Local Companies Thriving Through Innovation and Creativity

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Burlington is frequently recognized as a great place to live but it’s also a fantastic place to do business for everything from start-ups to multigenerational businesses.

Cedarlane Labs

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Cedarlane Labs is a 60-year-old privately owned manufacturer and distributor of immunology-based research products used in hospitals and universities.

The company employs about 100 people in Burlington many of whom are locally educated and live in the city.

“Community, business and culture are what makes living and doing business in Burlington so special. Cedarlane has been a part of Burlington for over a quarter of a century and we are here to stay,” said vice-president John Course.

Hospitals and universities in the GTHA are among Cedarlane’s largest customers.

Strong highway access and a partnership with Fed Ex’s Burlington depot are key because Cederlane accepts 100-plus shipments and sends out 200 to 400 shipments each day.

Hunter Amenities

Hunter Amenities licenses and manufactures fragrances and hair and skin products that are used by hotels, airlines and retailers, including Costco, Shoppers Drug Mart, Urban Outfitters and Sephora.

The company employs 500-plus worldwide, with more than 250 at its corporate headquarters in Burlington.

“We produce about 200 million units a year, or close to 1 million units a day, out of our 250,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that we built in 2000,” said president John Hunter, who founded the company in 1981.

“For running my business, I wouldn’t have thought of going anywhere else,” said Hunter, a Burlington native. “It is a sweet spot here. It’s a great location to reach the rest of the globe.”

Haltech and TechPlace

Haltech Regional Innovation Centre has helped more than 700 entrepreneurs and start-ups launch, grow and scale up their businesses since 2011. Part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Haltech provides business advisory services to 130 active member companies, along with entrepreneurial workshops and skills training.

“We help entrepreneurs take their big ideas and elevate them and position them for success,” said Haltech CEO Rina Carlini. “Their success will drive the future economic growth of the region.”

Member companies are partnered with six entrepreneurs in residence, established and experienced businesspeople who act as coaches and mentors and help start-ups execute a strategy, grow quickly and adapt to growth opportunities, said Carlini.

“They are really paying it forward to build another generation of entrepreneurs.”

Haltech is a key anchor, along with the Angel One Investor Network, in TechPlace, Burlington’s one-stop innovation and incubation hub for tech companies that opened in June. It is operated by Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) and offers office space, hot desks, meeting and event space, along with a wide range of business resources.

servicePath, a fast-growing software maker that helps technology companies with complex quoting, was the first company to take residence in TechPlace. “There are a lot of talented people who live in the area and great educational institutions nearby produce a steady stream of top-notch graduates.This was one of the key reasons we chose Burlington for our headquarters,” said CEO Daniel Kube. servicePath has benefited from the advice of seasoned experts at Haltech who understand both technology and business, says Kube. “They know it’s not enough to have the coolest tech, it is imperative to delight your customers as well.”

iLLUMA-Drive, a smart solutions energy company that aims to reinvent the way homes and businesses control and consume power, came to Haltech through the BEDC.

“From the first meeting they started adding value to our company,” said chief marketing officer Rob Keane. Haltech helped with finding a patent law firm, networking, securing funding partners and market strategy.

“The remarkable point is that all of these areas were assisted by Haltech in two meetings and two workshops across a six-week period.