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

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,  to make an appointment with a business advisor

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
41977-6000 ex. 4364

Imagination Catalyst company finalist for Edison Award

Image of Drumi washing machine
Monday, February 13, 2017

Industrial Design alumnus Yi Jiang and his company YiREGO have made it to the finals of the 2017 Edison Awards. Drumi, a foot-powered washing machine invented by Jiang, is among the finalists in the water conservation category.

The awards, which honour the best in inventions and innovators, received over 400 nominations from all over the globe. Now 100 finalists remain. The Edison Awards Steering Committee, made up of over 3000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science and marketing will determine the winners on April 20.

Other notable finalists include companies such as 3M, HP, Procter & Gamble, GE, Schneider Electric, Nokia, and Craftsman. 

Winners in each category will be announced at the black-tie Edison Awards Gala on April 20 at the historic Capitale venue in New York City. Finalists will be awarded a gold, silver or bronze designation in their respective categories.

YiREGO is an innovative household design company that focuses on creating ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable household products to improve everyday living. It was developed in OCAD U's Imagination Catalyst entrepreneurship hub. 




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.

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

Art, Design & Independence - How to Start your Creative Business INFO SESSION

IC & CEAD Info Session - Nov 23
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 11:15pm to Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 1:30am

Join Imagination Catalyst and the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers on Wednesday, Nov 23 to hear four OCAD U alumni talk about how they started their businesses. 

Natalie Catania, Founder of Ms. Dress Up, Brian Deck, CEO of SmoothPayChristina Guo, Founder of U-Dimensions, and Tanner Short, Founder of Bowtie, Team Building Solutions will talk about how they got started, what they learned through the process, and share the best and worst advice they ever got!

You'll also hear from special guest Oliver Pauk, Co-Founder of Akin Collective and representing the Toronto Studio Commons.  

Space is limited - Register HERE


615pm - Networking with refreshments

630pm - Introductions

645pm - Presenations, Q & A

8pm - Networking

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, Sharp Centre for Design Room 544
416-977-6000 x4364
IC & CEAD Info Session Poster

OCAD U's Imagination Catalyst Helps Design Start-ups Get Legal Advice

Image of CertlCelan & Cassels Brock re. Partnership with IC
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 3:45pm

Applied Arts Magazine profiles Imagination Catalyst partnership with corporate law firm, Cassels Brock -

OCAD University has been fostering business development skills through its Imagination Catalyst entrepreneurship hub since 2014. The one-year free program includes up to two-dozen start-ups at once to share studio space, equipment and mentorships.

To further its commitment to advancing the start-up scene in Toronto, Imagination Catalyst recently announced a partnership with corporate law firm Cassels Brock, which will provide advisory services to participants of the program. Read More -


100+ Come out to hear panelists debate The State of Martech: AI vs. The Human Touch

State of Martech event Panelists
Friday, November 11, 2016 - 5:45pm

Photo Credit: Sayeda Akbary. Moderator: Cory Rosenfield. Panelists: Michael Poyser, Sandy Kedey and Paul Allamby.

On Tuesday November 1, Qoints and OCAD U’s Imagination Catalyst hosted their first collaborative event together in a series we’re calling the “State of MarTech.” The purpose of this event, and future State of MarTech events, is to discuss and dissect the current Marketing Technology (MarTech) landscape, and how it might change in evolve in the future.

The topic of the day centred around the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the evolving role it plays in the digital marketing space. Qoints CEO and Co-founder Cory Rosenfield moderated a panel that included Michael Poyser (VP Analytics, Canada @ Aimia), Sandy Kedey (Chair of Advertising @ OCAD U) and Paul Allamby (Chief Marketing Officer @ Mirum Agency). The main question that the panel came to debate was whether or not AI could conceivably become so advanced that humans would no longer be needed to develop, execute and evaluate digital marketing campaigns. With programmatic ad-buying already so entrenched in today’s media planning, are we at the precipice of a dramatic shift in the digital marketing landscape (as we appear to be in so many other industries)? Read more