The Lindsay Advocate took third place in the Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation (KLCFDC) 2018 Innovation Awards, held at the Lindsay Golf Club.
The Awards were part of the KLCFDC’s Innovation Day event, which featured a presentation on digitization from the Business Development Bank, the twentieth anniversary of the KLCFDC’s annual small business Innovation Awards competition, and an address by Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP and Minster of Labour Laurie Scott.
Paul Reeds, Chair of the KLCFDC’s Board of Directors stated, “The Innovation Awards wrap up a week that is designed to provide information and opportunities for networking, growth and recognition for the small businesses in the City of Kawartha Lakes. We’re very pleased with what has gone on this week and to be able to recognize the efforts of the backbone of our economy, which is small business. This year’s Innovation Award winners are relative newcomers to a business community that has continued to grow and develop and to overcome the challenges faced in becoming successful. We thank all who have participated and wish them well in the future.”
This year’s Innovation Awards brought a new trophy design commemorating the KLCFDC’s 20th year of presenting the Innovation Awards, an increase in the cash awards with the top amount of $1000 going to the Grand Prize winner, and the opportunity to qualify to receive up to $20,000 of interest-free financing through the CFDC’s sister corporation, the Kawartha Lakes Business and Community Development Corporation, the KLBCDC.
Belair Mechatronics took first place, developers of new “predictive machining” software, which uses Big Data to monitor and optimize a CNC machine’s performance. Netmechanics came second, a new cyber security consulting firm focused on protecting small and medium-sized enterprises from cyber threats.
The Advocate, a “multimedia news experience” came third, with its robust news site, glossy monthly magazine, and an active Facebook and Twitter presence.
Dawn Hennessey of the Business Development Bank, the BDC, a long-time supporter of the Innovation Awards and presenting sponsor for 2018, felt that there was great timeliness between their featured presentation on digitization and this year’s award winners.
“When you see software development, cyber security and a robust multimedia platform as being the respective focus of this year’s Innovation Award winners, it reinforces that transforming one’s business by going digital is happening every day. It can increase sales, lower costs and improve overall product quality and security—and the 3 businesses recognized today absolutely reinforce that.”
The last word was left to MPP and Labour Minister Laurie Scott who spoke about the importance of small business and ensuring the economic climate provides them with the ability to reinvest, innovate and grow. “The small business sector is a great job creator. It’s an area of our economy that is essential to Ontario’s growth and prosperity. I want to congratulate all the local small business owners and entrepreneurs who have the courage to innovate and transform for the future,” said Scott. “You are an inspiration to everyone in our community.”
Andrew Wallen, the KLCFDC’s General Manager thanked the minister for her special remarks and then went on to thank the businesses and organizations that supported Small Business Week 2018. He also spoke about the groups who were able to take the time to organize events.
“When you realize that Innovation Day was really 3 events, then overall we had 12 events delivered across 4 different Kawartha Lakes communities. A number of relevant, even concerning topics were addressed, and area businesses were able to learn first-hand how to take on and accomplish many tasks that will serve their respective enterprises well. In the end these will make our local businesses stronger and create an even better small business environment for all of us to enjoy. This is why supporting Small Business Week in Kawartha Lakes is something our board of directors remains committed to doing.”