New and enhanced programs to assist student entrepreneurs now rolling out across the province

September 25, 2014

From left to right: Han Dong, MPP Trinity Spadina; Dr. Sandra Murphy, VP, Academic and Chief Learning Officer, Centennial College; The Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities; Sheldon Levy, President and Vice-Chancellor of Ryerson University; Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University; and OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr.

Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities has been helping to launch the first wave of 13 projects in Southwestern Ontario and Toronto that will help young entrepreneurs gain business skills, mentorship and hands-on experience to start and grow a business. The projects fall under the $295-million Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy.

“Helping young entrepreneurs is another example of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy at work,” Minister Moridi says. “These programs will help harness their ideas, their vision and enthusiasm and turn them into jobs for today and for tomorrow. Their innovative spirit will build Ontario’s future.”

Two events held at the Communitech accelerator in Waterloo and OCADU in Toronto were attended by senior administrators from the colleges and universities running the projects and the Regional Innovation Centres, which are partnering with the academic institutions. In total, 20-30 academic entrepreneurship projects will be delivered.

Ontario Centres of Excellence is managing the projects.

“Ontario Centres of Excellence is pleased to be able to deliver these projects as a trusted partner of the Government of Ontario,” says OCE President Dr. Tom Corr. “I look forward to putting our years of experience in connecting academia and industry, and our ongoing support of young entrepreneurs in Ontario to good use in making these initiatives a tremendous success.”

The projects fall under  two programs being administered by OCE – the $20-million Campus-Linked Accelerator program, which is increasing existing entrepreneurship capacity and commercialization of research, and the $5-million On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities program, which is supporting new initiatives to foster entrepreneurship in communities across Ontario.

More than 20,000 job opportunities have already been created through Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy.