Innovation Hubs are Key to Startup Success January 30, 2017 RICCentre Here’s how five organizations meet to fast-track businesses at RIC Centre The RIC Centre aims to help technology entrepreneurs fast-track their business to market by facilitating connections between innovative businesses and practical resources for commercialization. It’s our vision to build an innovation ecosystem in Peel region— and we are getting closer to achieving that goal as we create a network of champions, community partners and program sponsors focused on driving innovation and supporting the progression of high-growth businesses in Ontario. “In my role as Entrepreneur in Residence at the RIC Centre, I’m lucky to be able to work with many energetic entrepreneurs,” says Paul Barter, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the RIC Centre. “Their innovative ideas have the potential to create immense value for customers across many different industries. Our RIC Centre Incubator clients get the regular professional advice they require to refine their business models, capture value and scale their businesses.” Our business incubator is home to innovative companies from various industries wanting to accelerate their path to market. Some of our current clients include: 3terra Anomera AOMS Technologies Insurables Canada JustCompare NextGrid RideFlag Technologies The RIC Centre would not be able to help these companies achieve significant milestones without the help and significant contributions from our community champions and program sponsors: BDO Canada BDO Canada has spent more than 90 years providing assurance, accounting, tax, and advisory services to a broad range of clients across the country. And as a member firm of the international BDO network, they leverage access to resources and advisors in more than 150 countries around the world. “BDO helps new entrepreneurs address aspects such as how to set their business up, how to maintain good financial health, how to manage business, cash flow, and position themselves for growth,” says Jamie Barron, Technology and Life Sciences Partner at BDO Canada. “We work with the founders and anticipate any areas of potential challenge or opportunity in order to position them for the best possible outcomes.” “Trying to navigate the legal and tax implications of running a small business can be daunting, but BDO Canada helped us create a plan to address our financial concerns and establish sound corporate governance,” says Richard Obuhowich, President of 3terra. Bereskin & Parr LLP Bereskin & Parr LLP is a leading Canadian full service intellectual property law firm serving clients across all industries around the world. The firm has established a depth of legal talent and systems to service clients in every aspect of patent, trademark and copyright law and IP litigation. The firm and its award-winning professionals are consistently ranked as the benchmark for IP law in Canada. “The key to many startups is their intellectual property. A successful IP strategy helps companies grow, creating growth and jobs as these companies develop,” says Stephen Beney, Partner, Patent & Trade Mark Agent. “If you’re an entrepreneur and want to attract smart money, you need to acquire IP in order to be successful. We can help a business develop an IP strategy, first to help with the initial goal of attracting money, but also for when competitors start showing up with the same product and offering it in different ways.” “Insurables Canada has received tremendous value connecting with Bereskin & Parr thanks to the RIC Centre,” says Michael Shepard, CEO of Insurables Canada. “They’ve helped us optimize our IP Strategy on Employee Health Benefits at scale. Bereksin & Parr has been an excellent resource for Insurables Canada by providing clear insight into the different IP options available to us. They provided a framework for protecting our IP during the patent process and with our employees and partners. Our IP portfolio’s value is growing thanks to Bereskin & Parr, who took the time to understand our goals and needs.” Pallett Valo: Mississauga Lawyers & Trademark Agents Pallett Valo is the largest and one of the most respected law firms in the Peel region. They have been recognized by their peers as a Top 10 Ontario Regional Law Firm in consecutive bi-annual surveys by the Canadian Lawyer Magazine. They take their time to understand your business and industry environment and then apply their expertise, experience and entrepreneurial spirit to make a difference. “There is widespread misconception that all lawyers stifle innovation. Pallett Valo LLP wants to do away with this misconception,” says Andréa Brinston, lawyer at Pallett Valo. “We are a group of lawyers that want to work alongside start-ups to help them set up their business correctly, be prepared when investors show interest and help them better understand the laws that they are expected to navigate when bringing their new technologies to the market. We want to help these innovative companies and their founders avoid costly mistakes that could become the roadblock to their success.” Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) XRCC is Canada’s leading materials research centre and home to a world-class team of scientists and engineers with broad expertise in materials chemistry, formulation design, prototyping, testing, and chemical process engineering. Their mission is to drive business growth through the commercialization of breakthrough materials, technologies, and services. “Being at the RIC Centre and XRCC imposed structure on us and allowed us to focus on what we were good at, which is developing sales organizations and finding customers. Our product is unique and in high demand, so it allowed us to stay focused on our business plan,” states Brent MacKinnon, founder and CEO of NextGrid. They found that the program creates a single voice to break down the silos that entrepreneurs need to move fast. GreenCentre Canada GreenCentre Canada take a hands-on approach to developing chemistry and materials-science innovations. From helping commercialize academic and entrepreneurial discoveries to providing established companies a confidential space to expand their R&D capabilities, they transform chemistry breakthroughs into products and services that will enhance quality of life and preserve the environment for future generations. “GreenCentre is privileged to have the opportunity to work with a rich and diverse community of RIC Centre startups as a result of the Innovation Hub located at XRCC,” says Executive Director Pete Pigott. “Helping to accelerate these growing companies by aiding their technology and business development, as well as encouraging them along the commercialization path, will have a direct benefit to Canada’s economy. We have been particularly impressed by the innovation and ambition from entrepreneurs and startups in the cleantech sector, which will additionally protect the environment and reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.” *** If you’re a tech entrepreneur, you need to register as a client to take advantage of all our network connections. Who knows where RIC Centre and all our champions can take your business! If you’re a large tech organization in Peel, come talk to us about partnering and get connected to some of the most innovative startups in Canada!