Cogeco Becomes an Innovation Partner

The MEV Innovation Centre is pleased to welcome Cogeco as an Innovation Partner. Cogeco is the latest company to support the Centre as a place for the business community to meet and a space for new and existing businesses to grow. Cogeco is sponsoring the Centre’s first major event of 2015: Silicon Halton’s Meetup #63 – Selling into the US: IP & Taxes.

Cogeco will also be working directly with the Innovation Centre to produce and broadcast stories on the technology sector within the region and the efforts that are being made to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship and the development of successful companies.

Cogeco’s sponsorship over the next two years will enhance the community’s capacity further develop an ecosystem for technology intensive companies and professional services businesses. The sponsorship will help the Innovation Centre to assist entrepreneurs by providing:

• Collaborative Space and Networking
• Access to Business Services
• Entrepreneurial/Incubator Programming
• Education and Training Opportunities

We are excited about working with Cogeco and are confident that their sponsorship will enable the Centre to act on its mission with respect to – Connecting Minds, Igniting Ideas and Inspiring Innovation.

Building Upon Milton’s Hidden Economy

Much of our early efforts have focused on communicating what the MEV Innovation Centre has to offer to the technology and small business community. We have not spent as much time talking about WHY we are doing this.

Simply put, Milton can’t rely on the type of economic growth we’ve seen during the last decade continuing. Given its location in the GTA, Milton has been very successful in attracting logistics operations and the large scale, and land consuming, facilities that they use. We are not complaining. This tax and assessment growth has allowed us to achieve a level of fiscal balance and the ability to provide the services needed to take care of the Town’s rapidly growing population.

building

However, the supply of land is not endless and we expect the majority of large sites to be used up over the next ten years. That’s why we are asking ourselves, “what next?”. Better to be thinking about this now than scrambling for an answer in 2024.

This takes us to what we are calling our hidden economy. It has two parts. First, Milton’s population is on average, the youngest in the GTA with an average age of 34 years. It is also highly educated and over 40 percent of the work force is employed in professional and technical occupations. This is a talent pool teaming with entrepreneurship. We estimate that there are already over 3,000 “home based” businesses in town.

Equally important, is the emergence of the Professional/Scientific/Technical sector as a driver of local economic growth. This sector created the most new companies, about 400, over the last five years.
A significant proportion of the companies in the sector are in the computer/systems design and engineering industries. Currently, there are about 1,200 small companies employing about 2,200 people.

Firm Growth in Milton by Sector: 2009-2013
Prof-sci graph

We believe that building a more diverse economy will be driven to a large extent by entrepreneurship and the continuing growth of value-added service companies and jobs. The MEV Innovation Centre’s facilities, existing and future entrepreneurship programming is dedicated to achieving this objective.

TIMRIC Consult Joins the MEV Innovation Centre

The MEV Innovation Centre welcomes TIMRIC Consult as our newest business in-residence. TIMRIC Consult is in the process of developing information technology based products for state, municipal or local governments in developing countries. The CEO, Henry Laraiyetan, notes that “developing the IT capabilities and systems in developing countries will be critical to growing, managing and better utilizing their revenue bases. Ultimately, this will lead to greater socio-economic development, stability and sustainability.”  Henry has a background in investment banking and project management. TIMRIC Consult engages in business and franchise advisory services. They assist potential entrepreneurs to acquire the businesses of their dreams in various sectors as well as working with companies to franchise their businesses. TIMRIC can be contacted by phone at: 888-618-5088. You can visit their website at www.timricfranchises.com. For further enquiries, you can send an email to the CEO, at henry@timricfranchises.com.

Welcome to our new website!

MEV Innovation Centre is happy to announce the launch of the new website MEVInnovationCentre.ca!

Find out everything that we have to offer from our private office suites and co-working space for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to our boardrooms and event space for all business needs.

Interested in touring the Centre? Use the “Book a Tour” feature on the top left of the page to secure a date and time or visit anytime on Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

We hope you enjoy the new site! If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact the Centre.

We’re Going Live

We have demolished and renovated, spackled and painted, developed our partnerships and secured our founders; and now…..we are going live!

Starting April 2014, we’re open to entrepreneurs and businesses, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.  What you’ll find at the MEV Innovation Centre…

Services:

Halton Region Small Business Centre starts with the Consultant on Site Program.

Starting April 3rd, visit for a free one-hour consultation to start a small business or expand your existing small business.  On-site from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month.

Call for an appointment at 905-825-6000 ext. 7900 or visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca

Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre (HalTech) now have office space at the MEV.

HalTech staff and network of professionals provide a range of free services focused on making companies successful.  These include market research, business advisory services, access to capital, entrepreneurship training and networking opportunities.

HalTech staff are on-site Wednesdays or by appointment.

Contact at info@haltech.ca to learn more or make an appointment at 905-845-9430×2761 or visit www.haltech.ca for more information.

Amenities:

Start Up

  • Co-Working Desk – Day Use $30/day
  • Co-Working Desk-  Monthly $499/month

Meet Up

  • Boardrooms – $40/hour or $200/day
  • Event Space – $150/hour or $1,000/day
    (after hours only and may be subject to host fee)

Grow Up

  • Offices Suites – Available to technology intensive companies with an emerging technology that will deliver through commercialization.

Events:

Milton Business Expo, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 4:00pm – 7:00pm.

Open to the business community.  Trade Show booths available or just walk the floor.

To register visit the Milton Chamber of Commerce.

Early Success:

In the two months leading up to this Spring, the MEV Innovation Centre has:

  • hosted 7 business networking events;
  • toured 300+ businesses/entrepreneurs through the centre;
  • completed the first intake for a business in-residence;
  • secured strategic and founding partners, including:

Strategic Partners – Town of Milton, Wilfrid Laurier University, Halton Region, HalTech

Founding Partners – GreenLife Building Systems, Mattamy Homes, Milton Hydro, MinMaxx Realty Inc. Brokerage, York Trafalgar/Milton Land Four

The MEV Innovation Centre provides an ecosystem for technology intensive businesses in the manufacturing and production industries.  The centre is not for retail or lifestyle businesses.

To schedule a tour or for more information, please contact us at 905-636-6505.

The People Factor

If there’s one thing we all share, it’s curiosity for what other people are doing!

The MEV Innovation Centre is first and foremost a place for business people to meet. Designed for new and existing business in a growth phase, the innovation centre provides an ecosystem for technology intensive companies and business in the manufacturing and production industries.  Bringing entrepreneurs and services together, core features of the centre include: collaborative space; business services; business acceleration/incubation; education and training.

Staff are now at the centre and available to welcome guests Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  To schedule a viewing, please contact us in advance.

The MEV Innovation Centre is now also booking event space and taking requests for Board Room use, Co-Working and Office Space.  Early adopters include the Halton Region Small Business Centre, HalTech, Silicon Halton, Milton Chamber of Commerce, Milton Young Professionals, Milton Code Retreat (Meetup Group), along with additional business community leaders.  This project is developed in partnership with the Town of Milton and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Subscribe to our blog to receive the most recent updates. The rates schedule and criteria for access will be posted in March 2014.

To view the centre, call the MEV Innovation Centre at 905-636-6505 or email MEVInnovation@milton.ca for more information.

The Stars Begin to Align

On November 28, 2013 we celebrated a soft launch of the MEV Innovation Centre with community partners, providing a sneak peek of the new facility that is slated to open in early 2014.

Celebrations included acknowledgement of the MEV Innovation Centre as a place for the business community to meet and a space designed for new or existing business that are in a growth phase.  Providing an ecosystem for technology intensive companies and business in the manufacturing and production industries, the innovation centre will provide access to entrepreneurs in four ways:

  • Collaborative space
  • Business services
  • Accelerator / incubator programming
  • Education and training

Joined by the Town of Milton and Wilfrid Laurier University as the lead strategic partners, the community is bright with genuine enthusiasm for the innovation centre and the role of Laurier with future education and training opportunities.

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz and Laurier President Max Blouw

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz and Laurier President Max Blouw

We’ve posted a few pictures of the completed renovation (Phase 1, that is), and some shots of guests networking.

Interest is high, and we’ve already booked several business-to-business networking events. In fact, on December 3, the Small Business Centre hosted 25 entrepreneurs who were engaged with Steve Farlow, Executive Director, Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, Wilfrid Laurier University. The event featured the importance of networking, followed by a speed networking session.

The MEV Innovation Centre will be open early 2014 and is now booking business networking events and board room meetings. More details will follow on criteria for tenants.

Flexing Intellectual Muscle

Innovation is what happens when we consider multiple disciplines in a non-traditional way. It is truly a preferred position to be in, when the synergies of post-secondary, business and government sectors intersect.

 “Universities are agents of developing a lot of new knowledge and fundamental discovery… [this is what] happens when universities and industries connect.”

~ Dr. Max Blouw, President, Wilfrid Laurier University at Milton Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Event, November 29, 2012

Laurier’s commitment to the Milton Education Village (MEV) is well known in the local community and beyond. A Memorandum of Understanding has been in place between Laurier and the Town of Milton since 2008 that enables the university to explore the possibility of establishing a university campus on a 150-acre site within the MEV.

Laurier’s strength as a multi-campus university was brought to the forefront with its pre-budget submission to the Province of Ontario in September 2012, highlighting its relationship to Milton and its plans to meet demand for university access in the Greater Toronto Area.

The MEV partnership program, signed in 2011, also included the invitation to Sheridan College to become a partner in the MEV.

When Universities and Industries Collide

Thinking About Art

Thinking About Art

Now that the Town is moving forward quickly with the establishment of the innovation centre as an early experience to the MEV, Laurier has established itself as a founding partner in the innovation program. This partnership can bring a number of benefits to the community:

  • The intersection between industry and academia will inevitably lead to innovative, new ideas, and a university presence in the innovation centre will be a fundamental piece to enabling such a collision;
  • Laurier’s presence in Milton will mark the beginning of a cultural shift within the community, as it begins to embrace the “town and gown” notion of housing a post-secondary campus;
  • The innovation centre will meet demand arising from the shift towards a knowledge-based economy.

Laurier is already providing learning experiences to the community through the Laurier Milton Lecture Series, which is currently in its fifth season.

Now, Laurier’s commitment to the innovation centre will strengthen Milton’s evolutionary path that continues to embrace a culture of innovation and creativity.

New Furniture Arrives at the Innovation Centre

New Furniture Arrives at the Innovation Centre

Read Dr. Max Blouw’s writings on education/innovation and a Milton campus:

Looking in the Rear View Mirror

Well, there’s no going back – only forward.

Atrium Ceiling Removed

Atrium Ceiling Removed

As renovations at the MEV Innovation Centre get underway, it’s interesting to observe that when one replaces an old item with a new item, it leads to a series of everything becoming new.  Somehow, what once was simply won’t do anymore.  Looking in the rear view mirror, we see what was a dated building is now one with the ceiling removed and replaced, the old flooring is out and the new is on order, and the fresh paint is already being applied.  And, what a difference these few steps already make!

Atrium Painting Fresh Colours

Atrium Painting Fresh Colours

As we focus on the future, we see that Milton is offering an alternative to employment growth that better positions Milton to capture office demand to match the local talent pool.  The MEV and the MEV Innovation Centre are two development types which, in combination, will be complementary and provide a place for the business community to self-identify, to foster a business ecosystem, and ultimately facilitate an evolution or sophistication in employment diversity and demand for office use.  Diversity within the employment base, including office uses, becomes increasing important for comprehensive planning and implementation of the future MEV and Derry Green Business Park.

So, what’s so innovative about this innovation centre?

The innovation centre concept is well established and a widely accepted model within economic development strategy.  The innovative part is not the building per se, but rather the outcome of the ideas and businesses which happen as a result of entrepreneurial people coming together in a collaborative work space environment.  The support system provides access to resources, mentoring, networking, education and training, which greatly improve Milton’s path to success.

What’s the Town’s role in the innovation centre?

Through the Economic Development function, the Town is leading the partnership among government, business and the private sector, along with community stakeholders, to be a catalyst and build on momentum for our citizens who represent the idiom ‘Knowledge Lives Here’.

We can’t wait to see what adventures lay ahead as we build our road to the future, and let the knowledge that lives here come together in a collaborative work environment, to generate ideas, innovate and make business happen.

Innovation: Milton’s Base Camp for Knowledge

Milton is Canada’s fastest growing urban community and among the most talented in North America, with three quarters of our work-aged population having obtained post-secondary education.  Much of Milton’s fabric is made up of young, educated, entrepreneurial individuals, the bulk of whom are between 25 and 44 years old, speaking 85 different languages across our global village.  We have energy and ideas, and yes, we are proud to boast that five families move into Milton each day!

We have vision, a plan for Milton, as we move from concept to implementation in our newest venture – the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre.

The Milton Education Village (MEV) is envisioned to be a 400-acre (160 hectare) comprehensively planned neighbourhood, integrating post-secondary education, residential, commercial and recreational uses, alongside a biosphere reserve – the Niagara Escarpment.  Plans for the MEV include an innovation centre, a local initiative dedicated to enabling an entrepreneurial culture for business start-up, incubation, intersection for innovation, education and training.

Like a ‘base camp’ for much bigger things to come, we are building a transitional space for the innovation centre at 555 Industrial Drive as an early experience to the MEV.  This is a beginning, an early step towards building a place for knowledge to gather, collaborate and to define ourselves in growth.

The future is bright; join us in the making of the innovation centre for Milton.  More details to be added, as we move from concept to implementation with an open house announcement this fall.  The intake process, including applications for business in residence, will begin in 2014.