IDEA Innovation Hub in Mississauga’s Square One helps entrepreneurs and startups grow their business

Published June 26, 2023 at 8:00 am

IDEA Innovation Hub in Mississauga’s Square One helps entrepreneurs and startups grow their business

Businesses and entrepreneurs of all kinds who want to fast track their development could find the help they’re looking for with IDEA Innovation Hub, located inside Mississauga’s Square One Shopping Centre.

As part of the city’s Economic Development Office, the IDEA Team provides information and services to help businesses grow in Mississauga and beyond – whether they’re starting, expanding, consolidating or relocating. The IDEA Team now has a new home at Square One, called the IDEA Innovation Hub.

Their services include a wide number of training and networking events, webinars and workshops (available both in-person and virtually), planning tools, and business directories, along with other handy resources.

For the IDEA Team, innovation is the name of the game, and the program has already helped a number of local companies innovate and expand their operations. That includes companies such as Anatomiz3D, Swift Racks, and many others.

Anatomiz3D Healthcare Limited is a Canadian company that provides patient-specific custom 3D printed anatomical models, cutting and drilling guides and custom implants, and advanced medical education and training models.

When and how did your company start out?

Anatomiz3D started its operations in Canada in April 2022. While we are a Canadian startup based out of the GTA, the founders have a rich history, experience, and expertise in applying 3D printing technology and the 3D printing processes. Over the years, in India, the company gained expertise in patient-specific 3D modelling and 3D printing of anatomical models, cutting and drilling guides and custom implants, as we catered to over 3,000 patients and 400 medical groups, which helped save over 21,000 healthcare hours.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far in the medical and educational field? The biggest successes?

Our biggest challenge has been quicker adoption of the technology so far. There are enormous benefits to all involved – the medical teams, the patients and the hospitals. Though we executed a lot of cases with individual surgeons, it took us over four years to establish our first point of care (POC) lab in a hospital. We consider that as one of our biggest success milestones. Post that, we have established multiple POC labs.

How did you hear about and decide to work with the IDEA Team?

I was introduced to the IDEA Team last year, when I learned about the excellent growth and networking opportunities through the IDEA Step-Up Program. It was clear to us that such a program would be highly beneficial to learn more about the ecosystem and would help our company lay a strong foundation. We applied for the program and were fortunate to be selected through a competitive process, along with a few more excellent companies.

How would you say IDEA has helped your company grow?

IDEA Team conducted an extensive six-month program on various topics every week related to company structure, hiring, IP, investments, etc. During such sessions, we got a chance to speak one-on-one with established mentors and discuss these topics in depth. We received a tailored approach which helped us shape our company with respect to our specific needs. They also have a vast network of individuals who have helped us in this journey so far.

What’s next for Anatomiz3D?

The next step for Anatomiz3D is to scale its products and services across Canada, work on research and development of some new products in the pipeline, as well as raise capital.

Anything else you’d like to share about your journey so far?

As an immigrant to a new country which has a completely different healthcare ecosystem than the one I have worked in, it has been an interesting journey for me so far, with all its challenges and excitement. I am really looking forward to exploring this market and working towards better patient care.

On the digital innovation side of things is a company called Swift Racks. Collaborating with teams to build innovative digital solutions since 2017, the company’s unique experience has led to the creation of the Swift Stack service, an effective process to develop technology businesses that scale.

Swift Stack as a service was born to address the common pitfalls of inspired innovators looking to build solutions without testing and validating ideas.

When and how did your company start? 

In 2017, at the age of 21, I dropped out of university and ventured into what I knew – freelancing in web development. This led to the beginning of Swift Racks, a web development company providing bespoke managed web services to SMEs, startups, and non-profits. Over the years, we’ve honed our skills through interactions with a diverse clientele, sharpening our acumen in building teams, handling sales, managing technical projects, and ensuring speedy and effective delivery of services.

What have been your biggest challenges and successes in the tech and innovation field? 

Our journey to innovation as a small business has been characterized by incremental steps. For the first four to five years, we primarily focused on traditional software development. However, shifting to an innovation-centred approach, and more so monetizing it, required substantial experimentation and rapid learning.

Establishing the infrastructure and processes to spur innovation was not only costly but also demanded a great deal of time and learning. Despite these hurdles, we understood the necessity of our presence in the world to drive innovation. One of the inherent struggles with innovation is the requirement of substantial funding, which allows room for occasional failures and suboptimal effectiveness in the pursuit of the ultimate goal – effectiveness.

How did you hear about and decide to work with IDEA? 

Through friends who had enrolled in the Starter Company Plus program in other cities, I got wind of what IDEA has to offer. Eager to expand my knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship, I thought it would serve as a beneficial starting point – and indeed, it did.

How has IDEA contributed to your company’s growth? 

As a budding entrepreneur, my early interactions with IDEA proved instrumental in shaping my business trajectory. The program offered insightful lessons on entrepreneurship, business development, and the importance of a resilient mindset. Above all, the mentors at IDEA were a constant source of guidance and encouragement. Their belief in our mission inspired me, boosting my confidence and reinforcing my commitment to my goals. The sense of self-assuredness and determination that I gained from my time at IDEA is something I deeply appreciate.

What’s next for Swift Racks? 

Swift Racks is geared towards fostering partnerships with innovative teams, spearheading innovative transformations, and achieving these goals at a grand scale. Defining this scale is currently our exciting field of experimentation.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your journey?

The most rewarding aspect of this journey is the team that you build and the relationships you form, which collectively propel success. Innovation is largely a cross-functional collaborative endeavour. Without a team that you enjoy working with and share a vision for the future, I can’t envision the journey being nearly as enjoyable.

Other companies that IDEA Team has helped include pharmaceutical company HDAX Therapeutics, reward app Rewardly, and e-scooter rental company Scooty.

Centrally located inside Mississauga’s Square One Shopping Centre, the 4,300 square-foot facility is ideal for startups, scale-ups, corporate leaders, and investors to collaborate and grow together – and that could include your business as well!

What’s next for IDEA? Look out for their booth at Collision 2023, the major tech conference happening from June 26-29, where they’ll share their knowledge on how new companies can make it in the tech industry.

For more information on everything IDEA Mississauga offers, visit their website and follow their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for the latest updates.

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