By Mike Beitz, The Beacon Herald
Thursday, February 12, 2015 11:38:22 EST AM
Developing a strategy for Stratford’s digital media industry began, appropriately enough, with the collection of data.
That happened Wednesday night at the University of Waterloo Stratford campus, where dozens of people gathered for a brainstorming session to identify some of the opportunities and challenges the city faces in cultivating that tech-focused sector.
“This is really the first step as we begin our conversation around Stratford’s digital future,” said Marlene Coffey, CEO of the Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation (SEED Co.)
The organization is working with a consultant, Nordicity, on a study that will help give shape to an economic development strategy revolving around digital media.
Wednesday’s lively discussion about Stratford’s digital future made one thing clear: the future has already begun.
“Obviously, we’re not starting from scratch,” said Kristian Roberts, project lead with Nordicity, noting that there are some 81 companies in Stratford and the immediate area that create something digital in nature.
“So there’s substance here. There’s things happening,” he added. “Now it’s a matter of how you put those things together in a way that makes the best sense.”
Those 81 local companies represent a wide range of sectors, noted Roberts, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, education, finance, arts and entertainment.
Three of those 81 were profiled Wednesday.