Highlights from Our Lunch & Learn with ROXUL

The MEV Innovation Centre was fortunate to have Andreas Kinnberg, Technical Innovation Manager, come and talk about ROXUL’s Approach to Innovation at the November Lunch & Learn Session.

On-going innovation is a strategic advantage for ROXUL and of such importance that they created a specific function within the organization to coordinate and guide their efforts. Andreas is fresh from ROXUL’s Denmark headquarters to apply their approach across North America. The presentation focused on how their coordinated approach toward innovation is used to bring better internal processes together with product improvements to adapt to a constantly changing market place; and as Andreas put it, “To make more money”.

View ROXUL’s full presentation.

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A key component of their approach is their view of innovation. Andreas noted that innovation has multiple dimensions ranging from improving the company’s business model, offering a better product or even a better customer experience. A focus on product improvements, while important, may actually deliver less value than other forms of innovation.

ROXUL value slide

Part of ROXUL’s success lays in promoting a culture of innovation within the company combined with a disciplined method of driving winning ideas to the market place. On the creative side, the innovation team is given free range to use part of their time and budget to imagine, develop and work on “what-if” projects. Projects with the most potential are then formalized using a stage-gate evaluation and project management process.

ROXUL Inc. is a leader in the production of stone wool insulation and also one of Milton’s leading employers. ROXUL Inc. is part of ROCKWOOL International A/S of Denmark which today employs over 9,800 people operating in 40 countries. They are the world’s leading producer of stone wool insulation made from natural stone and recycled slag. They entered the North American market with their Milton location in 1988 and have since built ROXUL Inc.’s head office for their North American operations in Milton in 2014.

Don’t miss the next MEV Innovation Centre Lunch and Learn!

Every month the Innovation Centre hosts an informal, and free, presentation on a topic of interest to the residents, members and friends of the Centre and the Milton business community. It is being held at the same time as the monthly Silicon Halton Day, where Silicon Halton members come to cowork as our guests for the day. It’s an open-drop in session, and all Milton entrepreneurs are welcome to attend. You bring your lunch, we’ll bring dessert.

Check out the Events page for updates on upcoming events.

MEV Innovation Centre Is At The Nexus Of A Changing Economy

Milton Is Constantly Changing – If you look beyond the acres of new housing and on-going construction projects, you will see that this is also true of its economy.

Milton’s Population Will Double In 15 Years
Milton’s population is estimated to double in the next 15 years and every new house represents two highly educated professionals that are new to the community. They are primarily employed in the technology, engineering, financial services, professional services and educational fields. The median age is 34 years old, meaning that they have about ten years of work experience and are at a prime age to step out and start their own business.

3000 New Home Based Businesses
A growing pool of local entrepreneurs is a key component of the local economy. Did you know that 1 in 8 houses on Milton streets contains a home-based business. There are over 3,000 such businesses in town right now. As Milton’s population doubles over the next fifteen years, the number of home-based operations will also double. This will add more economic diversity/balance and complement the existing manufacturing and logistics sectors.

400 New Knowledge Based Companies
Since 2010 over 400 new Professional, Scientific, and Technical sector companies were established in Milton, making it the fastest growing sector in Milton.Knowledge Lives Here!

Milton Education Village Innovation Center At The Nexus

The MEV Innovation Centre is at the nexus of this evolving economy. We are the primary co-working facility in the northern part of Halton Region. Our objective is to ensure that there is a robust eco-system of entrepreneurship in the community that acts as a driver of economic growth and prosperity. We believe that coworking offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to reduce their isolation, be more productive away from home distractions, make connections with each other, pick up new ideas and tap into business support resources. All of this in turn, will allow them to better succeed at their business.
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Come Share What You Need

On October 13th, we will be working with Silicon Halton to explore how to better strengthen the link between coworking and economic/community development. Please join us at MEVIC on October 13 and tell us what you need for your business and your ideal working environment. Tell us your challenges and ideas – and help shape the direction of the Innovation Centre – so that we can align with your business or professional needs. In the end, it’s about empowering your business to grow, and enable you to do a better job.

Register here: www.siliconhalton.com/events

MEV Innovation Centre’s Lunch and Learn Series

Every month the Innovation Centre will be hosting an informal, and free, presentation on a topic of interest to the residents, members and friends of the Centre. It is being held at the same time as the monthly Silicon Halton Day, where Silicon Halton members come to cowork as our guests for the day. It’s an open drop-in session, and all Milton entrepreneurs are also welcome to attend. You bring your lunch, we’ll bring dessert.

The September 11, 2015 kick-off session will focus on Cloud 3.0 the new Application Development Incubator and Testing Lab that is being established at the Centre. The objective of the incubator will be to support startups that already have a prototype of their digital media application in hand. The testing lab will allow developers to test their applications across a range of mobile equipment and other devices.

The Lunch and Learn Session is your opportunity to hear and discuss: What Cloud 3.0 is all about and how you can participate and benefit from the initiative.

Robert Maduri President, Throwback Entertainment will be presenting. Cloud 3.0 is the brainchild of Throwback Entertainment, a successful local video game development company. Recognizing that Halton region has quickly become a bastion of technological expertise, Throwback Entertainment has been engaging numerous partners to create a program to aid startup companies creating digital media applications. Our expectation is that the formation and growth of new companies will in turn further strengthen our local economy.

If you are interested in delivering a Lunch and Learn presentation, please contact Kyle Benham at kyle.benham@milton.ca.

The MEV Innovation Centre Is Filling Up

Since the beginning of the year the Centre has seen strong interest from local technology companies looking for flexible office space options. Most of our offices are now occupied and we are looking to push other spaces in the Centre into use as additional offices.

We are quite proud of the businesses currently in residence and are confident that we are on our way toward establishing a strong technology focus for the Innovation Centre.
The companies are listed below. Check Them Out.

Businesses Working at the MEV Innovation Centre – July 2015

• Robin Hood Technology – robinhoodtech.com
• Throwback Entertainment – throwbackentertainment.com
• Sandbox Media – sandboxmedia.ca
• Excelerated Learning – exceleratedlearning.ca
• vRep Technology Solutions Inc. – vrep.ca
• Saigal Media – saigalmedia.ca
• Robo-Geek Inc. – robo-geek.ca
• Santos Apps – santosapps.com
• Sportsheart – sportsheart.co
• Muhammad Adnan Financial – chooseadnan.com
• BDC – bdc.ca

In addition, we are working with partners on a number of initiatives, including a digital media incubator, which will further develop the community engaged with the Centre. Feel free to contact us to see how you can become involved.

Introducing New Coworking and Membership Options

The MEV Innovation Centre now has new options tailored to how you want to use the facility and collaborate with your clients and colleagues. As the Centre approached its year anniversary, we had an opportunity to listen to our clients and are pleased to introduce alternatives to meet your business meeting, team and coworking needs. Come for a tour or call us to find out more about –

Daily Coworking – Grab a coffee and desk for the day and you are ready to work. A robust free WIFI network will keep you connected and when you need a break you’ll have a chance to engage with other coworkers and small businesses. $30/day

Monthly/Annual Memberships – Watch your productivity and business network grow as you work from the Centre on a regular basis. An Innovation Centre Membership gives you unlimited coworking, available on a 24/7 basis, along with access to the Centre’s amenities and parking. Membership upgrades include obtaining a dedicated desk just for your use and an option to have a dual membership with the Burlington Hive.

• Monthly Membership – $200
• Annual Membership – $1,200 – Best Value @ $100/month
• Dedicated Desk – an extra $70/month or $500/year
• Joint Burlington Hive Membership – an extra $100/month or $600/year

Weekly Coworking – Try it out for a month, four coworking days, anytime during the month, for the price to two. $60/month

Team Days – Need a place to bring your dispersed team together or to be able to focus away from the office. Take over a corner of the Centre or an available office for the day. This is a convenient way to make just one booking for up to five team members at a discounted rate. $80/day

Business Meetings – Need to meet your client in a professional setting or close that deal/contract in a private office. Invite them to join you at the Centre for an informal chat in our open business environment or use an available office for more confidential matters. $30/meeting

Laurier’s Applied Business Research Program Lands in Milton

Laurier MBA students will be providing over 6,000 hours of consulting services to Milton companies and organizations during the next few months. Every January the School of Business and Economics matches teams of five senior MBA students with a sponsoring client to address one of their strategic management issues. Each team of students devotes at least 1,000 hours of applied research and consulting services. Participating organizations represent a range of industries, from start-up businesses to large corporations, non-profit organizations and government departments.

The MEV Innovation Centre and Milton Economic Development Division have engaged a team to help us analysis the local economic base and begin to create a vision or what the Town’s future economy could look like.

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Other local companies and organization undertaking project this year include:

• Chudleighs
• Canadian Welding Bureau,
• Canadian Nursery Landscape Association
• Milton Transit
• Enable Education.

Christopher Maziarz, the program Co-ordinator notes, “We start the course in January of each year, with most projects complete by July and others by end of April. Interested organizations should be in contact with my by September or even earlier.” A fee to cover the administration costs of the program is charged. To learn more about how Laurier MBA student consulting can benefit your organization, please contact: Christopher Maziarz, Co-ordinator, Special Projects & Research, cmaziarz@wlu.ca, or by phone: 519.884.0710, x6433.

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.

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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
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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.