In 2018 VINN Automotive COO Chet Flanagan began working with Kamloops Innovation Centre (KIC) when he joined our Venture Acceleration Program (VAP).

“KIC has been a cornerstone to my personal development as a young founder,” said Chet.“Lincoln was super helpful in making early connections in Kamloops and helping me to join the VAP Program.”

VINN was founded in 2018 and has become one of the largest automotive marketplaces in Canada. With over 150 dealership partners nationwide and more than 100,000 vehicles to select from. Their mission is to streamline the car-buying process, getting customers into the car they want sooner. VINN's vehicle experts walk customers through every step of the car-buying journey. They provide unbiased and personalized advice on vehicles, dealerships, financing, trade-in options, and more—all at no cost to the customer.

Chet noted the scope of mentorship offered by Entrepreneurs in Residence through the VAP Program was extremely helpful in working through initial obstacles.  

“My mentor also introduced me to Agile workflow and setting OKRs— strategies our entire team uses to make critical decisions daily. During the early days of VINN, it was easy not to ask tough questions and dive deeper into problems we needed to address. My mentor forced me to get the hard work done and build something that, in the end, clients wanted."

Chet and fellow VINN founders, Caleb Bernabe (CEO) and Tom Avant (CTO) continue to make strides, VINN is on pace for $600 million dollars in Gross Merchandise Value by the end of the year.