VentureStart Study Validates Positive Impact
The Evidence Network Measures the Impact of VentureStart on Entrepreneurial Success
Mississauga, Ontario – February 28, 2014 – The VentureStart program is coordinated by the Research, Innovation, Commercialization (RIC) Centre and helps entrepreneurs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) take their products and processes to market.
Since being launched in 2012, the VentureStart program has served more than 200 entrepreneurs and has received funding of up to $7.5 million through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative.
In an effort to quantify the impact of VentureStart on client companies, The Evidence Network (TEN), an independent third-party company specializing in assessing the impact of innovation intermediaries, was engaged to conduct an assessment. TEN measures the direct impact that programs, like VentureStart, have on client companies’ resources and capabilities, the indirect impact that they have on company performance, and quantifies their real impact.
A total of 140 VentureStart client companies participated in the assessment, responding to a customized web-based survey. The results of TEN’s assessment found that since starting with the VentureStart program, companies exhibited strong economic and employment growth. Since first engagement with VentureStart, companies have seen annual revenues grow by $11.7 million and investment increase by $17.4 million. The impact assessment also found 99% of companies that increased their annual revenues by 10% or more attribute their results to the positive impact of VentureStart.
“The Government of Canada recognizes that innovative ideas such as those being developed through the VentureStart program hold the key to long-term economic stability for the people, communities and businesses in southern Ontario,” said Stella Ambler, Member of Parliament for Mississauga South. “Through VentureStart, we see the tangible results of investing in graduates and helping them to develop the skills necessary to become innovators and successful entrepreneurs.”
“VentureStart was the first funding source CHAR Technologies received, and was crucial in moving CHAR Technologies from a company with a lab-scale technology and no funding to one with two pilot sites and $270,000 in funding,” explains Andrew White, President and COO of CHAR Technologies, a VentureStart participant. “We are well on our way to now build a full-scale commercial demonstration facility.”
Innovation has also grown as a result of engagement with VentureStart, as 90% of companies that developed new or improved technologies signaled the positive impact of VentureStart on their ability to innovate.
“We are pleased at the impact that our assessment shows,” says Steve Lightstone, Vice President of Client Services at The Evidence Network. “We surveyed VentureStart’s clients directly. There is no better validation of VentureStart’s impact than first hand from clients. Our Infographic is an ideal vehicle for communicating impact.”
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About RIC Centre
The RIC Centre is a not-for-profit organization supporting the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. It is part of a network of 17 regional innovation centres across Ontario, providing commercialization support to help new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people take technical innovations to market, with experienced advisors and Entrepreneurs in Residence who guide clients every step of the way.
The VentureStart program aims to provide entrepreneurs and small-business owners with the tools and resources to take their processes and products to market. Working with companies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, VentureStart provides the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to build a solid business foundation.
About The Evidence Network
The Evidence Network provides assessments of the impacts that innovation enablers and business support programs have on companies. TEN elicits attributed impacts directly from client companies, and determines: Impact on companies’ resources and capabilities; Impact on companies’ performance; economic impact indicators, and the relationship between services, impact on companies’ performance, and impact on the economy.
About FedDev Ontario
FedDev Ontario was launched in 2009 as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to work with the region’s communities, businesses and not-for-profit organizations to actively promote the region and build a strong foundation of partnerships and relationships to secure Canada’s long-term prosperity. Through Economic Action Plan 2013, FedDev Ontario was renewed, providing new opportunities to create and grow businesses, cultivate partnerships and build strong communities across southern Ontario.