Our Story

Innovate Kingston was founded in 2015 by seven local entrepreneurs with the goal of developing Kingston into Canada’s next great innovation hub.

Kingston has all of the necessary ingredients to attract and retain the talent needed to scale companies:

  • Three world-renowned post-secondary education institutions
  • An ecosystem of technology-based businesses
  • A vibrant arts and culture community
  • A rich history as Canada’s first capital city
  • An affordable lifestyle in close proximity to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal

Our five-year mission is to create the thriving innovation ecosystem that will spawn $100 million revenue businesses. Innovate Kingston’s role in this is three-fold.

Our 3 Pillars

  1. Champion: To maximize the development of a world-class innovation community that attracts the attention of the world’s best talent to live and work in Kingston.
  1. Connect: To build strong relationships between individuals, businesses and institutions not just within our city, but across the province, country and world-wide.
  1. Inspire: To create and manage programs and events that attract the best in the world to our city. To engage our region’s youth in entrepreneurial programs designed at fostering future employees and leaders needed to achieve our collective mission.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are comprised of 35 members - local business and community leaders - who support Innovate Kingston financially each month. We operate with four staff members, volunteer board of directors, and network of like-minded partners and volunteers who move quickly toward common goals.

Since our founding, we have housed a dozen companies on our coworking space, run more than ten local networking and team-building events, supported the development of an innovative youth program, and in May 2017 hosted the first annual The Breakout Project.

Our Core Values

We have built and continue to run Innovate Kingston against six core values. These values make up our DNA, shape our behaviours, guide our decisions and our relationships. They're the driving force that allow us to achieve greatness together.

1. Think EPIC!

We don’t do “good enough”. We don’t do “good, for Kingston”. We only do “EPIC”. We aim to impress not just ourselves, not just Kingston, but the world.

2. Bring Joy

We are positive people making positive change. We don’t “nay say” Kingston, and we don’t let hiccups slow us down. We bring energy and excitement to every interaction.

3. We Are One

We thrive on communication. We update each other and we remain informed at all times. We may not always agree, but we believe in the power of a unified team and always act as one.

4. Preach It

We are proud. We believe in our cause. As such, we take every opportunity to tell the world about ourselves. At community meetings, on the road, in the press, and with our friends, we know it’s our job to inform.

5. Whatever It Takes

Everything we take on we finish. We don’t just get it done, we get it done with with vigour, a perfectionist mentality, and world-class results.

6. Pay It Forward

It is our responsibility to build the foundation that will allow the Kingston business community to thrive on a world stage. We believe in paying forward, not taking back.

More About iK

Learn more about our people, our work, upcoming events, and how to connect with us and others.