Venture Kamloops hosts third-annual LinkUp

A business development summit for local and provincial entrepreneurs

The third-annual LinkUp event brought together business experts and entrepreneurs from across B.C. (Juan Cabrejo/The Omega)

The third-annual Venture Kamloops LinkUp event was held last Thursday, Nov. 22, at the Coast Hotel Conference Centre, allowing exclusive access to resources and organizations that aren’t often accessible to business owners and entrepreneurs. The day-long summit featured various panels from local entrepreneurs, representatives from business plus government support services, business coaches, along with a networking trade show. Jim Anderson, Executive Director of Venture Kamloops, shared a few words on the value of the event for local entrepreneurs.

“I think for us [Venture Kamloops], LinkUp is tremendously valuable because [at Venture Kamloops] we will see 250 to 300 entrepreneurs in a year one-on-one; LinkUp in one day brings together 225,” he said. “It gives us a chance first of all to at least introduce what’s available to them and give them the sense that they’re not alone in this, that organizations are willing to help with programs and in some cases, there is money that’s available.”

The summit opened with a welcome from Anderson and Mayor Ken Christian, shortly followed by a panel from Kamloops Innovation featuring local entrepreneurs. Jonathan Bowers, founder of the software company Two Story Robot, Matt Thurber, founder of Traqspera Technologies Inc. and Stacey Krolow, a wedding photographer who’s in the process of launching Pepper, a business administration outsourcing company for creative entrepreneurs, shared some of the life lessons they’ve learnt in the process of starting their business and the importance of consulting with customers.

The following “Power-Up” panels featured representatives from local, provincial and federal organizations. The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Central Interior First Nations, All Nations Trust Company, Business Development of Commerce, Ministry of International Trade and Canadian Trade Commissioner Service were some of the many organizations in attendance.

The keynote speaker of the event was Isabelle Hamptonstone, an Olympic performance consultant who demonstrated some of the techniques she teaches athletes to increase confidence and self-control that are equally effective for young entrepreneurs. Business coach Cindy Piva also provided some insight into the importance of organizational systems.

Approaching the end of the event, the economic development supporters of the Start Here 3.0 had their panel promoting the versatility of their collaborative resource program brought forth by Community Futures Thompson Country (CFTC), Open Door Group and Venture Kamloops. Their representatives, Devon Mah of Open Door Group, Shelagh Pemberton of CFTC and Clark Grieve of Venture Kamloops shared how their organizations can facilitate access to local business resources tailored to individual business needs. Whether that be business registration services, employment services, or merely initial market research tools, local entrepreneurs can make their first point of contact at either of these three organizations. Jim Anderson also added his remarks on the collaborative program.

“We all have a clear understanding of what each of us is offering and how we can work together, he said. Start Here 3.0 is a classic example of that, Community Futures Thompson Country, Open Door Group and Venture Kamloops all work in the same sphere, yet we all offer distinct services.

The evening was concluded with a performance from edgy comedian, Tim Nutt, who was named a semi-finalist for SiriusXM’s Canada’s Top Comic 2018.