Innovation Insights

The importance of collaboration
“Providing incubator residents with access to a wealth of expertise from collaborators is invaluable to their success.

BY CASSIE PRICE

In Niagara, there are a number of incubators and resources available to help startup companies and entrepreneurs think big, start small, and scale up. One important factor in a startup company or entrepreneur’s success is collaboration.

Having a collaborator at an incubator allows an established company (the collaborator) to provide the expertise that many startup companies and entrepreneurs don’t have. An excellent synergy is possible through the collaboration and association with collaborators in an incubation facility. Providing incubator residents with access to a wealth of expertise from collaborators is invaluable to their success.

The collaborator helps to provide startups with encouragement, sharing of information of business related subjects, and establish a network of communication that can serve them well for years to come. They also provide entrepreneurs with a wide range of skills and services, and these experienced professionals can then guide and assist the entrepreneurs on a regular basis while providing mentorship and advice. Collaborators provide clients with vital, real world guidance from leaders who understand how to overcome the specific challenges.

A perfect example of this is the new collaboration between Brock University’s Goodman School of Business’ incubator BioLinc and Whiting Equipment Canada. BioLinc, a business incubator that is part of Innovate Niagara’s network of incubators, is a home for startup companies, student entrepreneurs, and innovative researchers with a mind for collaboration. With Whiting at BioLinc, Brock University’s faculty, students, small startup companies and entrepreneurs will benefit from Whiting’s process engineering prowess and mentorship. Whiting, an internationally recognized specialized engineering and manufacturing company will work at BioLinc as a testing facility to support their projects for the global market. The partnership between BioLinc and Whiting has resulted in the creation of the Whiting and Swenson Test Centre, Niagara Campus, and makes Niagara a hub for inorganic chemical crystallization laboratory testing.

Another example of the importance of collaboration is between Trivium Industries and Turn180. Trivium Industries, a local manufacturer of biodegradable containers is working with Turn180, a local custom prototyping company to produce prototypes of different containers for Trivium. Having these prototypes created allows Trivium to have samples of different containers to use for innovative projects.

Each individual in the collaboration brings a unique characteristic, and when grouped together, those characteristics cumulatively become something greater. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.

Cassie Price is the BioLinc Coordinator for BioLinc at Brock University. The Goodman School of Business BioLinc is part of Innovate Niagara’s network on incubators and helps connect scientific discovery with business opportunity. For more information, please visit www.brocku.ca/biolinc.

Follow on twitter @BioLinc.