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Venture Okanagan Investors Forum ups the ante with $5,000 cash prize
Okanagan College Media Release

Venture Ok ForumThe next round of Venture Okanagan’s Investors Forum at Okanagan College will offer a huge incentive for local entrepreneurs with big ideas – a $5,000 cash prize.

The event, which takes place on Nov. 7 at the Kelowna campus of the College, offers six entrepreneurs the opportunity to maximize a 10-minute pitch to a panel of accredited investors and guests. This year the stakes are even higher thanks to the inclusion of a new cash prize from title sponsor Grant Thornton.

“We jumped at the opportunity to sponsor SIFE’s Venture Okanagan program,” said Andrew Malashewsky, Manager of Grant Thornton’s Kelowna office. “We recognize the importance of the availability of capital for growing businesses in our community. VO provides this opportunity as well as connects businesses to the right people and networks. We believe the recent successes are an indication of the potential this program has and we are excited to be a part of it.”

The forum will be the fifth of its kind put on by Venture Okanagan, which is now in its third year of operations under the umbrella of Okanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE).

“The quality of the deals presented really speak for the program,” said Steve Watson, Chair of Venture Okanagan and Business professor at Okanagan College. “Entrepreneurs who present at Venture Okanagan either gain a mentor or acquire equity financing to grow their business. After the pitches entrepreneurs, investors, and guests can connect at the catered networking reception.”

The entrepreneurs pitching on Nov. 7 have all made it through a screening round and include: an engineering invention that protects waterways from toxic chemicals, a health technology business that is specializing in lower back pain management, a transportation security software business, and a specialty distillery business that is opening in the South Okanagan, to name a few.

The event is open to the public and takes place from 5:30 – 9 p.m. at the College’s Centre for Learning. Anyone interested in attending can pre-register online at:

SIFE Okanagan is a not for profit student organization that operates on all four Okanagan College campuses: Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, and Salmon Arm. SIFE students contributed more than 6,500 volunteer hours during the 2011-12 school year, impacting over 10,000 individuals in the Okanagan. Through a mix of entrepreneurial and education based projects SIFE Okanagan continues to empower individuals throughout the Okanagan.