The Communitech Hub

Communitech is getting $26.4m from the Ontario Government towards the creation of The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator.

“Located in Waterloo Region and serving technology companies provincewide, The Hub will help hardware and software entrepreneurs bring new tools, technologies and applications to market. The Hub will focus on commercialization, business development, access to financing and connecting clients with other digital media hubs across Ontario and Canada.”

It looks like it is a physical space with resources to help entrepreneurs.

“The Hub [is] a new centre that will help emerging digital media companies grow and succeed in the global market. In particular, The Hub will look beyond the entertainment sector to focus on companies creating hardware and software for industries, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and finance.”

It’s great news for Waterloo Region. Further support of a great organization with Communitech as a leader. Additional attention and awareness to a growing tech sector with companies like OpenText and RIM. And additional real estate development and construction jobs.

What I am curious about is the relationship of the Accelerator Centre to The Hub? And what is the relationship to nGen? to MaRS? to RIC Centre? to OCRI? to Innovation Synergy Centre? Ontario Centres for Excellence? Is there a plan for where each of these pieces fit together? How about where these programs fit relative to local Economic Development Corporations? Is this really about creating an innovation and entrepreneurship based economy? Or is it about investing in third-party, arms length, pseudo-government agencies without looking like big government?

So it’s a mixed bag. This announcement continues to show technology entrepreneurship is a focus of the Ontario Government’s plan to help seed a new economy by bring new companies to market. But there seems to be a focus on real estate as the first step in enablement. Any thoughts?