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New Innovation Outposts Announced for 2023

Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent (May 31, 2023) – A popular program aimed at supporting rural entrepreneurs is returning to the region this spring, thanks to a continued partnership between WETechAlliance and Libro Credit Union.

A new series of Innovation Outposts are being set up across Essex County and Chatham-Kent, using business and community spaces to connect the people behind local startups and businesses. Building on the success of last year’s events, the program will host regular outpost gatherings and support business development through education and better links to other support groups and programs.

“Last year we saw close to 250 entrepreneurs and community members come out across the region,” says Jennifer Brignall-Strong, Manager of Events and Community Programs at WETechAlliance. “We’re eager to expand upon the program this year and provide our region’s rural entrepreneurs access to more connections and resources to allow them to start and scale their companies.”

The Innovation Outposts program builds upon the success of a six-year partnership between WETechAlliance and Libro Credit Union.

“We want to empower entrepreneurs and their communities by connecting them to each other and the entrepreneurial support ecosystem, bridging the rural innovation divide,” says Lori Atkinson, Libro’s Regional Manager in Windsor-Essex. “We believe rural entrepreneurship is a key element to rural revitalization and regional economic impact and prosperity.”

Natalie Close, Libro Regional Manager for Lambton, Kent and Middlesex Counties, says: “This is about creating opportunities to succeed, and making sure people with great ideas can make them work, wherever they are. It’s vital for rural economies to have supports like this, and it aligns well with Libro’s many years working with the rural community, especially in agriculture.”

For the next year, there will be Innovation Outposts hosting events in Amherstburg, Chatham-Kent, Essex, and Kingsville.

A networking event is scheduled at each location, starting with a breakfast social at Wolfhead Distillery in Amherstburg on June 21st and a panel discussion at Retro Funhouse in Blenheim on July 13th. All entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs, students, and community members are invited.

By the numbers

This is a three-year partnership, aiming to:

  • connect more than 250+ entrepreneurs
  • support 250+ entrepreneurs with entrepreneurial training
  • support 12+ regional businesses annually via space rental, catering, and more
  • and host 5-10 events annually across Essex County and Chatham-Kent

For more information on the Innovation Outposts program, visit: wetech-alliance.com/outposts

We have more Innovation Outpost events on the way! Be sure to follow our Eventbrite page to be notified when additional events are added.

WEtech Alliance has served as a catalyst for technology and innovation in the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, Ontario regions since 2011. We’re a non-profit organization that provides entrepreneurs and companies with business services, training, I.P. and commercialization support, mentorship and strategic connections to help bring new ideas to market, scale to the next level and build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation.

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