Series of entrepreneurship workshops planned

One of the country’s top entrepreneurship incubators has signed on to offer a series of workshops for local startups and the business community in Sarnia-Lambton.

Toronto-based MaRS Innovation is hosting a trio of multi-workshop events at Lambton College’s Suncor Sustainability Centre, starting with a two-parter Nov. 19 and 26 about lean start-up strategies for early ventures.

“MaRS is one of the top, if not the top incubator in the country, perhaps North America,” said Jon Milos, senior advisor with The Cube, a Lambton College-based hub promoting local entrepreneurship.

“To have them come down here and to share their expertise with our local entrepreneurs is a big deal for the community,” he said, noting it’s the agency’s first such visit to Sarnia-Lambton.

In March there’s another two-part series focused on business modeling, and a third June series is on marketing communications.

“I’m really hoping this will work very well for the established businesses and entrepreneurs from Sarnia-Lambton, as well as with the multitude of young start-up entrepreneurs that we have in the area,” said Maike Luiken, director of the Bluewater Technology Access Centre (BTAC).

It, the Cube, the Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario and the Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership are all throwing their support behind the visit, but it was Luiken who was the driving force.

“Our entrepreneurs in Sarnia … should have the same access (as the Toronto area) to workshops, networking, state of the art approaches to starting up a business, marketing a product, or doing verification of market interest, and so on,” Luike said about why it was important for her to bring MaRS to the area.

“I thought bringing Toronto to Sarnia was more effective than trying to take everybody from Sarnia to Toronto,” she said.

Hopes are the workshop series, $50 each to attend, also provide good networking opportunities.

“Everybody understands that this is an entrepreneurial ecosystem and we have to work together,” Milos said.



Series One: Nov. 19, 26,

Series Two: March 4, 11,

Series Three: June 1, 8, 15,


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