Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support

Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support

This article first appeared on bedc.ca

Burlington, ON, February 5, 2020 – Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support 

TechPlace has earned international recognition from Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Magazine, a product of the Financial Times that is popular among investment promotion and economic development professionals. 

TechPlace is 100% led by Burlington Economic Development and is at the heart of their innovation and entrepreneurship strategy. Launched in 2017, TechPlace is a popular destination for new and growing technology companies in the region. The 8,600 square foot innovation centre offers access to space, programming, mentorship, and networking opportunities.  

TechPlace is anchored by two co-location partners: Haltech, Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre, and Angel One Investor NetworkTechPlace also operates its LaunchPad Program which supports companies gearing up for growth. Residents that are accepted into the program are provided with unlimited access to the space, as well as have their own exclusive office space where they can focus on growing their team, connecting into a community of like-minded peers and mentors, and have opportunities to network with angel investors and community leaders. In only two and a half years, the LaunchPad Program has supported nineteen companies; twelve have graduated and seven are currently in residence. Run parallel to the TechPlace LaunchPad Program is Burlington Economic Development’s Soft-Landing Program, which provides companies with all the benefits of the LaunchPad Program as well as additional support to expand their business into Canada. So far, TechPlace has welcomed companies from Finland and Honduras, and are expecting several more to land in 2020.   

Anita Cassidy, Executive Director at Burlington Economic Development, is thrilled to receive this award. “TechPlace has grown tremendously since its launch in June 2017, and the number of startups we support continues to increase. We are proud to say that TechPlace has welcomed more than 14,000 innovators through our doors and have had more than 290 events held in the space. We will continue to collaborate with our partners and think outside the box to deliver premium space and programming options to new and growing technology companies. Our Soft-Landing Program will be a focus for us in 2020 and we look forward to helping more companies expand into Canada and grow their business.” She continued, “we would like to sincerely thank fDi Magazine for this recognition and would like to also recognize the support of Haltech and Angel One, since TechPlace would not be where it is today without their commitment to supporting technology and innovation in our community.”  

About Burlington Economic Development    

Burlington Economic Development has a mandate to enhance the growth prospects of existing companies and bring new high-value firms to the community. Burlington Economic Development’s focus is on growing the economic base to sustain Burlington’s competitive and prosperous community. Burlington Economic Development is the first point of contact for companies looking to expand, start-up or locate in Burlington. 

About TechPlace      

TechPlace is a one-stop destination for new and growing technology companies. With the support of partners from across the public and private sectors, it is dedicated to connecting, developing, and advancing entrepreneurs at all stages. This means providing access to space, programming, mentorship, networking, and resources that are fundamental to growing a business in today’s technology-driven marketplace.  Led by Burlington Economic Development, TechPlace exists to help technology, talent and ideas come together under one roof to create and promote opportunities for economic growth.   


Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support

Burlington Economic Development Announces New Executive Director

City of Burlington Media Release – January 7, 2020

Burlington Economic Development is pleased to announce the appointment of Anita Cassidy as Executive Director effective January 1, 2020. Anita has been in the role of Acting Executive Director since May 2018 when former Executive Director Frank McKeown retired. Anita has over 15 years of experience in Economic Development delivering results-oriented strategies and programs that drive economic growth. She first joined Burlington Economic Development in 2011 and has since led a number of important projects.  

“Since being appointed Chair of Burlington Economic Development I have had a close working relationship with Anita,” said Randy Smallbone, Board Chair of Burlington Economic Development. “I was pleased to be able to recommend to the Board that Anita be given the role of Executive Director. She has proven herself over the last 18 months, in a period of change for the City of Burlington,” Smallbone concluded. 

Anita brings a diverse background that includes fundraising, research and stakeholder management, program and project management, strategic planning, non-profit leadership, and finance administration. Anita is multi-lingual, speaking both Italian and French, and has lived and worked in six countries including Scotland, England, Italy, Belgium, USA, and Canada. Anita also holds an MSc in Economic Development from the University of Glasgow.  

Since becoming Acting Executive Director, Anita has led Burlington Economic Development to a number of recent successes including the implementation of several of the recommendations resulting from the Mayor’s Red Tape Red Carpet taskforce. She also continues to collaborate with the City of Burlington on the development of a proposed Municipal Development Corporation, which will be under consideration by City Council in 2020. Anita oversaw the continued growth of TechPlace, which is going into its third year of operations this year. It was also under Anita’s leadership that Burlington Economic Development led a successful pitch to Endress + Hauser to build a new 47,000 square foot state-of-the-art customer experience centre in Burlington. The company officially broke ground on the site in August 2019.  

In 2020, Burlington Economic Development will undergo a review of its governance structure to determine how to best deliver on the economic development mandate for the city. Anita is looking forward to participating in this process and sees it as a crucial opportunity to check in on the city’s progress toward achieving the economic goals laid out in the City’s 25-year Strategic Plan.  

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has been on the Burlington Economic Development Board of Directors since Fall 2018. “I’m delighted by the closer bonds between Burlington Economic Development and city staff and council, fostered under Anita’s leadership. She has shown herself to be an enthusiastic and collaborative partner throughout recent initiatives, including the Mayor’s Red Tape Red Carpet task force, taking the lead on implementing several of these.” Mayor Meed Ward continued, “I look forward to continuing to work closely together to deliver on our shared goal of attracting new businesses to Burlington and helping our existing businesses expand.” 

Anita has and will continue to make partnership a top priority at Economic Development, working closely with colleagues at the City, Halton Region, Tourism, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Burlington’s Business Improvement Areas to support economic prosperity in Burlington and across the region.  

Media Contact:
Claire Green 
Manager, Marketing and Attraction 

The Importance of Small Businesses

The Importance of Small Businesses

Chamber Network Highlights Importance of Small Business to Ontario Economy and Communities

Ontario Chamber Network kicks off Small Business Week 2019 Too Big to Ignore Campaign

(Burlington, October 21, 2019) – Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce launched Small Business Too Big to Ignore, a campaign taking place October 21 to 25, 2019 for Small Business Week highlights the important contributions of small businesses to communities across the province.

“Small businesses of 100 or fewer employees are the core of our membership and employ nearly 3 million Ontarians, accounting for over two-thirds of all private sector workers. They are powerful economic drivers in local communities and across the province. That is why for Small Business Week, we’re identifying the challenges small business owners face and celebrating everything they give back to our province,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The OCC’s report, Obstacles and Opportunities: The Importance of Small Business in Ontario, highlights the contributions of small businesses to the provincial economy, while also recognizing, and offering solutions to, the most pressing challenges that small business owners face.

The report identifies the top three obstacles for small businesses in Ontario:

  1. Small businesses need access to talent.
  2. Small businesses need government investment in infrastructure; and
  3. Small businesses are concerned about the rising costs of doing business.

“Small businesses make up 98 per cent of all Ontario businesses and account for 30 per cent of the provincial GDP. They are the backbone – and heart – of our community,” said Carla Y. Nell, President and CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. “This week, we’re proud to engage with small businesses across Burlington to recognize and celebrate the significant role they play in our economy and the broader community. We also want to discuss how we can support them to ensure they are not ignored.”


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Carla Y. Nell
President and CEO
Burlington Chamber of Commerce