For Immediate Release | Check Against Delivery
February 10th, 2015
Remarks by Mayor Crombie at the Opening of UTM’s Innovation Cube
The following are remarks by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie during the opening of the I-CUBE (Innovation Cube) at the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM). I-Cube is an accelerator located at UTM that will provide business development services for students and community partners, to pursue entrepreneurial activities.
“I always enjoy coming to the University of Toronto at Mississauga.
“Whenever I am here, there is something new and exciting to be part of.
“Just a few short weeks ago, I joined students, entrepreneurs and private-sector leaders, for the 2015 Young Entrepreneurs Conference.
“The City of Mississauga was proud to sponsor and help make the conference a reality.
“It was a great success and I look forward to seeing the participants build on the ideas, knowledge and results that were both explored and identified.
“As Mayor, I am repeatedly asked: how the City of Mississauga can help people develop their ideas into marketable results.
“Local government does not have the same the powers as senior levels of government.
“We cannot offer tax cuts; tax credits; or sign treaties.
“Like entrepreneurs, we need to think outside the box.
“We need to come up with innovative solutions to build a 21st century economy for our city’s promising future.
“It’s what residents expect. It’s what I demand of myself, as your Mayor.
“So how do we do this? My answer has been clear: we leverage existing assets; strengthen professional networks; invest in human capital; build knowledge infrastructure; and bring people together.
“This is why City Council chose to support the 2015 Young Entrepreneurs Conference.
“This is why I championed – and voted for – the City of Mississauga to invest $10 million dollars toward developing UTM’s new Innovation Complex.
“I proudly stood beside Hazel McCallion last fall to officially open the complex.
“And this is why your local government once again partnered with organizations like the RIC Centre and UTM to develop and launch the I-Cube Accelerator.
“UTM injects over $1.3 billion annually into Peel Region.
“It is a world-class institution – home to accomplished thought leaders – and dedicated, hardworking, and ambitious students.
“UTM is the nucleus for ideas, innovation, and excellence.
“With the launch of today’s Innovation Cube Accelerator, this hub is growing stronger and more dynamic.
“Mississauga’s future success will be tied in part to our ability to innovate and adapt to the knowledge economy.
“Our City must encourage and support innovation in all areas of our economic life.
“Make no mistake. We have accomplished lots in our 41 years.
“Mississauga is home to 63 Fortune 500 companies and almost 60,000 businesses, as well as Toronto Pearson airport.
“We have become a net importer of jobs – yes, more people come to work in Mississauga daily than leave.
“We are strategically located within the Greater Toronto Area as a hub of economic activity; and, our economy is strong with a GDP that now exceeds $40 billion annually.
“This week Council is set to approve to the 2015 Budget. Our commitments to finding savings, showing discipline with taxpayers’ money, and strategically invest to help our city grow, have also ensured Mississauga maintains its Triple-A credit rating.
“What does that mean for everyone here? It means Mississauga enjoys a strong financial reputation.
“It gives entrepreneurs – from across Canada and around the world – the confidence to invest and innovate; develop new ideas and expand service offerings; create important local jobs; and achieve success right here in Mississauga.
“We have a lot to be proud of. But as we begin this new era and new chapter for our City, I know there is more to be done.
“I want to see students graduate from institutions like UTM; use the Innovation Cube as a launching pad to grow their ideas; and their promising careers in Mississauga.
“Earlier I mentioned the role local government can play to break down barriers and strengthen professional networks. I meant it.
“In the coming months I will formally launch the Mayor’s Taskforce on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“This will be a direct line into the mayor’s office for private-sector and academic leaders to shape policy goals; generate economic development opportunities; increase youth employment; and make a positive difference in our community.
“Organizations like Advantage Mississauga; UTM; Sheridan College; the RIC Centre; and the Mississauga Board of Trade will all have a seat at the table.
“And as part of our efforts, my office is collaborating with the RIC Centre to organize and host an angel investor networking event.
“This will bring job creators and investors together to better explore ways to take entrepreneurial success to the next level. Stay tuned for more information.
“Thank you again and I look forward to the unrivalled opportunities that will emerge from Mississauga’s own Innovative Cube Accelerator!”