Halifax launches innovation outpost to help startups scale
The Halifax Partnership and the Halifax Regional Municipality have announced the opening of the Halifax Innovation Outpost, a new initiative aimed at promoting the city’s emerging startups and business ecosystem.
The outpost will provide a platform to help startups and scaleups beta test and develop ideas and products alongside public, private, post-secondary, and community partners. The outpost also aims to address social and civic challenges and improve municipal data transparency. The initiative is being led by Karl Allen-Muncey, former lead of the Digital Kitchener Innovation Lab and the Innovation Outpost for Postmedia.
“Civic innovation is a necessity, not a luxury,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage. “This lab is an opportunity to find answers to longstanding challenges, to deploy agile thinking and new technologies in pursuit of a more livable city, and to make a statement that historic Halifax is stepping decisively into the future.”
The Innovation Outpost is an addition to the ‘Halifax Innovation District’, an initiative that was announced at the same time. The Halifax Partnership, Halifax’s economic development organization, is leading the Halifax Innovation District with support from Nova Scotia provincial government. The announcement did not include the dollar amount of support the province is providing for the initiative, nor were there any monetary investments noted from the city of Halifax for the initiative or Outpost.
The aim of the district is to increase access to innovation spaces and resources, address infrastructure and programming gaps, and create stronger ties and partnerships between universities, corporations, risk capital, government, and entrepreneurs.
“The Halifax Partnership is excited to be working with our private, public and post-secondary investors and partners to build an Innovation District that supports and accelerates entrepreneurial and economic growth,” said Wendy Luther, president and CEO of Halifax Partnership. “Our goal is to make it easier for new and established companies to undertake R&D, commercialize ideas, and start and grow successful companies.”