Toronto residents are often accused of being too self-centred by those who live outside the city, and it’s no exception when it comes to startup activity.
It’s easy to get sucked into the large and active startup community here with new incubators and accelerators like Extreme Startups, Incubes, Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone, and all the events that take place here regularly. But the startup scene does extend beyond Toronto’s borders and into surrounding regions, many of which have seen populations booming and are becoming cities in their own right.
Last year the Ontario government and partners created a series of Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that act as non-profit incubator hubs for startup businesses in the province. In the same style that MaRS provides services to entrepreneurs in Toronto, these 14 RICs assist entrepreneurs and are also part of the Ontario Network of Excellence.
In a guest blog post on the MaRS blog today, Erin Elliot writes about Durham Region’s Spark Centre. Two firms in the health innovation space are currently clients of Spark, 5 Minds Mobility Inc. and Kela Medical Inc. 5 Minds is based in Oshawa and has developed mattresses and wheelchair cushions that help prevent skin breakdown in immobile patients. Kela Medical is based in Whitby and has created a wallet-sized card that stores your digital personal health files.
If you’re an entrepreneur in the Durham region, you’ll want to consider applying for Ignite, a one-month startup boot camp hosted by Spark. But applications are due Jan. 11, so act quickly.