INFORMATION PROVIDED FOR INTERNAL PARTNER REFERENCE ONLY
“Spark" Program Guide For Partners
The Tourism Innovation Lab is a non-profit initiative created to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships, to cultivate and propel collaborations between the tourism and tech sectors, and to build a community of tourism innovators and entrepreneurs in Canada.
Launched as a pilot in Windsor Essex in 2018, the Lab and its "Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program continue to expand to new regions across British Columbia and Ontario. The Lab is a program of Hackforge and is based at the University of Windsor-EPICentre.
"Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program
The "Spark" Program is delivered in collaboration with regional/local partners and includes:
Selected applicants will receive:
Program Delivery Phases & Timeline
Each region can vary in its priorities and structure, however the timeline to develop, launch and deliver the "Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program takes approximately 8-10 months with the following 5 phases:
Prior to program commencing:
Phase 2 - Launch, Promotions, and Applications Intake (5-6 weeks):
Phase 3 - Applications Review & Finalists' Pitch Session (5-6 weeks):
Phase 4 - Mentorship Program (4 months):
Program Marketing & Templates
The marketing and promotion of the "Spark" Program is done in collaboration with local, regional and provincial partners. As those partners have the most local extensive networks, this is very much a team effort!
Customized program logos with regional identifiers:
A region-specific webpage is created to host all of the program information, application guide and questions, and info session registration links (eg. www.tourisminnnovation.ca/YOURREGION).
Images of local tourism entrepreneurs are provided by partners to be featured in the program marketing and digital assets. Here are examples of promotional postcards (for digital or print) from BC and Ontario:
Communications & Social Media
For program partners: we encourage you to like and share the Lab's social media posts, as well as use the digital promos and social media ads on your own social media channels (and tag the Tourism Innovation Lab). The marketing assets can be used in newsletters, partner websites, etc.
Watch this video to learn about the "Spark" Program from a winner/mentee perspective:
Please contact us if you have any questions:
Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead
(Ontario and general inquiries)
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-844-455-0325 ext. 1
Alex Berlyand, BC Programs Coordinator
email@example.com or 1-844-455-0325 ext. 2
Learn more about the Tourism Innovation Lab
Western Canada Home Base
Tourism Innovation Lab
c/o The Common
38016 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A1
1-844-455-0325 x 2 (toll-free)
We respectfully acknowledge that our home base in Squamish sits on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples: Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam First Nations. We will honour that by collaborating with Indigenous-led organizations and businesses to support the advancement of Indigenous tourism in the region and across Canada.
Central Canada Home Base
Tourism Innovation Lab
c/o University of Windsor - EPICentre
2455 Wyandotte St W, Windsor, ON, Canada N9B 3B3
1-844-455-0325 x 1 (toll-free)
We respectfully acknowledge that our home base at the University of Windsor sits on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, which is comprised of the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi Peoples. We will honour that by collaborating with Indigenous-led organizations and businesses to support the advancement of Indigenous tourism in the region and across Canada.