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Kawartha Lakes opens its doors to the Innovation Cluster

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Innovation Cluster logoKawartha Lakes – The City of Kawartha Lakes is strengthening its commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation by teaming up with the Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas, to launch a pilot project in downtown Lindsay. With the support of the Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation through the Rural Innovation Initiative Eastern Ontario (RIIEO), a project funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the City of Kawartha Lakes and Innovation Cluster are opening an incubator for high-growth entrepreneurs. On February 11, partners, supporters and the public are invited to the grand opening to tour the space at 180 Kent Street West.

For over a decade, the Innovation Cluster has accelerated the growth of hundreds of startups, including companies in agriculture technology, clean technology, digital and healthcare technology sectors. Through its expertise and resources, the cluster will support the development of high-growth technology-focused companies in Kawartha Lakes and attract new ones across key industries, like agriculture, specialized manufacturing and engineered products.

The pilot project will support 10 local innovative high-growth entrepreneurs in Kawartha Lakes and offer at least six training sessions to a broader audience of entrepreneurs and small businesses. The project will also host the Peterborough Regional Angel Network in Kawartha Lakes introducing alternative investment opportunities to both entrepreneurs and potential Kawartha Lakes angel investors.

Recognizing the vital role rural communities play in the region’s economy, FedDev Ontario is providing a total of $15 million over two years for the CFDCs in Eastern Ontario to deliver the RIIEO.

“This project will better position Kawartha Lakes to foster its local entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas, while providing resources and incentives for businesses to invest and stay in the area,” commented The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “Through investments like this, we are proud to support our local communities and boost rural innovations. We’ve got your back.”

“Business development and growth is a priority for Council, the Economic Development team and the community at large,” said Rebecca Mustard, Manager, Economic Development, City of Kawartha Lakes. “Having the cluster in Lindsay will provide an opportunity for Kawartha Lakes entrepreneurs to access specialized support services within their community, resources they would have otherwise had to leave the municipality to access. This is a giant step forward to retaining, growing and attracting innovative high growth businesses in Kawartha Lakes.”

The municipality is currently home to over 7,500 businesses, including approximately 2,000 businesses with more than 21,000 employees. The Kawartha Lakes Innovation Cluster Pilot Project will provide innovative entrepreneurs and business owners with the connections, knowledge and resources to become more resilient and sustainable.

The project extends to December 31, 2020, at which time Council will be presented with the project’s progress and options for continuing to support our high-growth entrepreneurs.

To register for one of the Open House sessions between 1pm and 2:30pm, please visit Innovation Cluster Events.


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