As we move closer to the end of 2017, it is a time to reflect on how much Community Innovation Lab achieved in 2017.
We reimagined an unused wing of Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School. Who would have thought one year ago that we would have had the resources to re-purpose and furnish 6000 sq ft of space? We did it by partnering with Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The result is the Co-iLab Hub for entrepreneurs – a one-of-a-kind space according to Community Hubs Ontario. The Hub opening on November 17 was a landmark day for us at iLab. Bob Camozzi, DCDSB Superintendent of Facilities, said that he has never seen so many politicians from so many jurisdictions attend an event in Durham Region!
We are committed to animating a vibrant and sustainable Hub for entrepreneurs in Durham. In December we confirmed our first co-working partner – watch this space for the announcement and our new partner’s story in January.
Another first in 2017 – we launched The Refinery, an accelerator program for women entrepreneurs. Boot Camps run in January and February, and our first Intensive cohort – women-led businesses positioned for growth – starts Spring 2018. Boot Camp applications are now open – apply online.
Young entrepreneurs are our inspiration at iLab! In 2017 we held three 20-week NEET Youth Incubator sessions, providing in-class skills development, mentorship, and support to the next generation of entrepreneurs. We also held our first youth entrepreneurs’ gala celebration.
I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to making 2017 a huge success! Thank you for believing in our vision and for making the world a better place for entrepreneurs in 2017.
Stay tuned for exciting programs as we settle into the Co-iLab Hub in 2018.
All the best for the holidays,
Pramilla Ramdahani, Founder & CEO, Community Innovation Lab