Innovation Factory News

Innovation Factory has moved!

Come visit Innovation Factory (iF) in our new location – Suite 101A – directly off the atrium. Aside from our suite number, the rest of our contact information remains the same. Be sure to stop by and see our new space!

iF’s New Innovation Destination

This month, iF will be opening our Innovation Destination to provide more space for innovation to blossom. The Innovation Destination will host various seminars, workshops and events, and become the space in Hamilton where people can see innovation happening. The space will also serve as a drop-in work area for the community, where people can have a meeting, grab a coffee, open up their laptop and/or collaborate with like-minded people.

Drop by and check out our new, collaborative, and fun space! For more information please contact our Marketing & Programming Coordinator Sandra Barbera at

Employment Opportunity

iF is currently seeking an Intake Coordinator for the 2013 summer work term. The ideal candidate will be a recent or soon-to-be B.Comm. graduate or is currently enrolled in an MBA program.

This position will work closely with Innovation Factory’s entrepreneurs to expand their network and their analytical skills, helping the successful candidate become an integral part of growing businesses in the Hamilton region.

Core Responsibilities Include:

  • Act as the initial liaison with client companies, collect new client in-take forms, verify information and coordinate with Executives-in-Residence (EIRs) to assign to appropriate individual
  • Maintain Innovation Factory’s client database, work with EIRs to ensure client information and resources are up to date
  • Provide business analysis support and advice to clients
  • Coordinate weekly EIR meeting and other regular meetings that advance clients’ interests with internal and external parties
  • Assist with regular governmental reporting requirements
  • Assist as requested with the planning and execution of regular monthly and special events
  • Work with the EIRs to arrange client company pitch practice sessions and to align actual pitches to potential funders
  • Work closely with stakeholders, partners, members and clients where needed
  • Work with marketing and event logistics/execution

All positions at iF are multidisciplinary and involve considerable creativity, flexibility, member service orientation, interaction and teamwork. In a small organization like iF, all staff members are required to perform a variety of functions at varying levels with the flexibility necessary to facilitate and improve the growth of the innovation community and the programs that support it.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to

New iF staff members

iF is pleased to announce that we have two new staff members!

Emily Kinread joined the iF team in December of 2012 as our new Marketing & Communications Manager. Emily will oversee Innovation Factory’s marketing and communications strategies as well as the execution of all iF events, including Innovation Nights, Lion’s Lair, and The Big DiF.

Sandra Barbera has joined the iF team full-time as our Marketing & Programing Coordinator. Sandra started at Innovation Factory back in June of 2012 as a Junior Coordinator and did such a great job, we had to bring her on full-time! Sandra will assist with special events, social media, and will oversee iF’s Factory Floor and the Innovation Destination programming.

Please join us in welcoming Sandra and Emily to the iF team!

The Mustard Seed is Sprouting

About Us

We are a growing group from Hamilton, Ontario, who have a passion for food and a strong desire to see essential food needs met in our downtown community. We envision The Mustard Seed becoming a beautiful place to shop, a place that promotes food access, connection between local producers and consumers, and a vibrant sense of community.

After a year of growing excitement, focused conversations began early in January 2012. We are still a co-operative in development. Next steps include developing our membership, raising start up capital, and opening our doors at a downtown storefront location, which we are striving to do in May 2013. If you are interested in joining us or have questions, please send us an email.

Why ‘The Mustard Seed’?

The name for The Mustard Seed came to us one day while dreaming about the co-op, and it quickly stuck. Here is our rationale:

  • The mustard seed is an ancient metaphor for great things coming out of small beginnings – and with quite the kick. We believe the downtown food co-op will make a big impact on our city; starting small and growing into something that is part of the vitality of our downtown.
  • Hamilton already has references to its status as a “mustard town”, with the International Village BIA Mustard Festival in past years. Hamilton is home to the largest miller of dry mustard in the world – G.S. Dunn Limited.



Our goal is to open a community-owned grocery store that offers a bountiful selection of wholesome foods, prioritizes localproducers, and creates an educational environment which nurtures the relationship between people and the food they eat.


What’s motivating our drive to create The Mustard Seed in downtown Hamilton?

It’s good for our health: Eating wholesome food directly benefits our overall health and wellness. And by prioritizing local food we support producers that can harvest or process food at its peak freshness, retaining nutrients and flavour otherwise lost in transit. Local producers are also subject to local regulations over which we have a higher level of influence, which means increased accountability for production practices and food safety. By prioritizing local and wholesome food, we will make it easier for people in Hamilton to eat well.

It’s good for the environment: Food traveling fewer kilometres lowers our ecological footprint, and by working to avoid food waste and encouraging creative delivery options we’ll also do what’s right for the environment. Prioritizing producers that have strong ethical, social, and environmental practices can help foster a positive culture around food in our region.

It’s good for the local economy: By structuring ourselves as a cooperative we ensure that members of our community own the store, rather than distant shareholders. Also, buying local keeps shopping dollars within our community, creating a multiplier effect; it helps sustain independent farmers, processors, and distributors – our neighbours who in turn sustain our regional economic vitality, creating new jobs for Hamiltonians.

It’s good for our community: Co-ops are based on principles including social responsibility and caring for others. By creating partnerships with existing organizations and building education and volunteer opportunities we’ll help strengthen our community. And we’ll be able to shop in a beautiful place where we can connect with our neighbours and meet the farmers who grow our food!

Help shape The Mustard Seed by letting us know why the creation of a grocery co-op matters to you!

To learn more and get involved with The Mustard Seed, visit their website at

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