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. 👍
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.
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.
The job posting for this position has just gone live:
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)
On behalf of Startup Vernon + Geek Beers