- 19 May 2015
- CITY AS HOST
An Interview with Chris Rickett from the City of Toronto Chris Rickett is the Manager for Entrepreneurship Services at the...
How does the city use space to create opportunities for high growth companies?
Physical proximity matters for entrepreneurs and their businesses. There is real value in being close to potential collaborators, customers, advisors, employees and investors.
Businesses are moving from business parks located in the suburban outskirts of cities to centrally located districts, areas where people live, work and connect; in offices, at meet-ups, in coffee shops. These areas of innovation in cities are often spontaneous and self-organising.
However, centrally located, flexible office space frequently comes at a high price and is less suited to the fast-changing requirements of high-growth companies. Public spaces and infrastructure often need investment to support young businesses, and networks can require some curation to reach their full potential.
High-performing cities are seeing the value of integrating the needs of young businesses into their development plans in a way that supports access to flexible office space and connects disparate parts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Support access to co-working spaces
Support incubator and accelerator schemes
Enable access to affordable and flexible office space
Nurture of Innovation Districts
Play the role of matchmaker within the ecosystem
Seven years ago, Paris created an incubator plan to establish 100,000m2 dedicated to innovative companies. Led by entrepreneur Xavier Niel, the private sector has since taken this initiative on, and the space in the 13th arrondissement will host the 1000 Start-ups project.
Buenos Aires has been active in revitalising areas of the city into innovation districts with different themes – the first being technology. This initiative will transform local neighbourhoods, with tax incentives for locating there.
Tel Aviv’s ILVenture is an open platform for start-ups, investors, accelerators and others in the city interested in innovation. It allows users to post jobs, services and programmes, and to search for investors and potential hires.