The Catalysts our City Needs!
As a resident of Brampton since 2015, I’m in love with my City! I love the green spaces, the parks, the libraries, the hundred different options for international grocery, the two hundred different varieties of food from around the world and of course, our fantastic community centers to burn down the calories! The City provides us a high quality of life and infrastructure that allow us to stay focused on finer things. Most of us would agree that Brampton indeed is recognized today as a quality place to live in. But there is one important aspect of the community that it’s residents would truly want the City to address more emphatically, expedited economic development and growth in career opportunities. The City has heard us and they’ve a plan!
The ninth most populous City in Canada, Brampton is a melting pot of cultures, languages, food and now, innovation & entrepreneurship! The City placed second in business friendliness and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy in Ontario and is taking a prominent place as a major urban centre & an emerging innovation hub along the Innovation Super Corridor between Waterloo and downtown Toronto. These facts coupled with having one of the youngest population in Canada, Brampton is at a pivotal time in its history which promises to propel the City to a booming representation of Canada’s strength in diversity!
As the Vice-President of the Scaale Group and Cross Border Angels (CBA), I travel around the world every month meeting awesome entrepreneurs, prolific investors, super mentors and innovation embracing corporates. The key ingredients of creating an organic entrepreneurial & innovation ecosystem is availability of smart capital, a captive market, inherent talent pool and ease of doing business. On introspection, we’ll realize that all the above are available in abundance in our City!
According to the 2018 Brampton City budget statistics, our City is the second-fastest growing City in Canada with an enviable growth rate which is twice of the Region of Peel, three times Ontario’s and two-and-a-half times more than the national average! Our City is home to nine thousand businesses and the major clusters include manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade. According to Statistics Canada, Brampton placed 7th in the country for total construction value in 2016, generating $2 billion in investment. And here comes the best stat, Brampton is the youngest City in Canada, with an average age of 36.5 years!
This reality got us thinking at CBA and we decided it’s the perfect time to introduce our Catalysts program. Catalyst, by definition, is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. This is the very attribute that defines a Catalyst member! The program aspires to create a highly intellectual & resourceful group of community influencers CBA calls Catalysts. The Catalysts program allows building synergies by creating an anchor group of mentors & investors from within the community and providing them a sophisticated platform to actively deliberate projects including local businesses and startups, to be considered for mentorship and/or investments. The Catalysts would be an eclectic mix of individuals from varied backgrounds such as successful business owners, CXOs, doctors, lawyers and CAs. The Catalysts will be the go-to group for the Brampton community and beyond. The most promising and high potential projects will be channelized to them for deliberation, mindshare and action post a sophisticated screening exercise by CBA. Their actions may contribute through capital investments, mentorship & guidance and most importantly, community & economic development. Corporate engagement is an integral part of this program and will be aligned with Brampton’s focus on Advanced Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Health & Life Sciences and Innovation & Technology.
Advanced Manufacturing generates over 30% of our City’s economic output and employs almost a quarter of Brampton’s workforce! Food & Beverage, a sector which is a one-stop shop, with food testing, processing and packaging facilities as well as transportation, packaging design, equipment and refrigeration storage all located within the City. Health & Life Sciences averages 6% growth YoY and employs over 12,000 people directly. Our City is North America’s third largest biotechnology cluster! Innovation & Technology, being geographically located in the heart of the Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor, which is the 2nd largest Information & Communication Cluster in North America!
The CBA Catalysts of Brampton will be a group, representative of the cultural and business nuances of our City and aspires to play an engaging role in its growth story in the coming years! The Catalysts will be carefully chosen from within the community and outside, typically influencers and celebrated individuals from varied backgrounds. In line with CBA’s continued commitment towards women empowerment, there will be at least 30% representation of women leaders.
The City Hall has been very supportive of our objectives and has provided CBA a platform to bring our vision to you, the residents! If you’ve identified the Catalyst in you, are a stakeholder who wants to get involved more actively in the community or are a startup/entrepreneur who wants to understand how the Catalysts can guide or support your business, come on over at our KnowCBA Catalyst session scheduled on Thursday, 21st June 2018 at the City Hall. Please register at http://bit.ly/Catalysts-of-Brampton to meet us & catalyze the chain reaction of growth!
Author: Mr. Ashwin Sanzgiri, Vice President, Cross Border Angels