Business Accelerator Opportunity

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Collingwood Terminal View. Photo by Jeff S.

Collingwood’s Council received a presentation regarding the creation of a potential Business Accelerator at December 21, 2020 Council meeting. This presentation was based on a study by a consultant that had been initiated earlier in the year by the Centre for Business and Economic Development (CBED) in partnership with the Town of Collingwood and with funding from Rappid.Design and Simcoe County.


The presentation (Collingwood Council edition) is available here, with the full report here.


OVERVIEW


Objectives

Establishing a Business Accelerator would dramatically increase the level of services that can be offered to entrepreneurs in Collingwood and the surrounding

Collingwood’s Council received a presentation regarding the creation of a potential Business Accelerator at December 21, 2020 Council meeting. This presentation was based on a study by a consultant that had been initiated earlier in the year by the Centre for Business and Economic Development (CBED) in partnership with the Town of Collingwood and with funding from Rappid.Design and Simcoe County.


The presentation (Collingwood Council edition) is available here, with the full report here.


OVERVIEW


Objectives

Establishing a Business Accelerator would dramatically increase the level of services that can be offered to entrepreneurs in Collingwood and the surrounding region. The Steering Committee recommends that it focus on five measurable objectives:

  1. Elevate Collingwood’s Entrepreneurial Excellence
  2. Keep local companies from seeking support elsewhere
  3. Attract new companies to rent space or own property for their facilities
  4. Increase the growth velocity of emerging businesses
  5. Address expertise gaps at Business Development Centre in downtown Collingwood


Companies Served

The Accelerator should focus on growing and accelerating local South Georgian Bay (SGB) businesses. Companies residing outside of the SGB region will be admitted as clients if capacity exists and if there is a potential to attract and retain these companies within SGB. Criteria for acceptance should include but not be limited to:

  • Technology or innovation focused- Incorporate some aspect of technology or innovation within their product offering or delivery. Most clients are product-based or process improvement-based. Service-based companies must demonstrate technological innovation to be accepted to the Accelerator.
  • Intellectual property holders- Posses at minimum trademarks for their company, products or services with ideal company holding or in the process of filing for patents
  • High potential growth businesses- Measured by existing traction in marketplace (ie. Filed a tax return for at least one full year of revenue generation with evidence of significant market demand provincially, nationally or internationally) as well as other criteria including business structures in place with 3-plus employees, and capable of scaling to 10+ employees within 5 years


Core Services Offered

The accelerator would provide services to 4-6 businesses over a four month ‘class’. Each class is referred to as a cohort. The small group of companies in each cohort would share relevant similarities (stage of growth, market focus, business models, etc) that may vary from each class. Each 4-month “cohort” class would be made unique by delivering customized advice to the founder and their team through a team of expert mentors. This cohort model maximizes the development of peer-to-peer learning opportunities and new partnerships that are often among the most important takeaways for the participating companies.


People, Place and Programming services have been identified as the most critical areas to focus on for each class. The most differentiated service leverages the Power of Place, which Collingwood and the South Georgian Bay region offers as underlined by its recent ranking by Maclean’s Magazine as one of the top 25 places to live in Canada. The connection with the outdoors is particularly important given the growing body of research supporting the ability of natural outdoors to boost creativity[1].


  1. People
    • Coaching Expertise- small cohorts allow for 1:1 coaching by local subject experts with sector-specific knowledge
    • Entrepreneur Excellence- taps the talent of the most experienced small company entrepreneurs in Canada
  2. Place
    • Outdoor Inspiration- programming leverages the ‘power of the outdoors’ to stimulate innovation and collaboration
    • Community Integration- networking and co-working accesses a range of big city services in a small-town setting, connecting the cohorts to connect with the community, government and entrepreneurial ecosystem
  3. Programming
    • Customized Curriculum- education modules address critical needs of each cohort, spurring better peer-to-peer learning
    • Proven Methods- curriculum driven by the Ontario Centre of Excellence and the Waterloo Accelerator Centre
    • Graduation Focus- a clear start and finish means cohort companies graduate together with investor and customer-ready plans


Funding

The Accelerator would be funded by a mix of contributors.

Private Sector: 1/3 of funding- Donation, sponsorship, membership

Government: 2/3 of funding- Federal, Provincial & Regional, Municipal


Metrics

There are five primary measures along with additional diagnostic measures that together are closely aligned with the Business Accelerator’s five main objectives. These will be tracked quarterly with fiscal year end reports made available to all funding partners.


[1] Creativity and the Natural Outdoors by Cordele Glass, Positive Psychology News, January 24, 2020




  • The survey is open until 9:00 a.m.. EST on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

    This survey is intended to engage the community and gather their ideas. 

    The feedback from this survey will be used to provide perspective and not for making decisions. Any reports that this feedback informs will be subject to the review and approval of Town Council. To respect the confidentiality of all who provide feedback, the results of the survey will not be shared publicly.

    Consultation has concluded
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