrating the technology for local students at RSS. The startup was born out of the experience of the two co-founders who fought wildfires in B.C. Last year they participated in the first documented search and rescue operation in B.C. that used heat sensing technology to locate missing persons. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Atwood demonstrates the drone for local students. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Tech strategy coordinator (right) Hayley Johnson, director of community economic development Nicole Fricot, (centre) and Lynnaya Munroe of Telus, (left) chat at Revelstoke Secondary School during the career trade show on Feb. 22. 2018. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

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