Support Our World Class Innovation and Entrepreneurship
As we look to the future, I see so much potential for how we can put Kingston on the map internationally by seizing global opportunities. One of the ways we can do this is by supporting the world-class innovation and entrepreneurship we have here in our city.
As an example, this week I had the chance to drop by an annual entrepreneurship boot camp hosted by Queen’s (which is formally known as the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative or QICSI). This is an amazing program where teams of young entrepreneurs from both Queen’s and the broader Kingston community work to develop leading edge ideas and get new businesses off the ground.
Last year, one team in the QICSI program, called Spectra Plasmonics, won a global innovation competition against hundreds of other start-ups from around the world. Now that’s what you call world-class!
Moving from room to room and talking to the different teams, it was impossible not to feel their creative energy, excitement, and ambition. These teams are working on everything from a low cost incubation system for premature babies born in developing countries, to a new environmentally friendly chemical compound for cleaning products, to a new program that can teach anyone the basics of computer programming. Even more exciting was to hear how many of these teams wanted to grow their businesses right here in Kingston.
I saw this same energy and excitement earlier this year when we launched the very first Mayor’s Innovation Challenge. This is a competition where post-secondary students in Kingston worked to come up with creative solutions to problems that we are currently facing as a city. By building on initiatives like the QICSI program and the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge, we can become a launching pad for new ideas, new businesses and new technologies. Innovations that are successful here in Kingston can then spread to other communities across the country and around the world.
I believe that, in the 21st century, you don’t need to be the size of Shanghai, New York, or London to have a global impact. That's why supporting the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem locally is so important - for growing our city, creating jobs, and making lives better for people in Kingston, in Ontario, and around the world.