Whitby opens accelerator, hoping to scale local tech companies

Whitby, Ontario’s newest innovation accelerator, 1855 Whitby, looking to help local tech companies commercialize, has officially opened in its downtown core.

The space is a collaboration between the Town of Whitby and a cloud-based incentives software platform 360insights, whose headquarters are located in the town, which is situated just east of Toronto.

“This new accelerator will create good local jobs and further position Whitby as a centre of technology.”
 

“1855 is an iconic and historical name for Whitby,” said Jason Atkins, chair of the 1855 board of directors and CEO of 360insights. “It represents the year the Town was incorporated as a separate municipality, when it “grew up” and became its own. Our mantra at 1855 is “Growth Lives Here” because that’s what we do. We help companies accelerate and grow to become their own thriving organizations.”

The accelerator, noting that the facility is the first of its kind in the Durham region, stated that it hopes to play a pivotal in helping to grow potential tech companies, as well as creating local jobs and economic prosperity for Whitby and the greater Durham region. “Ultimately, the facility will help position tech companies for the global stage and a successful business future,” 1855 Whitby stated.

Tech companies with a minimum of double digit annual growth are invited to take part in the accelerator. Members will have access to “creative business and collaboration space,” and receive onsite mentorship and hands-on support from industry leaders and experts.

Pointing to an “innovation district” that consists of more than a dozen tech and innovation companies, 1855 Whitby noted there are a range of local supports for tech startups, but argued that nothing is in place to help companies commercialize on a larger scale.

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“This new accelerator will create good local jobs and further position Whitby as a centre of technology,” said Whitby Mayor, Don Mitchell. “The accelerator, and the companies that call it home, will play a key role in the continued growth of our innovation district.”

The 9,000 square foot accelerator has been more than five years in the making, and along with the Town of Whitby and 360insights, founding partners include BDO Canada and Durham College.

“The accelerator is a shining example of what can be accomplished when business and municipal government work together to achieve a shared goal, in this case, helping technology companies to grow and thrive,” said Matt Gaskell, chief administrative officer at the Town of Whitby.

Members of 1855 Whitby already includes Durham Regional Police, Oshawa-based social commerce network for the fishing industry, National ProStaff, marketing automation solutions provider, SmartDesk, as well as marketing services and analytics company, MobileXCo.

Feature image courtesy Town of Whitby via Twitter

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.