Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support

Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support

This article first appeared on bedc.ca

Burlington, ON, February 5, 2020 – Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support 

TechPlace has earned international recognition from Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Magazine, a product of the Financial Times that is popular among investment promotion and economic development professionals. 

TechPlace is 100% led by Burlington Economic Development and is at the heart of their innovation and entrepreneurship strategy. Launched in 2017, TechPlace is a popular destination for new and growing technology companies in the region. The 8,600 square foot innovation centre offers access to space, programming, mentorship, and networking opportunities.  

TechPlace is anchored by two co-location partners: Haltech, Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre, and Angel One Investor NetworkTechPlace also operates its LaunchPad Program which supports companies gearing up for growth. Residents that are accepted into the program are provided with unlimited access to the space, as well as have their own exclusive office space where they can focus on growing their team, connecting into a community of like-minded peers and mentors, and have opportunities to network with angel investors and community leaders. In only two and a half years, the LaunchPad Program has supported nineteen companies; twelve have graduated and seven are currently in residence. Run parallel to the TechPlace LaunchPad Program is Burlington Economic Development’s Soft-Landing Program, which provides companies with all the benefits of the LaunchPad Program as well as additional support to expand their business into Canada. So far, TechPlace has welcomed companies from Finland and Honduras, and are expecting several more to land in 2020.   

Anita Cassidy, Executive Director at Burlington Economic Development, is thrilled to receive this award. “TechPlace has grown tremendously since its launch in June 2017, and the number of startups we support continues to increase. We are proud to say that TechPlace has welcomed more than 14,000 innovators through our doors and have had more than 290 events held in the space. We will continue to collaborate with our partners and think outside the box to deliver premium space and programming options to new and growing technology companies. Our Soft-Landing Program will be a focus for us in 2020 and we look forward to helping more companies expand into Canada and grow their business.” She continued, “we would like to sincerely thank fDi Magazine for this recognition and would like to also recognize the support of Haltech and Angel One, since TechPlace would not be where it is today without their commitment to supporting technology and innovation in our community.”  

About Burlington Economic Development    

Burlington Economic Development has a mandate to enhance the growth prospects of existing companies and bring new high-value firms to the community. Burlington Economic Development’s focus is on growing the economic base to sustain Burlington’s competitive and prosperous community. Burlington Economic Development is the first point of contact for companies looking to expand, start-up or locate in Burlington. 

About TechPlace      

TechPlace is a one-stop destination for new and growing technology companies. With the support of partners from across the public and private sectors, it is dedicated to connecting, developing, and advancing entrepreneurs at all stages. This means providing access to space, programming, mentorship, networking, and resources that are fundamental to growing a business in today’s technology-driven marketplace.  Led by Burlington Economic Development, TechPlace exists to help technology, talent and ideas come together under one roof to create and promote opportunities for economic growth.   


Mayor’s 2020 State of the City Address

Mayor’s 2020 State of the City Address

On January 30th, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward presented the annual Mayor’s State of the City Address (MSOTC) presented by Cogeco. This annual event was an engaging and informative presentation for the Burlington community to learn about municipal issues facing our city and how they will be addressed this year.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward gave an overview of key accomplishments of 2019, including feedback from Burlington residents. She also shared her, Council and the City of Burlington’s priorities for the year.

For those who were unable to attend, you can visit below to see the full MSOTC address as well as the moderated Q&A session.


2020 Mayor’s State of the City Address:


Moderated Q&A Session with Cogeco’s Tim Caddigan:


View the full transcript here.

Meet the 2020 Business Excellence Awards Finalists

Meet the 2020 Business Excellence Awards Finalists

We are delighted to announce the 2020 Business Excellence Awards Finalists! The following 21 organizations exemplify leadership and business excellence in our community. The Award nominations are based on criteria that include outstanding business leadership, community involvement, entrepreneurship, environment, employee welfare, innovation and growth.

2020 Finalists by Award Category:

Not for Profit


Service – Micro

Service – Small

Service – Medium

Service – Large

Young Entrepreneur

While the list of finalists is now public, the names of the winners remain a closely guarded secret. The winners will be announced at the 2020 Business Excellence Awards Gala presented by RBC on Thursday, April 2, at the Burlington Convention Centre. Please join us in honouring our finalists and celebrating our vibrant business community.

Purchase your individual and table tickets here.

Presented by


We’re Hiring!

We’re Hiring!

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce (BCC) provides value to its members through active advocacy, connecting leaders and creating opportunity. The Chamber is the voice of business in Burlington and advocates at the local, regional, provincial and federal levels on behalf of 900 companies representing 30,000 employees.

For more than 70 years, the BCC has been the trusted advocate and tireless champion for local businesses. With a long-standing reputation for excellence and leadership, BCC continually generates opportunities to connect people by bringing life to business. Doing so provides a vehicle for success for its members and the future of Burlington’s business community.

Burlington Economic Development Wins International fDi Strategy Award for Start-up and SME Support

Burlington Economic Development Announces New Executive Director

City of Burlington Media Release – January 7, 2020

Burlington Economic Development is pleased to announce the appointment of Anita Cassidy as Executive Director effective January 1, 2020. Anita has been in the role of Acting Executive Director since May 2018 when former Executive Director Frank McKeown retired. Anita has over 15 years of experience in Economic Development delivering results-oriented strategies and programs that drive economic growth. She first joined Burlington Economic Development in 2011 and has since led a number of important projects.  

“Since being appointed Chair of Burlington Economic Development I have had a close working relationship with Anita,” said Randy Smallbone, Board Chair of Burlington Economic Development. “I was pleased to be able to recommend to the Board that Anita be given the role of Executive Director. She has proven herself over the last 18 months, in a period of change for the City of Burlington,” Smallbone concluded. 

Anita brings a diverse background that includes fundraising, research and stakeholder management, program and project management, strategic planning, non-profit leadership, and finance administration. Anita is multi-lingual, speaking both Italian and French, and has lived and worked in six countries including Scotland, England, Italy, Belgium, USA, and Canada. Anita also holds an MSc in Economic Development from the University of Glasgow.  

Since becoming Acting Executive Director, Anita has led Burlington Economic Development to a number of recent successes including the implementation of several of the recommendations resulting from the Mayor’s Red Tape Red Carpet taskforce. She also continues to collaborate with the City of Burlington on the development of a proposed Municipal Development Corporation, which will be under consideration by City Council in 2020. Anita oversaw the continued growth of TechPlace, which is going into its third year of operations this year. It was also under Anita’s leadership that Burlington Economic Development led a successful pitch to Endress + Hauser to build a new 47,000 square foot state-of-the-art customer experience centre in Burlington. The company officially broke ground on the site in August 2019.  

In 2020, Burlington Economic Development will undergo a review of its governance structure to determine how to best deliver on the economic development mandate for the city. Anita is looking forward to participating in this process and sees it as a crucial opportunity to check in on the city’s progress toward achieving the economic goals laid out in the City’s 25-year Strategic Plan.  

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has been on the Burlington Economic Development Board of Directors since Fall 2018. “I’m delighted by the closer bonds between Burlington Economic Development and city staff and council, fostered under Anita’s leadership. She has shown herself to be an enthusiastic and collaborative partner throughout recent initiatives, including the Mayor’s Red Tape Red Carpet task force, taking the lead on implementing several of these.” Mayor Meed Ward continued, “I look forward to continuing to work closely together to deliver on our shared goal of attracting new businesses to Burlington and helping our existing businesses expand.” 

Anita has and will continue to make partnership a top priority at Economic Development, working closely with colleagues at the City, Halton Region, Tourism, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Burlington’s Business Improvement Areas to support economic prosperity in Burlington and across the region.  

Media Contact:
Claire Green 
Manager, Marketing and Attraction