Igniting Innovation in Southwest Nova Scotia

June 29, 2018 – Yarmouth, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Ignite Labs Launch

Jeff Mullen, ACOA Director, Jeff Taylor, Associate Vice President, Applied Research & Innovation for NSCC, Doug Jones, Founder and Executive Director of Ignite Labs, and Colin Fraser, MP West Nova chat during the launch of Ignite Labs in Yarmouth.

Curiosity, courage, creativity and a collaborative spirit are what lead to the kinds of innovations and technologies that improve our daily lives and drive our economy and country forward. That is why the Government of Canada is partnering with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and investing a combined $600,000 in Ignite Labs Inc., to establish a business incubator serving Southwest Nova Scotia.
The support was announced by Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), along with Jeff Taylor, Associate Vice President, Applied Research & Innovation for NSCC. ACOA and NSCC are each contributing $300,000 to Ignite Labs.

Ignite Labs, which will be housed in NSCC’s Burridge Campus, will provide low cost office space, equipment and internet to reduce the financial burden normally faced by new companies so that they can focus their energy on developing products and services. Tenants and members of Ignite Labs will be able to access mentors with expertise in technology, finance, governance, commercialization, marketing and law, and will benefit from working alongside like-minded creative people, sharing concepts, ideas and experiences.

Ignite Labs will also benefit from, and contribute to, a growing community network, an ecosystem that includes Volta Labs in Halifax and Momentum in Sydney, where appreciable startup activity is already underway.
This project will stimulate the growth of technology, ocean and tourism sector businesses in the region, engage youth, and encourage the further adoption of innovation and innovative processes in local industries, contributing to a vibrant economy and the creation of good-paying jobs.

ACOA’s funding for the incubator is being allocated through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which involves targeted actions to stimulate Atlantic Canada’s economy, including supporting key infrastructure projects that support long-term growth and position the region to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

NSCC’s funding for Ignite Labs is part of an investment the College received through the Province of Nova Scotia’s efforts to strengthen and enable activity that drives innovation and enhances programming for entrepreneurs across the province.

Quotes:

“Today’s support for Ignite Labs is an example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to economic development through innovation. With Budget 2018, the Government is investing in opportunities that help Canadians prepare for, find, advance in, and keep good jobs and empower them to contribute to our county’s future prosperity.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Building innovation requires a focus on three areas: creative and entrepreneurial people, state-of-the-art technology, and competitive companies. Ignite Labs will unite all three to foster growth in the oceans, technology and tourism sectors, while creating good jobs and economic wealth. We already know it’s a model that works.”
– Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova

“We recognize the value of entrepreneurs and their ability to generate wealth and employment. Our investments in this project will help entrepreneurs and innovators get started and keep going. This work will provide long-term benefits to Nova Scotians through more jobs and a stronger economy.”
– The Honourable Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business, Province of Nova Scotia

“NSCC is committed to having a positive economic and social impact on the communities we call home by spurring innovation that’s directly linked to community business, environmental and social issues and opportunities. Through leading-edge technologies, applied research and strategic partnerships, we prepare our learners to have an impact on the province’s high-value growth sectors and inspire them to make that impact right here — at home. By housing an incubator, we’re creating a platform for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship that will benefit our students and the province as a whole.”
– Mary Thompson, Principal, Nova Scotia Community College, Burridge Campus

“Starting a new business can be a little like being stranded all alone on a desert island. The feeling of isolation and fear can keep individuals from following their dream of building a successful business. Our goal in starting Ignite Labs was to provide a space where an entrepreneur can work with other startups and access mentorship, resources and advice that will help them grow and achieve success. Along with this, we hope to create a culture of innovation where we can support and help grow the vibrant industries in Western Nova Scotia.”
– Doug Jones, Founder and Executive Director, Ignite Labs Inc.

Quick Facts:
 Ignite Labs Inc. will occupy a 3,000 square foot tech space at NSCC’s Burridge Campus in Yarmouth, with space for up to 10 tenants.
 The incubator will include a sound studio, photo studio, meeting space and event hosting space.
 Over a two-year period, Ignite Labs aims to create 10 to 15 new start-ups and generate 40 to 60 jobs.

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