IBM Launches Innovation Space in Toronto
Opening is first fruit of partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence and provincial government.

Toronto has a new startup hub, and it’s right in the downtown core on Spadina Ave.

This morning, IBM in partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Government of Ontario launched the IBM Innovation Space that aims to help businesses propel into the global marketplace.

The IBM Innovation Space is part of the IBM Innovation Incubator Project, a $54-million initiative funded IBM and the Government of Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund. Other partners include the SOSCIP Research Consortium and members of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE).

The IBM Innovation Space houses startups and technology companies that use IBM Watson and cloud technologies.  The diverse group of tenants include LifeLearn, whose Sofie veterinary software uses IBM Watson to search through diagnoses and literature, and BigTerminal, a personalized financial information aggregator.

“Access to the latest technology, including cognitive and cloud, as well as these kinds of resources and support, are so often out of the reach of start-ups – that’s why we created this space,” said Dino Trevisani, President of IBM Canada. “We want to help them innovate, get to market and expand more quickly to ultimately become the disruptors of tomorrow.”

The IBM Innovation Space will provide companies with capacity, networking and infrastructure along with new IBM cloud and cognitive business technologies. In addition, experts will offer mentoring, support services, education, and legal counsel to assist in companies’ growth.

Cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly attractive to investors, especially after social media startups have peaked. CB Insights predicts that funding of AI-enabled startups will reach $1.2 billion in 2016.