Revelstoke’s tech strategy gets council support to seek funding for second phase

Tech 2.0 to focus on existing tech workers, supporting local business to meet tech needs for future sustainability.

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The Revelstoke Mountain CoLab is home to Startup Revelstoke. Photo: Jean-Marc La Flamme

The success of Revelstoke’s tech strategy has led to support for a grant application to continue the project into its second phase,  ‘Tech 2.0.’

City council gave its support for an application to the BC Rural Dividend Fund. Funding through that program provides $25 million per year for a total of four years to assist rural communities with populations of 25,000 and under to diversify their local economies.

Tech strategy coordinator Karilyn Kempton provided city council with an update on the project at the regular council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16. In her presentation Kempton highlighted the successes of the project so far including the creation of Startup Revelstoke and the Revelstoke Fabrication Lab. Organized tech meet ups have also been popular with between 15 and 45 individuals in attendance for each.

In a report to council community economic development director Nicole Frico said staff believe the tech coordinator role is an important resource in continuing to grow Revelstoke’s technology sector.

Kempton said the Tech 2.0 project would focus on supporting tech workers who are already in the community, along with local businesses who may need to develop new technology to remain sustainable in the future. The shift to focusing on supporting tech businesses already in the community is directly related to Revelstoke’s current lack of housing, said Kempton.

Tech 2.0 would use insights and support derived from the Telus Insights Data project, smart tech, smart city solutions, targeted youth programs, and explore development of a tech park/data centre investment opportunity.

“There’s a real sense of collaboration here. That’s where there can be a lot of innovation,” said Kempton.

The total budget for phase 1 of the Tech 2.0 project is $130,000. If successful, the grant application could cover up to $100,000 of that cost.