Algonquin College to build $44.9M indigenous entrepreneurship centre

Algonquin College says it plans to construct a new learning centre and Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship featuring a makerspace for students to experiment with technology and a multimedia production facility.

Additionally, it will feature space for up to 60 entrepreneurs to test their products and commercialize their ideas.

The school made the announcement today after learning that the federal government would kick in $21.9 million. Algonquin College will contribute $20.1 million itself, while the provincial government will chip in $2.9 million.

According to a funding application, the development will enable an expansion of Algonquin’s Applied Research and Innovation Program, which provides assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ottawa.

As part of its proposal to the government, Algonquin College cited the need for improved resources and space to continue offer its students new certifications in sectors such as cyber security.

Algonquin College says its Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship will be the first of its kind in Ontario, specifically providing indigenous students and alumni with access to resources and mentorship to start or grow their own businesses. Its funding application stated 1,000 Aboriginal students attend the college each year, with almost 50 Aboriginal students registered in its School of Business this past academic year.

According to the funding proposal, construction of the new building is scheduled to take approximately two years.