Located in the cultural and recreation hotspot of Ontario two-hours north of the Greater Toronto Area. Huntsville is a town of 19,000 full time residents who through their work and personal pursuits have created a centre for cultural activities, tourism, and the good life.
Huntsville is a thriving tourism destination but has cultural and heritage assets that are being underutilized. How can they drive economic development for the community and jobs for their residents by leveraging those cultural assets?
SPOTLIGHT is a demonstration project prototyped in Huntsville.
The SPOTLIGHT process is not a planning exercise. Rather, the outcome is real businesses that can be launched in 12 months. The first stage brought together an Impact & Main team of experts in entrepreneurship, culture, tourism, marketing, and operations to work with cultural organizations, artists and performers, businesses, tourism attractions, and local entrepreneurs to identify and rank the top ten commercial businesses. The second phase launches works with entrepreneurs to commercialize the cultural assets that have been identified as having the best chance to succeed. This phase is completed in collaboration with a local college, governments, and the business community.
Stage one successfully engaged the tourism, business, and cultural community to identity the top 10 business ideas. Working against a ranking plan that takes into account the authenticity of the idea, potential market size, required capital needed, and the needs of the visitors’ market.