Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

January 16, 2018

Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre receives Federal and Provincial Funding to Develop Incubator and Makerspace

Corner Brook will soon be home to spaces that will support business diversification and a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Thanks to funding from the Provincial Government departments of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, as well as the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre will develop an incubator and a makerspace in the city. A funding announcement Tuesday was attended by the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources and MHA for Corner Brook, and Gudie Hutchings, MP for Long Range Mountains.

A makerspace is defined as a collaborative, community-based workspace stocked with tools and materials for people to experiment and create new things. Although there are many variations of makerspaces, the key concepts include collaboration, community and creativity. An incubator is a place to nurture, support and expand business start-ups. As with makerspaces, incubators take on many forms and functions depending on the needs of the local entrepreneurial community.

The Provincial Government will contribute approximately $290,000 over two years with ACOA providing almost $875,000 in non-repayable funding towards this project. The total funding amounts to $1,425,320 over the two-year period.

Navigate is a partnership of Grenfell Campus and College of the North Atlantic (CNA) – Corner Brook Campus. This joint initiative has allowed both institutions to gain expertise in assisting the Corner Brook region by providing entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business start-up support, networking opportunities and business related resources. The makerspace will be housed at Grenfell Campus, while CNA’s Corner Brook campus will host the incubator.

The makerspace and the incubator will have two full-time employees and will rely on students to assist in the operation of the two entities – a perfect experiential learning opportunity for students.

“This initiative builds on many actions outlined in The Way Forward to promote innovation and entrepreneurial activity in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through the Business Innovation Agenda, we are supporting the province’s innovation-driven businesses to grow, diversify and commercialize new technologies. The launch of a makerspace and incubator is a key component for network development on the west coast, and will benefit students, faculty, business and the economic community to help create and foster entrepreneurship through technology, innovation, marketing and research.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“Students at both Memorial University of Newfoundland's Grenfell Campus and at College of the North Atlantic, along with entrepreneurs on the west coast, will benefit from the resources, expertise and support of Navigate’s expansion, with the development of a makerspace and a business Incubator. Through partnership and collaboration, students and business startups will be better able to turn their innovative ideas into exciting new business opportunities, supporting our government's efforts through The Way Forward to encourage private sector job creation and economic growth.”
Honourable Al Hawkins
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

“The Government of Canada understands that innovation is about new ideas and approaches that help grow our economy and develop a thriving middle class. This investment supports new initiatives at the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre to foster a culture of innovation and business development in this region.”
Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“We are excited to provide an opportunity for people to develop creativity and ingenuity when it comes to entrepreneurship. We all know there are challenges when it comes to business start-ups, and through this initiative, CNA will provide the space, business skills training and support services for entrepreneurs to nurture their ideas into tangible business models.”
Dr. Bill Radford
President and CEO, College of the North Atlantic

“Makerspaces and incubators are open and accessible places in which people construct knowledge and interact with new ideas. We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments for their investment in this initiative, which will bring awareness and opportunity to potential and existing businesses and promote entrepreneurship and innovation in this area of the province.”
Dr. Jeff Keshen
Vice-President, Grenfell Campus

- 30 -

Learn More

Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre -

Memorial Grenfell Campus -

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL , @TCII_GovNL and @AESL_GovNL

Media contacts
Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725-9655

Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 725-9595

Paul McGrath
Director, Communications

Pamela Gill
Grenfell Campus

Michelle Jesso
College of the North Atlantic

2018 01 16                             2:25 p.m.