Development of social enterprise is often decidedly local. Local people respond to local challenges. Kamloops Food Policy Council, Kamloops Music Collective, and the Lived Experience Committee are three good examples. While they each borrow people and elements of their solutions from other regions, the implementation of solutions begins in the local community. Local mentors are needed too.
Three new Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) have joined Purppl to anchor a local team in Kamloops. Dan Rink is the CEO at iTel, Mitchell Forgie is the co-owner and operator of Red Beard Cafe, and Jonathan is the founder at Two Story Robot. In addition to their entrepreneurial experience, all three are actively involved in building community in Kamloops though initiatives Kamloops Innovation, Brew Loops, and Startup Weekend.
These three EIRs bring new diversity to a growing group of entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who help to provide structured mentorship. In Purppl’s social enterprise acceleration (SEA) program, local EIRs are often paired with EIRs from other communities who bring different expertise to the table. Take a look at the full team here.
Here’s a short summary about Dan, Mitchell, and Jonathan:
Becoming an entrepreneur came naturally to Dan who started his first company at 14 years old and has since been the Founder of five companies. Dan is now the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at iTel, an innovative and entrepreneurial company providing network solutions for businesses across Canada. He is also the Co-Founder of Kamloops Innovation — a technology incubator dedicated to inspiring, nurturing, and accelerating technology-based startup businesses in Kamloops. Kamloops Innovation is a non-profit that enables new entrepreneurs with a wide range of backgrounds to jump-start their business by offering assistance and mentorship.
Mitchell is the Co-Owner and Operator of the Red Beard Cafe in Kamloops with his wife Edna, where they feature food made from scratch, craft beer, and coffee. Red Beard aims at being a center for all things community, helping those in the neighborhood by providing a place to meet and socialize in. When he’s not at Red Beard, you can find Mitchell planning and helping run BrewLoops, a multi-venue, multi-day festival that celebrates culture, craft beer, and of course, Kamloops. His book, Stronger Kamloops, uses the City of Kamloops as an example to explain the fiscal policy of small cities as it relates to being a greener, more socially inclusive city.
After realizing he wanted to create something from the ground up, Jonathan took a leap of faith and started his first company MemoryLeaf — an online memorial service where people can share photos, memories, and messages of their loved ones. Since then, Jonathan has worked as Head of Development for Kelowna-based educational software company FreshGrade. Now as the Founder of Two Story Robot, Jonathan works with small non-profit organizations to multi-million dollar corporations to create modern web technologies alongside the rest of his development team. Keeping with the spirit of entrepreneurship, Jonathan was the first to bring Startup Weekend to Kamloops back in 2013 and has been part of the organizing team ever since. He is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) and provides mentorship for tech startups at Kamloops Innovation.
Want to get Involved?!
Purppl is looking for more social entrepreneurs to join our program and for more Entrepreneurs-In-Residence to help provide supportive mentorship and coaching. We are also looking for corporations and institutions who want to help social entrepreneurs develop in their communities.