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Okanagan Entrepreneurs work together to build better future

The Okanagan Startup Weekend event is a place where entrepreneurs can network with developers, mentors, designers and like-minded peers to pursue their ideas in hopes of changing the world.

“Startup Weekend is one of the rare events where professionals [and students] get together to solve problems in [their] community, network and generally have a great time,” said event organizer Jay Bell.

The 54-hour event begins with participants joining together in separate teams, constructing prototypes, testing business ideas and hearing feedback from experienced entrepreneurs.

“My favorite moment of the entire event was on Friday night. These 16 and 17-year-old students came to a professional event. A couple of them actually pitched ideas and one of them got chosen to be worked on over the weekend," said Bell.

Ideas covered included social, educational and financial issues, however the main focus was how to use the smart city movement to solve affordable housing problems within our community.

The smart city movement is a strategic concept that utilizes technology to empower the Okanagan by enhancing the efficiency of government agencies to better serve the participants.

First Place

The Smart Cities Prize went to Dwell-In, a platform promoting transparency and trust in the long-term rental market.

Second Place

Smart Vine is a business model using drones to assess the health of vineyards to increase production and reduce costs.

Third Place

Say Something is an online platform to anonymously report sexual assault and abuse.

Crowd Favorite

Lowna is a peer-to-peer rental marketplace for underutilized household items and more - from outdoor gear, to tools and trailers, to parking and storage space, to just about anything sitting around going unused that someone else would love to rent.

The Startup Founder Hot Seats hosted by Okanagan CoLab takes place on April 6, 2018 for anyone ready to pitch an idea to the experts.

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