I am extremely proud to be marking Innovation Guelph’s 10th anniversary. We’ll be celebrating this milestone in many ways over the coming year. But as we officially kick-off our celebrations today, we find ourselves in the unique position of looking back over successes of the last decade while planning for what comes next.
I joined as CEO 4.5 years ago, but in speaking with those who were there when it was founded, back in 2011, IG spent its first few years getting established and figuring out what the organization should be to best serve the local business community. This hard work created a strong foundation to grow on. And indeed, we have grown!
Our roster of mentors and industry specialists has more than doubled over the last year alone, we’ve added multiple new programs some of which have had national impact, and we’ve grown from a staff complement of 6 to 18. Along the way, we helped hundreds of companies start, grow and thrive. If this is what we can accomplish as an emerging entity, just imagine what we can do in the next ten years!
Celebrating 10 years of Innovation Guelph is all about our incredible team, our clients, and our partners – people who made our success possible. For the past 4.5 years, I have been privileged to lead an amazing team of committed and passionate people. I am very grateful to all staff, mentors and industry experts for their dedication and patience and for delivering exceptional quality to our clients.
It has also been a great pleasure to collaborate with so many partners and stakeholders. Due to their confidence and trust, Innovation Guelph is being recognized in the market as a sought-after organization, supporting our clients with knowledge, expertise and a lived understanding of entrepreneurship.
Many client companies have said that Innovation Guelph is one of the best kept secrets in Canada. it’s time to let that secret out! If you are committed, purpose-driven, ambitious and coachable, we can help. Whether you are just starting out or stalled on your growth path, IG is worth investigating.
The world is experiencing an increasing number of complex problems that are converging in ways not previously seen. Without innovation we have no chance of overcoming these challenges. Solutions will require collaboration across many fields – technology, government, environment, social structures, economic models, and business practices. More importantly, it will require integrated innovation, because the solutions will have to be as multi-faceted as the problems.
One of these complex problems, the current global pandemic, has affected us all. But our team has risen to the challenge. Despite shutdowns and constraints, we continue to navigate a changing reality to help those hardest hit re-imagine their businesses and find a way forward.
At the same time, we have continued to offer our regular programming remotely to hundreds of businesses, while dealing with the many personal stressors brought on by worry and social isolation. In the words of Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The IG team has made a difference by supporting businesses that can (and do) change the world; by partnering with others in the community to tackle some of our biggest problems (like seeding a circular economy); by being there for companies and colleagues struggling through COVID; and by whole heartedly giving back whenever we can.
I am honored and humbled to be a part of this organization and have been privileged to lead such a dedicated team of “thoughtful, committed citizens” as we strive to do our part. Thank you to all who have supported Innovation Guelph on its way to success, I am very proud of what we’ve achieved together.
Innovation Guelph has come a long way in its first decade. The next ten years hold great promise for the continued growth and success of the organization and the businesses we support in Guelph and beyond.