Innovation Factory Celebrates One Year Anniversary as Hamiltonʼs Regional Innovation Centre
Over 180 Innovators in Hamilton Benefitting from MRIʼs ONE Initiative
HAMILTON (November 2, 2011) – Innovation Factory (iF), Hamiltonʼs Regional Innovation Centre in the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), is celebrating the one year anniversary of its launch today. In that time, iF has met with 187 local companies, entrepreneurs, and innovators and changed the business landscape in this city. surpassing all expectations, iF has engaged thousands of Hamiltonians and enlisted dozens of private sector and institutional partners in the city to help create a robust innovation ecosystem, becoming a key player in the expansion of Hamiltonʼs knowledge economy.
Though the nature of start-up development is a long-term investment of time and resources, in year one two iF startups have relocated to Hamilton, one has grown from two employees to nine, several have added members to their teams, one company has received its first round of angel funding and another is poised to do the same. Most important, dozens of companies have received increased exposure and all have benefitted from the coaching, advocacy and resource connections provided by iF.
“If I may say so, we certainly have achieved a lot in one year,” boasted Executive Director Ron Neumann. “Certainly our staff are amazing, but what we have accomplished is as indicative of the tremendous amount of entrepreneurial talent that exists here in Hamilton and the strong will in the community to support us and see us succeed.”
Sixteen successful networking and educational events in the first year have attracted thousands of attendees. These include the popular monthly Lunch ʻn Learn and quarterly Innovation Night series, community-building events like The Big DiF, PLAN iT (a business plan competition hosted in conjuction with McMaster), and the hugely popular LiONʼS LAIR gala (hosted in conjunction with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce), which gave 10 local companies the chance to solicit $100,000 from a panel of experts. In addition, iF has provided support to the new local angel investment network, Angel One, launched several Peer-2-Peer groups, and most recently brought global phenomenon Startup Weekend to Hamilton, which gave seven companies teams the opportunity to launch their companies in 54 hours.
In addition to funding from the province, iF receives matching support from community partners including Atria Networks, BankoMedia, Cogeco, CareGo, Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers Ltd., Deloitte, GeoDigital, Gowlings, Grant Thorton LLP, Hamilton International Airport, Horizon Utilities, INO, Javelin Technologies, KPMG, L3 Wescam, McMaster Innovation Park, McMaster University, Mohawk College, RBC, Ridout & Maybee LLP, SB Partners, Scotiabank, Simpson Wigle LLP, and Trivaris. As iF grows, it is continuing to seek local private sector and institutional support to retain its momentum.
An innovative public policy initiative in its own right, the ONE was launched to create jobs and wealth in Ontario, linking innovators with more than 400 commercialization experts, experienced entrepreneurs, tech-savvy strategists and market analysts located throughout the province. In Hamilton in particular, the initiative has already been transformative. “The fact that this ʻeconomic gardeningʼ initiative in Hamilton is going exactly as the province envisioned is a testament to Ron and his team,” said Board Chair Mark Chamberlain. “Theyʼve accomplished so much in one year that Iʼm excited to see what they can do in the years to come.”
About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory (innovationfactory.ca) is Hamiltonʼs not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, located in Hamilton, ON committed to connecting and enabling active collaboration between the cityʼs communities of science, business, government, academia and finance to accelerate the innovation process and amplify the economic and social impact of key new ideas and discoveries. Funded by the OntarioNetwork of Excellence
(ONE), we are focused on strengthening Hamiltonʼs next generation of job generators. innovationfactory.ca
About the Ontario Network of Excellence
Funded by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE) is Ontarioʼs innovation system. The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies, and create jobs. For more information visit oneinnovation.ca.
|Keanin Loomis, iF Chief Advocate, email@example.com, 905.667.2610|