Since the onset of the pandemic, numerous businesses have needed to transition their operations into a extra digital realm and the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) has helped many businesses within the space with that course of, freed from cost.

According to a press launch, KAST partnering with the BC Tech Association enabled them to supply one-on-one assist to non-tech businesses within the Kootenays without spending a dime.

They held their first Virtual Connection Day in May, 2020 and because of the excessive degree of curiosity, they supplied 4 extra in July, September, October and January.

They then additionally partnered with Basin Business Advisors, Columbia Basin Trust and Community Futures Central Kootenay to additional develop the area all through the area. Businesses had been capable of apply to those Virtual Connection Days to get free one-on-one mentorship with a tech skilled, to information them via fields similar to digital advertising and marketing, ecommerce, working remotely and cybersecurity.

Businesses had been capable of be taught new instruments they might make use of to make sure they might navigate efficiently via the COVID-19 pandemic from tech consultants, a lot of whom have backgrounds as tech consultants or digital service suppliers.

For instance, these consultants offered perception on methods to attain clients or keep enterprise income.

“This was the first step of many in KAST helping Kootenay businesses overcome challenges due to COVID-19,” stated Sean Smillie, Executive Director of KAST. “Holding Virtual Connection Days with our partners is a great example of how we can work together as a community to build resilience, help local businesses with digital transformation and benefit the entire Kootenay economy. This is just one of many initiatives KAST has taken on to support both our non-tech and tech businesses locally.”

In September, 2020 KAST additional developed their program by launching the Digital Economy: Rapid Response and Resiliency (DER3) Program, developed by Innovate BC and funded by Western Economic Diversification.

This program has helped 231 small to medium-sized businesses, from a variety of sectors, to both enter or develop within the digital economic system.

KAST stated the DER3 program has helped Kootenay businesses shift their approaches to be extra worthwhile, develop into new markets, deal with new alternatives and reply to the various advanced challenges offered by COVID-19.

“It was important for KAST to pull together a team that could relate to, and fully understand, the unique challenges businesses in our region are facing,” Smillie stated.

“Rural communities face very different challenges than major centres, especially when it comes to digital transformation. It was critical that our local Virtual Connection Day service providers and our DER3 and Tech Resiliency Program contractors could relate to the people they’re helping. Locals helping locals is the ecosystem we were after and we are thrilled it was successful.”

The Tech Resiliency Program was designed particularly for Kootenay tech startups and firms that had been impacted by the pandemic. Again, theses businesses had been capable of get intimate teaching within the particular areas they most wanted steering with.

According to the discharge, businesses most sought assist in 5 principal areas: web sites, digital advertising and marketing, search engine marketing (web optimization), enterprise technique and again of workplace methods or bookkeeping.

You can be taught extra about KAST at

[email protected]

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