London, Ontario – Build it and they will come. A year after opening its doors, Innovation Works is exceeding expectations. Innovation Works is a co-working space intentionally designed for social innovators that connects people and sparks impact. With nonprofits, for-profits, education institutions and social enterprises, we’ve got a little bit of everything. After bringing an industrial modern vibe to all four floors of the 201 King Street building, even expanding into the basement, Innovation Works is nearly at capacity.
By the Numbers:
· 175 co-tenants
· Over 300 Londoners share this work space
· Hosted over 100 events since January 2017
· Approximately 100 people per day through the space for the last 3 months
· 60 events held in the Solutions Lab since January 2017
· 500 people at Block Party grand opening
· 300 people at Canada 150 event “150 Years of Social Innovation”
“It’s magical to watch the growth and interactions between co-tenants. As their engagement increases, so does their ability to thrive,” says Lore Wainwright, Director of Innovation Works.
In addition to events like weekly Salad Club, Social Entrepreneur chats, Lunch & Learns, and Discovery Walks, our co-tenants are offering incredible programs like Consultants & Coffee, Opens Spaces about "re-imagining" high-school education, Listener in Residence, yoga and meditation classes, and more. As if their plates weren’t full enough, the co-tenants participate in many other community opportunities such as volunteering at Rock the Park and marching in the London Pride Parade.
“I come into the office with the feeling of community. Even though we all have our own agenda, it is like we are sharing the same goals, and we like to encourage each other.”
-Paul Rivard, Ticketwindow Inc.
“I couldn't be more pleased with what I see happening for my team - new ideas, networking, use of the space, new partnerships...the list goes on!”
-Stephanie Hayne Beatty, The Student Success Centre – Western University
Some of the unexpected outcomes have been the rapid growth of organizations and higher use of our event spaces that has resulted in needing to hire another staff. Other cities have been watching too. Pillar Nonprofit Network, who own the building have been working with cities like Waterloo, Woodstock and Windsor in assessing the need for social innovation centres in their communities. In addition, the elevator needs a lift earlier than expected. Originally slated to be replaced by 2020, the elevator needs replacing in 2018. Innovation Works is launching the “Give Innovation Works a Lift” Campaign and to date we have $60,000 of the $240,000 needed. “Inclusion and accessibility are core values at Innovation Works and with this kind of traffic, the need to ensure accessibility to the whole building is a must, it is time to move up the work on our elevator,” says Wainwright.
For more information about Innovation Works and the “Give Innovation Works a Lift” campaign contact Lore Wainwright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Directors/Editors: For interviews, contact Lore Wainwright at email@example.com or 519-660-9533.
About Innovation Works:
Innovation Works is the only place in London, Ontario specifically designed to encourage collaboration and innovation. New innovations and cross-sector collaboration among nonprofits, social enterprises, social purpose businesses and entrepreneurs are key to turning economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges into opportunities. For more information, please visit www.innovationworkslondon.ca
About Pillar Nonprofit Network:
Pillar Nonprofit Network strengthens the impact of the nonprofit sector. We connect the three pillars - nonprofit, business and government - to create community impact. We spark innovation. For more information, please visit www.pillarnonprofit.ca