Apparently, there was one too many small business incubators in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre has closed its downtown Accelerator Hub location on Queen Street and shuffled staff over to the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation's Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship on Huron Street in the Canal District.
Since its inception in 1999, the Innovation Centre has focused predominately on technology startups, while Millworks caters to a more diverse range of small and fledging businesses and entrepreneurs.
Nothing will change in that regard with this new partnership and space-sharing plan.
To the parties involved, it just made sense to eliminate the duplication of incubation services in the city and put everything under one roof.
The EDC and the municipality will oversee and manage the incubation space and continue to provide services to their existing clients.
In a news release, the Innovation Centre and the EDC are calling this new partnership "a natural fit."
“When we collaborate, we end up being more efficient in the community and for the community,” said Peter Bruijns, executive director of the Innovation Centre, by way of providing counselling, training and mentoring new firms and, generally, helping entrepreneurs on the path to commercialization.
“We are reducing the possibility of overlap and are able to provide services to our region in a more streamlined way.”
EDC Director Dan Hollingworth added the partership provides more services to local entrepreneurs.
"Having the option to work with partners allows us to achieve our shared goals and deliver small business focused training sessions, counselling, seminars, mentorship, incubation and co-working space.”