Cornwall, ON—ACCFutures (ACC) hosted a special event at WBHUB in Cornwall to showcase the power of recycling local investment. The organization shared how early investment in Food Cycle Science (FCS) helped the company expand operations and become a global leader in the cleantech sector and one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies according to the Globe and Mail.
Following remarks by Shannon Lebrun, Chair of ACCFutures, and Brad Crepeau, CEO of Food Cycle Science, the parties signed a document marking the selling of ACC shares in FSC. This important event signalled a net gain of $320,000 on ACC’s initial investment. This allows the organization to continue making equity investments in important local companies including Fieldless Farms and Canobi Technologies.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to reinvest the dividends of this loan with other up-and-coming companies,” added Lebrun. “This cycle of investment showcases what happens when we help local companies grow beyond our municipal borders. FCS’ success has had a profound impact on our communities.”
“Our company’s success story is not ours alone,” echoed Crepeau. “It’s shared with ACCFutures and a community that believes in innovation, sustainability, and the power of entrepreneurship.”
MP Eric Duncan and MPP Nolan Quinn also spoke at the event, underscoring the importance of celebrating the success stories of local entrepreneurs and the economic development organizations that support them. Each reaffirmed their commitment to supporting local businesses by advocating for the interests on Parliament Hill and at Queen’s Park.
Following the remarks, Greg Pietersma, ACC’s Executive Director, moderated a roundtable discussion on the importance of decentralized economic development agencies in responding to the needs of local entrepreneurs.
The panel of experts included:
- Scott Runte, CEO and EIR, Launch Lab
- Martha Woods, Executive Director, Eastern Ontario Training Board
- Denis Lapierre, Senior Business Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
- Brad Crepeau, CEO, Food Cycle Science
- Michelle Cathers, Manager of The Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII)
While collaboration emerged as a key theme during the discussion, so too did the power of localized and decentralized economic development. The consensus among panelists was that local agencies—ones entrenched in the communities in which they serve—were best positioned to understand entrepreneurs’ needs, respond quickly, and collaborate effectively with other local organizations to add value and increase impact.
“In Cornwall, Akwesasne, and SDG, our agencies work well together but there are always opportunities to enhance that,” said Lapierre. “Organizations with strategic plans could perhaps look at their common priorities and goals. From this, they could then find ways to capitalize on each others’ strengths to be able to bring that much more support to the entrepreneurial as ecosystem.”