News + Blog

The Importance of Place

Discover the undeniable power of place in shaping innovation and entrepreneurship, as Edmonton Unlimited unlocks the city’s potential to become a global innovation capital.

Unleashing Potential: How Place Shapes Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Unconstrained by the traditional definitions of innovation and entrepreneurship, Edmonton Unlimited is harnessing the power of possibility and bringing the best of Edmonton to the world. The importance of place in relation to harnessing that power, however, cannot be overlooked, and exploring the role of “place” in fostering innovation and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit is a great place to start.

“Place” encompasses a wide range of factors contributing to a location’s overall character and identity – not just the physical space, but a place or destination that enables collisions, education, and community extending beyond the walls of a building. Defined as the conscious act of fostering communities where everyone can thrive, prosper, and enjoy themselves in the public space, the concept of place and placemaking has existed since time immemorial.

In Indigenous cultures, placemaking is about respecting our relations – the wind, the water, the land, the animals – and connecting with them to enhance life. By preserving the presence of Indigenous histories and futures, you can see how the connection to a place can foster the spirit of growth and a healthy, vibrant culture.

Today, smaller cities like Boulder, Colorado have been recognized as a top city for startups and entrepreneurship. The existence of an ecosystem and place that fosters innovation includes a network of investors, mentors, talent, and entrepreneurs. Places that have a high concentration of these resources create the perfect mix for innovators to thrive. If it’s easy to get access to funding, talent, and expertise, all of the essential elements of a successful start-up are right at your fingertips.

The availability of resources such as post-secondary institutions, research centres, and venture capitalists is attractive to entrepreneurs and innovators. In contrast, a place with fewer resources might not attract the same level of talent, making it extremely difficult for startups to get off the ground. But maybe the most important of all the resources is the presence of a supportive culture.

A supportive culture values innovation and entrepreneurship, and failure is viewed as a natural part of the learning process – a place where failure is not stigmatized but celebrated as a stepping stone to success. This culture of embracing failure creates an environment where entrepreneurs are more likely to take risks and push the boundaries of possibility.

The existence of a supportive ecosystem, availability of resources, a supportive culture, favourable regulatory environment, and industries in a place impact the success of a startup.

“To nurture an entrepreneurial culture, the ecosystem needs to be local, visible, and accessible in the day-to-day interactions of entrepreneurs. While different communities do have different needs, there is value placed in some degree of cross-pollination. The strongest ecosystems support healthy connections across a variety of communities."

Heidi Neck in the “The Importance of Place in Entrepreneurship.” Babson Thought & Action. September 2010.

Places can have a significant impact on the success of a start-up. That’s why entrepreneurs and innovators should carefully consider the place where they choose to start their businesses – like right here in the heart of Edmonton

By nurturing a sense of place that supports entrepreneurship, innovation, and community engagement, we can build strong, vibrant, and sustainable communities capable of driving economic growth, social impact, and positive change. Edmonton has bench strength in placemaking and a history of dedicated builders that created the foundation for a bright future. Together we are building a global, inclusive innovation capital with solutions to the world’s biggest issues today. 

Stay tuned to our channels for details about our open house (May 2023) in the heart of Edmonton’s downtown at 10107 Jasper Ave.

Scroll to Top