Report and Recommendation from Region of Halton Economic Development


I recently was made aware of the presentation made by John Davidson, Director of Economic Development for the Region of Halton. As a small business owner (Silicon Halton and Mi6 Agency) the decisions and investments being made by government organizations, public servants and elected officials can affect me, my businesses and the people and organizations I work with every day. This applies to all members of Silicon Halton.


This presentation is of particular importance for a few reasons:


  •  A study was recently done, by MDB Insight, that identified key issues facing small and mid-sized businesses in Halton with respect to growth
  •  The Region is proposing taking a leadership role in helping companies scale up, export and globalize
  •  It’s being proposed that the Region and key support services along with Haltech co-locate physically


I encourage members to watch the presentation below and if you have any thoughts, questions or comments that you share them via the following options:


  •  Via this discussion post in Silicon Halton’s LinkedIn group
  •  Leaving a comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #SiliconHalton
  •  Reaching out to me personally via my Linkedin profile and send me a message (you may need to connect with me first; if you do mention in your connection request this blog post)

I’ve uploaded this video [source] to YouTube so you can watch it below. Here’s the transcript as well.



NOTE: Any views and opinions associated to this post are not necessarily shared by my cofounders of Silicon Halton nor our 1300 members.


Chris Herbert is the founder of Mi6 Agency. Mi6 is a B2B (Business to Business) marketing and business development agency dedicated to helping technology companies build their brands and develop commercial relationships. He is the founder of ProductCamp Toronto and the Hi-tech community Silicon Halton. He tweets under the handle @B2Bspecialist.




IBM: Community Briefing Note and Discussion

UPDATED: Jan 29/16. Look for [NEW]

This briefing note and discussion is intended to stimulate conversation, interactions, ideas and thoughts regarding IBM among Silicon Halton members. The goal of this activity is to find common interests, uncover information gaps and potential go forward projects, programs and ideas that will help SH members learn, grow using IBM technologies.

Right now I'm using this post and LinkedIn for private discussion among members to try and engage with SH members but we are looking at better ways to gather online to dig and learn deeper together on exploratory areas like this.


IBM is pushing forwards, aggresivelly, in the areas of Cognitive Computing, Predictive Analytics, Cloud and Artificial Intelligence. They are trying to develop an "ecosystem" of technology professionals (entrepreneurs, developers, data scientists) and partners to further advance the use and adoption of Bluemix, Softlayer and Watson. They've recently struck deals with Apple who recently announced that they will be opensource their new programming language "Swift".

I believe, but need to validate with SH community and other key people in my networks and yours that there are business, commercial and career opportunities for those who invest time and effort in doing "stuff" with IBM "stuff". Pretty elegant huh? But you get my point.

This briefing note/discussion is intended to share, what I believe is relevant and useful information along with good discussion with you to explore this further.

Key announcements and information that, I believe, are contextually relevant and to help frame this exploratory conversation:

=> [NEW] Jan 29/16 |  IBM Watson Developer Cloud services on Bluemix (Published Jun 04/15)

=> [NEW] Jan 29/16 | Is Watson the Key to IBM's Turnaround? (Interview with David Kenny, new GM of IBM Watson)

=> [NEW] Jan 29/16 | IBM Closes Weather Co. Purchase, Names David Kenny New Head Of Watson Platform

=> [NEW] Jan 29/16 | Announcing our largest release of Watson Developer Cloud services (Published Sep 24/15)

=> Jan 16/16 | How AI Is Changing The Healthcare Industry With Brian Garcia who recently received a new round of funding led by Canadian VC firm Georgian Partners. See Chris Herbert's interview with Managing Partner Simon Chong to learn more about Georgian Partners approach to investing in technology companies. This follow up interview, by Robin Smith of Virtual Logistics, is a good one as well. Ben Wilde answers a series of questions including the types of companies Georgian Partners are investing in.

=> Jan 14/16 | Building With Watson in 2016

=> Jan 07/16 | Under Armour And IBM To Transform Personal Health And Fitness, Powered By IBM Watson

=> Dec 12/15 | IBM Internet of Things Platform  

=> Dec 04/15 | IBM injects new Watson smarts into Commerce Insights platform

=> Dec 03/15 | Apple and IBM made a brilliant new move to infiltrate large businesses

=> Nov 25/15 | IBM Canada invests $65 million for innovative collaborations

=> Nov 23/15 | The Future of Cognitive Computing

=> Nov 21/15 | Tweet from President of IBM Canada: At Smith School of Business at Queen's celebrating Watson at work with the winners of Retail Analytics Competition

=> Nov 09/15 | Video: IBM Introduces Powerful Analytics for Everyone

=> Oct 08/14  | IBM Brings Watson APIs to Bluemix PaaS 

=> Sep 22/15 | Special Interview with Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers at IBM (NOTE: This is an interview my firm, Mi6 Agency, produced for Virtual Logistics)

=> May 22/15 | Governments of Canada and Ontario officially announce $123.5-million Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation at Baycrest


Discuss100x100Please feel free to ask questions, challenge us about what it might be like working (or not) with IBM and add information that you think is useful to help us better frame opportunities for us as entrepreneurs, developers and professionals in the technology industry. Silicon Halton members can discuss this brief here


Chris Herbert, Cofounder.

Co-working Provides Community For Entrepreneurs

Milton Is Constantly Changing

If you look beyond the acres of new housing and on-going construction projects, you will see that this is also true of its economy.

  • Milton's Population Will Double In 15 Years 
    Milton’s population is estimated to double in the next 15 years and every new house represents two highly educated professionals that are new to the community. They are primarily employed in the technology, engineering, financial services, professional services and educational fields. The median age is 34 years old, meaning that they have about ten years of work experience and are at a prime age to step out and start their own business.

  • 3000 New Home Based Businesses
    A growing pool of local entrepreneurs is a key component of the local economy. Did you know that 1 in 8 houses on Milton streets contains a home-based business. There are over 3,000 such businesses in town right now. As Milton’s population doubles over the next fifteen years, the number of home-based operations will also double. This will add more economic diversity/balance and complement the existing manufacturing and logistics sectors.  

  • 400 New Knowledge Based Companies
    Since 2010 over 400 new Professional, Scientific, and Technical sector companies were established in Milton, making it the fastest growing sector in Milton.Knowledge Lives Here!

Milton Education Village Innovation Center At The Nexus

The MEV Innovation Centre is at the nexus of this evolving economy. We are the primary co-working facility in the northern part of Halton Region. Our objective is to ensure that there is a robust eco-system of entrepreneurship in the community that acts as a driver of economic growth and prosperity. We believe that coworking offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to reduce their isolation, be more productive away from home distractions, make connections with each other, pick up new ideas and tap into business support resources. All of this in turn, will allow them to better succeed at their business.
MEV Collage

Come Share What You Need

On October 13th, we will be working with Silicon Halton to explore how to better strengthen the link between coworking and economic/community development.  Please join us at MEVIC on October 13 and tell us what you need for your business and your ideal working environment. Tell us your challenges and ideas – and help shape the direction of the Innovation Centre – so that we can align with your business or professional needs. In the end, it’s about empowering your business to grow, and enable you to do a better job. 

Register here:

The Pros of Processes and Procedures

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. In business, repetition of processes with the purpose of achieving the same result is the desired outcome. Standard results are valued as a predictor of success over random results achieved through inconsistent practices. Properly thought out and executed processes are the tools by which business operations can best position themselves for success. As an owner or an operator seeking a potential buyer, processes and procedures are integral and here’s why:

  1. Consistent results. A properly prepared set of processes and procedures will lead to consistent business operation results. Consistency adds value since the company will continue to operate whether you, as the owner are there or not.
  2. Error reduction. Adherence to processes and procedures minimizes the possibility of error. Recognizing that errors warrant expense to rectify the situation, profitability is then enhanced.
  3. Reduced training costs. Documented processes facilitate an easier training process for new hires when they can follow prepared collateral on how to perform their tasks.
  4. Reduced reliance on employees. Defined processes and procedures reduces the risk of over reliance on any given employee. Following established frameworks minimizes upheaval during staff changes or vacation occurrences.
  5. Fraud protection. A properly designed set of processes and procedures ensures specific checks and balances to reduce the company’s exposure to fraudulent activity.

Review your business practices for consistent application of processes and examine how they flow together. Assume a staged, logical approach that takes into consideration the different functions and operational streams within your company but remember that you do not have to do everything at once.

For example, start with invoicing. Document how the invoicing system is currently being done and then look at it from a critical standpoint to identify how it can be done better. Consider what controls can be included to reduce the risk of errors or fraud. Conduct the same evaluation and documentation on your other systems, and continue to refine the procedures until everything has been reviewed. This approach will provide a valuable foundation for your business operations and a solid approach for continual improvement updates as the company evolves.

Einstein would be proud!



Greg Clarke is a Partner with SB Partners, a client focused accounting, tax and business advisory services firm.  He can be reached at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via their website at


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