City of Innovation

This week I had the privilege of witnessing some positive change happening in my home city of Hamilton, ON.

On Wednesday I toured the new coworking space, CoMotion.  A venture put together by local organizers–including Larrisa Drobot, and Tammy Hwang of the Hamilton Innovation Factory–CoMotion aims to be:

“an eco-system for the development of start-ups and existing small businesses, but also a testing ground to explore better ways of working together.” 1

I believe CoMotion will succeed as they have a prime downtown location, super fast internet, natural lighting, great food and culture nearby, and a beautiful, retrofitted building space.  I strongly recommend anyone looking for a great working space in Hamilton to visit CoMotion for a tour.

115 King Street E. – Google hasn’t recorded the new signs yet!

On Thursday I attended the launch party for another new downtown space, the FORGE, located at (address) on James St. South.  The FORGE is a local “accelerator” for startup companies.  I’ve had the good fortune to advise a few Forge startup teams including Start the Cycle and Thrive Games.  Similar to CoMotion, The Forge creates a space where hard working people can build new companies and opportunities together.

245 James St. North

Revitalizing Hamilton’s formerly vacant, dusty downtown spaces benefits the city as a whole.  When I arrived in Hamilton about a decade ago there wasn’t a “startup ecosystem” or anything resembling the sort of collective creative vibrancy that is so active in the city today. That’s changed.

Thanks to the hard work of forward-thinking people at the Innovation Factory, Hamilton Economic Development, OCE, Software Hamilton, McMaster University (and many more parties not named here), new startups have an ecosystem of experience, networks, and resources they can tap into.  It’s working – we’re now seeing a dream of a better Hamilton with new, good jobs being realized in practice.2

This weekend, the city sees the music / food truck / culture fair SuperCrawl return and on Monday, McMaster’s Spectrum student startup program launches their new season. Later this month, Lion’s Lair returns.

In short it’s a good time to be in Hamilton.

1. Interview on CoMotion at Software Hamilton.

2. I also like to believe that my company, Weever Apps, as an early successful startup, has played a key part in the new wave of Hamilton business development–“it can happen here”.