Innovate Cochrane lived up to its aim to provide a night of vision, inspiration and new connections at its official launch on June 16.

About 80 people learned of its aims and the tools they will use to reach them. They also heard of the next steps of the nonprofit organization.

"We had an amazing experience last night as a community event," says Nathan Klassen, one of its four directors who emceed the night. "We had just over 80 people attend and to look at the names and email addresses they were a very diverse group from within Cochrane and also players who act upon the quality of life in Cochrane."

"There were a lot of different layers, but great energy and lots of connections were made last night."

Klassen provided background on the organization and its methodology, introduced the other directors, and shined the spotlight on some innovators.

Messages were provided by Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie and Mayor Jeff Genung and Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards provided a video message.

Klassen says gathering further insight from the community is critical for the organization. 

"What are the unmet needs for innovation in our community? Is that social. Is that economic? What are the detractors from the quality of life for each person in our community, or as many as want to contribute? We'll be really focusing our efforts on gathering more of that insight."

They'll continue to make connections at its Innovate Cochrane Pop-Up space under the large staircase of the SLS Family Sports Centre. People can also reach out to them through social media platform or website.

From there, they'll be discussing the program offerings that already exist that Innovate Cochrane can help promote and to be a catalyst in filling gaps.

Innovate Cochrane will be located in the Cochrane Station downtown on Railway St. once it opens.

Other board members include Mark Eaton, Samantha Nickerson, and Shane Pegg.

Innovate Cochrane is a group of passionate community activists, who believe in mentoring and bolstering “ideas” for the greater Cochrane-good.

For more on Innovate Cochrane click here.

peter guthrieMLA Peter Guthrie spoke of the importance of innovation from a provincial prospective. Mayor Jeff Genung also spoke and MP Blake Richards provided a video message.