Co-location has, in recent years, become increasingly prevalent in the small business and non-profit sectors. It's a useful alternative for enterprises that are smaller or just starting out. Pooling costs for essentials like office space and phone service helps keep overhead costs down, not to mention cutting down the time time spent managing infrastructure and logistics.
Stepping into the co-location world is consulting firm Ideacia ONE Inc.
, which has just launched a space specifically geared to innovative businesses. The 3,000-square-foot facility is located in Markham, in an office tower at Woodbine and Steeles; they are currently accepting applications from prospective tenants.
Ideacia's aim, says co-founder Jennifer Powers, is to create a middle ground between "typical business centres where you can rent space, [but] if you walk through the aisles everyone has their door closed" on the one hand, and intervention-oriented government incubators on the other. Ideacia's Innovation Centre, if things go according to plan, will "bring [a] diverse group together into an environment that's very open… that will really encourage them to share ideas and support each other in their growth."
Powers says prospective tenants will be screened to ensure than none are in direct competition with each other. The founders hope tenants will eventually develop business relationships with each other as an organic outcome of sharing physical space.
Ideacia's current roster of clients—about 150 in total—ranges from companies that have worked with NASA to smaller entrepreneurs who want help streamlining their day-to-day operations. On this effort, Ideacia is specifically seeking technological enterprises and other small businesses that provide relevant support services.
As for the "innovation" in "Innovation Centre," Powers emphasizes that it's important not to invest the word with some sort of mythic weight. Innovation, she says, "doesn't necessarily have to be incredibly earth-shattering. People can absolutely use innovation in every sector, every business—it's really a mind-shift."
Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Jennifer Powers, Principal and Co-Founder, Ideacia ONE Inc.