The tech boom in the Okanagan has steadily expanded over the past decade. From 2015- 2017, the valley saw a remarkable 30% growth in the tech sector, with more and more companies and startups choosing Kelowna and the surrounding area to set up shop.
There are a number of reasons for this growth, but the high cost of setting up a business and residing in Vancouver is certainly playing a key part, particularly with young entrepreneurs and working professionals who are looking to balance a better cost of living along with their operational costs.
Chris Priebe, a former senior programmer at the Disney Interactive Studios-owned Club Penguin, now CEO of Community Sift, set up a satellite branch in Vancouver two years ago in order to attract new talent, but had to shut down the remote office due to high operating costs.
The tech sector itself, in Kelowna alone, currently has an economic impact of $1.3 billion. As of Fall 2016, there were 633 companies employing over 7,600 people. Most notably, over half the workers are under the age of 35.
A recent study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business named Kelowna as one of the top cities in Canada when it comes to entrepreneurship.
The opening of the Okanagan Centre for Innovation last year, a multi-storey building acting as a hub for technological innovation and the new home of Accelerate Okanagan, the valley’s tech resource hub and incubator program, went a long way in solidifying the area as its very own Silicon Valley. On top of that there are a large number of high profile employers with offices and studios located in Kelowna, including Disney Interactive, Bardel Entertainment, and QHR Technologies.
If you work in the tech sector and are looking for an impressive locale to set up your company, or you’re a working technology professional looking to work outside the sprawling metropolis of Canada’s larger cities, consider Kelowna.
The McKinley Beach community is located a short 15 minute drive away from the Okanagan Centre for Innovation and has easy access to the UBCO Campus, and Kelowna International Airport. If you’re planning on making Kelowna your new home, be sure to check out this fast-growing lakefront community, ripe with plentiful amenities, and ready to welcome new residents. Learn More at http://mckinleybeach.ca/