The Innovation Cluster has announced that President and CEO Michael Skinner will be on a leave of absence as of April 30, 2019 to run in the Federal Election. John Gillis, previously Cleantech Innovation Specialist with the Cluster since November 2017, will fill the position of Interim President and CEO.
John Desbiens, Innovation Cluster Board Chair, announced Gillis’ appointment. Michael became President and CEO in February 2016, holding the position for three years, lifting the Innovation Cluster to new heights.
“Michael’s leadership and commitment to the growth of the Innovation Cluster through new partnerships has increased the organization’s economic impact in this region,” says Desbiens. “Establishing the Cube as a base of operations in downtown Peterborough helped to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem like no other, where the Innovation Cluster is now supporting over 80 startups.”
Since Michael became President and CEO in 2016, a total $35,230,719 of an economic impact has been made in the community as well as 395 new jobs created by 107 technology and youth (18 – 29 years of age) startups.
The Innovation Cluster is in discussion with the City of Kawartha Lakes to work with its Economic Development team to expand on-site business services into Lindsay. The suggestion came after council heard the Innovation Cluster helped to create 20 jobs and foster over $2.3 million dollars in sales and investments in Kawartha Lakes last year.
“We have seen the most promising startups in Peterborough and the Kawarthas come through the Innovation Cluster for support and take their businesses to market globally over the years,” says Skinner. “The impact made over the last three years shows the Cluster is quickly expanding and I believe John will be essential to continuing this growth.”
John Gillis joined the Innovation Cluster in 2017 as a Cleantech Innovation Specialist to further the Cluster’s focus in clean technology, and has supported various cleantech startups throughout Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
“I am thrilled to be taking this step forward and help continue startup job creation in this region,” says Gillis. “Peterborough has become a hub for entrepreneurs and the Innovation Cluster is looking forward to see innovation continue to expand in each of the technology sectors we support.”