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Whitby’s New Innovation Accelerator “1855 Whitby” to Help Technology Companies Grow to Commercialization

Posted on Friday April 12, 2019
1855

Accelerator set to fuel more homegrown success stories

 

A new innovation accelerator, "1855 Whitby", has opened in Downtown Whitby - the result of a successful private-public partnership between the Town of Whitby (the Town) and local industry leader 360insights.

The new accelerator will play a pivotal role in helping to grow high potential technology companies to commercialization, creating more local jobs and economic prosperity for Whitby and Durham Region. Ultimately, the facility will help position tech companies for the global stage and a successful business future.

"1855 is an iconic and historical name for Whitby," said Jason Atkins, Chair of the 1855 Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of 360insights. "It represents the year the Town was incorporated as a separate municipality, when it "grew up" and became its own. Our mantra at 1855 is "Growth Lives Here" because that's what we do. We help companies accelerate and grow to become their own thriving organizations."

Through the accelerator, tech companies currently experiencing a minimum of double digit annual growth will be provided with access to work in a creative business and collaboration space. Members of 1855 Whitby will receive onsite mentorship from industry leaders and hands-on support from experts across varying business channels to help facilitate their growth objectives.

The facility is the first of its kind in Durham Region and builds on Whitby's existing innovation district, which is comprised of more than a dozen tech and innovation companies that individually employ more than 500 people.

"This new accelerator will create good local jobs and further position Whitby as a centre of technology," said Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell. "The accelerator, and the companies that call it home, will play a key role in the continued growth of our innovation district."

Currently, in Durham Region, there are a range of local supports for technology start-ups ranging from business advisory to idea incubation. Nothing, however, is in place to advance companies for commercialization on a larger scale. 1855 Whitby builds on and closes this gap locally and regionally, helping homegrown success stories like National ProStaff - now an 1855 Whitby member - to take their business to the next level.

"We're thrilled to join 1855 Whitby as it provides us with amazing networking opportunities and affordable workspace in the downtown area," said Dan Miguel, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of National ProStaff and 1855 Whitby member. "We look forward to continuing our growth trajectory at the heart of this growing tech ecosystem in Durham Region."

1855 Whitby is the result of more than five years of planning, partnership and collaboration between the Town, Jason Atkins and other local industry leaders. The accelerator is housed in the former provincial land registry office - a 9,000 square foot heritage building located in Downtown Whitby.

"The accelerator is a shining example of what can be accomplished when business and municipal government work together to achieve a shared goal - in this case, helping technology companies to grow and thrive," shared Matt Gaskell, Chief Administrative Officer at the Town of Whitby.

BDO Canada joins the Town as a founding partner of 1855 Whitby. "We are excited for this partnership because our firm believes in supporting and accelerating the growth of technology companies by helping them to build a strong financial foundation," added Brion Hendry, GTA Technology and Life Sciences Leader at BDO Canada.

 

Companies interested in accelerator programming at 1855 Whitby can email info@1855Whitby.com to receive membership details.

 

For more information on Whitby's new innovation accelerator, visit 1855whitby.com.

 

ABOUT 1855 WHITBY (1855whitby.com)

1855 Whitby is a technology accelerator, strategically initiated and funded by the Town of Whitby and Jason Atkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of 360insights. 1855's vision is to cultivate the growth of Whitby's innovative district, filling a defined gap that exists in the Durham Region innovation ecosystem. Participating members of 1855 experience a process of intense, rapid and immersive education aimed at accelerating the lifecycle of young innovative companies.

 

ABOUT THE TOWN OF WHITBY (whitby.ca)

The Town of Whitby is a lakefront community that is home to more than 128,000 residents and more than 2,000 businesses. Whitby is the second largest municipality in the Regional Municipality of Durham and located in the heart of the region. The Town is committed to building a pedestrian-focused, cycling-oriented and age-friendly community, the revitalization of its two historic downtowns and maximizing its wonderful green spaces. The Town is committed to grow as a smart, urban community where talent and businesses can flourish.