On the weekend of March 22 to 24, the Summerland Credit Union Entrepreneur Club travelled to Kelowna for TechStars start-up weekend.
This was an intense business start-up event involving 65 participants, largely 25- to 30-year-old digital technology industry workers and our students ranging in age from 15 to 17.
The event took place in downtown Kelowna’s Innovation Centre.
This highly organized event began on Friday night with an open invitation for anyone to pitch a business idea. There were 22 pitches that were narrowed down to ten after votes were taken.
Teams were formed around these ten ideas and immediately, the teams got busy.
All weekend these teams started with an idea, gave the idea shape, conducted market research, customer validation, designed technologies, proved supply channels and identified revenue streams.
The teams were all supported by coaches and mentors from industry.
The weekend culminated in a dragons den-style pitch of these 10 business plans to a panel comprised of business professionals and venture capitalists.
Summerland students played key roles on their respective teams, from designing logos, and branding through to research and marketing.
The weekend was intense, beginning at 8:30 each morning continuing through to 10 o’clock each evening.
The three faculty who committed to the weekend left pleased and proud of the Summerland students for their maturity, open display of skills and willingness to learn.
The Summerland students were Liam Rowan, Andrew Mitchell, Katrina Kirschmann and Hannah Patterson. Raja Gupta and Paul Young provided transportation, safety and a quality learning experience.
This is the second year the program has been operating and organizers are looking forward to the next year.