STELLARTON — Ignite Labs’ Pictou County rural innovation hub is starting to hum.
Two businesses are already operating at its location upstairs at the Dr. John Hamm Trades and Innovation Centre at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Pictou campus.
The space provides low-cost office space and internet, equipment, meeting spaces and professional services to reduce the financial burden new companies often face.
Tenants can access expertise in technology, finance, governance, commercialization, marketing and law. They will benefit from working alongside like-minded creative people, sharing concepts, ideas and experiences.
“Ignite provides mentorship and programming to grow new and existing businesses and creates a community that fosters innovation,” Ignite northern regional manager Sebastian Green said. “Pictou County presents countless opportunities to bring people together to support entrepreneurs and new businesses.”
The hub is the second in Nova Scotia and it featured a grand opening on Oct. 9. The first hub in Yarmouth has operated for about 18 months and has established partnerships with 15 businesses.
“It’s been very successful in Yarmouth,” Green said. “We have two tenant companies here.”
Those two are Green Oil, which makes canisters to filter oil out of water, and Tightline Anchors, whose special anchors are mounted on a sophisticated kayak equipped for game fishing.
Green is working with program co-ordinator Tristin Mabey at the new lab. While Mabey is from Westville, Green recently moved to New Glasgow from Enfield.
“I have family in the area, so it’s kind of like moving home,” he said.
Mabey has been working at the hub for about a month. She graduated from studies at the Pictou campus in June and interned for a time last summer in the Netherlands.
Two events were scheduled over the past week. Mabey conducted a women-in-business roundtable last Thursday to explore the challenges and opportunities for women in business. A website workshop on Monday offered a chance to create a Squarespace website.