The Innovation Cluster, a business support organization for the Peterborough and Kawartha region in Ontario, has partnered with the City of Kawartha Lakes to launch an incubator in the community of Lindsay. The incubator is intended to give startups working in more remote areas easier access to business opportunities and commercialization support.
The Innovation Cluster offers business incubation, networking opportunities, and mentoring to local entrepreneurs.
The incubator is a pilot project supported by Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation through the Rural Innovation Initiative Eastern Ontario (RIIEO). Kawartha Lakes’ Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) is one of the 15 CFDCs operating in the Eastern Ontario region. FedDev Ontario is providing a total of $15 million over two years to the group CFDCs in order to deliver the RIIEO.
“We are excited to launch our incubator in the heart of Lindsay to give current and future startup clients the opportunity to access our resources closer to home,” said John Gillis, president and CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “The Innovation Cluster has been supporting clients in the Kawartha Lakes for a number of years remotely, and many of those clients have been driving into Peterborough to work in our world-class incubator. They have been waiting for us to make this expansion happen.”
The pilot aims to support at least 10 local entrepreneurs in Kawartha Lakes and offer at least six training sessions to a broader audience of entrepreneurs and small businesses. The incubator will also host the Peterborough Regional Angel Network in Kawartha Lakes to introduce investment opportunities to entrepreneurs and potential angels.
The Innovation Cluster offers businesses in the areas of Peterborough and the Kawarthas business incubation, networking opportunities, as well as mentoring to local startups. Some key focus areas of the organization include business idea validation, access to funding, IP protection, business planning, financial management, and marketing and sales strategies.
In 2017, Innovation Cluster opened a 10,000 square foot incubator in the heart of downtown Peterborough. Throughout 2018, the Innovation Cluster supported eight local companies, which created a reported economic impact of $2.35 million.
Image source Innovation Cluster