TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario is launching the 5-10-15 Main Street Innovation Challenge, a Digital Main Street Community Collaboration Project with regional economic development partners to support the transformation of main streets and serve the small business community struggling as a result of COVID-19. 

Seeking innovative and technology-enabled solutions from Elgin, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex and Oxford counties, the 5-10-15 Main Street Innovation Challenge puts transformation for main street businesses at the centre of their solution to bring forward inclusive and disruptive approaches to economic recovery and community prosperity. Four recipients will each receive $15,000 in funding as well as a personalized suite of business advisory services through TechAlliance growth coaches. 

Swift action will result in immediate results for Main Street businesses. To that end, applications will be open for five days, starting February 5, 2021 followed by a rapid evaluation period of just five days by an adjudication panel comprised of economic development partners from Elgin, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex and Oxford counties. Successful recipients will be announced on February 16, 2021. 

The Digital Main Street Community Collaboration Program focuses on bringing together community members to collaboratively identify and solve one or more local main street challenges. The goal is to add resources to ongoing conversations across multiple sectors and assist with piloting solutions. Funding for this initiative is made available through the Digital Main Street program, with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and the Government of Ontario. 

TechAlliance is dedicated to our role as a partner with Digital Main Street in Southwestern Ontario. Working alongside our regional economic development partners, our goal is to enable responses to a rapidly changing business landscape and empower the transformation of main street businesses through innovation.

Christina Fox, Chief Executive Officer of TechAlliance.

Words from Partners

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street initiative and see the launch of Community Collaboration Projects. We are proud to work with Digital Main Street partners like TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario to help main street businesses adapt in the face of COVID-19 and move towards economic recovery.”—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“Providing businesses with the tools they need to adapt, recover and grow is a key part of our economic recovery plan throughout reopening and into the future. This Digital Main Street Community Collaboration Project through TechAlliance is just one example of how Ontario’s recovery will be driven by innovation.”—The Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

“I’m proud to have helped launch this joint federal-provincial program as part of our COVID-19 small business recovery strategy. Helping Main Street get back on its feet starts with supporting local small businesses in growing and adapting to today’s world. The TechAlliance 5-10-15 Main Street Innovation Challenge will be the innovation catalyst to support small businesses while they meet the challenges of today and opportunities of tomorrow. When small businesses succeed, Ontario succeeds.”— The Honourable Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.

“The 5-10-15 Main Street Innovation Challenge will help our region through home-grown innovation. Challenging local innovators to help transform our Main Street businesses will be key to our successful recovery.”—Mike Bradley, Mayor, City of Sarnia.

“Finding creative technology-enabled solutions that transform main street is vastly important to our businesses. Through this Community Collaboration Project, innovation will lead the way to recovery.”— Joe Preston, Mayor, City of St. Thomas.

“Bolstering main street businesses is vital to Southwestern Ontario’s economic recovery. TechAlliance’s 5-10-15 Main Street Innovation Challenge is a solid example of how innovation we can help transform businesses and prepare for opportunities ahead.”—Ed Holder, Mayor, City of London.


Tara McCaulley
Manager of Business Development
& Entrepreneurship
St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation

Brittany Wise
Entrepreneurship & Business Program Coordinator
Huron County Economic Development

Cara Finn
Director of Economic Development
Middlesex County

Ashley Conyngham
Director, Marketing & Communications
London Economic Development Corporation

Brad Hammond
Development Officer
Woodstock Economic Development

Michael Buranyi
Economic Development Officer
Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership