The Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (KAST) is a registered non-profit society that has supported entrepreneurs in the Kootenay region in BC since 1998. KAST works to foster a culture that values science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship as activities vital to maintaining and enhancing the competitiveness of the region and the wellbeing of its communities. KAST serves every stage of a tech entrepreneur’s journey, from childhood to community contributor.
Through our youth programs, camps and events founded in 2007, we inspire today’s youth to become tomorrow’s tech innovators through interactive learning, play and skills development. KAST works in our rural communities to provide hands-on interactive programming including robotics, coding, digital media and climate innovation. We partner with schools, professionals and community groups to provide initiatives that allow youth of all ages to participate in hands-on science and technology exploration. We also work closely with youth under 30 to develop the next generation of tech-innovators through skills-based training and creation of career pathways. We host career events, ambassador programs and are involved in a regional youth entrepreneur program with local colleges. Activities are designed and facilitated by KAST staff and supported by our partners’ facilities, resources and staffing. We serve 7 school districts, 4 postsecondary institutions, 25 municipalities and over 35,000 youth between the ages of 5 and 29.
KAST serves a large geographic area of 80,000 km2 with approximately 160,000 inhabitants, with no communities larger than 20,000. KAST sees its geography as its asset, not its weakness, in the global competition for talent in the digital economy. The Kootenay lifestyle is unparalleled in terms of work-life balance, sustainability and community connection. Ensuring our region has the support it needs to thrive in the technological future is core to what we do at KAST. We accomplish this through mentorship, coaching, training, and development projects aimed at stimulating the growth of applied science and technology entrepreneurship. In the last decade KAST has helped over 70 tech start-ups with mentorship and investment expertise, over 300 small and medium businesses grow their companies online and an immeasurable number of community members feel safe exploring tech topics at our monthly event meetups.
KAST recognizes that healthy communities and regional economic growth must be inclusive of all clients and be responsive to the acute barriers faced by women, youth and other underrepresented communities in our rural setting. KAST is a voice of the region’s tech community on committees, through the BC Accelerator Network and on a provincial level. We prioritize diversity and inclusion to ensure we are contributing to a fairer and more equitable society. We also foster healthy relationships and collaborate with local, regional, provincial and global industry partners and our community to ensure we have the insight required to create impactful opportunities for those we serve, and are aligned with technological innovation as we evolve towards a digital future.
The Board is the governing body of KAST which provides strategic foresight and accountability structures to ensure the organization’s success, stability and viability. We employ a governance model where the Board provides strategic advice and direction, but can also be called upon in committees to leverage specialized expertise for the organization’s executive.
The organization’s staff are hard working, deeply passionate and ambitious to make an impact. We are searching for up to 2 new Directors who are equally excited about our mission and values.
Members can apply at any time and are welcome to attend a board meeting to determine fit. Once approved, new Directors will be onboarded and a formal election at the annual general meeting. Directors are expected to commit to at least a two-year term.
At present, the Board meets four times per year, typically on a Thursday morning, for 1 hour virtually. Board members attend the Annual General Meeting which usually takes place in the fall. Directors will also be expected to provide occasional advice and assistance to management between meetings as related to their unique skill-set and expertise.
Board members are also expected to share in the responsibility to communicate events, programs and news to their networks and participate in the organization’s fundraising efforts.
- Ideal candidates for this opportunity will have the following qualifications:
Prior Non-profit governance experience
- Commitment to the mission of KAST
- Located or strong connection to the Kootenay Region
- Comfort contributing to group meetings and availability to meet no less than quarterly, with come committees working between meetings
- Enthusiasm to champion the science and technology sector within the Kootenays
Expertise in one or more of the following:
- Science and/or Technology Sector, Entrepreneurship or Start-ups
- Communications, Marketing or Media Relations
- Employment or Society Law
- Grant Writing or Fundraising
- Non-profit Accounting or Finance
- Business Development
Interested parties are encourages to apply here.
The selection process will make use of virtual meetings and/or telephone calls. While we appreciate the interest of all applicants, we can only communicate with those shortlisted for an interview.
KAST encourages applications from all qualified candidates that represent the full diversity of the Kootenays.