The Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC), which powers the Cobourg, Ont.-based accelerator Venture13 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, has received $4.5 million in funding through FedDev Ontario.
“We continue to champion and applaud the economic impact Venture13 has created within our community and outward within the region.”
The FedDev funding will be delivered to the Northumberland CFDC under the Rural Innovation Initiative-Eastern Ontario project, which funds local and regional innovation initiatives. In light of the new funding, the Northumberland CFDC is launching two project streams, one for local Northumberland County that will focus on transitioning SMEs and communities into the rural economy. The second project stream will support rural Eastern Ontario focusing on accelerating the growth of existing SMEs.
Venture13 is also announcing two new projects in celebration of the hub’s one-year anniversary, one designed for rural youth to access educational opportunities in tech and entrepreneurship, and another to provide various services to entrepreneurs and innovators.
“We celebrate both the important milestone of Venture13’s one-year anniversary, as well as the Government of Canada’s $4.5 million commitment to the Northumberland CFDC in funding both local and regional innovation initiatives,” said Kim Rudd, MP for Northumberland-Peterborough South. “From advancements in 3D technologies, aviation technologies, surgical, plastics, and advanced manufacturing, there are companies that are making world-class advancements right here in our own backyard.”
Launched in May 2018, Venture13 is currently home to 24 active companies in its VentureZone co-working space. Venture13 has held nearly 300 events and said it has a reported 2018 economic impact of $2.4 million within Northumberland County.
The first of the new programs Venture13 will be launching include the VentureKids TECHimmersivE Program, which aims to support rural youth aged 15 to 18 years old with vocational aspirations in technology or entrepreneurship. The program’s goal is to help close the digital skills and opportunity gap for rural youth.
VentureKids TECHimmersivE will be led by VentureKids Canada and will be powered by Northeastern University Toronto, as well as Venture13. Through the program, participants will travel to Toronto over three separate days during the summer to visit the corporate headquarters of major technology companies like Microsoft Canada. The youth will meet with various business leaders and take part in onside learning, including coding and web development.
The second program announced by Venture13 is the Microfactory Co-operative, which was launched with seed funding and support from Northumberland CFDC and FedDev Ontario. The Microfactory Co-operative consists of a partnership of hardware startups dedicated to providing small-scale custom manufacturing, as well as prototyping and design services for entrepreneurs and innovators. By taking advantage of talent, resources, and equipment, the co-operative aims to offer a “structure” for startups, and to help them fully realize their concepts.
“Venture13 from conception to implementation… has achieved significant milestones,” said Mayor of Cobourg John Henderson. “We continue to champion and applaud the economic impact Venture13 has created within our community and outward within the region.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that FedDev Ontario also made a $2.57 million investment in Waterloo-based nanotechnology company Nicoya. In February, FedDev Ontario announced a more than $1 billion commitment to foster startup and not-for-profit growth in Southern Ontario. The new investment comes amid provincial funding cuts from the Ford provincial government, which has cut funding to Waterloo-based Communitech and the Toronto-based MaRS Discovery District.
Image courtesy Northumberland CFDC.