Is a remote workforce the future of jobs in the Okanagan?

You might not realize it, but a growing number of people moving to the Okanagan (and Vernon, BC) are working remotely for companies nowhere near here.

In Vernon alone we have folks working for head offices in San Francisco, New York, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto.

Remote work, or telecommuting, offers its own unique set of perks and challenges, but it’s popularity amongst the tech business community is growing.  Is this remote workforce the future of jobs in the Okanagan?

Are you curious about remote work? Join us for a panel discussion on March 11, 2014, from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, at the Vernon Chamber Of Commerce Board Room (2nd floor).

This is a great opportunity for:

  • students interested in remote working careers
  • business owners interested in how hiring and managing remote employees works
  • government officials who want to learn about building a “remote” economy
  • current remote workers who want to network with others
  • anyone else interested in applying for remote work jobs

Click here to get a free ticket for the event.

On our panel: Justin JacksonMarty DillMikey ArceJames LoveKyle Newton, Marco Ariano, and Linda Mork.

More resources:

PS: You need to register here in order to attend the event!

The event has been generously sponsored by Sproing Creative.

Vernon, BC: it’s time for Startup Weekend!

Are you awesome? Do you live in the North Okanagan? Do you dig tech?

Then you need to be at Startup Weekend Okanagan, March 14, 2014!

For those who aren’t familiar with the event,  Startup Weekend is a global movement of active entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of creating and launching successful startups. All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. And leave very, very inspired.

Read Kazia’s blog post on what happened last year.

Kazia Mullin has secured 8 fully sponsored spots for Vernon attendees: this includes event tickets, a place to crash and wash up (there are 2 Kelowna hotel rooms available for our team members), and all the event provided food you can handle available at no cost to the 8 members from Vernon.

If you’re a North Okanagan developer, programmer, designer, marketer, entrepreneur, someone-who-is-curious-about-startup-culture, we would love to have you join us at Startup Weekend Okanagan!

If you’re still not sure, check out this video. You do not want to miss this!

You just need to get your smarty-pants self there! Email for all the details. And check out the website,


Building Startup Ecosystems Outside of Silicon Valley

My approach is based on the belief that a startup ecosystem succeeds first and foremost as a result of successful startups.

Ben Yoskovitz, Building Startup Ecosystems Outside of Silicon Valley

I couldn’t agree more.


Come to OKDG: Tuesday, May 21st, 7:30pm

Hey friends,

This Tuesday, May 21st @ 7:30pm (at the Bike Shop Cafe, Kelowna), I’ll be presenting a talk at OKDG called: Product People: build, launch and sell your own stuff.

Here’s the summary:

If you like to create, you have the potential to build and launch your own products. Come and learn how developers, designers, artists, writers, and business folks are using the web to sell their own software, ebooks, courses, apps, and other digital goods. Justin has interviewed some great product people like Jason Fried 37signals, Amy Hoy Twistori, and Hiten Shah KISSmetrics. Youll learn the secrets behind their success, and how you can get started building something of your own.

I’d love to have my friends from Vernon come out and support me! If you’d like to carpool with me, I’ll probably be leaving around 6pm. You can RSVP for the event here.

Justin Jackson

For more information: Okanagan Developer Group.

Events News

Startup Weekend Okanagan 2013: a review

Dennis Powers has a great rundown of everything that took place this past weekend:

This was the 2nd year for Startup Weekend Okanagan and it continues to grow and get better. Follow along as I witnessed talented entrepreneurs, business professionals, marketers, designers and developers team-up and work together to build businesses in a weekend!

Big thanks to Kazia for organizing everything for “Team Vernon”: she got sponsors to pay for tickets, and secured those hotel rooms so no one would have to drive back and forth.

Click here for full story: Startup Weekend Okanagan: Business Ideas + Teamwork = Opportunity | Digital Okanagan.

Photo credit: dchymko (see the full photo set here)


Okanagan startup creates easy alternative to QR codes

..duo is essentially an inexpensive, simple and entirely customizable alternative to QR codes, making digital addresses easier to say, write, spread and remember. Companies can switch up the content linked to their ..duo, simplifying promotional campaigns and helping them maintain consistent branding. It has many applications, both online and offline, and can be used nearly anywhere to attract audiences to digital content.

via B.C. startup makes it easier to brand (and browse for) digital content « IT Business Blogs Canada – Innovation.


Can B.C.’s tech sector join the best in the world?

“Attracting entrepreneurs to this city is a very tough job,” said Wertz.

The process has to start very early in schools, with role models and a recognition of entrepreneurial endeavours as worthwhile and a career choice worthy of respect.

“In the end, it’s all about the entrepreneur,” said Wertz. “If you have a mediocre entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter how much money you give him, he’s never going to build the next Amazon, the next HootSuite.”

via Can B.C.’s tech sector join the best in the world?.


The Startup City

Love this video from the folks at Startup Edmonton. They definitely have a vision for their city!

The Startup City Project from Startup Edmonton on Vimeo.