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Kelowna  

New head of Accelerate OK

Tech innovation in the Okanagan has a new face, as Accelerate Okanagan has announced a new CEO.

The organization, which helps small tech startups get off the ground, appointed Raghwa Gopal as CEO this week.

Gopal has been the acting CEO of the organization for the past two months, and proved to be a good fit.

“After an exhaustive search that involved over 120 candidates, we are extremely pleased to announce Raghwa Gopal as AO’s new CEO,” said Blair Forrest, AO board chairman. “Through his prior involvement as acting CEO and executive in residence, Raghwa is very familiar with our team.”

Gopal has lived in Kelowna since the 1970s and helped build Vadium Software, one of the region's first technology companies, and grow it for 28 years.

Since the company’s acquisition in 2001, Gopal has taken an active role in the community, serving as a director of the Okanagan College Foundation, the Rotary Club of Kelowna, the United Way, and the Central Okanagan Development Commission.

“It is an immense honour to be offered the position of CEO for Accelerate Okanagan, particularly because this is such an exciting time for the tech industry in the Okanagan and the province as a whole,” said Gopal in a statement. “One of my primary goals will be to create an ecosystem of collaboration between different stakeholders, both here in the Okanagan and provincewide.”

Gopal replaces previous AO CEO, Pilar Portela, who had served in the position since September 2014. 

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