MITT and North Forge sign memorandum of understanding fostering innovation in Manitoba

Originally posted: March 01, 2023

Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) and North Forge Technology Exchange (North Forge) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to encourage entrepreneurship and spark economic growth within the province.

Under this agreement, both parties formalized a working partnership and a progressive approach to nurturing the next generation of leading entrepreneurs and innovators in Manitoba.

Beverlie Stuart, Interim President and CEO of MITT, emphasized, “We are thrilled to be the first educational institution to sign an MOU with North Forge. This partnership will allow students to grow their entrepreneurial knowledge and envision the many ways they can use the technical skills they learn at MITT as entrepreneurs or innovators in industry.”

This MOU outlines a commitment for the two organizations to collaborate on initiatives and allows MITT students to tap into North Forge’s expertise in entrepreneurship. The non-profit organization will provide students with support and access to mentorship. The aim is to help students broaden their thinking, embrace their talents, and envision the many possibilities available.

Joelle Foster, CEO of North Forge, remarked, “We are excited to partner with MITT. This partnership provide students with curated resources, essential startup fundamentals and access to our acclaimed growth coaches, entrepreneurs-in-residence and subject matter experts. Entrepreneurship not only bolsters our economy but it empowers students with confidence and the skills for employability.”

A significant synergy between the two organizations is the desire to grow female engagement in trades, technology, and innovation. According to Startup Canada, only about 5% of tech startups are women-owned, and Manitoba has the lowest number of female tech founders in Canada (GEM Canada 2019 Survey).

To address the unique challenges of female founders in technology, innovation, and advanced manufacturing, North Forge is launching the Women’s Innovation Lab (WiLabTM), which MITT will collaborate on.

Following the MOU signing, a panel discussion with top industry business experts and students was held. It featured Avery-Anne Gervais, Owner, Maker Mind Toys, Matt Olson, Founder, Prysm Manufacturing, and Carson Milberg, Co-Founder, Post-Ed.

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