In 2008

Celebrating local heroes of innovation

Do you know a business or entrepreneur that deserves to be recognized and rewarded for their innovation efforts?

For years we have heard from economic development groups, local governments and the community at large that the West Kootenay is in a transition economy; transitioning forward from our traditional resource extraction economy into the economy of the future.

Diversification is a word commonly heard as the savior of our region’s business community. To diversify is to create different and new things to lessen the risk of destruction.

To that end, the true heroes of the new economy in the West Kootenay are those who have the passion to dream, the courage to pursue those dreams and the dogged determination and willingness to sacrifice what many would not to drive that dream into reality – creating the businesses of our diversified, transitioned new economy. Now is the community’s chance to recognize and thank those that are delivering our economy to a better place.

Whether tinkering in a backyard workshop, burning the midnight oil in front of the computer, or hustling day in and day out, entrepreneurs are truly resilient folks that rarely get the recognition for the tremendous benefits their tireless efforts provide. Cue the quadrennial Spirit of Innovation awards.

To match the Olympic-sized efforts of our region’s innovators, the once-every-four-years Spirit of Innovation Awards gala, hosted by the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is one way in which we can recognize our local entrepreneurs and businesses’ achievements in the field of innovative new business ideas.

Innovation Valley

Whereas the blessed geology of our region drove our economic foundation, the tremendous wealth of talent and enterprising spirit in the West Kootenay will drive the growth of our future.

Whether it’s designing and developing leading-edge particle accelerators, growing Indium Antimonide for use in the world’s leading thermal imaging systems, or creating a new water filtration system, the big ideas being commercialized in our own backyard are having a global impact.

“The innovation, intellectual capital and entrepreneurship in our region is truly spectacular for a relatively small population,” noted Kelvin Saldern, Executive Director of the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology. “Having worked closely with the local business community for years, I’m still regularly surprised when I discover new ideas, businesses and entrepreneurs doing tremendously high-level and sophisticated things you would might not expect to find in a rural mountainous region.”

Nominate a local business or entrepreneur by September 11, 2012

Do you know a business or entrepreneur that deserves to be recognized and rewarded for their innovation efforts? Awards will be given out for Innovator of the Year, Innovative Company of the Year, Innovative Organization of the Year and Most Promising Emerging Company of the Year.

Winners get to take home the most coveted office décor in all of West Kootenay business, our etched Spirit of Innovation glass and metal trophies, and will receive a quarter page profile in the most widely read and respected business magazine in the province, BC Business Magazine, and more.