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BEDC Announces Plans to Establish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre in Burlington

(October 24, 2016) A NEW INNOVATION CENTRE WILL CREATE A ONE STOP DESTINATION FOR BUSINESSES STARTING UP AND GROWING IN BURLINGTON

The Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) has announced it is in the planning phase of developing an Innovation Centre in Burlington as part of a new strategy to better support the start-up and growth of new companies in Burlington.

The development of a physical space that supports entrepreneurship is in direct alignment with the City of Burlington’s new Strategic Plan. Approved in April, the new Plan tasked BEDC to, “Create and invest in a system that supports the start-up and growth of businesses and entrepreneurship.”

Over the last six months, BEDC staff have conducted extensive stakeholder engagement, research, and best-in-class analysis, and have reported that the stakeholder engagement process has been met with a tremendous level of enthusiasm and support from members of the local start-up community. Stakeholders are in support of establishing a physical space that would strengthen and grow the existing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The goal of the proposed space would be to increase the connectivity, visibility, and vibrancy of innovation and entrepreneurship in Burlington by providing open event space, meeting areas, co-working space, programming opportunities, and incubation space to entrepreneurs and other members of the start-up community.

BEDC’s Executive Director Frank McKeown explained that, “Burlington has a robust history of entrepreneurship. We’re looking to help renew that energy, and leverage the entrepreneurial leadership and mentorship capacity we already have right here in Burlington.” McKeown continued, “At BEDC, we see our role as providing the infrastructure companies need to grow their business, and bring the people who are going to help them under one roof. We’re looking beyond Burlington’s borders to bring in the latest programming from the best partners, and create a public space where everyone is welcome to participate.”

BEDC hopes to make an announcement on proposed next steps in early 2017, and encourages those who are interested in partnership or sponsorship opportunities to contact Claire Green at claire.green@burlington.ca or (905) 332-9415 ext. 7251.

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