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Welcome to Startup Smithers!

We are a grassroots driven movement bringing together founders who are passionate about collaboration, innovation & business. Startup communities are open and inclusive and comprised of entrepreneurs, designers, inventors and creatives. Smithers is centrally located in one of the most inspirational valleys in Canada: The Bulkley Valley. The people are creative, industrious and resilient. This community is about celebrating and supporting startup projects and enterprises that continue to make the Bulkley Valley one of the best places in to live and grow in Canada.


Anyone can create a startup. All you need is the confidence to “do it.” The members of this community recognize that it’s a maze out there with a lot of fear, bureaucracy and costs that deter many from taking the initiative. This community should be your first stop. The mentor’s motto is “give before you get” and we all look forward to you joining the movement, no matter what your experience is.

Our Peer-Mentors

  • Kyler Hardy - Ridge Resources

    LinkedIn |
    Kyler is currently working on multiple startups in the natural resource sector as well as the acquisition and development of an organic fertilizer producer. He likes to discuss both individually and in groups ideas about founding and growing businesses and hearing about other people’s challenges and successes. He splits time between the Gulf Islands, Vancouver (you can catch him at the HiVE) and Smithers.
  • Rob Trampuh – Timber Peak Construction Ltd.

    LinkedIn | | (250) 877-9172
    Rob organizes luncheons on a regular basis that focuses on bringing professionals together with founders.
  • Kym Putnam – Stork Nest Inn | (250) 847-3855
    Kym and her husband Brian have lived, played and raised their family in the beautiful Bulkley Valley since 1988 starting numerous businesses along the way. She's involved in many community initiatives including Chicks on Sticks (women's backcountry ski group). Stop by the Inn in the morning to share a cup of coffee.
  • Frank & Christi Williams - Smokescreen Graphics
    Frank & Christi are actively involved with the Smithers Rotary and many community initiatives like Anti Bullying Day. You can usually find them at the BV Nexus monthly meetups.
  • Walter Bucher - Raven Rescue

    250-847-0306 |
    Walter's family moved to the Bulkley Valley over 50 years ago. With over 75 instructors worldwide, Raven Rescue is one of the world's top outdoor rescue training companies. Running this company with wife Amy, Walter still has time to paddle the Bulkley Canyon on a regular basis.
  • Andrew Watson - Watson Outdoors | (250) 877-2561
    A serial entrepreneur in the purest sense, Andrew relentlessly looks for opportunities and is known to be working on several at any one time. "There are so many opportunities that I can't do them all. If I could just sit someone down and unload them all..." You get the point.
  • Sean Mitchell - Spark Design Web & Print

    LinkedIn | | Facebook
    Sean's past life was in parks & recreation. His passion for the outdoors brought him to Smithers where he launched his company in web design. After acquiring another web design business in the north, Spark Design Co. is now considered the top web design firm in the north of BC and has clients all across western Canada. He likes to meetup for a coffee or go fly fishing.
  • Jason Krauskopf – Rayz Board Shop | (250) 877-9763
    During winter Jason likes to hit the slopes and talk shop on the lift. The retail industry is demanding and Jason believes that collaboration, not competition, is the key to success for retail businesses in the valley. His team at Rayz organize many community events like the Annual Rail Jam, Snow and Skate Comp and Junior Snowboard Camps.
  • John Shorter – Driftwood Diamond Drilling | (250) 877-3231
    John supports this movement and will help anyone that is willing to work hard and sacrifice a lot. He has mentored several young entrepreneurs over the last year and thinks fear is a real concern for many to start a business. If he can help someone he will but they must be keen. John prefers meeting up for coffee.
  • Anastasia Ledwon - UTM Exploration

    LinkedIn |
    Anastasia Ledwon has worked in both the mining industry and environmental movement, and walks a fine line as she tries to better the mining industry from the inside out. Mostly, though, she loves hanging out with her husband and their four-year-old son.
  • Tim Tchida – Summit Reforestation

    LinkedIn | | (250) 847-1114
    Tim's company is about to engage in planting 25 million trees between now and July 15th with over 300 people between two provinces. His life as he knows it comes to an end for the summer. He is proud to say that this will be his company's 400 millionth tree year.  He will be able to help when he has more available time after the season.
  • Joe Wong  Woodmere Nursery

    LinkedIn | | (250) 846-5750
    Joe is committed to integrating creativity and potential of the local area to generate balanced growth with assistance of First Nations. He holds the directorships with the Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association, Northwest Science and Innovation Society; and Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics. Coffee or Tea pot is always on at his office and sake is optional but essential on Fridays when Joe hosts Philosophers' Club meetups.
  • Dana Gorbahn - High Road Services Society

    LinkedIn |
    When it comes to social enterprises in the valley, Dana has been at the forefront. His work with High Road Services Society is a relentless pursuit to break ties with the traditional non-profit model - one based primarily on government funding or fundraising. He's always looking to leverage developments in social finance and create joint-ventures with for-profit businesses looking to make a positive social impact.
  • Mike Sawyer – Net Zero Structures

    LinkedIn | | (250) 877-8678
    Mike is a serial entrepreneur who is familiar with tapping into many large and small opportunities that the northwest resource boom is bringing. Her prefers meeting up for coffee or lunch.
  • Dean Elmore - Evelyne Mountain Contracting | (250) 846-5557
    Dean's company is a reflection of his entrepreneurial spirit: Silviculture, fire fighting, logging, soil sampling, geothermal drilling, sandblasting, construction, brushing, weeding, falling... the list goes on. He believes in being flexible and willing to work with others to weather the highs and lows the northwest has seen in the past 20 years.
  • Tyler Vis – Bulkley Electric | (250) 847-3969
    Tyler is a budding young entrepreneur looking to take advantage of the resource boom in the northwest.
  • Dave Walter - Valhalla Pure Outfitters

    LinkedIn | Twitter  |
    A pit of bottomless energy, Dave is what you have to be to run a successful retail business. Cross-promotion, collaboration on events and working with local non-profits to better the community all fall within initiatives Dave has helped lead.

Our Team

  • Tony Mondia
  • Allan Stroet, EDO

What we do

Mentor Meetups
Access our network of successful and experienced entrepreneurs to support you through your startup journey. Contact them directly above or jot us an email and we can match you up.
Community Enterprise Partnerships
We hold meetups of startup support stakeholders to share best practices and discuss ways to further support the growing entrepreneurial community.
Create and Publicize Your Event!
Startup Smithers is an organic community. That means it depends on you to organize and attend events. Jot us details of an event you'd like to get off the ground or have going and we'll put it on the events calendar, publicize it in our newsletter, on Twitter and Facebook. If it's just an idea, we can match you up with someone to help you make it a reality.

Our Partners

  • Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association
  • Bulkley Valley Credit Union