Introducing myself: Living and promoting convergence

Ontario's innovation team, working for entrepreneurs

Having been an entrepreneur most of my life, my first two start-ups were built in the late 90’s.. As many will remember, at that time, networking your way into  various groups that could help you grow your business or finding access to government programs, angel networks and peer groups was ad-hoc at best.

Today, I am proud to say, we are building a network of convergence — a way to bring these groups closer together.

In the last several years, I am fortunate that my career included a fascinating, broad, people-filled experience at both OCE and MaRs in Toronto. Now I am very pleased to have now been given the opportunity to assume the leadership role as President and CEO of the Innovation Synergy Centre in Markham (ISCM).

Many partners and friends have had a big hand in supporting me and contributing towards my smooth transition from MaRS to the ISCM team in August — and it’s truly fabulous here. Again it’s all about the people. The team.

I am fortunate to inherit an organization with a reputation for consistently delivering great mentoring programs, business network-teaching events and a large community outreach to arguably Canada’s high tech capital.

During the past eight years all the key ISCM team members have remained largely unchanged. It’s clearly been a winner —  ISCM has become a business leader, it has helped so many people. My intention is to continue this excellent tradition. ISCM’s rapid growth has recently necessitated an exciting change. A unified convergence model and a new vision.

On October 28th, ISCM and several York Region partners moved into our offices in the brand new Markham Convergence Centre (MCC). We are all thrilled to have the opportunity, for the first time, to all come together under one roof to serve our growing business community.

If “imitation is the greatest form of flattery” then I happily notice that the new MCC is modeled after several other great facilities in Ontario — all engaged in the innovation space.  And all helping local businesses flourish in a variety of creative ways. The visionary in me sees an improved picture. We can now all work together, through the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE) to bring a unified model to the entrepreneur like never before. (Again, I say all of this from first-hand experience.)

Through better communication among ONE partner organizations we can connect entrepreneurs into an expanding list of services and expert advice in a way I could have only dreamed about years ago. I believe Ontario and its innovation agenda will be far better served as a result.

So, please stop by and say hello, we’re immensely proud of our new digs and eager to show them off! The new Markham Convergence Centre is located at 7271 Warden Avenue, Markham, ON, map here. I look forward to meeting you.

Quite sincerely,
Jeremy Laurin