Building a Safer Online Community is Easier with Kelowna’s Two Hat
Cyberbullying is a perennial problem affecting the lives and mental health of countless communities. And with more time than ever spent at home and online throughout the pandemic, the issue has been compounded even further. The outcome? There’s been a surge in demand for security tools that prevent online abuse.
Two Hat Security, based in Kelowna, British Columbia, is one of the companies on a quest to make the internet a safer space. Using its AI-powered content moderation platform, it identifies and prevents harmful online behaviour like cyberbullying, abuse and threats. Each month, a staggering 102 billion human interactions — ranging from messages to images and videos — are classified, filtered and escalated, making room for more positive online experiences. Two Hat Security was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the most promising Technology Pioneers of 2020 because of its truly groundbreaking platform.
“At Two Hat Security, we believe that everyone should be free to share online without fear of harassment or abuse,” says the company’s founder and CEO, Chris Priebe. “And every single day, we do everything we can to make that vision a reality.”
A vibrant startup environment
Priebe credits Two Hat’s headquarter city as a major contributor to the company’s extraordinary success. After searching for a location to launch the business in 2012, Priebe chose Kelowna — and for good reason. As the third largest region in British Columbia, the city is home to a booming technology industry, with 693 businesses, a workforce of over 12,000 people and an economic impact of CA $1.67 billion. Kelowna also enjoys a more affordable cost of living compared to other major hubs.
There is also a wealth of available resources and programs in the region that play an integral role in getting organizations off the ground. One of them is Accelerate Okanagan, which provides growing technology-driven businesses with the mentorship, connections and community they need to flourish.
“Our company was still in its early days when we heard about Accelerate Okanagan,” Priebe recalls. “They not only helped us get the office furniture and equipment we needed, but they also found a mentor, connected us with community services, and introduced us to legal and accounting firms that volunteered to get us set up.”
In addition to strong business support, Kelowna boasts leading post-secondary institutions, including Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan. This provides companies in the region with continuous stream of highly skilled tech workers.
A place to connect
Along with being the ideal launching pad for businesses in the technology sector, Kelowna has become a sought-after destination to host meetings and events.
That’s in part due to its strong conference infrastructure, which includes over 110,000-square-feet of meeting space and more than 4,500 guest rooms. It’s also thanks to a wide range of fun activities that make a perfect addition to event schedules — such as dozens of wineries and microbreweries, nationally-recognized restaurants and world-class museums and theatres.
Kelowna is easy for delegates to reach, too. Its international airport offers more than 70 daily non-flight flights across Canada, the US and Mexico. It also provides free airport shuttles to most hotels, as well as plenty of rental cars, taxi services and regional bus lines.
Kelowna has all the benefits of major city, including opportunities to connect with visionary entrepreneurs, thought leaders and researchers,” says Jennifer Horsnell, director of business and destination development for Tourism Kelowna. “Plus, as a four-season vacation destination, there are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in between meetings and sessions, like world-class skiing, hiking, watersports and more.
Meetings with purpose
By augmenting speakers’ series with passionate industry innovators and enriching programming with localized tours, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenues and inspire future generations.
“We call that 'meeting with purpose’,” adds Horsnell, pointing out that Kelowna is poised to show off its intellectual capital, providing powerful networking opportunities for experts in the field of cybersecurity.
Learn more about Kelowna's digital technology landscape HERE.