Perspectives

Collision force

Accelerating ideas at Communitech

Deloitte officially launches d { } (pronounced “Dee space”), our own lab in Kitchener-Waterloo tech incubator hub, Communitech.

By Terry Stuart

I have a pretty awesome job. As chief innovation officer at Deloitte, I get to spend my days brainstorming, trying to find solutions to big problems. But don’t get me wrong: I’m not a lone ranger. Lots of brilliant people work with me, looking for ways to make our companies more profitable and our country more productive.

Something really cool has just happened: this circle of Big Thinkers has just expanded dramatically. Later this week, we will officially join the Kitchener-Waterloo tech incubator hub, Communitech with our own lab, d { } (pronounced “Dee space”).

We’ve kept a close eye on developments at Communitech ever since they opened in 1997. If you’re not already familiar with this amazing ecosystem of entrepreneurs, companies and academic institutions, Communitech is an industry-led innovation centre that supports, fosters and celebrates a community of nearly 1,000 tech companies. That includes companies of all sizes and at all stages of development and growth, and everything that happens in the centre ties back to collaboration and helping – values at the core of Communitech’s mission.

We love that – it was a huge part of the attraction. Although Deloitte isn’t technically a “tech” company, we’ve been on an analogous mission for more than 150 years – helping companies be the best they can be at what they do best. Whether it’s by finding ways to reduce their costs, implementing new enterprise information management systems, or advising on the right acquisition or divestiture at the right time – our work is about our clients’ work.

Grow model
At d { }, the goal will be to help companies explore new business models using lean thinking and advanced prototypes created by multidisciplinary, entrepreneurial teams that combine deep technical knowledge with cutting-edge design skills. It’s a modern lab space devoted to delivering face-to-face, hands-on experiences for the digital age.

Because let’s be honest: the future is tech. And d { } is about being able to hold, feel and touch that future – not merely imagine it. Advanced prototyping services will provide unique opportunities to combine bright ideas with emerging technologies that are the future of global business – cool stuff like sensors, communication networks, intelligent automation and wearables.

Bright ideas, of course, are the stock and trade of technology companies. But developing those ideas sometimes requires connections those companies just don’t have. Enter “Communitech Collision Days” – intensive, full-day “show-and-share” events tailored to individual companies with a carefully curated set of technology companies. The goal? To facilitate creative collisions between people from a wide array of disciplines and backgrounds, both from within the Communitech network and from across the country, and therefore help unearth new opportunities – whether as consumers, channel partners or co-development partners.

These are anything but random events, and are designed to remove the uncertainty and minimize the risk of navigating the terrain on your own.

High-speed collision course
Because we’ll be embedded with startups, high-growth companies and other corporate innovation leaders, we’ll likewise be able to draw both inspiration and talent from the high-tech businesses and academic institutions surrounding us, gaining further insights from key players in the Communitech network – everyone from academics and researchers to developers and investors.

Our guess is you have bright ideas you’d like to bring to fuller life. The world is moving past slide show presentations and emails as the core business tools for capturing the imagination and interest of colleagues, potential investors and tomorrow’s customers. At d { }, companies will be able to build the software and hardware prototypes they need to propel their ideas forward.

Or maybe you’re on the hunt for the next big thing. Communitech is already one of Canada’s most vibrant and productive technology incubator and startup environments. At d { }, we’ll have access to the most current information about emerging technologies and up-and-coming, collision-ready companies that can only help you accelerate your growth.

Terry Stuart is Deloitte Canada’s Chief Innovation Officer. He is also a member of the firm’s Global Innovation Network. 

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