Chatham-Kent’s first-ever incubator and accelerator officially opens


This month, Soar Innovation, a new incubator and accelerator offering services to businesses that wish to scale-up, expand to new markets, officially launched in Chatham-Kent, Ont.

“Soar Innovation acts as a catalyst between innovative entrepreneurs, the market opportunity, and the start-up ecosystem.”

Soar stated it is the region’s first-ever facility designed to serve as a “business pre-incubator, incubator, accelerator, and hyper accelerator.” The mission of Soar is to grow local startups into global companies with a larger objective to drive economic development and prosperity for the Chatham-Kent region. The organization offers co-working space with 28 desks and four private offices, as well as mentorship, investment programming, and partnership facilitation.

“Soar Innovation acts as a catalyst between innovative entrepreneurs, the market opportunity, and the start-up ecosystem,” said Prashant Pathak, founder of Soar Innovation. “It is our hope that through our organization, we can help grow Chatham-Kent’s economy by launching untraditional sectors for this region and stimulating the economy with new, sustainable, and skilled employment opportunities.”

Launched by Ekagrata Group, an international principal investment and holding company, Soar Innovation has global network in more than 30 countries, with direct investments and operating investments across the globe. Some of the verticals Soar will focus on include technology, software development, food, agriculture, energy, water and waste-water, tourism, analytics, art and design, marketing, and education. Some of its business services include branding, book-keeping, government grants, commercial loans, and showcasing to clients.

One of the programs being offered is Founder’s Academy, which will select to seed fund and integrate into Soar’s accelerator batch with access to various business support services at a no charge. The focus will be on the manifestation of the business idea into a real tactile product or service.

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Another program is the Symbiotics Sandbox, through which startups will be matched with an established corporate business to create a long-term relationship. Soar aims for this partnership to free startups from funding constraints and will allow entrepreneurs to focus on growth.

The third program being offered by Soar is the Acceleration Scaleup Amplification Program (ASAP). ASAP is a milestone-based program of intense and immersive education aimed at accelerating the life cycle of young innovative companies, compressing years’ of learning into a 12-month program. The program will offer infrastructural support and mentoring, as well as private coaching sessions.

Chatham-Kent has flown under the radar of the Canadian tech scene, but it has a dedicated space for local startups, called the Chatham-Kent Small Business Startup Centre. The region is next door to the City of Windsor, home to startups like Powerball Technologies, which participated in Canadian Digital Media Network’s Get There: San Francisco program in 2017.

Research conducted by Soar’s reserach team found that South Western Ontario has the capability to support a vibrant and growing economy, but that there are unique challenges that need to be addressed and solved. Entrepreneurship was identified as the key to solving these challenges by building new businesses that will create solutions while fostering the development of job creation.

Image courtesy Soar Innovation

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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