ONSIDE, the Nova Scotian organization that works to develop the startup ecosystem, has established five regional groups to bring the teachings of the MIT REAP program to communities across Nova Scotia.

MIT REAP is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, an accelerator for regional ecosystems around the world. A team from Nova Scotia attended the program from 2016 to 2018, and ONSIDE was formed to help implement what was learned.

Now ONSIDE, whose full name is the Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship, has established MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia in regions throughout the province.

“Nova Scotia has a high potential for innovation,” said ONSIDE Executive Director Alex McCann in a statement. “The MIT REAP Focus program has brought together some of the most resourceful and committed members of our communities to turn this capacity into strategies and action that can drive real economic and social prosperity for our province.”

The one-year Focus program establishes working groups in five regions – South Shore; Cape Breton/Strait Area; Pictou; Valley; and Western. Each team comprises 10 core members, drawn from the groups REAP identifies as key to the ecosystem – entrepreneurs, corporates, risk capital, governments and post-secondary institutions. The core teams are supported by individuals and organizations within their communities.

These teams are tasked with uncovering their regional characteristics and comparative advantages, and developing strategies for innovation and entrepreneurship that align with local needs, said the ONSIDE statement.