BIA launches crowdsourcing campaign.
The Kanata North Business Improvement Area launched an online ideas campaign on Wednesday, March 6, to engage local businesses in their ideas for the future.
In an effort to engage the local business community, the Kanata North Business Improvement Area launched an online ideas campaign on Wednesday, March 6.
The crowdsourcing initiative provides the local business community a place to voice their opinions on the future course of the BIA.
People are invited to post in the online forum “and provide ideas and comments on how to improve the area,” said Kevin Ford, president of the business and technology service division at Calian, and chairman of the BIA. “It does provide a great opportunity for people to give us input.”
The business improvement area was formed last November. With the dismantlement of Nortel Networks and the rise of other tech clusters in Canadian cities, such as Waterloo, Ont., Kanata’s one-time “Silicon Valley North” brand has been deflating since the tech bubble burst about 10 years ago.
“We’ve lost a bit of the connection with the (business) ecosystem,” said Ford.
The BIA is hoping to create a recognizable brand that encompasses the diverse range of businesses and services offered in north Kanata.
“All of those stakeholders have a voice,” said Ford. “It’s time to relaunch. It’s time to be proud of what’s here in Kanata north.”
The online engagement initiative will help develop new ideas and stimulate discussion among local businesses on the future of north Kanata.
“Using social media to obtain ideas for its future is an ideal way for everyone to connect with the new Kanata North BIA and help determine the future,” said area councillor Marianne Wilkinson, and chair of the BIA’s marketing and branding committee.
A number of people have already posted their ideas, said Ford. One person posted the possibility of all businesses in the area hosting an open house on the same day during the same time frame. That would allow people the chance to learn what services are offered.
Ford said it’s creative ideas like that, that will help move the BIA forward.
“It’s important for retaining employees and attracting the best talent,” he added. “There’s global competition now for that talent.”
Steve Nichols, who runs a consultation business from his home in Morgan’s Grant and was a founding co-chair of the steering committee to create the group, said the north Kanata BIA is the biggest in the city by geography. It encompasses more than 500 businesses, from large hi-tech firms to restaurants to small start-ups and non-profit organizations.
“It’s so diverse,” he said. “For everyone to benefit, we need to pull on that diversity and creativity.
“No body is going in with any assumptions on what’s best.”
The BIA will be launching a search for its executive director in the near future. It will also be working on its website design and branding, and the group plans to have a formal launch in the spring.
“We’re excited by it and excited to get it going,” said Ford.
The crowdsourcing campaign takes place until March 29. To view and participate in the initiative, visit kanatanorthbia.ca or ideavibes.com/kanatanbia_ideas.