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A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator office located at 720 Ouellette Avenue to celebrate the official opening and introduce the public to the facilities.
The Accelerator acts an incubator, specifically designed to help accelerate the growth of 40 start-up and emerging businesses. The 7,000 sq. foot building houses twenty-three open concept offices, fourteen offices, three group meeting rooms, three living rooms, a library, kitchen and a copy room.
“This a great investment by the federal government through a community adjustment fund grant of $678,000 to put a place together where brilliant minds can come feed off of each other and create, germinate and grow small businesses into bigger businesses,” said Jeff Watson, Conservative MP- Essex. “This is critical to repopulating the downtown core…we’re really proud partners in this great initiative.”
The non-for profit organization was launched in June by the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association and is governed by a board of directors.
“We are really trying to provide an atmosphere here where entrepreneurs can work off each other. The synergies can take place. Make those personal connections. So they can get to where they need to get to quicker,” said President and Chair of the Downtown Windsor Accelerator Board of Directors, Jeff Flacks.
Accelerator tenants are also entitled to a desk, chair, lamp, iMac, telephone and internet. The accelerator also offers mentoring and coaching by business professionals, entrepreneurship training, marketing/sales and business planning.
“The premise of the accelerator is meant to speed up the process of setting up a business, there are many entrepreneurs in town who may not have the capital to pay for business start-up costs quite yet,” said Flacks. “We’re hoping through this facility and the collaborations that are built here, these business people will be at a point where they will be able to go out and sign these leases sooner than they otherwise would have.”
Tenancy rates, including utilities, are as follows: One person, open office is $375 per month, One person office is $550 per month and a two person office is $750.
“The sense of opportunity, for the collaboration and the ability to share will help us get to the next level,” said new tenant Terry Burton of Dig In Research, a company specializing in corporate and philanthropic naming rights and market valuations. “We all have intent, we all have purpose and drive but we need some help to help facilitate growth and I think this is a good first step.”
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