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5 Canadian universities dedicated to the future of entrepreneurship

5 Canadian universities dedicated to the future of entrepreneurship

Posted by PanamericanWorld on March 03, 2016

There’s a public fascination with billionaire entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and rags-to-riches startups like Airbnb, and a hunger for technology-driven innovation and its potential. In response, universities and colleges are creating on-campus spaces where entrepreneurially-minded students can explore ideas, develop skills and potentially launch businesses.

HumberLaunch at Humber College

This entrepreneurial hub, located on Humber College’s Lakeshore campus, supports student and non-student innovators alike. It provides startup companies with mentorship and education to help them grow. You can’t apply with the inklings of an idea — it requires that applicants have launched their business or are about to launch — but interested students can take part in events and workshops to help them better formulate their idea. Students don’t have to be business majors to apply; HumberLaunch encourages applicants from an array of industries, as well as from outside of the Humber community. 

Zone network at Ryerson University

Ryerson has a suite of “zones” — dedicated communities for exploring entrepreneurship — each focused on a high-potential industry. Have an idea for a shoe line using a never-before-seen material? Apply to the Fashion Zone. Interested in coming up with new solutions for the legal community? Join the Legal Innovation Zone. There are also zones for social ventures, design fabrication, urban energy, and more. If a student has turned their idea into a viable business, with a prototype that’s in the market, or about to launch, they can apply for membership at the DMZ at Ryerson, North America’s top university-based incubator. 

Imagination Catalyst Incubator at OCAD

OCAD University graduates, alumni and faculty are welcome to apply for the one-year Imagination Catalyst incubation program. As an art and design university, OCAD’s value proposition is slightly different than other startup incubators. It leverages the design and build expertise of its faculty, and can support innovators as they physically build, hack and modify products and solutions. The goal for participating founders is to launch their for-profit or social enterprise within the year.

The Hatchery at the University of Toronto

The Hatchery program is unique in that it has three phases, or what it calls Entrepreneurial Evangelism, Hatchery Process and Start-Up Launch. During stage one, curious students (from all faculties) can attend events to explore the world of entrepreneurship, network and develop an idea. In September of each year, student teams can apply to the program and begin working on their business plan. Interviews happen in March to decide admission, upon which successful teams develop their product or solution over the summer with the help of mentorship, resources and prototyping assistance. The program concludes with a Hatchery Demo Day the following September. 

HELIX at Seneca College

HELIX supports all sectors but focuses on innovative products and solutions for the areas of health and lifestyle. It offers two “strands” — innovation and acceleration. The former offers workshops and other activities to help entrepreneurially-minded young people develop and test their idea, while the latter requires enrolment and provides resources that may include seed funding and mentorship. Innovators between the ages of 18 and 29 can participate in the program, located on Seneca’s Newnham campus.

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