Canadian Tire Corp (Canada Network)

BIA seeking $600,000 from Ottawa

The BIA’s own offices, now at 474 Ouellette Ave. (across the street from Maiden Lane) would also move to the incubator.

The purpose of an incubator is to help businesses wishing to get established – in this case site-specifically downtown.

Edward said an incubator is needed because most businesses fail within six months because they have “deficiencies” in one area or another.

“They just don’t know which parts they really need in order to get going,” Edwards said.

He said a team of experts, all from existing downtown businesses, would be brought in as mentors.

These could be lawyers, marketing specialists or accountants.

The start-up business would rent space in the open concept incubator – say, at $300 a month - and have access to these experts.

A lawyer might explain whether a business should be incorporated or not.

Why the monthly fee?

“You have to commit because otherwise you could just go for a free ride and your business is going to fail,” Edwards said. The $600,000 would pay for getting the office into shape.

“We have to get the space ready, we have to set it all up,” he said.

This includes buying office equipment, computers, phones, and fax machines.

Edwards said the BIA hopes to graduate 30 – 35 businesses “in our first year.”

He said already “five solid businesses” are in line to sign-up.

One firm is working in Voice Over Internet technology, another is designing apps for the iPhone, and another is in event planning.