HERE Partner Leon Pigott, Leon Pigott & Co.

Leon Pigott

A lawyer is able to identify issues before they become intractable problems and cost your startup a whole lot of money down the road. Understandably, it can be hard to convince a cash-strapped small business to assume a certain significant cost now so as to to avoid those inevitable uncertain ones as they navigate further the startup path.

Important decisions now smooth the road later

Leon Pigott of Pigott & Co. in Nelson, B.C. believes lawyers can be most effectively used as business advisors rather than, say, firefighters.  He subscribes to the concept that providing advice and consult at the outset can help prevent potential crises and incurring unexpected and unnecessary costs down the road.   The work he does through KAST’s Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) and HERE offers him many opportunities to reinforce and encourage this philosophy.

Hold on to your shares! Learn how and when it will be best for your business to distribute

As an MBA from the London Business School and successful entrepreneur himself, he has been able to nurture the vision, working with up and coming entrepreneurs in the Kootenays, helping them navigate the steps to success.

His 15 years as a corporate and commercial lawyer with a focus on banking, securities, energy and corporate and commercial transactions makes him well versed in identifying and avoiding the potential pitfalls as startups begin to consider their various funding and capital structure options – how and when to best distribute shares to the various players in their new venture.

Since moving to Nelson with his family in 2007, through his private practice and his involvement in programs such as VAP and HERE, he has helped numerous businesses and startups prioritize their time and energies, what to do now and what can wait, encouraging big-picture thinking particularly when it comes to funding.  Leon is committed to helping new companies in those early stages, busy setting up the financial building blocks, structuring equity funding and drawing up that essential roadmap outlining how an entrepreneur approach raising – and spending! – that first big chunk of change.

Hire A Student – BCISI Fall/Winter Applications

Pacific Insight Mike Henderson 2014

Could your manufacturing or technology business use an extra hand? If so, KAST and BCIC can help.

Hiring a student is not just a great way to help boost the skills and experience of a business or technical student, but is also a great way to help boost your business with a young set of hands and eager mind.

KAST has up to $7,500 to help your company hire a business or technical student NOW! These funds must be matched by your company either in cash, or in kind (or a blend).

What is an “in kind” contribution? Examples of in-kind contributions may include (but are not limited to): training, shares in company, apprenticeship opportunities, leveraging of co-op funding or other – to be discussed with KAST upon application.

Students must be currently enrolled as a BC post-secondary student and be hired for a minimum of 25 hours per week for 3 to 4 months for business or technical purposes (i.e. not admin). Their employment must be completed by March 30th, 2017. Companies must be based in the East and West Kootenays and the Boundary region of BC. The student work must be undertaken in BC.

To take advantage of this opportunity you need to act quickly. Five student subsidies available; one per company.

Complete the following form: BCISI Student Subsidy Application FW 2016 and submit by email to  by September 10th, 2016 at 5pm.

Complete program guidelines can be found here: BCIC ISI Program Guidelines

Student opportunities in the BC Jobs Plan sectors: are encouraged.

BCISI TechWorks


2016 BC Tech Sector Labour Market Partnership

BC Tech Industry Labour Survey


A driving force of BC’s provincial economic development, technology has become BC’s fastest growing industry in recent years, totaling $23 billion in annual GDP.

Therefore, the availability and suitability of talent, both local, extra-provincial and internationally-sourced, is crucial to support the steady growth, continual development and progressive innovation of the BC tech sector.

Addressing this need, the BC Tech Association (BC Tech), in partnership with the Information & Communication Technology Council (ICTC), the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC), the BC Innovation Council (BCIC) and other industry partners are leading the 2016 BC Tech Labour Market Partnership project. The project focuses on addressing talent needs and opportunities, challenges, as well as supply and demand gaps within the BC tech sector.

The study will focus on the five key subsectors: ICT, Interactive and Digital Media, Cleantech, Lifesciences, and Engineering Services, functioning to deepen our understanding of current labour market conditions as well as talent needs and resources. Grounded in a five-year forecast, the study will ultimately culminate in a report that will predict industry and labour market challenges and trends for BC. Subsequently the project will present the corresponding short, medium, and long-term strategies, programs, and policies necessary to support the accelerated and diversified growth of the tech industry.

Employer Survey:

Capturing questions relevant to the key issues of job readiness, immigration, recruitment and retention as well as diversity and outreach, the BC Tech Association, in coordination with ICTC, VEC and BCIC have crafted an employer survey to gain insights, feedback and key quantitative evidence on the talent and supply and demand gap in the BC tech sector. The survey will reach companies varying in size, composition, subsector focus and regional representation across BC. Responses will remain anonymous and confidential and participation is not only greatly appreciated, but also extremely crucial towards the success of the study and growth of the BC tech sector as a whole.

Participate in the survey HERE.

Request for Proposal: Broadband Technology Adoption Business Consultant

Request for Proposal- Broadband Technology Adoption Business Consultant

The role of the Broadband Technology Adoption Business Consultant (Broadband Consultant) will be:

  • to fill the gap between broadband providers and internet service providers to help businesses understand the benefits of broadband for their business;
  • to advise businesses on technology applications to improve the productivity and competitiveness of their business; and
  • to increase the uptake and utilization of broadband by businesses in Nelson.

The role includes, but is not limited to, the following minimum activities:

  • Promote the services of the Broadband Consultant to drive uptake of consulting services;
  • Providing one-on-one business coaching to Nelson & Area business owners on potential broadband internet technology applications to enhance productivity and competitiveness of their business. Examples include: point of sale systems, data backups, storing data in the cloud, security systems, etc;
  • Demonstrate impact as a result of consulting services including:
    • number of businesses that have subscribed to broadband service as a result of broadband consultant engagement; and
    • list specific technology applications implemented as a result of broadband consultant engagement.

Closing Date for Submission: Proposals will be accepted until 2:00 p.m., August 19, 2016. Couriered or emailed submissions are acceptable. The submissions should be marked RFP No: 1617-02-NAEDP-BC (Broadband Technology Adoption Business Consultant), and sent to the Advertised Contact:

Project Director: Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership (NAEDP)

Name: Lisa Cannady


Please take a look at the entire RFP below:

Business Consultant RFP

HERE Partner Lesley Beatson, PhD

HERE Program Lesley Beatson PhD

It takes a certain type of professional to take on teaching leadership to leaders.

With credentials and experience spanning decades and industries, from coaching sport – swimming, cycling and triathlon – to coaching organization managers and startup CEOs, Lesley Beatson is just that professional.  She is passionate about seeing her clients succeed, providing them with insights and tools to work through challenges, exploring and, ultimately, realizing the best in themselves.

Effective leadership amid rapid change

In this era of technology where innovation and connectivity make for a rate of uncertainty and change previously unheard of,   leaders find themselves facing new and significant challenges.  Whether you’re operating on a shoestring or wondering how to achieve greater productivity within your organization, establishing an effective way to motivate and fully engage your team, all the while managing change, is integral.

A PhD in Leadership, Dr. Beatson is a passionate and experienced coach – a professional consultant who strives to deliver her clients high impact results.  While surrounding yourself with supportive friends, family and associates can provide a great foundation, she believes firmly that the road to success is made more smooth with the help of a professional partner who provides an entirely objective perspective.  Lesley pulls no punches.  She delivers her brand of coaching with honest and insightful candor, her only agenda being the success of the client.

Through consulting solutions in leadership development, group facilitation, coaching, and engagement, Lesley brings out the best in her clients.  She is a proven, effective resource for aligning employee performance with organizational strategy.

Changing thinking, changing results

With a particular interest and expertise in coaching skills related to “how to think”, Lesley believes firmly that we are able to choose our thoughts. Much like making the choice to change the channel to a more enjoyable television program, we can change our thoughts from those that hinder us, hold us victim, to those that are more conducive to supporting and ensuring our success.

The HERE and BCVAP programs are fortunate to have a coaching professional of Lesley’s calibre, offering her considerable expertise and experience to organizations in a range of industries.  With her guidance, advanced teamwork and enhanced leadership and organization development is achieved by building capacity in the individuals and teams that make up our client list.

Drawing on the influence of leading edge thinking, research and tools, Lesley enthusiastically provides fresh ideas, powerful approaches and the strategies you need to navigate your team, organization or community through the pitfalls of change and growth along the path to success.

HERE Partner Brad Higham of Collabo

Bradley Higham of Collabo

Based in Appledale, deep in the Slocan Valley, Bradley Higham enjoys all the perks natural, rural living affords while growing a successful startup.

Collabo Consulting Inc., provides a variety of Internet marketing services ensuring that clients from all over the world are maximizing their online advertising dollars, more accurately targeting the markets that will drive sales and grow their online businesses.  Leveraging the Internet through Search Engine OptimizationSocial Media OutletsPay Per Click, and detailed Web Analytics, Collabo endeavours to not only increase a business’ website visits, but more importantly, convert these visits into genuine leads.

Collabo employs a small team of highly talented web designers, programmers, and marketing gurus to provide innovative, cost effective solutions that generate higher profits for clients.

With a successful startup that has evolved and developed, growing significantly since its incorporation in 2009, CEO Higham is committed to giving back, sharing his experience and expertise with others in the startup community.

Seeing a need to connect the network of independent tech workers in the region, Bradley launched the popular Nelson Tech & Knowledge Workers Facebook group alongside the growing Nelson Tech Meetups that are held monthly in Nelson.   Connecting workers and organizations committed to growing technology and business in the West Kootenay has expanded the possibilities of successful collaboration among independent contractors as well as the field of opportunities.

In the spirit of collaboration and opportunity Bradley is an enthusiastic consultant in the HERE Program, developed to better support the local entrepreneurial technology VAP program clients in the Kootenays. This program provides him the opportunity to contribute his successes to helping other business owners, particularly interesting startups, save money while enhancing their prospects and helping them find their way to growth and success as he has.

Bradley meets with startups within the program offering consulting advice sharing his expertise in SEO, migrating websites, setting up Pay Per Click advertising, refining online advertising campaigns and more to ensure their Internet marketing investments are ones that pay off.

Learn more about how Bradley Higham and our other carefully selected local service providers in our High Value Expertise in a Rural Environment (HERE) program can help you find your way to business success.