Apply to Imagination Catalyst: DEADLINE May 14th!

Congrats OCAD U Grads! Apply to Imagination Catalyst Incubator.
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 12:15pm

If you dream about starting your own business  – consider applying to Imagination Catalyst! We offer a free, one-year business incubator program. Join a motivated group of fellow entrepreneurs who are creating, building, designing, making and inventing innovative products, services and companies.

What you need to apply:

  • A business idea that addresses an unmet need in a consumer or business market
  • A clearly identified target customer
  • An understanding of competitors and other external market forces

What we offer:

  • Customized learning opportunities
  • Experienced business advisors
  • Extensive mentor network
  • Connections to professional service providers including legal assistance
  • Access to government funding
  • Learning alongside other entrepreneurs tackling similar business development challenges

If you are interested in learning more, contact Kathryn Ellis, kellis@ocadu.ca  to make an appointment with a business advisor https://calendly.com/aelbedawy/30min

All recent OCAD U grads accepted to participate in the Imagination Catalyst incubator will be eligible to pitch for $5000 in startup funding! Apply before May 14th, 2017.

For more information, visit the Imagination Catalyst website!

Venue & Address: 
8th Fl, 230 Richmond Street West
Website: 
www.ocadu.ca/ic
Email: 
kellis@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
41977-6000 ex. 4364
Cost: 
FREE

Study Week Boot Camp 2017

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.

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

INTERSECTION: Entrepreneurship & Indigenous Art Conference

INTERSECTION is a unique gathering of Indigenous artists, entrepreneurs, academics and students, telling success stories. The keynote speaker is Dr. Jessica Metcalfe. Stemming from enduring appropriation of Indigenous material culture, Dr. Metcalfe will speak about how her blog Beyond Buckskin applied entrepreneurship as a platform to address local and global social issues. Three distinct panels will expand discussions on emerging business ideas and social innovation approaches. A series of practical workshops using design thinking and a NEW flourishing business model methods will allow attendees to practice and test their ideas for scaling up and sustainability.

The conference will:

  • Highlight successful examples of Triple bottom line (Financial, Social, Environmental) enterprises
  • Provide practical tools and workshops for students and aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Provide success stories of income generation for organizations looking for ways to replace government funding
  • Address intersections and breakdown barriers between creative and business types
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Event Program
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Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 2:00pm to Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 10:00pm

Imagination Catalyst is Accepting Applications to the Incubator Program

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 4:45pm to Sunday, May 15, 2016 - 4:45pm

Do you have a idea or product that you want to turn into a business? Imagination Catalyst incubator program is accepting applications from OCAD U Grads from 2013 and later. Apply before May 15th and be eligible to win $5000! Imagination Catalyst's 1-year business incubation program offers free co-working space, mentorship and coaching, business development training, exclusive funding opportunities and a community of diverse entrepreneurs. For more information or to speak to a business advisor email ic@ocadu.ca.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Imagination Catalyst 230 Richmond Street West, 8th Floor
Website: 
http://www.ocadu.ca/ic
Email: 
ic@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416-977-6000 ext. 4364
Cost: 
Free
Call all 2016 Grads You can turn your thesis or research project into a business poster with event info

Imagination Catalyst entrepreneur receives financing from Spin Master Innovation Fund

Image of Jenise Lee
Friday, November 27, 2015 - 5:00am

Jenise Lee has been awarded a $50,000 loan from the Spin Master Innovation Fund for her company CertClean, which she developed in OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst business incubator. CertClean is Canada’s first and only certification for safer beauty and personal care products.

Futurpreneur Canada, in partnership with leading Canadian toy company Spin Master Corp. and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) award up to $50,000 annually to entrepreneurs chosen through a highly competitive process. “With over 400 applicants, it’s an honour to be selected as one of the top businesses to receive support this year,” says Lee.

Currently, there is no governance of the use of the terms “organic” or “natural” in Canada’s beauty sector, leaving some consumers in doubt about the ingredients in products they use. CertClean allows consumers to instantly recognize products that are as free from harmful ingredients as possible.

For Lee, a chemical engineer with an MBA, this award comes at an important stage in the development of her company. “This financing has accelerated the growth of my business, enabling me to automate and scale my operations, as well as giving me the time to build my campaign to launch CertClean early in the new year.” In addition to financing, this Spin Master Innovation Fund award includes a two-day workshop with networking opportunities and one-on-one coaching from Spin Master’s senior executives.

 

Hackathon: FinTech

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Friday, October 16, 2015 - 10:00pm to Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 9:00pm

This event pairs MBAs, computer science students, OCAD U designers, and engineers to launch a startup. Teams will be formed around an idea (FinTech), products developed, and team’s creation will be pitched by the end of the weekend. 

Who: Anyone with a passion for entreprenuership! Participation by OCAD U entrepreneurial incubator The Grind

Prizes: Winning team will receive a $1000 cash prize, bragging rights, and a sit down with one of the venture capitalist judges to further develop the idea.

REVCA

Entrepreneurs are a special breed of person. It takes courage, insight and vision to turn an idea into an innovative company that touches that changes the lives of million. If you are interested in launching your own venture, becoming an innovator in an existing company or working in the venture capital industry please join us this year as we continue to build the Rotman network of entrepreneurs.

Venue & Address: 
Rotman School of Management  105 Saint George Street
Website: 
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/hackathon-fintech-tickets-18864171244

Pitch competition gives budding entrepreneurs a chance at seed money

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 4:00am

A washing machine that works on pedal power, an app that lets you find an apartment and pay rent from your phone, a website that connects artisanal food makers with hungry customers. These are some of the products to come out of OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst.

Meet the fresh new group of companies to join this hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization at the Take it to Market pitch competition on Tuesday, July 14 at the Toronto Umbra store. Come for the pitches and product demos; stay to vote for the strongest pitch and meet the celebrity judges and start-up founders.

“The diversity of companies we’re seeing come out of the OCAD U community is remarkable. Design thinking is helping start-up entrepreneurs in every sector,” said Imagination Catalyst’s Executive Director Katherine Roos.

In the July 14th pitch competition, some 20 entrepreneurs selected to participate in the Imagination Catalyst will be given 30 to 60 seconds to present their product to a panel of judges who will score them based on differentiation and innovation, quality of business model and customer validation. Up to three “pitchers” will win cash prizes.

Judges:

  • Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University
  • Stephen Tapp, Chair, Imagination Catalyst Advisory Board
  • Paul Rowan, Co-founder and Vice-President, Inspiration, Umbra
  • John Albright, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Relay Ventures
  • Leila Boujnane, CEO, Ideé Inc.
  • Pat Lorenz, investor and board member, Network of Angel Organizations

The Imagination Catalyst is entering its third year with diverse new companies working in areas such as design, digital media, consumer products and business services, among others.

Imagination Catalyst Pitch Competition

Tuesday, July 14, 5:30 p.m.

Umbra Store

165 John St., Toronto

The Imagination Catalyst:

The Imagination Catalyst is OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization. Our mission is to support and develop entrepreneurial talent among the OCAD University community as well as across the GTA. Our goal is to help launch new companies and products that contribute to the prosperity of our community.

OCAD University’s Strategic Innovation Lab in conjunction with Imagination Catalyst is working with Ontario’s Regional Centres of Excellence to design, develop and implement programming that will bring design thinking to entrepreneurs across the province.

Imagination Catalyst is currently funded by the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the province’s innovation system for scaling and growing campus-linked entrepreneurial capacity and campus-linked entrepreneurial activities. The Imagination Catalyst Fund, a seed investment fund designed to support Imagination Catalyst companies, is supported by Relay Ventures.

 

2015 Imagination Catalyst Pitch Competition

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 9:30pm to Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 1:00am

The Imagination Catalyst is OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization. Our mission is to support and develop entrepreneurial talent among OCAD University faculty, student and alumni as well as creative entrepreneurs across the GTA. Our goal is to help launch new companies and products that contribute to the prosperity of our community. 

Join us for our second annual Pitch Competition on Tuesday, July 14th when we celebrate the achievements of the 2014/15 Imagination Catalyst companies and introduce the founders who will participate in our 2015/16 incubator cohort at the Umbra store!

Come for the pitches and product demos. Stay to vote for the strongest pitch, network with investors, and meet our celebrity judges and startup founders. 

The events of the evening will be as follows:

-        5:30–6:00                              Networking + Showcase

-        6:00-6:15                               Welcome & VIP Introductions

-        6:15-6:45                               Celebrating IC’s 2014/15 grads 

-        6:45-7:15                               Introducing the IC’s 2015/16 cohort 

-        7:15-8:00                               Networking break + Showcase

-        8:00-8:30                               5 Finalist Pitches 

-        8:55-9:00                               Prizes Announced

For more information about the Imagination Catalyst visit here

To get in touch with us, email ic@ocadu.ca

If you have any questions about the event, email schen@ocadu.ca

We hope to see you there!

#ICPitch15

#ImaginationCats

Organizer

The Imagination Catalyst is OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization. Our mission is to support and develop entrepreneurial talent among OCAD University faculty, student and alumni as well as creative entrepreneurs across the GTA. Our goal is to help launch new companies and products that contribute to the prosperity of our community. 

Venue & Address: 
Umbra Store 165 John Street  Toronto, ON M5T 1X3 Canada 
Website: 
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-imagination-catalyst-pitch-competition-tickets-17433472987

OCAD U Bookstore x The Grind

Bunch of hanging, colourful objects
Row of skateboards
Colourful African bracelets
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 4:00am to Sunday, May 3, 2015 - 4:00am

Come to the OCAD University Bookstore and Support OCAD U's entrepreneurial community hosted by The Grind during the 100th Annual Graduate Exhibition!

See what incredible products and brands students have created. We have products for sale by: 

Coco's Frosting Shack 

Alexander Bailey x Wavvy Baby 

Devour and Destroy 

Eekonomy 

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 51 McCaul Street Toronto, ON

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