TechPlace is Burlington Economic Development’s innovation hub that aims to promote entrepreneurship in the Halton Region. At TechPlace’s 5-year anniversary event with more than 100 people in attendance, TechPlace’s 5-year Impact Report was released beside our 2021 Annual Report as well as across our TechPlace and Burlington Economic Development social platforms.
The goal of the 2017-2022 Impact Report is to demonstrate the direct and indirect economic impact TechPlace has on supporting business growth in Burlington and contributing to long-term economic prosperity. It highlights how creating a space in Burlington where start-ups can work and access resources, leads to creation of jobs, distribution of services and stronger access to funding. It highlights how our co-location partners Haltech Regional Innovation Centre and Angel One have been able to benefit by having everything “under one roof” and a central hub for programming and events.
The space has helped us boost Burlington’s reputation as an innovative city. This is well visualized by the impact report and helps us better position Burlington to attract more start-ups and further validate our role in the innovation ecosystem.
The target audience for the TechPlace Impact Report 2017-2022 included current TechPlace members, prospective members and launchpad companies, key community stakeholders across the public and private sectors, and other members of the innovation ecosystem. During the release week, the publication increased website visits by 55%, while on LinkedIn, the content received an 27.99% engagement rate and 17.07% organic click-through. Since the release our LaunchPad program continues to operate at full capacity with 10+ companies.
A challenge we faced was the need to get data from our partners. After all, the success of TechPlace is partly informed by the success of the partners who provide the services and supports to start-ups. We worked closely with Haltech and Angel One, the co-location partners at TechPlace, to break down their data and pull out the pieces that demonstrate the impact TechPlace has had on not only their organizations (both have grown tremendously since being located in the space), but the direct and indirect effects TechPlace has had on the companies they support and invest in.
By promoting the successes of TechPlace through our 5-year Impact Report, other economic development agencies can see the value in focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship. TechPlace was the first of its kind as a government-led innovation centre in Southern Ontario and it has been recognized as a best-in-class example of how economic development agencies can support innovation and entrepreneurship. The Impact Report provides them with real examples on how our business model is successful and can not only attract businesses to their city but also generate revenue and jobs for businesses in the area and serve as a tool for investment attraction.
The TechPlace Impact Report 2017 – 2022 combines multiple unique ways of communicating information in one singular booklet. By adding features like a timeline and using colours to differentiate segments, the report took a creative approach to hold readers’ attention in a highly visual way. Additionally, we made the report more impactful by taking a story telling approach and adding direct quotes from our members. We avoided the use of plastic coiling and covers that are often used in traditional reports to minimize environmental impact. The report is also printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper with 30% recycled content.
The TechPlace Impact Report 2017 – 2022 is worthy of an award because it takes a creative approach on sharing the economic impact a government-led innovation centre can have on the local community. It is the cornerstone of our innovation and entrepreneurship strategy, and a key part of our investment attraction strategy.