The Forge, a collaboration between McMaster University and Innovation Factory has been awarded $1M in government funding from the province of Ontario to support entrepreneurs and start-ups in the region of Hamilton. This comes as part of a larger initiative, Ontario’s Youth Job Strategy, a $295M fund aimed at providing employment opportunities, entrepreneurship and innovation for 18-29 year olds in Ontario.
Projects like the Innovation Factory a Sign of Change
The Forge project and the invaluable expertise and mentorship it provides to youth is a concept that is growing in popularity and a sign of changing times, as Ontario and the rest of Canada attempt to gain a competitive edge in the knowledge-based economy. In 2001 the service sector accounted for 70% of Ontario’s economy but 10 years later it has climbed to 77%, according to Stats Canada and the Ministry of Finance, while manufacturing has dropped from 22% to 13% over the same period.
Innovation Factory Sets Sights on Bringing Innovative Tech to Hamilton
The Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit company and campus linked accelerator, partnered with Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. Through its Community Cultivation Program, Client Development, and LIFT programs, it aims to bring the next wave of tech-driven companies to Hamilton. The goal of the Forge is to provide a dedicated space, programming and mentorship for start-ups ready to be accelerated from prototype stage to a repeatable sales model. Members of the Forge will have their own dedicated workspace within an environment consisting of up to ten other companies. Each cohort will last 6 months.
Innovation Factory offers Expert Support to Start-ups and Entrepreneurs
Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, start-up, SME, or industry expert, the “Ecosystem” at Innovation Factory has something to offer. From seminars and peer to peer groups to expert mentoring opportunities, it is a way for youth to bring their ideas to life, for SME’s that next step, and for industry experts a chance to lend their support and contribute to up and coming companies.
Beyond Wifi and Free Coffee: Innovation Factory has much to offer Entrepreneurs
The Innovation Factory provides free coffee and WiFi (which is great, don’t get me wrong!) but more importantly it provides a nurturing atmosphere where ideas can be exchanged between businesses, inventors, experts, and students –while hopefully enabling youth the opportunity to develop their ideas and make improvements to their businesses.
Free Government Funding Checklist for Start-ups
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