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Kelowna (Canada) driving the KE

Incubators, hubs and accelerators that may have seemed peripheral to the health of the economy just five years ago, such as Communitech in Waterloo, the MaRS building in Toronto and GrowLab in Vancouver, are increasingly seen as drivers of healthy local economies looking to join the 21st century and as models that can be replicated almost anywhere.  Not to mention that the economic impact these hubs have generated makes the prospect of investment by provincial and municipal governments in their development kind of a no-brainer.  “Building on the momentum of other downtown initiatives, Council’s priorities this term included exploring a technology centre to aid in the continuing revitalization of Downtown,” said Kelowna mayor Walter Gray. “The City supports driving the knowledge economy, innovation and entrepreneurship, which in turn will create high paying sustainable jobs.”  A 2012 Deloitte report estimated Communitech Hub’s economic impact at $14 generated per $1 of public money spent. Considering that Communitech’s goal when it opened in 2009 was to attract $100 million in equity investment for the companies under its roof, and that by 2012 it had attracted $350 million, the initiative would appear to be a success. … Full article here.

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