Seneca College, Kingbridge Centre bringing innovation hub to King to help 'grow the green economy'
Hub will allow entrepreneurs to scale up businesses with access to resources and networks
May 13, 2021
Seneca College and Kingbridge Centre are teaming up to creation an innovation hub that will help entrepreneurs build businesses in the agriculture, food production and processing, energy and environmental sector.
Seneca and Kingbridge Centre will help companies grow and solve problems related to technology, infrastructure and sustainability.
“We are delighted to partner with Kingbridge Centre to help grow the green economy in King Township and York Region,” said David Agnew, Seneca president. “The innovation hub will provide entrepreneurs access to resources and networks to scale up and turn innovative ideas into sustainable businesses.”
Seneca will contribute applied research infrastructure, faculty expertise and access to HELIX, Seneca’s business incubator and accelerator.
Kingbridge Centre’s affiliated entity, Ekagrata Inc., will help with innovation expertise, executive management strengths and risk capital investment experience.
“The partnership between Kingbridge Centre and Seneca is an action-oriented collaboration, combining resources and best practices to drive the development of impactful solutions that are pragmatic and benefitting the community and region,” said Prashant Pathak, chair of Kingbridge Centre. “This collaboration provides a unique infrastructure platform for innovative companies and for creators and researchers to develop and transform innovative ideas and concepts into successful enterprises and businesses.”
Karen Dubeau, executive director of the Kingbridge Innovation Hub, said the idea for the innovation hub started when the ownership of the Kingbridge Centre changed hands in December.
“That really was the opportunity to take a fresh look at that vision of innovation and how we wanted to drive it forward,” she said. “(Pathak) wanted to make sure that we weren’t just doing another innovation centre, he wanted to create something that was different than what’s been done before.”
The goal of the innovation hub isn’t just to try technologies and create new companies, it’s also to improve the community.
“As we started to engage with the community and partners, of course Seneca having the King campus there was a good link, they’ve got land, they’ve got programs, they’ve got expertise and students. So, that was a good fit,” Dubeau said.
Kingbridge Centre also has a lot of land and they wanted to find out how it could be leveraged for demonstrations and experiments.
“The goal moving forward is actually to invite other partners to participate, as well,” Dubeau said.
Kingbridge Centre is currently operating as a temporary shelter, and is expected to continue to do so until the fall of this year.
Dubeau said she’s hoping in the summer the centre is able to host outdoor fireside chats about ideas and concepts.
“In the interim, what we’re working on, is building the partnerships, figuring out the programs, and what we’d like to do is launch a series of virtual, exciting ideas that people can join,” Dubeau said.
Dubeau said she knows that people are getting tired of virtual events and would prefer to be outside so the Kingbridge Centre will be updating its website when potential events become available.Businesses interested in being part of the living lab should contact Dubeau at firstname.lastname@example.org.