A newly designed, innovative platform was launched by APEX Alberta, with partners Community Futures Entre-Corp Business Development, Medicine Hat College, and primary funder Alberta Innovates, on Feb. 1, 2022.
The Community Innovation Connector is a virtual space that allows business owners, entrepreneurs and students to easily access and interact with entrepreneurship programs, advisors, and support, all on one platform.
The idea arose during many conversations related to economic development when entrepreneurs and students would voice concerns about needing accessible services, training, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
APEX Alberta and partners knew the resources were out there, and designed The Connector to solve this gap in awareness.
“The goal is to create awareness of the truly unique and innovative assets for entrepreneurs that can be found in SE Alberta,” says Tracy Stroud, APEX RIN manager.
One of the biggest strengths of The Connector is that it’s solely online, making it accessible and easy to navigate.
“I hope that The Connector becomes a lively virtual place for innovative discussions. Our community needs that,” says Marty Robinson, CIO, City of Medicine Hat.
The platform will link together projects, programs, advisors, and success stories from across the region. This free-to-use platform was created to foster the growth of entrepreneurship and new business ideas, products and services in Southeast Alberta.
“The Connector will be a great place for innovators and business to connect and collaborate on many opportunities in the future, through the suite of services being offered within,” says John Stroh, technology development advisor for Community Futures Entre-Corp.
Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce is a community partner on this project. Executive director Lisa Kowalchuk says The Connector provides 24/7 connections and support that businesses can add to their toolkit.
“It will enable businesses to connect with various business support organizations in our region and find information and opportunities that will help their business innovate, adapt, connect, and thrive,” says Kowalchuk.
Executive director of advancement and community relations at the Medicine Hat College Mark Keller says the College is proud to serve the region and looks forward to building and sustaining relationships through The Connector.
“It’s an intriguing and informative way to gain access to the people and services available to build vibrant, sustainable communities for everyone,” says Keller.
The news release states the virtual space was “developed by global architecture, engineering, planning, and technology firm IBI Group.”
“The IBI team assigned to our project was instrumental in guiding the project. From identifying project goals to designing and developing the virtual space, IBI’s support and willingness to adapt to create and achieve a joint project vision was invaluable,” says Lisa Galecki, digital media and marketing specialist and project lead for APEX.
Explore The Community Innovation Connector at http://innovationconnector.io/