CASE STUDY 8: Georgian College—Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre: SMEs On-Track
On Track is an industry scale-up program offered by the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC), located at the Barrie campus of Georgian College. The program was designed to serve the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them build competitive advantage. Doran worked with HBEC to conduct a Best Practices Study of other College’s applied research and entrepreneurship programs and design a delivery model for On Track that would appeal to SMEs and while also serving the goals of HBEC and the College. The program can serve 50 to 60 companies per year enabling Exploration, Applied Research and Commercialization of their innovative ideas to grow revenue and create jobs.
A Best Practices Study was conducted of other Ontario College’s applied research and on-campus entrepreneurship programs. The study examined the applied research delivery models and the types of services offered by entrepreneurship centers. Emphasis was placed on studying how these colleges engaged small and medium-sized enterprises to help them grow.
On Track creates a bridge between HBEC and Georgian’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI). They work closely together to serve entrepreneurs on and off campus through On Track. HBEC is the central hub for entrepreneurs within Georgian's catchment area across Central Ontario and surrounding regions, while CARI is the entry portal for SME's who seek to connect with researchers and on-campus services, such as market studies, prototyping, testing, and access to students in applied research streams.
Jointly HBEC and CARI provide an end-to-end solution for innovative SME's who want to leverage Georgian College's business and innovation services; access students and profs; access prototyping and product testing services; and access market research capabilities/resources.
On Track helps SMEs create jobs, grow revenue, develop and launch new technologies/products. The program is partially funded by the National Research Council-Industrial
Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP); Georgian College; and funds from private companies.