Hult Prize 2018: Quarter Final Campus Competition at OCAD University

Hult Prize Challenge: Harnessing the Power of Energy
Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 9:00am to 3:00pm

We are proud to announce the annual Hult Prize Quarterfinals Campus Competition at OCAD University: 

In partnership with the United Nations, the Hult Prize Foundation has created the world’s largest student movement and crowdsourcing platform dedicated to solving the most pressing social challenges on the planet. The 2018 Global Finals awards a winning team with 1 million USD in start-up capital and world renowned business-design mentorship. A quarterfinal round of the Hult Prize competition showcases diverse teams of brilliant minds with big ideas from across OCAD University. The winning team gets to by pass 20,000 plus applicants and fast track to regionals! 

Come compete with your team or simply join us on Saturday December 9th 2017 to watch the next wave of social entrepreneurs! 

Free admission

Register your team here:

Application deadline: Wednesday, December 6th 

Venue: Auditorum Rm. 190, 100 McCaul

Snacks and socializing! 

#hp18ocadu #PowerforGood

#Socent #HultPrizeEffect 

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Rm. 190 100 McCaul Street
Hult Prize Challenge: Harnessing the Power of Energy

Showcase/pitch your start-up at InnovateTO150

Are you a student-led start-up or have an innovative idea? On Nov 3, showcase and pitch your idea at InnovateTO150 -- FREE + open to all students!

Apply to GDES-4007: Social Enterprise Catalyst

Got an idea for a business, social enterprise, or project with a positive social impact? All third- and fourth-year students are welcome to apply to this course!

Primo takes top prize at Cassels Brock pitch competition

Richard Revie and Victor Lam
Friday, June 16, 2017 - 3:45pm

OCAD University’s newest entrepreneurs from the Imagination Catalyst squared off at the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition on June 15, competing for $5000 in start-up funding.  Richard Revie and Victor Lam, founders of Primo, took the top prize, out-pitching their colleagues from OCAD U’s business incubator.

Primo is a company that tailors to the initial fears behind skateboarding. The company has created a skateboard tool and a social platform to help people safely learn the sport.

Other Imagination Catalyst companies that took part:

  • SHIFT  ̶   Donovan Jesse and Graeme Anderson
  • The Dunya Project ̶   Tania De Gasperis and Sugeevan Shan
  • Thousand Stars Studio  ̶   Sally Luc, Anth Rodi and Parth Soni

The judges panel comprised:

  • Aly Somani  ̶  Lawyer, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
  • Jeannette Wiltse  ̶   Operating Partner and CFO, Relay Ventures
  • Valerie Fox  ̶  Chief Innovation Consultant, The Pivotal Point

Imagination Catalyst is a creative industries, design and social innovation ecosystem at OCAD University that supports design-driven entrepreneurs from all sectors with learning, business incubation and talent solutions.

Victor Lam

Cassels Brock Pitch Competition

Cassels Brock Pitch Competition June 15th
Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 5:30pm

On Thursday, June 15th Imagination Catalyst invites you to the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition showcasing the talented entrepreneurs from OCAD University.

This years’ event feature pitches from OCAD U grads recently accepted into the program who will compete for $5000 in start-up funding.

Come out to meet founders of the startups incubated in Imagination Catalyst – present and past - as well as network with our exceptional up advisors, mentors and investors.

The event runs from 5:30 to 8 pm in the Great Hall at OCAD University.


5:30 to 6 p.m.:   Reception & Networking

6 to 7:30 p.m.:   Pitch Competition & Awards

7:30 to 8 p.m.:   Networking 

All welcome! Click here to register 

Special thanks to Cassels Brock and the City of Toronto for their support.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, Great Hall 100 McCaul Street, Toronto ON
416-977-6000 ex 4364

OCAD U 3MT: Three Minute Thesis Competition

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

In three minutes or less convey the essence of your Thesis or MRP to a panel of judges and a diverse audience using only a single slide. The best presentation will go on to represent OCAD University at the provincial finals to be hosted at York University on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

The OCAD U 3MT Competition will be held on Tuesday, March 6th beginning at 1PM Room 322 at 230 Richmond St. W.

New to OCAD U 3MT this year:

Coaching time and feedback with participants and finalists provided by David Bateman:

David Bateman is an arts journalist, spoken word poet, and performance artist. He holds a PhD in English Literature with a specialization in Creative Writing (University of Calgary), and an MA in Drama (University of Toronto). He has taught Drama, Creative Writing, and English Literature at a number of post-secondary institutions across the country - Trent University (Peterborough), Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops), University of Calgary, and Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design (Vancouver).Over the past thirty yearsHis performance work has been presented in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

David has four collections of poetry (Impersonating Flowers, Invisible Foreground, 'tis pity, Designation Youth) published by Frontenac House Press (Calgary), as well as two collaborative poetry collections  - Wait Until Late Afternoon (with Hiromi Goto - Frontenac House Press) and Pause (with Naomi Beth Wakan  Bevalia Press).

Performing the Text Workshop

Performing the text will help you learn strategies to relax and prepare your mind and body for a presentation, connect your voice with gestures, hook your audience with a compelling ‘opener’ and rehearse techniques to minimize performance anxiety. Graduate students looking to enhance their general presentation skills or planning to participate in any knowledge translation communication challenge are invited (the 3MT® competitionFacilitator:  Julia Course, a graduate of Brock University, holding an honours B.A. from the Department of Dramatic Arts and a minor in English Language and Literature.

Deadline for Submission of Application Form - Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 11:59PM.


OCAD U Master's students who have an approved Thesis or Major Research Project (MRP) proposal on file with the Office of Graduate Studies.


  • The top presenter will receive $750 as well as training and travel support to attend the regional competition at Waterloo in April.
  • The runner up will receive $500.
  • The "People's Choice" award winner will receive a $100 gift card. This award is voted on by the audience.


You must submit a completed 3MT application form to the Office of Graduate Studies (digi­tally) no later than Friday, March 3rd, 2017. The form is available for download Here

(Please contact the Office of Graduate Studies with any questions).

Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition, each competitor’s presentation will be assessed according to the criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted.


  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of research?
  • Did the presenter clearly indicate what was significant about this research?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?


  • Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or “dumb down” the research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for the research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Would the audience want to know more about the speaker’s research?


  • Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace, and a exhibit a confident stance?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology that needed to be used, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend the right amount of time on each element of the presentation – or did the presenter elaborate for too long on some elements or was the presenter rushed to get through the presentation?
  • Did the slide enhance, rather than detract from, the presentation; and was it clear, legible, and concise?


  • A single, static slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or movement of any description are allowed), and the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration and remain in view for the duration of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and/or video files) are permitted.
  • No props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken in standard oratory prose (i.e., no poems, raps, or songs, other than those that may be the target of research).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts the presentation through movement or speech.
  • Presentations must be made by memory; notes may not be used.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.
  • The competition will be administered in English.
  • Students must be registered in a master's (Thesis or MRP) program at the time of the 3MT® competition, and must have made substantial progress on their research and analysis. Course-based master's students are ineligible.

To learn more about 3MT, visit

Check out UBC’s 3MT page with tips on competing in 3MT:

Check out the 3MT videos from around the world here:

Venue & Address: 
Room 322 at 205 Richmond St.

Imagination Catalyst's Investor Night

Guests at the Imagination Catalyst's Investor Night. Photo: Hendrick Lau
Friday, December 2, 2016 - 5:00am

Six OCAD U entrepreneurs took part in the first-ever Imagination Catalyst investor event on Tuesday, November 29. 

Investors representing a variety of firms, including Relay Ventures, BDC, York Angel Investors,  Angel One Network, Globalive Capital and Greensky Capital attended the event to hear pitches from:

Axis Labs, an IoT company poised to save property managers millions
Mobio Interactive, a biometrics company improving health care outcomes with games that are good for you
Qoints, a marketing intelligence company improving ROI for the world’s largest brands
TranQool, a mental health platform, improving access for individuals seeking assistance for mental distress
Wishpad, a real estate platform transforming the pre-sales experience of millennial home buyers
Yirego, a sustainable product design company reducing the environmental impact of conventional laundry machines

All of the entrepreneurs who pitched had attracted investment prior to the IC Investor Night. All made new contacts at the event and are scheduled to have follow-up meetings with potential investors.

Imagination Catalyst is OCAD University’s entrepreneurship and commercialization hub. Our diverse portfolio of companies apply design thinking to make lives better, create richer experiences and bring leading-edge innovations to market.

Guests at the Imagination Catalyst's Investor Night. Photo: Hendrick Lau

Bowtie takes top prize at Imagination Catalyst pitch competition

Umbra co-founder Paul Rowan and pitch competition winner Tanner Short
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 4:00am

The Umbra store on John St. was packed with some 90 spectators for the Imagination Catalyst’s fourth annual pitch competition on June 14. Tanner Wills Short, founder of Bowtie Interview Tool, took the top prize of $5,000, out-pitching four of his colleagues from OCAD U’s business incubator.

Bowtie is a puzzle-like toy that allows employers to determine the strengths of potential recruits during job interviews, rather than relying on common personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Bowtie can also be used as a team-building activity to improve workplace culture. 

Short, a 2016 graduate of OCAD University’s Industrial Design program, studied play theory to come up with his product.

Other Imagination Catalyst companies that took part:

  • Dice – Jinho Kim and Steve Kim
  • Lumos – Mulugeta Bisrat  and Alexandr Gerassimov
  • MeOrganics – Daneila Bratu and Nicol Rebello
  • Witnis – Anne Gorgy

The judges' panel comprised:

  • John Albright – Co-founder and managing partner, Relay Ventures
  • Dr. Sara Diamond – President and vice-chancellor, OCAD University
  • Allyson Hewitt – Senior fellow, Social Innovation, MaRS Discovery District
  • Paul Rowan – Co-founder and VP, Inspiration, Umbra
  • Daniel Sawaya – Founder and managing partner, AyaWas Investment Group

The Imagination Catalyst is based in a 3,000ft2 co-working space at 230 Richmond St. West. Currently, there are 77 jobs associated with the companies participating in OCAD U’s business incubator program, which has recently received renewed Campus Linked Accelerator funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence. 

The Imagination Cataylst 4th Annual Pitch Competition

4th Annual Pitch Competition Poster
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 9:30pm to Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 1:00am

TUESDAY, JUNE 14, We invite you to attend the 4th Annual Pitch Competition showcasing OCAD U's Imagination Catalyst entrepreneurs.

The event will feature pitches from OCAD U grads recently accepted into the program, competing for $5000 in start up funding.

Join us as we celebrate the successes of OCAD U incubator companies like Yirego, AXIS Life, Qoints, Foodie Pages, Mobio Interactive and TranQool.

Come for the networking with advisors, mentors and investors.


  • 530 pm - 6 pm : Networking & Showcase

  • 6 pm - 730 pm : Pitch Competition

  • 730 pm - 9 pm: Celebration & Networking

Special thanks to Paul Rowan who is hosting Imagination Catalyst at the flagship Umbra Store.

To register to attend go to:
We look forward to seeing you there!

Venue & Address: 
Umbra Store - 165 John Street, Toronto ON
416-977-6000 ex. 4364
Attendance is free
Sponsorship for the 4th Annual Pitch Competition

OCAD U graduate student makes it to Three Minute Thesis provincial finals

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 8:00pm

Mary Baumstark (MA 2016), graduate student in the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (CADN) program will join 20 doctoral and master’s degree students from across Ontario to present their research at the provincial finals of the Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT Ontario) on April 14 in Waterloo. 

Baumstark’s thesis “Craftivist Clay: Activism and Resistance in Contemporary Ceramics” was written under the supervision of Dorie Millerson, Chair, Material Art & Design. Mary competed with nine other graduate students at the OCAD U 3MT Competition on April 6. The judging panel included OCAD U professors Anda Kubis, Jana Macalik and Sarah McLean-Knapp.

The 3MT is a communications competition for graduate students. Developed in Australia by the University of Queensland in 2008, it challenges students to explain their research in plain language in just three minutes.

The 20 competitors on the provincial level are all winners of local competitions hosted by every university in Ontario.

Evoking images of “American Idol,” the 3MT Ontario judges will score the quality of the presentations and the presenters’ ability to engage the audience. The judges for the 3MT Ontario are:

  • Rob Baker, guitarist for the Tragically Hip
  • David Meyers, chief executive officer of Iceberg Vodka
  • Susan Anzolin, chief financial officer for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
  • Ken Steele, chief futurist at Eduvation
  • Gohar Ashoughian, university librarian, Wilfrid Laurier University

The judges will select winners of the 3MT Ontario, who will receive $2,000 in total prize money. As well, the top five presenters will move onto the national level, an online competition coordinated by the Canadian Association of Graduate Schools.

The 3MT is hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University and is open to the public.

The event will be livestreamed starting at 10 a.m., on Thursday, April 14.