The arrival of Canada’s popular in-person tech training program for “regular people” in Vancouver this week is likely to produce a lot of happy campers.
Camp Tech is now on the scene, offering digital skills education to entrepreneurs, marketing specialists, students, and hobbyists – folks who aren’t likely to become technology professionals, but who need these skills just to get along in our modern world. Based out of HiVE in downtown Vancouver, it will soon be offering classes on Email Marketing with MailChimp, WordPress for Beginners, Google Analytics, and more.
“I’m an accidental entrepreneur.”
– Avery Swartz
Camp Tech has grown swiftly since its launch in 2012 and Vancouver is just the latest conquest, having already lit its fires in Toronto, Ottawa, and Kitchener-Waterloo. Yet that rapid growth kicked off almost by accident. “I’m an accidental entrepreneur,” said Avery Swartz, Founder and CEO of Camp Tech.
“This came out of my work with my web design clients, who were often solo entrepreneurs, or working in the arts, not big corporate businesses,” she explained. “I noticed that after I would get a website off the ground, they’d ask me for all kinds of other help, like with SEO, email newsletters and more.” After running informal workshop sessions with colleagues, Swartz realized those sessions were easily selling out and Camp Tech was born.
Why is Vancouver the latest stomping ground? “Ten years ago, there wasn’t much of a tech scene in Vancouver from an outsider’s perspective at least,” Swartz says. “But now, just in the last two years, I cannot believe the startups, the scene, the conferences like GROW; there’s Launch Academy, HIGHLINE, Lighthouse Labs, Brainstation – there’s such a rich environment here for technology.”
That said, Swartz doesn’t even think of Camp Tech as a tech company. “We’re targeting ‘normal people’ outside of the startup world – small business owners, marketing people, mom and pop shops and others like that.” Camp Tech’s in-person workshops often last three to six hours, offering learners an intensive, practical course in whatever they need to know.
Swartz is optimistic about the overall technology education scene across the country. “I love that people have lots of different options for tech literacy,” she said. “Some people want to learn online, or from books; others want to learn directly from people. We offer an extremely beginner-friendly kind of education that’s low-cost, with a low time commitment.”
As of this week, Camp Tech will be staking out its part in this city’s vibrant tech landscape.