Some news about the new Vernon Innovation Center

Some news about the new Innovation Center in Vernon, BC.

First: the project is going forward! It’s going to be downtown, in the old Naked Pig space

I’ve seen the plans, and they look really neat. This will be a high-visibility touchstone for the tech community here. 👍

The new Innovation Center will be in the old Naked Pig on main street!

I was on the steering committee for the Innovation Center. As I understand it, the purpose of the centre is to support the growing tech community in Vernon.

The project has two main pillars:

  • the building itself (meeting space, hot desks, team offices, lounge)
  • the program coordinator

The need for a Community Lead

In our committee meetings, I emphasized the need for a strong program coordinator. I’ve seen, first-hand, how skilled community leaders can meaningfully set the tone for a community.

For example, Dr Lincoln Smith leads the Kamloops Innovation Center. Over his tenure, he’s created a really incredible environment for the tech folks there. He recognized early on that it’s the people that matter most; programs need to match the culture they serve. What works in Kelowna likely won’t work in Vernon, Salmon Arm, or Kamloops.

Dr. Lincoln is an example of the kind of community leader we need here in Vernon

We need our own “Dr Lincoln” here in Vernon! Somebody who can:

  • meet locals where they’re at and respond with training, events, and mentorship that fit our community,
  • relate to the unique demographics here in Vernon (we have lots of folks in their 40s, who have kids and a mortgage, but also a growing number of younger couples who are moving here for the lifestyle),
  • act as the social glue between the different individuals, companies, and resources here in town,
  • welcome out-of-town visitors who are considering a move to Vernon.
Tech scene in Vernon, BC North Okanagan
Vernon needs a Community Lead

The job posting for this position has just gone live:

If you’re someone who has the desire + skills to contribute to our tech community in Vernon, I think you should apply!  (Or, if you know someone, please encourage them to apply!)

This position is crucial for setting the tone of this new initiative. Let’s find someone great!

(Here’s a brief history of the tech community in Vernon)

Justin Jackson
On behalf of Startup Vernon + Geek Beers

By Justin

Professional burrito maker.

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