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The Innovation Cluster’s Annual General Meeting Showcased An Impressive Year Including its Surpassed Economic Impact Target of $14M - 2019-05-30
The Innovation Cluster held its Annual General Meeting at the downtown incubator, The Cube, to announce the impact made towards startups across Peterborough and the Kawarthas over the past year on May 30, 2019.
The Innovation Cluster was originally founded in 2004 as the DNA Cluster, focusing on DNA, forensics and life-sciences to help entrepreneurs develop their practical applications. Over the years, the organization has grown along with its expanded Board of Directors, funding partnerships, staff, location size and the amount of innovation and technology startups supported today.
Now known as the Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas, the economic/industry sectors it supports have expanded past just DNA research and healthcare applications, to also support digital technology, agriculture technology and a strong focus on clean technology as well in today’s region.
The AGM took place in the 10,000 sq. ft. downtown incubator that officially launched April 2017, where the Cluster showcased its growth as a not for profit in the heart of downtown.
During the meeting, President & CEO John Gillis presented highlights, noting that the organization surpassed all provincially set targeted goals by Ontario Centres of Excellence significantly including companies built, jobs created, and economic impact.
“The support of our dedicated team, board of directors, partners and of course clients are what made these accomplishments possible,” says John Gillis, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster.
Other speakers included Dr. Neil Emery, Vice President, Research and Innovation at Trent University, Dr. Tom Phillips of Fleming College, John Desbiens, Chair of the Board for the Innovation Cluster and Grant Seabrooke on behalf of Peterborough Region Angel Network.
Innovation Cluster client Dylan Trepanier of Alexander Optical spoke, noting the role the organization has played in his startup to this day. As a client of the Innovation Cluster, the startup commented on the value of the organization in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
“The innovation and growth coming out of the Cluster and support from the region shows that Peterborough and the Kawarthas is the place to be for innovative startups to thrive,” says Gillis.
Operations and Office Assistant
The Innovation Cluster is looking for a student to assist in the day-to-day operations at the downtown incubator located at 270 George Street N, Peterborough.
Reporting to: Operations and Events Coordinator
Scope of Responsibilities:
In this position you will assist the Operations Coordinator with tasks such as, but not limited to:
- Data Entry.
- Developing and maintaining a filing system.
- Maintaining a Customer Relations Database.
- Organizing equipment and inventory.
- Purchasing and replenishing Office Supplies.
- General Support to Visitors/Walk-ins.
- Processing Incoming and Outgoing mail.
- Assisting in event set-up, coordination, and tear down.
- Support to Innovation Cluster Staff, and duties as assigned.
Skills and Qualifications
- Must be enrolled in a Business Administration program at a post-secondary institution
- Completing Co-op hours
- Strong organizational skills, the ability to prioritize and multitask
- Ability to work in a co-working space
- Must be self sufficient
- Experience working with a Customer Relations Database preferred
- Experience with MS Word and G-Suite.
This position is unpaid.
Applications will no longer be accepted as of JUNE 7. 2019.
If interested in applying please send your cover letter and resume to email@example.com
By Emily Woodman
In today’s business environment, it literally doesn’t pay to stick to tradition and go with the old motto, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Because, unfortunately, many organizations don’t realize that something is indeed “broken” until it’s far too late.
Such was the case with well-known companies, like Blockbuster, the former king of movie rentals, for example. There was a time that they could have implemented changes that would have pushed them ahead of Redbox or maybe even Netflix. Think about it — consumers tend to put their trust (AND money) into household names, rather than taking a chance on their loyalty. So, it stands to reason that customers would have flocked to Blockbuster to rent their favorite flicks without the confines of a brick-and-mortar store. And they did eventually come to this realization, but they had missed their chance at pivoting toward innovation.
Whether your company is a global corporation or a brand-new startup, it’s important to look within your organization to begin to implement change, to create disruptions and, ultimately, to continue to grow. Let’s take a look at a few tips that should put you on the path toward a variety of inspiring new ideas!
1. Identify Your Intrapreneurs
An intrapreneur is an employee who completely understands and embraces the goals and the culture of a business, and will function just like an entrepreneur. Every company has at least one and, if luck is on your side, perhaps more. They are the perfect people to have by your side as you begin to get creative and spread the seeds that will grow your business.
But how do you identify an intrapreneur on your team? They are typically:
- Extremely self-motivated
- Energetic team players
- Always willing to take initiative
- Not afraid to think outside of the box
- Eager to step up to a leadership role
- Phenomenal mentors
- Ready to spring to action
- Fully responsible for their work
2. Schedule Brainstorming
Now that you’ve identified the intrapreneurs who can help you take your company to the next level, what’s the next step? Begin brainstorming immediately! Set up a time at the office that will not take your newly found intrapreneurs away from their work, and give them an open floor to discuss ideas and feel inspired.
Be very clear about the fact you’re not after the ordinary, but you’re looking for something to shake things up. If a business strategy hasn’t worked for other organizations, don’t think that it will work for yours just because you have a better team. Instead, pick up suggestions that are a little risky and will require a lot of input. Remember, there is often no reward without risk!
3. Research and Discover
Once you have a gameplan on the table, it’s time to move into what many refer to as the “discovery stage.” This requires extensive, thorough market research so that you can see where your competitors may have failed and which changes you can make to achieve a positive outcome.
Often, large corporations become too eager to begin utilizing new plans and ideas, without first researching and exploring customer-related evidence that may be imperative to success. In short, you’ll need real-world data to ensure that the best methods are being implemented.
4. Test Your Ideas
And of course, testing your ideas after research may be the most important step. If you execute a strategy without the proper planning and testing, chances are good that it will soon fail or, worse yet, begin to unravel when it will affect the bottom line the most.
It’s best to select a number of test samples, so that you may more accurately ascertain which outcomes will serve both you and your customer base. Whether you’re testing a new product line or an innovative business model, knowing in advance how your customers will respond can allow you to pivot and make changes before doing so is no longer cost-effective.
5. Create an Innovative Culture
Finally, once a system has been established and put in place, maintaining it is a large part of the process. Therefore, creating a culture that fosters innovation is imperative, as the ideas will keep coming, and your intrapreneurs will continue to grow and perhaps even inspire other team members.
Innovation can be contagious. Who wouldn’t want a workplace environment that is always brimming with excitement, always on the brink of the next big thing?
Once this culture becomes a way of life, it can spread beyond the organization and bring fulfillment and creativity to your team outside of their nine-to-five. Once this is set in motion, the stale, standard way of doing things will be left in the past — exactly where it belongs.
Interested in joining the Innovation Cluster and its community of startups?
Check out our incubation programming today!
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