Diverse group of Entrepreneurs Build Milton’s Economy

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Omar Silva Fulchi owner of Robo Geek a company that teaches programming and robotics
Omar Silva Fulchi owner of Robo Geek a company that teaches programming and robotics
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Discover a Community of Entrepreneurs in Milton Ontario.

There is no doubt that Canadian entrepreneurs are changing the Canadian economy.  They drive innovation and create job growth through the development of new ideas and business ventures.With on- going investments in local incubators, training and grant-programs, Canada’s innovation ecosystem continues to grow creating new opportunities for budding entrepreneurs across the country.

So, what does it really take to be an entrepreneur?

Creativity, technical expertise, business acumen, guts – undoubtedly, all of these traits and more. One stop into a local innovation centre will certainly broaden your definition of what the future of entrepreneurship could look like in the coming years. It might also have you contemplating the impacts of location on your potential success. We challenge you to ask yourself: How could my business benefit from joining a community of entrepreneurs?

Milton – A Place of Possibility

When Mark Sherman of Lil 3D Printing began developing the idea for his new disruptive 3D scanning technology, he knew he needed to find a place where he could not only build
a nine-foot tall portable scanning unit, but also find a flexible workspace that would accommodate and adapt with his changing business needs. Living in Milton for over a decade, Sherman chose the Milton EducationVillage (MEV) Innovation Centre to set-up shop.

Entrepreneur Mark Sherman, Lil 3D Printing, works on his nine-foot tall portable scanning technology at the MEV Innovation Centre Perspective Milton Globe and Mail
Entrepreneur Mark Sherman, Lil 3D Printing, works on his nine-foot tall portable scanning technology at the MEV Innovation Centre Perspective Milton Globe and Mail

Keeping Costs Low & Space Flexible

His decision to move into the Centre happened when Sherman realized that the connections he could make there would enhance the development of the back-end software needed to launch his venture.

While he worked through the research and design (R&D) phases of creating a new cost-effective, turn-key business of 3D scanning units, the benefits of working within an Innovation Centre began to pay-off.  “Staff had a fundamental understanding of my need for flexible space and cost-savings,” said Sherman.“Working from the Innovation Centre gave me the ability to move within the space, as needed, to help control my costs in the early R&D stages of my business.“

As Sherman worked with a global team on software development, he received support from the Centre’s business experts and staff to keep his project and plans on track.

Tap into a Diverse Community of Potential Partners & Expertise

For entrepreneurs, snags in every stage of development and financing their ideas are only some of the challenges they must tackle in order to succeed. For many small business owners and entrepreneurs, it is the struggles with the isolation that comes from going it alone that often catch them by surprise. Working with other entrepreneurs in a collaborative environment can help with this type of isolation, and even create opportunities for unlikely partnerships.

Through the Centre, Sherman found an ally in Omar Silva-Fulchi, owner and head engineer of Robo-Geek, a company that teaches programming, electronics, and robotics. Silva-Fulchi helped Sherman to pilot and prepare his software for market, providing invaluable expertise that Sherman may otherwise have struggled to find outside of the Centre.

Milton’s Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting in the Mattamy Boardroom at the MEV Innovation Centre Perspective Milton Globe and Mail 2018
Milton’s Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting in the Mattamy Boardroom at the MEV Innovation Centre

Sherman’s story is a familiar ones, says Kevin Samra, Manager, MEV Innovation Centre. He believes this Centre brings together a diverse community of potential experts and partners ready and willing to collaborate on projects. “Working here you’re part of a community that’s truly invested in your success.”

In addition to collaborations between tenants,local businesses and regional partners, the Centre provides sector-specific learning opportunities.They are focused on creating new opportunities to bring together both large and small businesses, in order to engage decision-makers and entrepreneurs in solving their toughest industry challenges together.

The Centre has also successfully attracted partnerships with tech companies, like global corporation TechData to advance projects and enhance expertise in the areas of IoT and Artificial Intelligence.

“Our goal is to help educate and bring expertise into this community,” Samra says, adding that because the centre is part of Milton’s economic development program, it strives
to reach beyond the businesses and individuals who work out of its space.“We see the Centre as a conduit for entrepreneurs to come and get the resources, guidance, and support they need from our staff and partners to take their businesses to the next level.”

Mixing Academic Excellence & Business Success in Milton.

With the recent provincial announcement for funding, Laurier’s first Milton students will begin their studies at the MEV Innovation Centre in September 2019.“Laurier has been a partner of the Centre since the day we opened, with both office and classroom space on-site,” says Samra.  “I look forward to even more opportunities to connect our partners, tenants and local businesses with leading academic researchers and future students here in Milton.”

MEV Innovation Centre

Strategically-located at the heart of Ontario’s Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor, this Centre is in an ideal location to grow a business and make connections with regional and even global partners.As an initiative of Milton Economic Development, the Centre was created as a way to support local residents looking to launch start-ups and small businesses.  Today, it offers a range of services, resources and expertise that can help you take your business to the next level. Since opening its doors in 2014, the Centre has grown to become a hub for local, regional, and global collaborations, partnerships and tech-based projects.

To learn more about the MEV Innovation Centre, visit MEVInnovationcentre.ca