Last Wednesday, TechBrew, an event created and hosted by Kamloops Innovation, showcased Kamloops’ growing tech industry along with providing drinks and live music.
On top of being an opportunity to network, TechBrew’s purpose was to “highlight all the great things going on in the tech industry,” according to Amanda Chan, community builder for Kamloops Innovation.
The event featured craft beer from the Red Beard Cafe, local food trucks and a technology showcase. Kamloops band Echo Beach, whose drummer works for iTel, provided live entertainment.
A diverse group of industry innovators at TechBrew came together to display their work. Among them was Kamloops Makerspace, a non-profit group focused on giving the creative community space and tools to experiment. Scorpion Technologies, an industrial electronics manufacturer, displayed a new 3D printer. Riversong Guitars showed off their innovative handmade instruments. Lightship, an app designed to bring worksite data together, also made an appearance.
The event was hosted by iTel, who just moved into a larger building to accommodate recent growth. iTel previously rented office space from Kamloops Innovation but moved into a larger building in Mission Flats. Scooter tours of the new space were offered during TechBrew and the iTel grand opening that preceded the event.
Kamloops Innovation is a non-profit organization that describes itself as “a community of tech entrepreneurs that are passionate about helping each other succeed,” according to its website. Lincoln Smith, its executive director, splits his time between Kamloops Innovation and TRU as Director, Research Partnerships and Enterprise Creation. Around 40 per cent of the organization is made up of TRU students and alumni, Smith said.
The organization is also responsible for TRU Generator, which works with staff and students to commercialize their ideas and provide mentorship. According to Smith, people from across a diverse range of faculties benefit from the program.
Students can get a head start with groups like Kamloops Innovation by connecting with mentors, networking and becoming familiar with the industry even before graduation.