Hamilton’s Innovation Factory brings virtual office to workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

A Hamilton, Ont. non-profit that mentors local entrepreneurs believes it’s found a way to keep camaraderie amongst office staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the use of a unique virtual 3D office.

Executive director David Carter says staff at Hamilton’s Innovation Factory (IF) have been coming into work virtually for the last month using a 3D digital office created by the U.S. based platform VirBELA.

“It seemed silly at first, but then you just realize that you kind of need that grounding,” said Carter. “So it’s been really just really been good for the team.”

Carter says the idea to drop staff into a virtual world came when the Innovation Factory realized one of their major networking events at the hub was a no-go in light of the province’s emergency orders requiring strict social distancing.

Competitions and networking events, like the annual Lion’s Lair series which pairs innovators with local business experts, are at the heart of the Innovation Factory’s directives, according to Carter.


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