The Innovation Cluster has announced $300,000 in funding from the City of Peterborough to assist in the operational costs of the new downtown incubator devoted to innovation and technology start-ups. The expanded downtown incubator in the VentureNorth building will put Peterborough on the map as a city for start-ups to grow and succeed.
Many people are surprised to find out that the Innovation Cluster is a not-for-profit organization that does not take equity in the start-up companies that it supports—a model that many other incubators adhere to.
As a not-for-profit organization, the Innovation Cluster relies on support from its major funding partners: the Province of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Peterborough Region Angel Network, Trent University, Fleming College, and now the City of Peterborough.
The funding from the City will in part be used to subsidize the open concept space for start-ups that are accepted into the Cube for a period of time, reducing the financial burden of getting started for early stage companies.
Successful applicants will forgo the significant expense of rent initially to focus on other important aspects of building a company. The funding will also help to expand the Innovation Cluster’s unique programming that is designed to sky rocket clients' businesses.
The unique and modern downtown space provides entrepreneurs with an inspiring, motivating and collaborative environment to operate their start-ups out of with full time access to mentors, advisors and hands-on workshops. The renovations of this space are expected to be completed in early February.
With more than 60 incubated and virtual client companies (and counting), two locations and only four full time staff, the Innovation Cluster is looking forward to expanding its current operations to better serve these incredible future job creators.
“This funding will allow for the Innovation Cluster to focus on what we do best and help entrepreneurs in Peterborough and the Kawarthas,” says President & CEO Michael Skinner, who is ecstatic that the City of Peterborough has joined the cause to help entrepreneurs create new high tech jobs.
In 2010, Canada had over 100 operating business incubators. In these incubators, 900 client firms raised revenues in excess of $93 million while creating full and part-time employment for more than 13,000 people. The five year survival rate for incubator clients has been reported from 75 percent to as high as 87 percent, much higher than a start-up making a go of it on their own.