Tech Brew is a monthly meeting in Penticton that creates a relaxed environment for tech workers to meet and discuss topics of interest. Western News file photo

Tech is a growing industry in the Okanagan

Innovators and developers are flocking to the Okanagan

When it comes to jobs in the tech industry, the Okanagan Valley and Penticton have a lot to offer.

According to a 2016 report from tech incubator Accelerate Okanagan, 7,600 people are employed by the Okanagan technology sector, with an overall economic impact of $1.3 billion.

Related: Okanagan Centre for Innovation opens its doors

Innovators and developers are flocking to the Okanagan, and more jobs are being created all the time.

There are hardware developers like XCO, where Scott McMillan and his team are developing a sophisticated system for tracking athlete movement and performance, wirelessly. It’s also got applications in health care and robotics.

“That’s a brand new technology developed here in Penticton,” said Nick Vincent, co-founder of Cowork Penticton. “I see a growth in hardware and actual tech innovation, but also in software development.

“There are a lot more developers, freelance developers, moving here.”

Related: Making jobs more accessible to everyone

When Vincent moved to Penticton, he continued to manage his business in Australia remotely. He says that for people working remotely or right here at home, Penticton has all the resources you need, including massively high internet bandwidth.

“I think Penticton is an attractive place to make your start,” said Vincent. “I think growth is going to continue. I am pleased to see all the new housing being built around town. That is going to make it a more attractive location for people who are used to a more urban lifestyle. It is going to attract people from cities.”

Related: Young professionals benefit from small businesses

Keith MacIntyre of Big Bear Software recently hosted a meeting with Chris Heivly of the Techstars global accelerator program, which is developing a community roadmap for the tech startup ecosystem. The Okanagan is one of only five regions around the world selected for the project.

“Compared to five years ago, not only are there more jobs here, but there is more talent,” said MacIntyre, adding that compared to when he came to Penticton seven years ago, there are more opportunities.

“As a whole, Penticton is in a bit of a boom right now,” said MacIntyre. “It’s a combination of a number of factors. Accelerate Okanagan is hitting a maturity point now. We are definitely getting spill off from that. We can access their resources out of Penticton which helps startups and the mentorship.”

MacIntyre said he is seeing an influx of people from larger cities, moving here for the lifestyle.

“And why not? I can be on my bike and be riding through vineyards in five minutes.”

If you are looking for a new start through education or employment visit the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair, which takes places on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Kelowna Curling Club (551 Recreation Ave.), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info: facebook.com/BlackPressExtremeEducationandCareerFair

Just Posted

Updated: Accused in Kelowna triple murder in court today

Jacob Forman has been in custody since he was arrested and charged with second degree murder

UBCO professor awarded research chair for work with egg industry

Nathan Pelletier’s looking to improve efficiencies and reduce environmental impact of egg industry

Stewart says experience counts in Kelowna West

With a provincial byelection now set for Feb. 14, we hear from the candidates involved

Big White hits record number of visitors

The resort welcomed 495 more Australian guests this year during the holiday period than last

Well-known map maker recreates Kelowna

Montreal artist Jean-Louis Rheault is creating a new version of Kelowna’s Geopictorial map

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Toronto man charged in double homicide

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Carpet bowlers have been excluded from BC 55+ Games and Canada 55+ Games

Gold medal carpet bowling winners not able to defend their titles in 2018

UPDATE: Police launch website for unsolved murder of 13-year old B.C. girl

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

Rural B.C. students score visit with Canadiens netminder Carey Price

Two students from the Caiboo Chilcotin can hardly wait to meet hometown hero Carey Price in Montreal.

VIDEO: Elk parade on Vancouver Island is awesome sight

They’re out in force for a morning stroll. Check out some of Youbou’s famous elk.

North Delta’s Colton Hasebe named BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 2018 Champion Child

Colton takes the reins from 2107 Champion Child and Tsawwassen resident Taylin McGill

LIVE: B.C. announces anti-racism funding

Ravi Kahlon said money will go to B.C. Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) program

Dube, Foote pace Rockets to O.T. win

World junior gold medalists key in 4-3 victory Wednesday over Lethbridge

Most Read