With the presence of renowned universities, a supportive Canadian startup community, and hubs like Communitech that allow companies to set the foundation for their business, Waterloo Region is well-established as one of the best places to build your company.
Open Sky Incubator, an incubator opening in Kitchener, is one of the latest institutions whose team is hoping to garner a similar reputation to startup hubs like Velocity. “As a new part of the Waterloo Region technology community, Open Sky incubator aims to complement the already established programs in the region by providing affordable workspaces, and interactive learning experiences for entrepreneurs, working professionals, and students,” said Emile McLean, founder of Open Sky.
Open Sky, which is opening 15,000 square feet of space at LOT41–41 Ardelt Place, will provide coworking areas and office spaces, as well co-creation sessions from Open Sky’s enterprise partners. The incubator will also host workshops aimed at helping startups at every stage of their business, covering areas like business planning, financial literacy training for entrepreneurs, and marketing.
“Our primary goal is help entrepreneurs succeed, through offering affordable workspace and offices, and interactive workshops in technology and business,” said McLean, who confirmed that Google, NXP Semiconductors Inc, Trustpoint Innovations, Radcon, and Conestoga College would be leading the first wave of co-creation sessions and workshops. “While we do not have any ‘official’ partnerships, we are working with many Conestoga College students and faculty members to ensure we are offering the proper services that will make a difference.”
As for why the incubator decided to open as a privately-funded space, McLean said that government funding for those that support the tech sector is already given to more established startup spaces. Open Sky will focus on connecting startups with investors and doesn’t plan on taking equity. “We are more focussed on partnering with companies in the private sector — there is less red tape and greater flexibility,” said McLean. “What’s more, we can leverage other types of support from private sector, such as subject matter experts and mentors, and technology like hardware. To put it simply, we are a startup, helping startups and professionals connect, learn and grow with the support of companies and professionals.”
Open Sky is hosting an open house on July 18 for those who are looking at potential workspaces, interested in networking, or just curious.