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This article was published 22/10/2018 (1353 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
North Forge Technology Exchange has received the Startup Canada Community of the Year Award from Startup Canada, Canada’s entrepreneurship organization.
Jeff Ryzner, president of North Forge, said, "It is amazing to be nationally acknowledged for the work we do. There are more than 50 communities who are doing incredible things so it is a very competitive award. It was a big one for us."
North Forge calls itself an innovation-based economic development agency that offers a broad range of support services for entrepreneurs to help navigate their way into the market including a deep roster of award winning mentors and all sorts of subject matter assistance. It also has Canada’s largest non-profit fabrication lab that is open to anyone with just a small membership fee.
Startup Canada named 16 outstanding entrepreneurs, businesses and support organizations from across Canada as winners of the fifth annual national Startup Canada Awards. The national winners were announced at a ceremony in Ottawa.
Victoria Lennox, co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada, said North Forge is model they are holding up to the rest of of the country as an organization they should aspire to become.
"We particularly like their focus this year of increasing their inclusivity," Lennox said. "They have a new program for Indigenous entrepreneurs and they are trying to create a much more inclusive startup community. They have found a beautiful sweet spot of actually building a sustainable startup community that includes everyone."
Its 27,500 square foot fabrication lab has more than $2 million worth of equipment and has had helped create more than 7,500 prototypes. Overall, North Forge has worked with more than 200 companies which have raised more than $200 million.
Ryzner said the organization has been fortunate to have very engaged sponsors and partners from government and the private sector.
In addition to its Indigenous entrepreneur program, North Forge has also recently opened a satellite operation in Morden to go along with one that already existed in Pinawa.
It has also been doing more and more work in Northern Manitoba. Next week Ryzner is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Infusion Entrepreneurship Conference in Flin Flon.