Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Survey Launch in the Annapolis Valley

Annapolis Valley, NS – The Annapolis Valley is one of five rural regions participating in a year-long innovation driven entrepreneurship initiative with the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) ‘Focus Nova Scotia’ is an offshoot of the normal two-year MIT REAP global program and has been specifically developed for the Province.

MIT REAP is a global program launched in 2012 and has been shown to supercharge innovation and entrepreneurship in over 50 different regions that have participated so far in the initiative. MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia officially began on January 26, 2021, with a virtual kickoff event.

Each of the five participating regions –Cape Breton, Pictou, South Shore, Western, and Annapolis Valley – are represented by a 10-core and supporting member team with representation from entrepreneurship, corporate, risk capital, government, and academic sectors.

As part of the MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia Program, the Valley Team is launching a survey of entrepreneurs and risk capital funders to learn what opportunities can be leveraged to grow the economy and social wellbeing in the Valley. The survey will be an on-line questionnaire, coordinated by the Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN) and MIT. The Valley MIT REAP Team will receive a results report that will provide them with insights and opportunities that can form the basis for broader stakeholder engagement and actions.

“This project is particularly relevant in a post-COVID environment with an emphasis to build back a better, more inclusive, resilient and climate-focused entrepreneurial environment in our region”, said Dr. Wayne St-Amour, Valley Team Champion for the local initiative. Survey results will inform plans and actions for the Valley MIT REAP Team by providing evidence-based input into identifying and building upon the Annapolis Valley’s comparative advantages.

“The Valley Team, with the Valley REN as project manager, hold a mirror up to Valley entrepreneurs to reflect what makes our region special and unviable to imitate. These qualities are used to help create our value proposition and define the basis for new entrepreneurs and employees to come here to thrive and enjoy an exceptional standard of living” says Dr. St-Amour.

In 2016, Nova Scotia had a team participate in ‘Cohort 4’ of MIT REAP’s global program. That team acted on identified comparative advantages in the ocean industries sector and clean energy initiatives.

To learn more about MIT REAP – Focus Nova Scotia: https://reap.mit.edu/focus-program/novascotia/

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