Kelowna’s reputation for tech is attracting angel investors as well as entrepreneurs

Kelowna is regularly touted as one of the best places to start a new business in Canada.

There are entrepreneurial courses at Okanagan College and UBCO. Accelerate Kelowna and the Innovation Centre focus on the tech sector and there is a plethora of new business starting in all sectors.

Kelowna is the centre of a B.C. Interior tech world put on the map in 2007 when Disney bought locally created Club Penguin for $350 million.

While that turned into a huge success, it started on a small scale, just like most new ventures where someone has a great idea that could change the world.

But it takes more than an idea. It also means knowing where to get the money to fund your fledgling business.

“Friends and family would be the early stage of investment for many start-ups,” Grant Lawrence, Kelowna chapter president of Valhalla Private Capital, told “After that, the next step is the angels. They come into play before the banks or venture capitalists.”

The angels he’s referring to are angel investors. Valhalla is one of about 40 angel investment firms in Canada. It includes Kelowna as one of its four branches (the others are Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver) because of its booming entrepreneurial environment.