MI-Zone collaborators offer expert assistance in a variety of technical and business areas. If you do not see the capability below that you’re looking for, contact us and it’s very likely we can find an expert in our network to assist you.
- Product Design – Access professionals that specialize in product design that focuses on design efficiency, design intent, design with manufacturing overview that is both simplistic and cost effective for you. A good design is not complete because everything that could be added has been added but that everything that can be removed has been removed. MI-Zone accesses Solidworks and Gibscam software for precision accuracy. The years of experience in practical product design and relentless pursuit of quality, usability and Solidworks Expert (only 30 in Canada). The software capabilities to simulate stress, material strengths, wear and fatigue on your soon to be developed product before a physical prototype is developed saving you time and money.
- Engineering – Access to engineering support for electronic or mechanical design and certification can be critical for specific products. We can connect you to the right professional.
- Prototype Development – See your product come to life with our partners advanced prototyping capabilities. Taking a 3D design and print a physical prototype is often the most cost effective method to test, gain customer feedback and refine the product. 3D printing has become a cost effective and quick mechanism in developing a finalized product prior committing to mold or other costly set-up costs. MI-Zone has access to a variety of 3D printers depending on the project’s parameters (size, type of material, cost).
- Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Design – Our partners have high-speed layout design experience constructing multi-layer and dual sided component assembly designs. Once your PCB board has been designed a signal integrity analysis can be performed on the layout before it is manufactured to help ensure your product works and saves you money.
- Embedded Software Design – The processor on your circuit board is the brain of your electronic product. It is integral to your product that the software operating on the processor to be designed efficiently and flawlessly for optimal performance. Capabilities include:
- VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language)
- Assembly (ARM, TI DSP, and various micrcontrollers)
- Embedded C/C++
- Objective C (iOS systems)
- Projects entering MI-Zone are complemented with a business support team at the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre where we assist companies from start-up to established businesses in developing and commercializing their new innovative ideas. Our support includes:
- Accessing Financing your new innovation is often a challenge. We will work with you to identify funding programs and potential partners or investor. Our experience in writing applications and preparing investment presentations can facilitate gaining the financial support needed to move your innovation forward. The Centre has small amounts of funding to support early stage innovations.
- Market Intelligence Services to obtain background data on your field of interest to incorporate into business plans or proposal to validate your market and frame up your business opportunity. This information is important when seeking financing or investment.
- Business Model Development is a key framework for bringing all the components a new product idea into a business reality. Components such as target customers, value proposition, competitive positioning, resources required, revenue model and critical success factors. We can assist as you work through your business model.
- Intellectual Property Strategy is something every innovation must consider. We can support initial patent or trademark research and connect you to patent or trademark agent for further advice.
- Business Mentorship through our Executive in Residence and our Advisory Boards provide fresh perspective on your business with respect to product development, target market, messaging, pricing, marketing activities, business strategy and sales tactics.
- Customer Feedback for product and market development can be facilitated through focus groups, surveys, and meetings with key stakeholders.
- Industry Connections with people relevant to your industry. We have a very large network of contacts we would like to introduce you to!
- At the Innovation Centre we have a team of entrepreneurial minded individuals who understand your business challenges and want to roll up their sleeves to help you grow your business.
- Physical Testing – With your product handle a strenuous load? Or will it take a punishment over time? We are happy to help you answer these questions by putting your product through rigorous testing to see if it will hold up under the harshest of elements.
- Electrical Testing – Electronic circuitry is very sensitive so it is imperative that extensive testing be implemented. MI-Zone partners have the ability to test and calibrate your electronic components and ready them for CSA approval.
- Measurement and 3D Inspection – Make sure your design is flawless through the Faro measuring equipment and software. It enables you to measure and 3D inspect your product for any errors with precision. It enables you to flexibly measure the way your process or job requires.
- Small to Large Run Production – Need to get your products on the selves before you setup your own manufacturing facility? Our partners have the ability to perform small to larger-sized manufacturing runs for your products. The variety of equipment available ensures that you are using the most effective and efficient technology for your part or product.
- Welding and fabricating and associated machine work
- Production machine work
- Finishing – Get that profession look out of your product to make it professional and create an impression with your customers and perspective markets. Our partners utilize advanced finishing technology through powder coating, anodizing, etching and DiamonDyze finishing that will get your products noticed.
For many entrepreneurs, developing your product is the easy part. Getting people to buy your new innovation can often be a daunting and difficult challenge for individuals without sales or marketing experience.Our team specializes in launching innovative products that have the opportunity to disrupt entire industries and we hope your product idea is one of them. To do so, we like to get our commercialization team involved early in businesses to ensure your product and company is market-focused to increase your chances of success. Before a product design is finalized, it should be done so with customers in mind.After the product is developed we assist entrepreneurs implement a marketing plan with guidance and support to obtain market traction and sales! Commercialization takes on many roles including product scoping, customer development, pricing, marketing & sales tactics ,investment, and more! Let us help navigate your path through this process to increase your chances of success.