Wed, Apr 24, 2019 4:00 PM


Funding is essential to get a business started and keep it growing. But, beyond that, there are three additional key factors that contribute to the progress of any established organization looking to advance on a larger scale:

Learning from industry experts.

Finding the right mentors.

Being part of a powerful, connected network.

Together, these factors provide access to the resources that minimize the cost of running a business venture. Business incubators provide the capital required to get off the ground and accomplish early successes. But what happens after that? Fledgling businesses still need the right support to evolve, expand and perhaps even diversify. A business accelerator is, thus, in many ways, akin to a business school for a new enterprise. It fills the gap between that period of incubation and the expansion and evolution thereafter.

This strategic initiative—funded by the Town of Whitby and the CEO of local tech industry leader 360insights—is the first and only technology accelerator in Durham Region. Its aim: to fill a defined gap in the region’s innovation ecosystem. The vision for 1855 Whitby is to provide support for established high potential tech companies to “accelerate” growth and land within the Region; expanding the Eastern Innovation Corridor, from Pickering to Kingston.

Stephanie Mann, CEO, 1855 Whitby says: “We are a growth-centric organization helping driven tech and innovation entrepreneurs establish deep business roots within the Region and be well-positioned for the global stage. ‘Growth Lives Here’ is not just a catchy tag line—we really believe it! We are passionate about retaining tech talent and building greatness right here, so innovators can have an opportunity to live and run a thriving, profitable company in Whitby.”

In its first year of operation, 1855 Whitby is already seeing a significant footprint (it was established in April 2019). On September 27, a high-profile thought leadership series was launched called, “ 1855 MASTERCLASS .” Presented by Durham Region’s Economic Development & Tourism Division, this best-in-class series features industry leaders with a proven track record of disruption in their areas of expertise. Plus, it outlines defined strategies to achieve and drive growth.

“We believe this will shine a light on the Region as a leader in delivering thought leadership excellence; positioning Durham as the “go to” place to run, do and celebrate business,” explains Stephanie Mann, CEO, 1855 Whitby.

1855 MASTERCLASS will also extend this resource beyond the Region to the broader tech community. The Town of Whitby, Ontario Tech University, and Durham College are also supporting partners of this series.

“We’re excited to be the lead partner for this special initiative, which will inform the business community about trends and innovations to grow their companies while providing avenues for valuable network connections. We look forward to helping more businesses thrive and ultimately plant their flags in Durham Region for the long haul,” adds Simon Gill, Director, Economic Development & Tourism at Durham Region.

For more information, visit  1855whitby.com