The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the City of Sault Ste. Marie are collaborating to offer improved services for entrepreneurs in the region. SSMIC has closed its Accelerator Hub site at 258 Queen St and will instead focus on supporting the EDC’s Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship, eliminating the duplication of incubation services.
SSMIC and EDC have a long history of collaborating to drive business growth and provide services for entrepreneurs and this partnership was a natural fit. Once discussions began, the organizations worked on areas for further integration and community development.
SSMIC will continue its focus on innovative companies with technology attributes and needs while the Millworks caters to diverse business start-ups. Given that all start-ups face similar challenges, it became logical to group them together while they reside in an incubation program with wrap around business support services.
“When we collaborate, we end up being more efficient in the community and for the community,” explains SSMIC Executive Director, Peter Bruijns. “We are reducing the possibility of overlap and are able to provide services to our region in a more streamlined way.”
Both organizations offer multiple services for businesses and start-ups in the region, from access to funding, workshops, online learning and advice on business growth.
“Beyond sharing incubation space, we will continue to work collaboratively towards meeting the needs of emerging firms and entrepreneurs to provide advice, counselling, training, and mentoring to establish or grow a business, and provide guidance on innovation processes and pathways to commercialization,” adds Bruijns. “We have a lot of great resources for people with existing business and new ideas and encourage everybody to contact either organization to learn how we can help.”
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre will continue to lead activities in the Information Communication Technology sector and technology focused business clients, and the Economic Development Corporation along with the City of Sault Ste. Marie will oversee and manage the incubation space and services to clients at Millworks.
“The partnership with the Innovation Centre will ensure we are providing increased services to local entrepreneurs and furthering our community development initiatives,” says Dan Hollingsworth, Director of Economic Development for the Corporation for the City of Sault Ste. Marie. “Having the option to work with partners allows us to achieve our shared goals and deliver small business focused training sessions, counselling, seminars, mentorship, incubation and co-working space.”