Student entrepreneurs receiving top-grade support

February 26, 2015

By Stuart Green

Student entrepreneurs in Mississauga, Niagara Region, Guelph and Ottawa now have new resources to help their fledgling companies succeed. In early February, four new campus-based entrepreneurship programs were launched  to help students and community-based enterprises develop and grow.

“With these new resources, students and recent graduates will have more access than ever to the kind of professional advice and development that can really make a difference,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). “We are proud to be able to manage this program on behalf of the Province of Ontario.”

Components of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) and Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) programs represent a combined $25 million investment in young entrepreneurs in 30 locations across Ontario. They are helping more young people find work or launch their own businesses. OCE is managing the programs on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

The four new programs launched this month are:

Ottawa Region

On Feb. 6, Roseann Runt, President of Carleton University, Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa, and Cheryl Jensen, President of Algonquin College hosted a celebration of their partnership and the $2-million CLA initiative. Minister of Energy and MPP Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and MPP Yasir Naqvi and MPP Marie-France Lalonde attended the event. The academic institutions have partnered to create the Capital Entrepreneurs Project, a venture to encourage and cultivate entrepreneurship among people aged 19 to 29. The program aims to make Ottawa the best place to start and grow a business.

The University of Guelph

 On Feb. 3, local MPP and Minister of Education Liz Sandals announced a $400,000 grant for development of the university’s Centre for Business and Social Entrepreneurship (CBaSE), a focal point for entrepreneurship activities as well as a regional connector for local start-up companies looking for assistance with applied research and development projects.

Niagara College

Launched on Feb. 4, ncTakeOff is a new initiative that will expand the college’s entrepreneurship activities across all of its programs while increasing student access to experts, mentors, events, and opportunities on campus and in the community.

University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM)

On Feb. 10, UTM’s I-CUBE program was launched with MPP Harinder Takhar and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie in attendance. An accelerator housed within the Institute for Management and Innovation, I-CUBE was established with $110,000 from the university’s $3-million CLA grant. I-CUBE will offer early-stage business development and commercialization services in the form of a physical space where innovative students and community partners engage in entrepreneurial activities.