Milton’s innovation ecosystem strengthened through regional Partnerships

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The Milton Education Village (MEV) Innovation Centre marked a milestone on March 30, 2017 when Haltech Regional Innovation Centre and Halton Region Small Business Centre officially opened partner offices onsite.

The event brought together key stakeholders of Milton’s innovation ecosystem, including Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr and Halton Region Director of Economic Development,

John Davidson, Haltech CEO & President, Rina Carlini, as well as partners from Wilfrid Laurier University, and the local business community.’

“The opening of these regional partner offices in the Innovation Centre is an exciting milestone in support of this initiative ecosystem, providing a consolidated, multi-tiered approach to entrepreneurial and small business support services that will foster Milton’s knowledge economy,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz.

As the longest-serving mayor of a major municipality in Canada, Krantz has seen tremendous change in Milton over his 36- years in office. A community steeped in tradition and history, the town is also home to innovative and growing businesses like Amazon and Enable Education.

For more than a decade, Milton has been recognized as one of the fastest- growing municipalities in Canada. Its quality of life and location in the heart of the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor have attracted one of the youngest and most-educated populations in Ontario.

Milton has embraced these young, dynamic, educated and entrepreneurial residents as an important community asset, and is proactively fostering growth in the local knowledge economy.

Launched in 2014, the MEV Innovation Centre is an important first step towards realizing the Town’s vision for the Milton Education Village – a 400-acre comprehensively planned neighbourhood that will integrate post-secondary education together with residential, commercial, and recreational Uses.

The MEV Innovation Centre offers everything from flexible co-working space to private office suites, as well as business services, education, and training, with a focus on fostering an entrepreneurial culture of innovation for business start-up and incubation.

Originally developed in partnership between the Town of Milton and Wilfrid Laurier University, the Halton Region Small Business Centre and Haltech have also been key strategic partners since the very beginning.

The new Small Business Centre office will make it easier for Milton residents to access valuable services within the Innovation Centre, including complimentary one-on-one business consultations for those interested in learning more about what it takes to start a new business, or grow an existing One.

Strengthening ties with Haltech though a permanent onsite office, Haltech’s wide range of free services include advice on how to attract investment and accelerate innovation, commercialization, access to funding opportunities, and referrals to professional services.

In addition to providing a foundation for success through flexible office space and business support services, the MEV Innovation Centre gives entrepreneurs the chance to ignite new ideas through networking and collaboration.

Since opening, it has attracted a wide range of users, from robotics programming and remote healthcare technology, to software and app developers. The Centre’s boardroom and event spaces are also a popular destination for local and regional networking groups and business Meetings.

Robo-Geek Inc. is one of ten businesses in residence that currently call the MEV Innovation Centre home.

The company offers courses in programming, electronics, and robotics to children from Grades 1 through 12. Through hands-on workshops, after school programs, and summer camps all held on-site at the Innovation Centre, the company is helping to inspire and educate the next generation of engineers and creative thinkers.

Tech4Life Enterprises is another MEV Innovation Centre-based company whose reach extends well beyond Halton Region.

Founded in 2010, this socially-motivated, research and design company specializes in telemedicine and point-of- care devices, with the goal of improving access to care in the developing world.

Their flagship product, MDConsults, is already the world’s fastest-growing HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform. This innovative technology solution harnesses the power of mobile phones to connect patients in rural and remote areas with specialists in urban centres for diagnosis, empowering community-based health providers and patients to manage their care without having to travel.

Robo-Geek and Tech4Life are prime examples of the exciting things that can happen within Milton’s innovation ecosystem. With plans to bring a Wilfrid Laurier University site to Milton in the coming years, the synergies between the university and access to entrepreneurial training at the MEV Innovation Centre will only continue to grow.

For more information on the MEV Innovation Centre, visit www.mevinnovationcentre.ca