Emily Kinread, a Wilfred Laurier honours graduate, became incredibly interested in the initiatives led by Innovation Factory (iF), a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre (RIC). Two years after bookmarking their website, she found herself as part of the iF team as their marketing and communications manager. Kinread was born in Hamilton and has spent some time living in several cities throughout southern Ontario. Despite that, she has always found herself drawn to Hamilton and was ecstatic when the opportunity arose for her to work closer to home.
“There’s an opportunity right now to help drive Hamilton’s growth and people just really want to do things that are great for the city,” says Kinread.
“It’s so exciting to see people so excited about what they’re doing. You see people following their dreams and building companies that reflect those dreams,” Kinread adds, speaking highly of Innovation Factory and how the organization’s objectives align perfectly with what she and several other young professionals and entrepreneurs within our community are seeking.
It’s a particularly exciting time of the year for Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce as they are now accepting applications for the fifth annual Lion’s Lair competition, a competition that provides the entrepreneurial community in Hamilton with the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the city’s business leaders. The competition allows entrepreneurs and their companies the chance to win more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources. For more information or to complete the online application before the April 30, 2015 deadline, please visit lionslair.ca
Lions Lair may seem like a big deal (it sure is) but there’s more than that; Innovation Factory also offers other valuable resources and opportunities on a regular basis. The organization holds entrepreneur toolkit workshops, lunch and learn sessions that are open to the community, one-on-one mentoring and additional workshops. Innovation Factory also proudly partners with community organizations and initiatives such as The Forge and the McMaster Spectrum Student Startup Competition to fulfill their mandate.
Kinread mentions how beneficial becoming a member group with HIVE has been to Innovation Factory’s ongoing support for a community rich in entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. “Personally, it’s helped me meet a lot of young professionals in the community. The networking events held by HIVE are important and key to ensuring that everyone is connecting. HIVE brings great speakers and great relationships, while bringing together young professionals in the community and showing there’s a strong young professional movement in the city.”
There is no question that Hamilton has established itself as a centre of innovative ideas, including those from students, entrepreneurs and individuals who may have never expected to develop such revolutionary and successful ideas, products and concepts. Innovation Factory has and will continue to encourage and provide ongoing support for a stronger, brighter Hamilton.
Innovation Factory supports innovative ideas and ventures through a variety of resources such as seminars, events, mentoring, building business plans and connecting with investors. Connect with Innovation Factory by visiting their website, following them on Twitter and liking their page on Facebook.
Patricia Savoie is a graduate with an Advanced Diploma from Mohawk College, where she is currently studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Relations. She is the HIVE PR & Media Intern for 2015.