Contest hoping to attract promising start-up tech company to Kamloops

By Chad Klassen
May 15, 2017 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS — The technology sector in Kamloops is thriving, and the City of Kamloops is trying to help grow it even more. 

It has partnered with the Kamloops Innovation Centre to bring a new start-up company, which would receive $10,000 to try out Kamloops as a destination for six months. The company is provided with free accomodation as well in the hopes the owner will plant roots here. 

"We've always had technology companies in Kamloops, but now we're starting to rally around a sector and really grow the tech community here in Kamloops," said Executive Director of the Kamloops Innovation Centre Lincoln Smith. "As far as the contest goes, we wanted to give the opportunity to a start-up to come to Kamloops, see what we're doing, get all the support that will enable them to grow their business." 

The Innovation Centre has received support from Kamloops City Council, which wants to help attract more technology companies. 

Kris Brunsgaard, owner of Adroit Technologies, an IT support company, says $10,000 goes a long way for a start-up. 

"That covers a fair amount of wages for a few months, it covers a lot of purchasing of equipment or services you need to get your idea off the ground," said Brunsgaard. "I know a lot of us in the Innovation Centre here, we didn't start out with that kind of leverage, so looking back if we had something to start with that was as big as this contest offers, we'd be doing very well."

The Centre has already received 15 applicants, including a company out of Africa. 

"We're just looking for entrepreneurs," said Smith. "Our companies tend to focus on technology, a lot of computer software. But we're branching out into more hardware, more natural resources sector-related companies that are starting to apply technology into their own business."

For Hummingbird Drones, this contest is an indication of where the tech sector is going, and that is up. 

"I think it's an incredible growth marker," said Robert Atwood, co-founder of Hummingbird Drones. "I think we're really done a lot of work locally to drum up interest, and now we're expanding beyond Kamloops. It's an exciting opportunity, a sign of maturity for the tech sector here in the city."

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