Project Title:

Square One Tech Incubator

Project Organization:

Innovation Island Technology Association

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $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

Project Highlight:

The facility served as a launch pad for tech companies such as Input Logic, who now provide business innovation services.

SquareOne incubator was borne, in 2014, from the need to create a central networking hub where entrepreneurs, investors, students and service providers could meet and connect with the information and talent they needed to succeed.

ICET supported the launch and scale-up of SquareOne’s innovative programs and services. The incubator provided education and coaching assistance to entrepreneurs to learn key business skills and help them achieve a high growth trajectory, gain traction and build momentum. The project’s goal was to increase the number of technology start-ups in the region and increase their success by accelerating growth. SquareOne linked entrepreneurs with students and mentors, identified possible sources of funding and guided participants through appropriate incubator programs to accelerate business development. SquareOne’s virtual incubator model engaged entrepreneurs residing outside the Nanaimo region and provided onsite tech jobs.

By the fall of 2015, the project had attracted 17 companies and 28 entrepreneurs.  Two companies formally “graduated” out of the incubator and moved into larger premises.  Several companies successfully acquired significant capital investment to scale up operations and commercialize their products. Approximately eight companies were in a position to scale up significantly.

Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in 2015 through the Capital and Innovation program.