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.”
See some photos from yesterday below: