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Meet Enterprise Point

In a Nutshell:
Enterprise Point is Camosun’s one-stop gateway into its portfolio of professional services. Professional services such as prototyping, manufacturing, contract training, custom courses, consulting; basically anything that is not directly related to Camosun’s academic calendar. We wanted a comprehensive contact point for the business community to connect with us, consolidated in one professional location. That’s how Enterprise Point was born.

# of Employees: 10 employees plus one representative of the federal-Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Industry SectorBusiness consulting — prototyping, training

Area of Town: Interurban Glendale Valley in Saanich

Primary Product/Service: Manufacturing, product development and prototyping support; practitioner training; and, international liaison.

Annual Budget: Approximately $10 million.

How would you describe Enterprise Point in 30 words or less?

Enterprise Point is Camosun’s one-stop gateway into the college’s portfolio of professional and innovative services. It is flexible and responsive, providing custom solutions for regional businesses and industry.

 What is the best part about doing business in Greater Victoria?

The best part about doing business in Greater Victoria are our regional demographics. The city is a centre yet it remains personal. This combined with the variety of industries located here makes it a very attractive place to do business.

Equally important are the many active associations in the region. For example The Chamber, the GVDA or VIATeC represent active contact points that one can work with, something that is not always practical in larger cities. These networks allow Enterprise Point to connect with many people and organizations across the region by linking to a few key access points. We can approach an association representative and they can recommend prospective partners. For example, we could easily locate partners in the manufacturing or tourism industry. Or, if Camosun were to host a conference, these associations can provide us with the contact information for potentially interested parties. Or, I may need to know everything about a complex topic like shipbuilding in order to tailor our program offerings. These are all questions that can be easily answered with the assistance of these supportive networks.

What is the best thing Enterprise Point is doing for Greater Victoria?

One of the main things Enterprise Point is doing (or hoping to do) for Greater Victoria is fostering economic development throughout the region. Aside from custom solutions, Enterprise Point also uniquely links consulting with academic training. Our professional services are directly underwritten by the vast training portfolio of a 20,000 learner institution, so if someone came to ask for help with designing a sophisticated device but also required skilled personnel, we have dozens of departments who would be happy to help. These two pieces — the direct support and the lifelong practitioner training — make a pretty powerful combination.

What is it like working at Enterprise Point?

In one word — exhilarating. For that single reason we purposely created our work space as an open-concept design. We don’t have tucked-away offices where you close the door in the morning and no one sees you before 5pm. Our work atmosphere is informal in a way that information is exchanged openly. We hardly ever have formal and sterile meetings but discuss ideas and challenges ad hoc.

What are 3 things few people know about Enterprise Point?  

The first one probably is that we are located directly in the heart of Interurban Campus with a big open glass storefront, and not tucked away in some obscure building.

The second thing that few people know about Enterprise Point is the vast range of services we can provide. The spectrum is extremely broad, much broader than what people would associate with a polytechnic college. One might say, everything from employee training to facility rentals to 3D prototyping.

And finally, that all of Enterprise Point was exclusively built with federal support through Western Economic Diversification.

What is Enterprise Point proudest of?

Enterprise Point is most proud of the simple fact that is exists. It is the first professional gateway and currently the only one of its kind among BC colleges. It forms a cornerstone for the ever-changing identity of Camosun College.

 Are there any other fun facts about Enterprise Point we should know about?

As for practical projects, the students in the engineering technology programs always tend to build interesting and exciting things. During one capstone project, the team that we affectionately now refer to as "The Coffee Boys," built a new type of coffee grinder and maker. The concept has all to do with how the temperature is controlled to make the perfect cup of coffee (Yes, just like Breaking Bad!). Just put the beans in and it grinds and heats everything perfectly. The Coffee Boys are now asking for a federal grant to develop this further. This has the opportunity to go somewhere.

Speaking of going somewhere, we once built an unmanned aerial vehicle for Quaternion Aerospace and UVic. UVic Aero designed it and Camosun built the prototype. Our students tested the concept and one of them got so entrenched in the project he was hired and sent to Portugal to conduct long-range tests. Now that’s an assignment!

The concept of Enterprise Point has found international acclaim. In the spring we hosted the representatives of four Brazilian institutes for three months, so that they could study our approach to regional economic development. It is one thing to present the concept of a business liaison office in a PowerPoint slideshow, but another to "live" it for an extended period of time. In the end, they were so intrigued by the approach that they have started to create their own localized versions of Enterprise Point at home.

We are a very canophile outfit. We have dog owners, dog trainers and dog breeders at Enterprise Point. Whenever work gets a bit overwhelming, we take time out and talk about our respective pooches. At times, we bring our canine family members to work and walk them around campus during the lunch hour. It’s a nice common ground to have, far removed from headlines, politics and deadlines.

For more information about Enterprise Point and Camosun College's other innovations check out their Chamber Directory Listing.


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