I just read that there is an incubator in Colorado focused on start-ups developing products and services for the emerging cannabis industry. This makes sense given Colorado’s laws related to the industry. It is a strategic advantage that most other states do not have.
I have written about this before but I think we need to evolve our thinking about start-up incubators/accelerators to reflect this trend towards specialization. There are incubators supporting green technologies, social media, the industrial Internet, food, and many others. In most of these cases a targeted value proposition is developed to attract high growth potential entrepreneurs not only from the local area but from across the country and beyond.
Imagine a smart grid incubator in New Brunswick that was attracting entrepreneurs from across North America to test their smart grid ideas here? That would be a smart way to leverage the NB Power/Siemens partnership for greater economic value for the province.
In truth we could look at other regional advantages – how about wood-related startups? Or fish? Or social media? Or contact centres? We have the highest concentration of contact centre workers in North America and very few technology-based start-ups (if any currently) developing products/services to fill niche spaces in that market.
Ultimately my concern is simple. If you have all this incubation and support infrastructure around the province but a limited pipeline of HGPEs we won’t realize the potential.