After establishing its board of directors in December, the KNBIA kicked off an online campaign askings its constituents what ideas they have to improve the future of the Kanata North business park.
The BIA is using a platform provided by local firm Ideavibes, which enables organizations to solicit feedback from targeted online audiences.
The campaign, which ends March 29, already has posts of ideas including hosting events for businesses in the area, launching a website for Kanata North businesses and monthly sessions in the style of TED Talks.
Kevin Ford – who is president of the business and technology services division at Calian Technologies Inc. (TSX:CTY) and also the founding chair member on the KNBIA board – says the idea behind the campaign is to find out issues important to all businesses in the area, not just some.
“It would be easy to look at it as a tech-focused group, but there are professional services firms, not-for-profits, banking firms … and we want to engage them all through crowdsourcing,” he said.
Following the crowdsourcing campaign, the next push will be to elect an executive director for the organization, Mr. Ford said. Nominations for the position will soon be accepted.
Another goal for the committee’s first year in operation will be to establish a strong online presence with a dedicated website and social media. A request for proposals will be issued later this year.
Mr. Ford said the ideal outcome of the BIA will be to identify common themes and opportunities for businesses in the area, create a unified voice to take to city hall and brand the area in order to attract and retain talent.
“At one point, it used to be called Silicon Valley North,” he said. “I think we all recognize that we have to be taking it to the next level and rebranding it for today’s context.”
The KNBIA had its first meeting last November after receiving approval from city councillors in early October. The organization brings together businesses as diverse as the Brookstreet Hotel, the Marshes Golf Club and technology company Pleora Technologies that operate along the March Road corridor close to Highway 417. This sets it apart from other BIAs throughout the city, whose members include mostly retail organizations and which usually concern themselves with matters such as street beautification and working with the municipal government.
- With files from Mark Brownlee