Started about a year ago, Communications and Special Projects Coordinator for Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST), Andrew Zwicker, pitched the idea to begin podcasts highlighting businesses in the Kootenays. Called, “You can do that here!” and modeled after Entrepreneur on Fire John Lee Dumas’ podcasts where host Dumas began interviewing successful and inspiring entrepreneurs, Andrew realized the potential for showcasing the great talent that exists in the Kootenays. With a focus on Kootenay-related or connected science and technology-based businesses, nine episodes have been launched with no indication of slowing down; there are four or five episodes that are waiting and ready to go.
Podcasts are not new to the internet, with the term actually originating from radio broadcasts to an iPod, but Andrew says they “seem to be new to the Kootenays.” Podcasts are typically 30-40 minutes long and tend to lean towards the interviewer-interviewee style but may take on a variety of styles or forms. They are radio-model based and can loosely be described as verbal or audio blogs, with podcasts released on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. KAST has opted for a weekly release and they can be found posted on their website www.kast.com/youcandothathere, on iTunes (free download), and distributed throughout their networks. Already, “You can do that here!” has garnered 400 regular listeners with about half of those listeners coming from outside the region, such as Vancouver, Seattle and down to the Silicone Valley.
When asked what the purpose of these podcasts are, Andrew answers simply, “To show of the great talent in the Kootenays.” He continues, the intention is to provide a resource for upcoming entrepreneurs (or, as he has keyed the term, “wannapreneurs”) and start-up businesses but it’s also to “anyone, anywhere who loves a good, small town success story.” Andrew’s interview style during the podcast is low-key and casual, creating an opportunity for the interviewee to tell their story in their own words. These stories allow for businesses to share their knowledge and experiences, what inspires them, a general conversation about how their business became successful and a rapid-fire Q & A that covers everything from which app or website they can’t live without, to favourite book, to the best advice ever given. Through these specific stories, KAST hopes to engage new business ideas that may be floating out there, promote the Kootenays as a great place to come and do business and to provide inspiration to others considering the jump to entrepreneurship.
For more information on KAST and their business services, please visit www.kast.com. If you are a science or technology-based business and want to share your experience, contact Andrew Zwicker at Andrew@kast.com.