IBM’s New Innovation Space in Downtown Toronto Helps Tech Startups
In the world of tech startups, one of the biggest concerns they face is having access to the resources they require in order to nurture and grow their business into a successful venture. In the past, startups would begin their operations, only to leave Toronto and Canada to go elsewhere to get access to the tools, resources, and support they required to develop a successful operation.

Today, that is changing, largely in part to IBM and the recent opening of their IBM Innovation Space in Downtown Toronto. The IBM Innovation Space is a startup incubator offering support for tech startups in numerous industries including healthcare, finance, advanced computing, software development, energy, and water, to name a few.

The concept of an incubator is not new. In fact, the first business incubator can be traced back to the opening of the Batavia Industrial Centre in 1959 in the United States. Since that time, incubators slowly started to spread throughout the U.S. and Canada, eventually reaching the United Kingdom and Western Europe.

Currently, there are around 1,400 incubators located throughout North America, with the vast majority of these being located within the United States. Hence, leaving a gap for new Canadian startups. IBM hopes to eliminate the gap with their Innovation Space. Most new startups do not have the deep pockets and resources as established companies. As a result, they face numerous barriers to entry and challenges to get their business off the ground. Incubators can provide access to a wide range of services, such as:
  • Networking
  • Training Programs
  • Marketing
  • Internet and Cloud-Based Technologies
  • Software Development Support
  • Financial Services
  • Regulatory Compliance Assistance
  • Legal
  • Advisory Boards
  • Access to Business Partners
  • Post-Secondary Education Resources
IBM’s new Innovation Space was born out of previous efforts at closing the innovation gap in Canada. Over the past decade IBM has invested numerous resources, technologies, and financial support of incubators all over Canada. Additionally, in 2012, IBM teamed up with post-secondary educational institutions, the OCE (Ontario Centres of Excellence), and the provincial government to create the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform Research Consortium, or SOSCIP. The SOSCIP is comprised fifteen universities and colleges throughout the area, including the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto. IBM’s Innovation Space only opened last month and there are already several startups already obtaining support and assistance from the incubator, which include:
  • Big Terminal
  • IAmI
  • LifeLearn
  • Orenda
  • A4L
  • 4D Virtual Space
Along with investments from IBM and the provincial government, other support for the new incubator came from SOSCIP, the OCE, and several members from the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs.

IBM’s objective with their new incubator is to help startups and the innovators of tomorrow have access to the resources and support they need. Plus, it allows IBM the opportunity to work with, learn from, and be a part of the new startups’ success, while integrating their technology and business solutions into the startup’s day-to-day operations.

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Posted by: DSR
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Tag: Business Start Ups
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