“Mississauga is where the future is being invented. It is a place of innovators and where ideas become reality,” says Bonnie Brown, Director of the EDO. “Homegrown innovation is critical to the city’s long-term economic competitiveness and our ability to attract talent, investment and jobs. We are ensuring that we are supporting young Canadian companies with the resources they need to grow to national and global companies. This includes mentorship, connections, government and venture capital funding to scale up growth,” says Brown.
An Entrepreneurship and Innovation study completed in 2019 found that the range of resources and supports available in Mississauga weren’t always well known among some segments of the community. “Mississauga is a large urban city, and there is much happening on the innovation front. We needed to tie it all together. Maximizing our innovation ecosystem as a strategic priority for our economic growth.”
The result was the creation of IDEA Mississauga, a unifying identity and a physical and digital manifestation that pulls together the innovation stakeholders, resources and supports, including clusters of innovation in life sciences and cleantechnology, along with incubators at Sheridan College (EDGE), University of Toronto Mississauga (ICUBE), and Altitude Accelerator.
The central vision of IDEA Mississauga is to provide a continuum of services for companies and innovators at all stages, from ideation to start-up to scale-up and beyond. That will include making connections between start-ups and established companies that can lead to partnerships beneficial to both, says Brown. “Mississauga is at the heart of the second-largest technology cluster in North America and our city is home to 1,400 multinational corporations and 76 Fortune 500 companies.”
We can help open doors within these large organizations and the more than 98,000 small companies that call Mississauga home.” “IDEA Mississauga is about facilitating company formations but it’s also about ensuring we keep entrepreneurial and innovation talent right here at home.”
“The City will act as the lead facilitator and connector of all the assets, services and supports that are available in order to maximize their collective impact. We’ll also be celebrating all the success stories of innovation in Mississauga.” To do this, a Virtual Innovation Hub – IdeaMississauga.ca was created to provide a space for entrepreneurs, innovators and scale-up companies to connect with IDEA Mississauga and become part of a leading innovation community. The site also features a number of tools and assets that can help make the start-up and scale-up journey easy for the entrepreneur.
The City is also looking forward to the expansion of its innovation assets including, IDEA Square One, a new innovation hub opening, this fall in downtown Mississauga, and a future presence within the Lakeview Innovation District in the massive Lakeview Village mixed-use waterfront development.
Mississauga is the place to be for innovation. The City continues to invest in developing the right tools, resources and physical assets to support its entrepreneurs, and creating a culture of innovation that spurs growth and leading-edge solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.
To learn more about Mississauga’s Innovation district, visit: IdeaMississauga.ca