Okanagan tech industry booming, contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

New study shows Okanagan tech sector contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

The Okanagan’s technology sector is booming.

A report commissioned by Accelerate Okanagan in conjunction with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission shows that the industry has year-over-year economic growth of 15 per cent since 2013. The tech sector is estimated to contribute $1.67 billion to the region’s economy.

“We are excited by the consistent growth indicated by the findings in this report,” said Raghwa Gopal, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan, in a press release. “This study provides proof of what those working in the Okanagan tech sector have long known: big things are happening here, and we’re just getting started. The Okanagan is ripe with potential for entrepreneurs of all kinds.”

There are now 693 technology businesses operating in the Okanagan, which represents a 24 per cent increase since the first survey was conducted in 2013. Those companies, including home-grown success stories like BananaTag, Yeti Farm, Piscine Energetics, employ a total of 12,474 workers.

READ MORE: TECH KEEPS GROWING

“We were interested to see that the Okanagan’s tech workforce is getting younger, and that contract workers make up more than 15 per cent of those working in the sector,” said Gopal. “We believe this reflects the growing gig economy, as well as the appeal of living in the Okanagan. Many members in the gig economy can live anywhere, and they’re choosing to live and work here.”

Lifestyle was named in the survey as the number one advantage of operating a tech or tech-enabled business in the Okanagan. Eighty-one per cent of respondents named lifestyle as an advantage; climate and commute time were selected as the second and third biggest advantages, respectively.

Challenges associated with the Okanagan tech sector were a small talent pool, distance to clients and cost of living.

“The goal of this survey was not just to quantify economic impact and celebrate our sector’s many successes, but also to take the pulse of the Okanagan technology community,” said Gopal. “Learning about what’s challenging the companies operating here — and working to address and overcome those challenges — is vital to ensuring that the tremendous growth we’ve seen continues into the future.”

The Economic Impact of the Okanagan Tech Sector study was conducted by a third-party researcher through Small Business BC. Data was collected from 103 Okanagan tech companies via an online survey. This is the third economic impact study commissioned by the Okanagan-based technology accelerator, which conducted studies in 2013 and 2015 using the same process. This year’s report also draws on benchmark data from the latest iteration of the Province of British Columbia’s annual Profile of the British Columbia High Technology Sector.

Just Posted

Lake Country resident takes gold at 55+ games

Les Gilbert demonstrated a dominant at the men’s singles championship 55+ games

Kelowna city council green lights new park charge

City wants to introduce a new development cost charge to create new parks

Kelowna boy returns to school after recovering from possible Xanax OD

RCMP investigation found the drug to be a form of benzodiazepine, commonly known as Valium or Xanax

RCMP seeking assistance to locate missing West Kelowna resident

Kasey-Anne Balaberda was reported missing on Sept. 15

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Penticton fighter announces pro MMA debut with Battlefield Fight League

Marlan ‘Pretty Boy’ Hall will be taking the ring on Nov. 16 at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Most Read