Innovation Insights

Opportunity for Digital Innovation
“Instead of being an optimistic person and hoping that I’ll one day make it in the big city of Toronto, I became an opportunist and took advantage of what I have here in Niagara…”

BY REECE FISHER


Opportunity is something younger students like myself might take for granted. As a recent high school graduate wanting to break into an era defined by technology in order to succeed in the film industry, Niagara didn’t come to mind when thinking of success. However, by chance through a networking experience, I was introduced to Open Concept Films—a portfolio company at Innovate Niagara’s interactive digital media incubator, the Generator at one.

My name is Reece Fisher, and I am a digital intern at the Generator at one. I’ve had the opportunity over the past eight months to experience the everyday life of working in the digital realm in the Niagara Region, and how much opportunity is out there for the upcoming generation.

When Jason Lupish, the creative director at Open Concept Films, and now considered a mentor, showed me the facilities within the building, such as the editing and sound design suites as well as the studio that was optimized with motion capture systems and could be turned into a green room, I was speechless. The resources available were incredible.

From here I was introduced to many other portfolio companies under the Generator at one, from gaming designers to software developers. To be able to have these connections so early on in my experience had me ecstatic; being offered an editing internship, which led to working closely with Fourgrounds Media, a graduate company of the Generator at one, has taken my experience to a new level.

To my fellow students who are looking to break into the digital realm and are considering moving away from Niagara to follow their dreams, I ask you to think again. The Niagara Region is a growing place of opportunity with the resources to help you succeed in the digital field. The interconnected Generator at one and Innovate Niagara have top resources available for students and the community.

Graduating companies of the Generator at one, like Fourgrounds Media, Furi Enterprises, and morro images have all hired local talent coming out of Brock University and Niagara College. These are just examples of the many available opportunities for students and others within the industry. If we are going to make our region a competitor in the digital realm, it starts with students utilizing local facilities to hone and develop their talents. It starts with local innovation to compete with hotspots like Toronto and Silicon Valley. It starts with us.

I am not even in university yet, but I have already had opportunities beyond that of some post-secondary graduates. Instead of being an optimistic person and hoping that I’ll one day make it in the big city of Toronto, I became an opportunist and took advantage of what I have here in Niagara to develop my talents with local companies such as Open Concept Films and Fourgrounds Media, which then led to further networking and job opportunities through the Generator at one.

Come this autumn, I will be attending Brock University for Business Administration, just another one of the many facilities in Niagara with abundant opportunities for success. Here I am hoping to meet like-minded people who are ready, and willing, to make Niagara the digital hotspot it has the potential to be.

Reece Fisher is a digital intern at the Generator at one, part of Innovate Niagara’s network of incubators. Having just graduated from high school, Reece will be attending Brock University this coming fall for Business Administration, and will continue to work passionately in the video production industry.

Follow on twitter @innovateniagara