Over the last 30 days, we have seen entrepreneurs pivot, grow, struggle, innovate and pause.
We have spent time educating ourselves minute by minute, day by day, investing in communication, leveraging our team and our network across Ontario, Canada and North America, creating connections for clients and most importantly, doing our best to keep things business-as-virtual.
Although our small and mighty team (team of 4.5) is working from home to help flatten the curve – we are still committed to supporting tech entrepreneurs as they build, pivot, sustain and grow tech and tech-enabled products & companies in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.
With that, we wanted to take a moment to provide our stakeholders, partners and clients an updates on the status of our operations, activities and impact.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding. Stay safe.
We Are Listening
To ensure regional tech entrepreneurs and companies challenges and concerns are being heard, our team has:
- Established a “Keeping Clients Close Protocol”. This protocol helps to ensure clients deemed high risk of economic fallout receive concierge treatment throughout this unprecedented crisis. This protocol standardizes outreach efforts and ensures adequate and appropriate data tracking occurs to ensure we continue to provide best-in-class venture services in accordance with our organizational strategic plan.
- Established a weekly Tech CEO/Leadership update call which has included special guests such as MP, Irek Kusmierczyk.
We Are Advocating
To ensure our regional tech entrepreneurs and companies challenges and concerns are being heard by government, our team has:
- Joined forces with more than 230 CEOs of leading tech enterprises and innovation hubs to issue an open letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Finance Rod Phillips and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli on how the province can strengthen Ontario’s tech sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
- Joined forces with the 28 leading innovation hubs across the country supporting more than 5,600 technology firms, to issue an open letter to the Federal Government to how we can help save Canada’s startup ecosystem .
- Joined weekly calls with representatives from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to discuss impacts of the COVID-19 disruption on stakeholders and companies.
We Are Supporting
To ensure we continue to provide best-in-class venture services to our regional tech entrepreneurs and companies, our team has:
- Continued to provide meaningful support to our startups, scale-ups, and enterprise companies, by way of phone, email, and video conferencing. Since March 16th, our team has held over 80 virtual client meetings, provided over $110,000 in client tech perks, engaged over 24 members of our Venture Service Team and has seen 8 new clients comes through our virtual doors.
- Aggregated a list of regional, national and federal tech and entrepreneurial events and workshops from coast to coast.
- Organized an AMA session to address the unique questions that our clients and tech startup community may have.
- Organized a Tech Connect Minecraft Creative Build Tournament in partnership with EZY Mode to ensure the tech community stays connected.
We Are Championing
To ensure the regional stories of giveback, impact, innovation and resilience get shared, our team has and will continue to:
- Share and write stories on social media, web & email communications
- Aggregate stories in our “Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent tech Companies Steps Up to Combat COVID-19” blog post
- Working closely with regional media outlets including CBC Windsor, Windsor Star, CTV Windsor and Biz X Magazine and local radio stations.
We Are Informing
To ensure our regional tech entrepreneurs and companies, tech talent and tech community are kept up to date with the latest government supports, events, and opportunities, our team has:
- Created a monthly Tech Connect email communication to share support, opportunities, and insight for tech entrepreneurs, tech talent and tech community throughout COVID-19
- Continued to deliver client targeted and tangible bi-weekly “3 Ways to Sustain / Grow Your Business” client emails
- Regular monthly Tech It Out Newsletter
- Around the clock updates and news via WEtech Alliance’s social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram)
We Are Collaborating
To ensure we maximize our efforts and leverage our regional, provincial and national tech and innovation networks, our team has:
- Partnered with the Ontario Centres of Excellence on their new collaboration tool
- Partnered with other Regional Innovation Centre’s such as TechAlliance, RIC Centre and Innovate Niagara on virtual programs/webinars/events including the E2E COVID-19 Survival Toolkit – A Free Online Speaker Series.
- Partnered with the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce on a Suddenly Remote virtual webinar
- Partnered with University of Windsor’s EPICentre on the launch of the EPIC Nimble Program, a program to help small businesses struggling amid COVID 19 pandemic
- Partnered with Communitech to host a AMA session with Fiona King to share her experience helping companies in Kitchener-Waterloo write up Health Canada applications. Here’s a link to resources for MDEL and device licenses.
- Partnered with University of Windsor’s Myra Tawfik to support a research study to help entrepreneurs / startups get through this pandemic & look at capacity-building in IP & business law resilience.
- Joined membership in the WindsorEssex Economic COVID-19 Taskforce that has created a landing page as well as Business Impact Survey. Also, meeting minutes and updates are added here.
- Joined Chatham-Kent’s Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force calls
- Maintained participation in regular calls with Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) CEOs and other Canadian Groups such as Canadian Council of Innovator and Canadian Digital Media Network.
We Are Giving Back
To ensure our regional essential workers are protected, our team has:
- Partnered with EPICentre and Windsor-Essex FIRST along with 3D printing companies Kelcom 3D Division and Pep Corp. to donate 500 face shields to essential workers.
- Committed to supporting local small businesses in every way we can. Here’s just a glimpse:
- Yvonne: Takeout/Delivery (Oven 360 and Wineology), Online Wine Orders (Pelee Island) and Contactless Delivery of Flowers (ColourPopFlorals)
- John-Marc: Weekly Takeout/Delivery using TWEPI’s Food, Craft Beer and Wineries guides
- Adam Frye: Takeout/Delivery (Erie Shores, Crew, and Kingsville Brewery), essential shopping at Shinkles butcher in Essex, and donations to Schlegal Villages.
- Adam Castle: Delivery of fresh produce (North Ridge Greens, Cheese Bar, Anchor Coffee and Mushroom Hub)
- Michelle: Online Takeout/Delivery and picked up 80 3D printed ear savers from Ag-Tronic Control Systems for Hotel Dieu nurses.