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New Program Helps Kootenay Businesses Enter & Expand into the Digital Economy

By Contributor
October 16th, 2020

Small and medium sized businesses in the Kootenays do not need to navigate the digital world alone, thanks to a new program that launched recently by KAST (Kootenay Association for Science and Technology)

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, KAST, in partnership with Innovate BC and Western Economic Diversification, is pleased to introduce the new Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency (DER3) program.

This service is designed to help small to medium-sized businesses, in any sector, adapt to these new circumstances and enter or expand into the digital economy. Best of all —there’s no cost or obligation.

DER3 will help Kootenay businesses shift their business approach to be more profitable, expand into new markets or opportunities and respond to new challenges associated with COVID-19. DER3 will provide personalized advisory services, coaching and when required, also match businesses with Kootenay tech consultants and digital service providers who can deliver contracted solutions.

“We recognize that these are challenging times for many businesses in our region. Adapting to the changing economy by encouraging the adoption of digital tools and platforms is a clear opportunity for our businesses to recover, but many businesses either don't know where to start or need help finding the right solution,” says Kailyn Skuban, KAST’s Director of Operations and Programs.

 “DER3 is really about connecting with clients, meeting them where they’re at on their digital journey, and working collaboratively with our experienced advisory team to find the best path forward for their business.”

Our DER3 advisory team will:

  • Assess the digital needs of businesses
  • Recommend technology tools and solutions that will save businesses time, money and energy
  • Create a technology action plan so businesses can implement new technologies
  • Connect businesses with local digital service providers to deliver contracted solutions
  • Provide guidance, tools and best practices for digital transformation

In accordance with their mission to create local jobs and stimulate our local economy, KAST recently hired four new contractors to help deliver DER3 to the Kootenay region. The program will also result in an increase of work for Kootenay digital service providers, consultants and subject matter experts.

"KAST has always supported the region's tech entrepreneurs, startups and businesses and now we're thrilled to support our region's non-tech businesses through the DER3 program," says KAST’s new Executive Director, Sean Smillie.

"DER3 is one of many programs offered at KAST. Our Kootenay Pitch Competition, Venture Acceleration Program, Tech Resiliency Program, GLOWS youth program and the Nelson Innovation Centre all serve to support our communities, drive economic growth, create jobs and foster resiliency in the Kootenays."

To register for this no cost, no obligation program, visit or email

This program also needs digital service providers and subject matter experts in the Kootenays.

If you provide online services to help others enter or expand in the digital economy or have experience or expertise in relevant areas, KAST is also looking for you to apply to be part of the program.

Apply as a digital service provider

Apply as a subject matter expert

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