The energy was palpable last night at McMaster Innovation Park with over 250 people gathering together for Innovation Factory’s (IF) annual Big DiF event. The Big DiF is a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Hamilton. As part of the celebration Mark Chamberlain presented Innovation Factory’s third annual Mark Chamberlain DiFizen of the Year Award to Carolynn Reid for her role in building Hamilton’s Innovation Community.
Reid, a graduate of McMaster University with a Commerce degree, was recognized for her extraordinary ability to connect and support people within the community.
“I am truly humbled by this award,” said Reid, a Business Development Consultant at the City Of Hamilton, “I accept it on behalf of all the DiFizens in our community – Dale Mugford, Erin O’Neil, Jeremy Freiburger, and many, many more.”
Recognizing community leaders is a role Innovation Factory is proud to play.
“Our ecosystem is filled with so many great people making a Big DiFference. We love the opportunity to recognize those that go above and beyond. Carolynn’s passion for supporting people is amazing. You’ll see her at events large and small helping them navigate and connect within Hamilton’s community.”
Carter also challenged the group to all become DiFizens this year:
“You can help us continue to make a significant impact on this community,” stated Carter. “Connect with people in the ecosystem; share what is going on in our great city; become a mentor; and learn about innovators across the ecosystem. Each and every person here can help make a difference.”
During the event, a photo wall was displayed showcasing photos of attendees holding whiteboards stating how they are making “The Big DiF”. Photos can be seen here: www.innovationfactory.ca/
Another feature at the event was Innovation Factory’s client showcase. The exhibition included companies from various industries including consumer packaged goods and technology and life science, representing the breadth of companies IF assists. The showcase participants included: Roboteurs, Weever Apps, AdvanTag, Blue Orchid, Schopf Innovations (maker of the Wedgie), Gojiccino, and Pain-QuILT.
Thanks to event sponsors McMaster University and McMaster Innovation Park, The Big DiF was free for attendees.
Since it’s inception in November 2010, iF has engaged over 600 local small and medium enterprise innovators, researchers and start-up entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate their businesses.