Art, Design & Independence INFO SESSION

Art, Design & Independence Info Session presented by Imagination Catalyst and Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers

Art, Design & Independence INFO SESSION

Art, Design & Independence Info Session
Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 6:15pm to 8:15pm

Curious about how to start your own business or what it takes to become a freelance artist? Interested in meeting and learning from others who have?

Join us for a presentation, lively discussion, and networking!

WHEN: Thursday, October 19, 6:15 pm to 8:15 pm

WHERE: Lambert Lounge, Rm 187

Refreshments included.

Please RSVP -

For more information contact, Kathryn Ellis, OR Miles Collyer,

Photo Credit: Anna Peng

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Lambert Lounge, Rm 187
416-977-6000 ex. 4364

Imagination Catalyst team short-listed in UBS Future of Finance Challenge

Wondereur logo
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 3:15pm

Imagination Catalysts’ Wondereur team, co-founded by Sophie Perceval and Olivier Berger, has been short-listed in the second UBS Future of Finance Challenge 2017 (Americas).  

Their ground-breaking AI-powered Art Investment engine allows art buyers, collectors and wealth managers to check price fairness before purchase, visualize artists' cultural significance and growth potential, track their collections' performance and strategize art investments in the global art market. “This is a major disruption as art buyers today have to rely on fragmented expertise and incomplete auction data,” said Sophie Perceval, co-founder, Wondereur. “For banks, this is opening a whole new set of services in the wealth management industry (from art investment to art-secured lending), answering their clients' need for portfolio diversification and interest in tangible assets.”

The UBS Future of Finance Challenge is a competition open to start-ups and established, growing companies around the world, through which UBS, a global financial services company, looks for innovative and potentially disruptive technological ideas and solutions that will support the transformation of the banking industry.

Participants have the chance to scale their ideas and technologies by leveraging UBS’s global presence, deep expertise in global banking and ecosystem of innovation partners. Rewards for the regional finalists include $80,000 (U.S.) in cash prizes, up to $200,000 (U.S) to fund 'proof-of-concept'/pilot opportunities, and over 250 hours of dedicated coaching and mentoring from UBS experts and partners.

“Being selected as finalists for the Future of Finance challenge is a great validation of our value proposition and opens up collaboration opportunities with the UBS teams,” added Perceval. “This international recognition is coming at the right time as we are raising a round of seed funding.” The team will participate in the regional finals in New York City on November 7 and 8, 2017.

Imagination Catalyst business incubator is OCAD University’s free, one-year business incubator program that supports up to 25 start-ups.


Special visit by Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly

MP Adam Vaughan, Minister Melanie Jolie, Lisa Smith and Francisco Alvarez touring the gallery
Monday, September 18, 2017

On Friday, September 15, OCAD University welcomed Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville. This is Minister Joly’s first official tour of OCAD U since taking elected office in 2015, although she visited in April 2016 to host a creative sector roundtable here.

Minister Joly met with OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond and other university leaders to discuss priorities and policies. The Minister took part in a personal tour of the campus, including a visit to Imagination Catalyst, OCAD U’s entrepreneurship and commercialization hub. Member of Parliament Adam Vaughan joined Minister Joly for a preview the new Onsite Gallery, funded partly by the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

The Department of Canadian Heritage oversees an umbrella of organizations dedicated to the cultural, civic and economic vitality of Canada. Mélanie Joly was appointed Minister of Canadian Heritage by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the 2015 Federal Election.


Primo Runner-up for 2017 James Dyson Award

The legs of a person standing on a skateboard
Monday, September 11, 2017

Once again an Imagination Catalyst company makes it to the finals of the James Dyson Award. Primo, the project of Richard Revie and partner Victor Lam, is the Canadian runner-up in the Lifestyle category of the award. Its goal is to help would-be skateboarders learn the skill faster and safer than previously possible.

One third of skate board injuries happen in the first week of use. Primo is a product that replaces the nut at the end of the truck (the part that attaches the wheels to the skateboard deck). Primo applies pressure to the wheel, slowing it down so the rider can focus on their mind/body control and learn tricks faster. As the rider progresses, the tension on the wheel is released, eventually allowing the wheel to be completely free. The shape of Primo stops the rider from landing on the board sideways when learning flip tricks.

By 2020, when skateboarders will compete at the Olympic Games for the first time, it is expected that interest in learning to skateboard will increase dramatically. The Primo team knows they can reduce injuries as the sport grows.

From Primo’s site:

“Through the connection between the body and mind, skateboarding tests our capabilities against our will to push ourselves through constant re-evaluation to achieve our desires. To some, it’s just a toy but to others, it’s a way of expressing ourselves.”

The James Dyson Award is an international design award for emerging design engineers. The Award is open to current and recent students. It is run by the James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson’s charitable trust, as part of its mission to get young people excited about design engineering.

In 2015 another Imagination Catalyst company came in first in the national award:  Drumi, the foot-powered washing machine designed by Yi Jiang (BDes, Industrial Design, 2013).

Earlier this year Revie and Lam took the top prize at the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition at OCAD University, taking home $5000 in start-up funds.

Imagination Catalyst OPEN HOUSE!

Imagination Catalyst OPEN HOUSE - Sept 28, 4 pm to 8 pm
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 4:00pm to 8:00pm

Join Us! Thursday, Sept. 28th, 4 pm to 8 pm. Meet the entrepreneurs working in the OCAD U business incubator. Talk about your business ideas. Learn where to get business assistance. Celebrate innovation on campus! 

RSVP: Via Eventbrite 

Venue & Address: 
8th fl, 230 Richmond Street West
416-977-6000 ex. 4364

Imagination Catalyst OPEN HOUSE!

Join Us! Thursday, Sept. 28th, 4 pm to 8 pm  - 8th fl, 230 Richmond Street West.

Meet the entrepreneurs working in the OCAD U business incubator. Talk about your business ideas. Learn where to get business assistance. Join us in celebrating innovation on campus! 

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

Secretary of Cabinet visits OCAD U

Steve Orsini with Sara Diamond and Ana Jofre looking at a table
Friday, June 2, 2017

On Friday, June 2, OCAD University hosted Steve Orsini, Ontario’s Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Public Service and Clerk of the Executive Council.

During the visit, OCAD University senior administrators, faculty and staff heard about Mr. Orsini’s efforts to transform the Ontario Public Service (OPS), including through digital and open government.

President Sara Diamond highlighted the specialized and unique art, design and research produced by OCAD U students and faculty, and its alignment with the Government of Ontario’s priorities.

Several researchers and lab directors, including Jutta Treviranus, Dr. Nabil Harfoush, Dr. Greg Singer and Dr. Ana Jofre presented their work, demonstrating OCAD U’s leadership in creativity and innovation, with expertise in the areas of design, visual analytics, strategic foresight and innovation and inclusive design.

The tour concluded with a visit to the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s business incubator.


Two seated men  point to monitor
Two men standing
Two men shaking hands