Raising rural entrepreneurs

April 8, 2015

Todd Smith (MPP Prince Edward Hastings), Martin Croteau (Director, Academic Entrepreneurship, OCE), Maureen Piercy (Loyalist College President and CEO), Dianne Spencer (Executive Director of College Advancement and External Relations), Lou Rinaldi (MPP Northumberland-Quinte West), Brian Smith (Chair, Board of Governors, Loyalist College).

It takes a village to raise an entrepreneur. Nowhere is this approach needed more than in rural Canada. From retaining top young talent to attracting investment and high quality jobs, small towns must look for creative ways to amplify what makes them strong in order to successfully compete in the global economy.

Inspired by this opportunity, Loyalist College partnered with local entrepreneur, industry and academic leaders to design the Entrepreneurial Studies – Business Launch program as a platform to nurture the next generation of pioneers – those expected to be the future drivers of innovation in the Bay of Quinte Region.

This elite, live lab style program is open to university and college graduates, and inclusive of all disciplines. Successful applicants will form teams around a seed or early-stage start-up that addresses a global market opportunity. They will then be guided through the building process for a scalable, repeatable and profitable business model. Students are exposed to the principles of entrepreneurship and find guidance from a network of expert business advisors, faculty and resource-rich partners to launch and grow their start-ups in under a year.

As part of this collaborative community effort, the inaugural meeting of the Quinte Startup Think Tank was held earlier this year to create an exclusive group of advisors to provide strategic guidance, offer feedback on program and connecting students with sector specialists who can act as mentors.

Thanks to the support of the Ontario Centres of Excellence coupled with the active participation of the local community, Loyalist College is set to help student entrepreneurs launch the next great Canadian start-up success story in the Bay of Quinte Region.

The Entrepreneurial Studies - Business Launch program will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2015. 

Loyalist College receives funding from Ontario's On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program, managed by Ontario Centres of Excellence.

This story was provided by Loyalist College.