Startup Weekend Okanagan 2013

by cynthia on March 24, 2013


It has taken some time to re-calibrate after Startup Week AND Startup Weekend here in the Okanagan. 10 days of all action, no talk had the technology and business communities hopping. Our friends at Accelerate Okanagan were instrumental in the week’s success, alongside the awesome people at Digital Okanagan and Creative Okanagan.

The biggest success, by far, was sheer amount of participation along with collaboration and support from community, local business, and government. A year ago there was talk about a SXSW-esque event, and in true form, the tech-business-creative-education community took action. 

The second year for Startup Weekend Okanagan found a platoon of rockstar volunteers, power teams, well-developed ideas and an overflow of burritos. These were my favourite moments.

1. The Brent Lachman Show

Hashtagged #thebrentlachmanshow: this programming was part testing Vine, part teasing our wonderbar organizer Brent, and part “see who we can make do it!” The #swokanagan organizers laughed our butts off making these episodes (the full season here!)

2. March + BBQ = Glorious

Last year there was a bit of a fiasco: one grill, 75 people. This year we smartened up: 2 grills, parking lot and a heck of a lot of meat! Add beer, sunshine and a very warm Okanagan afternoon and…*magic*

swokanagan bbq3. The Volunteers

Volunteers set up the live stream. They took out the garbage, cleaned up behind the masses, dished out food. Volunteers photographed, tweeted, schlepped and ran. They did Startup Yoga and did dishes. Thank you so much volunteers from the Center for Arts and Technology, the amazing Jay and Brent, Jon, Sarah, Andrew, Kazia, and, and, and…You are amazing. Thank you.


4. Ball Pit!

Our pals at Just Be Friends were super supporters throughout the week/end. The hand crafted  ’JBF Ball pit of Friendship’ was a universal problem-solver. Need a stress reliever? To the ball pit. Require extra work space? Pit! Burritos nap/high jumps/location for a startup promo video? Hello, ball pit. At one point, a child even got in there. Awesome work!


5. Energy

Being sponsored by Cherry Hill, Beaver Buzz and Big Surf Beer certainly helped keep energy levels up throughout the week (#stinkyT). Coaches and volunteers jumping in with teams, community mentors stopping by with snacks, sponsors checking in and having some chats, roving reporters, live streamed shenanigans, required yoga-breaks, and facilitators with a lot of energy and heart lit up this 10 day Startup Week through to the Final Call.

I am hella grateful for all of the ass-kicking awesomeness that went down in March. Way to light up a grey month #startupweekokanagan.

If you are thinking next year, get in contact with @digitalokanagan.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan Donn March 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm

So glad that small conversations about collaboration and community lead to being a part of something so amazing. Nice work on all that you do Cynthia. Ryan

cynthia March 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm

So happy to have you in this community, Ryan! Loved playing with you this March. :)

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