City and Sandbox Centre partnership enhances entrepreneurship and innovation in Central Ontario

The City of Barrie has partnered with Sandbox Centre to make regional resources for innovation and entrepreneurship easily accessible to local businesses.

Sandbox Centre, which opened April 8, 2019, is the first private sector-led innovation hub in Ontario. As resources to support business innovation and sustainability expand across the region, Sandbox Centre unites programs and services from partners at the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, Small Business Enterprise Centre, Georgian College Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre, Innovators Alliance, and professional services, under one roof in downtown Barrie.

“The rapid pace of change in business and in technologies means that companies are best positioned to succeed when they can learn and share from each other,” said Karen Dubeau, Director of Creative Economy with the City of Barrie. “Sandbox Centre provides a centralized hub for established businesses, aspiring innovators, and independent entrepreneurs to share expertise, energy and opportunities.”

While Regional Innovation Centres across Ontario accelerate the launch and growth of early-stage startups, Sandbox Centre harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit to help existing companies innovate and grow by tapping into emerging technologies and best practices. It also uniquely supports startups and growing companies by linking them to experienced businesses and established professionals to share insights and expertise.

Since its inception in 2016, the non-profit organization has established a local Board of Directors and industry-leading Advisory Committee, along with an extensive network of Sponsors, Partners, and Members. Over 700 participants have engaged in Sandbox Centre programming so far, and new program partnerships will be announced this spring.

To learn more, visit and join the Sandbox community on Facebook, LinkedInand Instagram.

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