At The Pivotal Point, we believe incubators are living, growing things. Not simply a room designated for free thinking or a Petri dish observed from the outside – to us, an incubator is a truly innovative space, built and nurtured with support, collaboration and community.
In fact, community is key. Set up effectively, incubators become a community – a place where entrepreneurs work side by side and also work together to collaborate, exchange ideas and support each other. The role of the incubator is not only to encourage this interaction and collaboration, but to enhance it by reaching out to other incubators and organizations to create an expanded, holistic community focussed on supporting innovation and entrepreneurial endeavours.
Support can come in many forms – financial knowledge, access to funding, connections to potential customers – yet at the most fundamental level, support means that for every request or idea put forward by an entrepreneur, the response is ‘yes’ – regardless of whether the answer is evident or the solution has yet to be discovered.
Built with solid supports and grown on belief, incubators can do more than nurture entrepreneurial thinking and foster innovation. They can create social impact, strengthen community, drive the economy and forge the future. And it starts with ‘yes’.
There isn’t an organization that wouldn’t benefit from new thinking. Big business and government, certainly. But also wherever fresh ideas have a chance to come to light.
Even at the earliest stage – namely, our grade schools – there is an opportunity to encourage young minds to think independently, to work collectively, and make impactful change within their school, in the playground or in the larger community.
At universities and colleges, the same applies. No longer simply an adjunct to education, incubators are becoming a vital component of the curriculum, offering students an outlet for putting their new knowledge into practice, and giving them the opportunity to graduate not only with a diploma but a saleable product or their own business.
The concept is equally applicable to the corporate world, where new ideas drive business, and where creating safe environments for experimentation and testing – free from fear of failure and, instead, founded on freedom of exploration – lead to inventive approaches and insights.
There isn’t a name or place on the map that couldn’t benefit from eliciting new ideas, encouraging entrepreneurial thinking or establishing an incubator – this includes towns and cities looking to bring revitalization to their regions. And the benefits are far-reaching. Beyond the benefits for the individual or the entrepreneur, the brand or the organization, ultimately the outcome benefits the entire community – right in our own backyards and around the world.
In a digital world, innovation has become our most-valued commodity.
The Pivotal Point was inspired by this new reality – and the realization that the type of environment created at the DMZ at Ryerson University is needed everywhere.
Whether it’s called an incubator, innovation centre or a community centre, our schools, cities and businesses have the opportunity to become places that support entrepreneurial thinking by building spaces that encourage collision, collaboration, experimentation and inventiveness.
Together, we need to foster innovation and provide digital and financial literacy to all – young, old, and everyone in between. Communities enable this, and that’s the reason The Pivotal Point was established – to develop and support communities or incubators with people who share the same values and goals and can envision the possibilities.
The change-making movement is on. Work with us. We need more of it. Now.