Guide to understand different terms used in innovation community/hub:
A new trend emerging around the globe is on specialised spaces, or hubs that host high-growth startups, corporate businesses and government agencies. These specialised hubs offer an ecosystem of speed and direction that help people build their innovation capability. Incubator, accelerator, and coworking space are three common terms used in the innovation community. Finding the space that works best for you and your team depends a lot on what stage your company finds itself in, and what resources are most vital for your growth. In fact, many companies will work in all three types of spaces as they scale.
Whatever the name, all of these innovation hubs play a crucial role in the development of companies, as well as the broader ecosystem, as entrepreneurs turn their big ideas into real, innovative solutions.
|These are often described as startup hubs and its goal is to give it a stable environment to business to grow in by providing office space, discounted services, wifi etc
|They guide a company (no longer a startup) that has discovered a recurring revenue model from early-stage to high-growth and its goal is to INCREASE the speed at which the company is developing
|A community of mixed individuals who work together in the same space to collaborate and grow and its goal is to provide an office space sharing with the added benefits of networking opportunities with cost cutting factor
|They are the tool for early stage start up business
|They are the tool for rapid-growth businesses
|They are the tool for startup and growing businesses
|Accelerators are usually short-term programs – between three and six months – where seasoned entrepreneurs provide guidance and resources to startups. Providing expert membership, resources like office space, legal advice, and seed money — typically in exchange for a small amount of equity.
|Connecting startups with mentors, guidance, resources, and funding to the existing businesses so that they can mature and reach that next stage
|Giving you a desk or a dedicated office that you can rent and you can rent more space as your startup grows, and offering advice and mentorship to startups through dedicated services, events and networking sessions
|Guidance and resources, funding opportunities, and a credibility boost from membership and give the best possible conditions to grow. Leading incubators take entrepreneurs with promising ideas, and teach them how to run a successful startup. The business plans coming out of incubators tend to be vetted and more thoroughly validated.
|Helps high-growth companies successfully scale their operations by providing them with a community. Small seed investment from the accelerator. Access to large mentorship network and programming.
Supportive environment for companies looking to scale.
Private office spaces for companies.
|Networking events, the physical desk space to scale your growing brand, and the option to outsource your basic administrative tasks. With the right space, entrepreneurs can also anticipate a community of peers, learning opportunities with industry experts, and the opportunity to develop business partnerships. Companies, even if it’s just one entrepreneur, can rent everything from a single desk to an entire office, with the option to rent more space as they grow.
|Small amount of company equity usually goes to the incubator
|Small amount of company equity goes to the accelerator
|Most coworking spaces don’t take equity and don’t offer investment.
|They focus more on mentorship, do not operate on a set schedule
|Accelerator programs operate on a set schedule and offer mentorship
|Most of the coworking spaces are open for 24/7 to have more audience and a chance to work on the hours that suit the schedule of the individuals
Community Hubs Available for Entrepreneurs Assistance:
|Notable Canadian Accelerators and Incubators
|Founderfuel (Montréal, Québec)
|Offers workshops, advisors and mentors that help develop strategies to conquer the market. Specialized in supporting tech startups achieve long-term projects through their 12-week program
|Merck Invention Accelerator (Edmonton, Alberta)
|For early-stage human and animal health therapeutic companies looking to reach their next milestones
Designed to help maximize the success of emerging health technologies
Best suited to small enterprises or early-stage scientific researchers planning to bring their technology to patients or healthcare providers
|Creative Destruction Lab (founded in Toronto, Ontario with locations across North America)
|Works with startups that employ innovations in technology and business models with a promising chance of providing massive improvements to economic productivity and human welfare
Best suited to early-stage companies with links to university research labs
9-month program gives an objectives-based mentoring process with the goal of maximizing equity-value creation
|Propel ICT (Saint John, New Brunswick)
|Works with companies in all 4 Atlantic provinces
Focused on building up tech entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth in Atlantic Canada
Intensive accelerator program takes startups from the early stage to become investment ready
|LaunchPad PEI (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
|Non-profit incubator that supports the growth of new technology companies in PEI
Provides an anchor for foreign businesses looking to immigrate and grow in PEI
Does not take equity, instead is there to help your company grow and succeed
|Notable Canadian Co-working Spaces
|Workspace Atlantic (Atlantic Canada)
|3 locations across Nova Scotia & New Brunswick
Affordable shared co-working and virtual office membership packages that gives them the freedom to work when and where they want
|Acme Works (Toronto, Ontario)
|For small businesses, freelancers and startups looking to transition out of isolated work environments
Members have access to a network of experts, lawyers, accountants, marketers and senior executives
|Cowork Penticton (Penticton, British Columbia)
|Landing pad for professional residents new to the area
Bridge in the gap that helps entrepreneurs find their place in the local business community
|The Workaround (Toronto, Ontario)
|Offers space and support to working parents who need flexibility
Strives to remove some of the barriers that come with working at home or from your local cafe
|La Gare (Montréal, Québec)
|Collaborative and welcoming space for entrepreneurs, designers, creators, artists, self-employed workers and small teams
Training sessions and events that allow members, local entrepreneurs and experts from various disciplines to share their knowledge