Square One Tech Incubator

Innovation Island Technology Association

Sources of Funding
ICET :$18,694
Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation :$68,861
National Research Council:$68,240
BC Innovation Council:$181,648
Innovation Island:$13,436
Total Budget: $350,879
Quick Facts: 

Among other project successes, 10 new tech jobs were added to the regional economy.

Thanks to a great quality of life and beautiful natural environment, the Nanaimo region attracts talented entrepreneurs and is home to a variety of technology start-ups. Unfortunately, it is well documented that three out of five of these businesses will fail within the first five years. Often working alone and without support, these entrepreneurs face challenges from factors such as: unscaleable ideas; ineffective marketing strategies; lack of adaptation; limited resources and relationships; or ineffective business models. By bringing entrepreneurs, investors, students and service providers together, the SquareOne incubator provides new businesses a central network hub to connect with the information and talent they need to succeed.

The education and coaching provided by the SquareOne project assists entrepreneurs in learning key business skills, and helps them achieve a high growth trajectory, gain traction, and build momentum. The goal of the project is to increase the number of technology start-ups in the region and increase their success by accelerating their growth. SquareOne links entrepreneurs with student and mentors, identifies possible sources of funding, and guides participants through appropriate incubator programs to accelerate business development. SquareOne’s virtual incubator model engages entrepreneurs residing outside the Nanaimo region and provides onsite tech jobs.

As of fall 2015, the project has attracted 17 companies and 28 entrepreneurs.  Two companies have formally “graduated” out of the incubator and moved into larger premises.  Several of the companies have successfully acquired significant capital investment and are in process of scaling up operations and commercializing their products.  Approximately 8 companies are in a position to scale up significantly. This project was completed in December 2015.

2,500
person years employment created (construction phase)
50
locally elected officials and MLAs working together
$10.4
million annual provincial government revenue generated
2,600
post completion jobs created
$4.6
dollars leveraged for every ICET dollar invested
$230
million leveraged into the region
$49.1
million disbursed
$50.9
million committed
185
economic development projects
150
projects completed
36%
projects in small (less than 5,000) communities
50+
communities with ICET projects

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