Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre

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Congratulations on taking the first step to start your business, rest assured that you have come to the right place where we can assist you achieve your goals and bring your idea to life.  Whether your first time or you are a serial entrepreneur, the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre assists people like you to establish a successful enterprise. We act as a conduit to connect entrepreneurs to resources in order to move your idea into a company from discovery to post-product launch!

Getting Started!

A good place to start is to start looking at our library of resources for start-up companies found in the MaRS Entrepreneurship Toolkit.  This toolkit provides countless resources for people just like yourself who are considering starting a business and was crafted by entrepreneurs who have started a company previously from the ground up. 

Services to start your business 

  • Business Advisory services

Gain access to our team and network of business associates in the community and connections outside our region to develop your business plan, validate your idea, develop your product, or to establish ties with potential first customers.  We have a track record of successfully navigating entrepreneurs from idea to product launch, see for yourself!

  • Market Assessment & Research

We are pleased to offer market intelligence services to ensure you take competitors and substitute products into consideration when evaluating your business idea and crafting your business plan.  Through our Innovator Member program you gain access to valuable reports from industry leading research firms such as Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, Forrester, eMarketer, and more!  Upon receipt of the reports we then help you evaluate and determine what is relevant to develop a go forward strategy.  Through our network we also have access to potential customers or industry experts that can advise on your next steps.

  • Prototype & Product Development

The Innovation Centre assists in finding qualified contractors who can produce a prototype for you to move to the next stage of development.  In some cases our Advance - Early Stage Innovation Program can assist with the costs of prototype and product development. Of course no product should be developed without customer feedback, we assist in finding beta customers who can test and comment on your mock up to fine tune your product for success.  This also greatly helps in determining your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to go to market and getting to revenue!

The Venture Vault is a shared development space where entrepreneurial minded people who are in the process of developing a product co-habituate to build a business as well as have close proximity and access to our business advisors, funding programs, and mentors to push your idea to its limits. It also ensures your idea is not being developed in isolation and sure beats working out of your basement!

The Innovation Centre is well connected to various funding partners that can help bring your idea to life.  From early stage technical development through to commercializing your completed product we’ve got you covered.  Most people who approach us get started with our Advance program which provides early stage funding to determine the feasibility or assist in overcoming any technical barriers to initiating your business.

Our engaging events are hands-on and intended to accelerate your business with actionable items.  Prior events include topics such as Business Modelling, Mobile Marketing, Funding your Business, Sales training, and more!  Check out our event calendar for the latest information on upcoming events.

  • And More!

Who do we work with?

We work with anyone who is interested in solving a problem with a unique innovative solution whether a start-up or a medium sized company.  We also assist people who are entrepreneurial minded within their own organization to achieve success.  For a list of companies we are currently working with, check out our Innovator Member listing.

How do you get started working with the Innovation Centre?

Your first step is to get in touch with us. We will sit down with you for a free, no-hassle meeting to discuss your idea or business concept.  Every employee at the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre is bound by a non-disclosure agreement so you can breathe easy knowing your idea is just between us.

We can be reached by calling 768-6682 or send an email to nwoinnovation%23ca|info

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Box 398
2400 Nipigon Rd.
Thunder Bay, ON P7C 4W1

Telephone: 807-768-6682
Toll-Free: 1-866-768-6682
Fax: 807-768-6683

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