Location: Kingston, Ontario

Kingston Economic Development Corporation and Queen’s University engaged Stiletto to develop an innovation ecosystem map to identify the gaps and opportunities within their start-up ecosystem. Both partners felt that there was room to increase their outreach to local start-ups, but needed to have that assumption validated. Once identified, a determination of which service providers were supporting what business growth stage was also required.


Stiletto undertook a multimodal scan of the Kingston innovation ecosystem:

  • Online surveys, one-on-one interviews with local business / academic leaders, and secondary research of local assets, capabilities, and businesses was completed.
  • A 17-step process delineating the various stages entrepreneurs experience in starting and scaling their businesses was created. 
  • An analysis mapping the assets to the various stages was completed. This approach determined which entrepreneurial stages were being serviced by which organizations / programs and to what extent. 
  • A detailed comparative analysis on other academic institutions was also completed to determine how they support their regional ecosystems.


Stiletto assessed the opportunities and delivered recommendations on how to better support companies navigating the innovation ecosystem. A report benchmarking Queen’s University relative to other comparable academic institutions in the innovation / entrepreneurship ecosystem space was provided. Content for use in a new online portal was also developed. Through this research, the partners gathered critical data to understand how business can engage with them in the future. Data from the report was immediately used as evidence within proposals to better fund and support the ecosystem.