By Karilyn Kempton, City of Revelstoke Technology Strategy Coordinator
It’s no surprise that technology is floated around as a buzzword so frequently — it’s part of so much of what we do, consume, create and consider. However, when many people think of technology, they still jump straight to thinking of software or computer programmers tapping away at 1s and 0s. Andrew Greer is coming to Revelstoke to simplify the word technology and change our perception.
Greer will give a free talk at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. that is open to the whole community — entrepreneurs, growing companies, people interested in technology and those who have no idea what technology is!
A program manager at business incubator Accelerate Okanagan and a strident tech community builder, Greer’s goal is to demystify technology and bring it down to the regional and community level, giving us examples of what we can do to embrace technology and benefit from it as entrepreneurs, business owners and community members.
Many companies in Revelstoke are in a growth stage, so Greer will have strategies and ideas for supporting that using technology. He’ll break down the difference between tech and tech-enabled companies, describing how technology is disrupting and enabling traditional sectors with new solutions. He’ll also highlight the importance of building a local tech community to nurture innovation from within.
What makes him qualified to talk tech to Revelstoke? Greer is an experienced program manager, business development manager, and community builder. He cut his teeth at Xerox in sales and sales management in Eastern Ontario. In the last five years, Andrew has supported over 150 technology companies through entrepreneurial mentorship programs in the Okanagan. These companies have created over 600 jobs, raised over $35 million in investment, and contribute to the now $1.3 billion tech sector in the Okanagan. He has developed support programs that are now running across British Columbia. Andrew is also a founder of Purppl (PURposeful PeoPLe), a community enterprise accelerator that helps social entrepreneurs build sustainable business models. He actively volunteers with several social impact and community initiatives. He is a snowboarder, mountain biker and gardener (and he lives in a tiny house).
Greer is also giving a keynote presentation to Revelstoke Secondary School students that morning as part of the first Revelstoke Tech Summit, designed to promote engagement about technology and tech careers. Organized by a number of community stakeholders including SD#19, the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Revelstoke’s Department of Community Economic Development, Community Futures, and the Revelstoke Technology Strategy Coordinator, the Revelstoke Tech Summit is a precursor to the #BCTECH Summit, the largest technology conference in BC highlighting the vibrant, growing tech industry across the province.
RSS Students will also be checking out a trade show of local and regional tech companies and knowledge workers to learn more about their career options in tech or tech-enabled industries. Interested students will also have the opportunity to attend talks from three local and regional entrepreneurs and tech workers talking about their career paths in technology and what it is they really do. Thanks to computer programmer John Simms, web developer and programmer Nathan Betram, and Kamloops-based startup Hummingbird Drones for sharing their skills with students.
The #BCTECH Summit is a key networking event for entrepreneurs, businesses, government, academics, investors and community builders to explore new ideas and innovations. Several folks from Revelstoke will be attending to make connections, get new ideas and tools for moving their business forward, learn strategies for fostering Revelstoke’s tech community, get inspired about the BC tech sector, and promote Revelstoke as a great location to work and live.
We hope to see lots of you on Tuesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. for Andrew Greer’s presentation at the RPAC, followed by a Revelstoke tech meetup at Craft Bierhaus.