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York Link Tech: ventureLAB Talking Growth in Tech at Collision

In our latest #YRtech series interview we're catching up with Melissa Chee, President & CEO of the Regional Innovation Centre, ventureLAB, to ask a few questions about their presence at Collision and more!

ventureLAB Made in York Region Event

This is the first year that Collision, North America’s fastest growing tech conference, is being held in Toronto, Canada. The 3-day event is expected to attract over 25,000 people. The York Link team is excited to bring the #YRtech Experience Pavilion to #CollisionConf 2019 in Toronto!

Eight companies and four major innovation partners, plus a few innovation startups from across the Region will be showcasing their technology and even recruiting tech talent along the way. York Region has a thriving tech community with over 4,300 tech companies, the second largest tech cluster in the Toronto area and Canada.

Melissa Chee, President & CEO, ventureLAB
Melissa Chee, President & CEO, ventureLAB

In our latest #YRtech series interview we’re catching up with Melissa Chee, President & CEO of the Regional Innovation Centre, ventureLAB, to ask a few questions about their presence at Collision and the startups joining them, what they are looking to accomplish at the conference, plus what it’s like to participate in York Region’s largest collaboration of tech companies and innovation partners.


Can you talk a little about how ventureLAB supports the local tech start-up community in York Region? And the type of start-ups and technology you see coming through your programs?

ventureLAB has supported over 2,000 tech entrepreneurs since 2011 in ICT, health tech, advanced manufacturing and fintech. Through our unique programming focused on capital, talent, tech, and customers, ventureLAB helps high growth tech companies scale to become globally competitive tech titans, including over 100 companies that have raised more than $104 million of investment.

ventureLAB is located in York Region, specifically Markham, Canada’s most diverse city. We operate a 50,000 square foot innovation hub that is home to over 45 tech companies and innovation partners that are building transformative technologies and collaborating to drive innovation locally, nationally, and globally.

Each year, we serve over 400 tech companies through programs who leverage and are developing hardware and software technologies that can be applied to many industries and sectors including AI, fintech, and medtech. The demand each year keeps growing; the reason we see so many great companies is our unique expertise and connected innovation ecosystem here in York Region. ventureLAB is in Canada’s densest tech community – that means the companies we support are able to connect with a close-knit community of innovators and industry experts to help their businesses grow and scale.

Interactive Tech Demo at ventureLABThis is the first year that Collision Conference – North America’s fastest growing tech conference – is being held in Toronto, Canada. What are ventureLAB’s main objectives for participating at Collision? Who do you hope to connect with and why?

We are excited that Collision Conference is coming to Canada! We have a thriving tech community that includes the Greater Toronto Area, and we’re happy that some programming will extend to areas outside of Toronto following the conference.

We really want to take it all in this first year. We’re a part of York Region’s #YRtech Experience Pavilion, with a couple of ventureLAB-supported companies joining us. We’re looking forward to meeting new tech companies and potential partners, and our Venture Growth team will be on hand to meet one-on-one with companies that are interested in learning more about us and the services we offer. Ultimately, we’re most excited that we can extend the opportunity to participate at Collision to some of the companies we support.

ventureLAB is bringing a number of exciting startup clients to Collision to help them showcase their technologies. Can you talk about some of your start-up clients participating at Collision and how you are helping them at the conference?

ventureLAB will have presence in two areas of the conference: in the #YRTech Experience Pavilion and a Startup Island in collaboration with Innovation York.

In the #YRtech Experience Pavilion we have two companies joining us: ForaHealthyMe and Intelense. We’re also collaborating with Innovation York on a Startup Island in the conference’s BETA section. We’re excited that we could provide this opportunity to four ventureLAB clients: Taku Labs, Marion Surgical, HEXA, and Cogneeto (peerScholar).

This is a decorative photoventureLAB is one of 15 selected partners within York Region’s #YRtech Experience Pavilion. Why is collective collaboration like this important in supporting the tech local community?

ventureLAB is grateful to be part of such a collaborative, engaged tech community. Collaboration like this is so important because a company’s success isn’t created or based on advice or guidance of one person or organization. ventureLAB collaborates with many partners, innovators and organizations in order to help the companies we support succeed.

Our own bold vision is to establish our region as a destination of choice where globally competitive tech titans build-to-scale in Canada. We will continue to champion the collaboration of homegrown success stories and multinational organizations.

For more information about the #YRtech Experience Pavilion: www.yorklink.ca/collision

For tickets to Collision Conference and full details: www.collisionconf.com