Innovation Guelph Turns 10

Aug 24, 2021 | Media Releases

10 year banner Media Release

The regional innovation centre has supported 1,327 innovative businesses and created 1,756 jobs over the last decade; marks the occasion with a commemorative book and unique food and beverage gift boxes that showcase local innovators, startups and small and medium enterprises.

Guelph, ON, August 24, 2021—Innovation Guelph, a regional innovation centre that provides mentorship and business support programs and services to help innovative enterprises start, grow and thrive, is celebrating its 10th anniversary since being founded in 2011.

Over the last decade, Innovation Guelph has supported more than 1,327 businesses from startups to scale-ups through its accelerator programs which led to the creation of 1,756 jobs. Its programs focus on four sectors, Agri-innovation, information and communication technology, advanced manufacturing and cleantech. More than 350 Canadian companies from across southwestern Ontario and beyond are supported each year. Last year alone, Innovation Guelph mentors and industry specialists spent more than 11,277 consulting hours with clients helping them to solve problems and succeed.

Reflecting on the milestone, CEO Anne Toner Fung said, “Over the last ten years, Innovation Guelph has made a difference by supporting businesses that can—and do—change the world. The outcome is an innovation ecosystem that drives economic growth, supports environmental sustainability and enhances the quality of life for everyone in our region.”

Well-known enterprises such as Precision Biomonitoring, Lucky Iron Fish and SoCIAL LITE Vodka are just some of the more than 1,327 businesses that Innovation Guelph has supported over the last ten years.

As part of the festivities, Innovation Guelph will be publishing a commemorative book. In addition, Innovation Guelph will launch two unique food and beverage gift boxes, one featuring a selection of locally sourced gourmet delights, the other with innovative food and beverages from the region and beyond.  By purchasing a box, you will be supporting local entrepreneurs, innovative startups and small businesses. Books and gift boxes will be available for sale this fall. Visit for details.

“Celebrating 10 years must include recognizing our incredible team, our clients, and our partners – people who made our success possible. I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of Innovation Guelph,” said Toner Fung.

Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, was one of the people there initially. Longfield was a co-founder and initially part-time CEO of Innovation Guelph, sharing duties with Kirk Roberts until the organization hired the first CEO. He was also a part-time mentor and volunteer board member in the first four years. Together with Kirk Roberts and Brian Cowan, he built up the original board and bylaws. “The original funding application happened from my kitchen table,” noted Longfield in an interview, which is part of a blog series looking at IG’s past, present and future, featured on the IG website

Today, Innovation Guelph offers unique programs and initiatives to support businesses from different sectors and stages, including the Startup Program, Fast Lane, Rhyze Ventures and RhyzeUp! for women entrepreneurs. Its newest program, Circular Food Economy (CFE) iHub, supports the creation of new businesses and collaborations that contribute to a circular food economy by developing circular food solutions.

Innovation Guelph is building prosperity for community well-being by providing mentorship and business support programs and services to help innovative enterprises start, grow and thrive. Innovation Guelph’s business acceleration programs are designed for high-potential start-ups, small- to medium-sized enterprises and women-led businesses across southern Ontario. Innovation Guelph also serves as a one-stop point of access to business support programs and services across the province.


Media Contacts:

Janet Wakutz, Senior Communications Officer

Saskia Brussaard, Crave Public Relations