From left: Karen Greve Young, VP Partnerships at MaRS, Hon. Bardish Chagger, and TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb.

Earlier this month, business accelerators and incubators from across Canada met at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto to discuss ways to share best practices and support Canada’s BAI (Business Accelerators and Incubators) organizations. A total of 21 mature organizations participated in the round table discussions, along with representatives from the federal government.

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, joined the discussion for an hour during the afternoon and reaffirmed the importance of the work business accelerators and incubators do in advancing the innovation agenda and building the economy.

“We were very excited to have Minister Chagger join us,” said TEC’s Vice-President, Public Sector and Government Relations, Karen Wichuk. “We talked about her vision for accelerators and incubators in Canada, and the important role we play in the innovation ecosystem.”

Minister Chagger with BAIs 170210

Specifically, the discussion revolved around the sharing of best practices and about the potential for a performance measurement framework that would be highly flexible and take into account such things as size, scope and operating environment.

“Minister Chagger was very supportive – her enthusiasm was contagious,” said Karen. “It’s clear that she has a passion for and champions the work of accelerators and incubators.”

Going forward, participating BAIs are committed to continuing the dialogue. A working group will emerge from the meeting and will be tasked with developing the next steps and engaging the BAI community.

“We were pleased to partner with MaRS to initiate and host this meeting – everyone came with the purpose of fully participating,” said Karen. “We are excited to hear feedback from our colleagues across the country and to continue moving forward with the work.”