CEO Raghwa Gopal to leave Innovate BC
The long-time tech industry leader will retire this fall, and will be succeeded by current VP of Operations Tomica Divic as interim CEO.
Tech industry stalwart Raghwa Gopal has announced that he will retire from his position of CEO and President of Innovate BC in the fall. He has held the post since his appointment in February 2019, where he succeeded the organization’s previous CEO, Shirley Vickers.
Innovate BC is a crown agency of the provincial government, and is tasked with funding and delivering programs that support and grow the innovation economy. Under Gopal’s direction, Innovate BC honed in on talent development, tech development and adoption, mentorship, and intellectual property initiatives, as well as its role presenting the annual New Ventures BC competition. He held the reins through the COVID-19 pandemic, and is praised in an Innovate BC post for pioneering programs that supported businesses throughout the period.
“I am thrilled to be taking on the leadership of Innovate BC at this exciting time for our province’s innovation economy, where technology is everywhere, in every industry, and enhancing lives and creating business value across B.C and globally,” said Gopal, when he was first appointed to the position.
The industry leader has a storied history in the province’s tech sector, primarily in the Okanagan. Before joining Innovate BC, Gopal was pivotal to establishing the inland region as a tech hub. In 2012, he helped to create Accelerate Okanagan, the region’s first local accelerator for startups, where he served as an executive in residence and provided key guidance to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. In 2015, he became CEO of Accelerate Okanagan, where he expanded its impact on the tech community and created new opportunities for business owners.
Gopal has also served on the boards of multiple organizations, including UBC, India Canada Innovation Council, Women’s Enterprise Centre, Central Okanagan Economic Development, and the Province of B.C.’s Emerging Economy Task Force.
Gopal’s retirement will kick off an extensive search for the future leader of Innovate BC, as the organization plans to launch a formal recruitment process for its new head in the fall. In the meantime, Vice President of Operations Tomica Davic will be taking on the President and CEO role in an interim capacity.
Gopal’s last day at the organization is slated to be September 1, 2023.
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