Mobile Accelerator Program (MAP)

MAP focuses on developing the business skills of mobile business entrepreneurs. Through a series of six half-day workshops, mobile developers, producers, and designers will have the opportunity to connect with industry advisors and each other to form new business connections and receive support to help grow their business.

This six-week program will provide intensive half-day workshops on the 6 steps involved in developing mobile products/services. A light lunch will be served and participants will receive one free drink at the networking event after each workshop.The program is as follows:

Workshop 1: Concept - Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Concept stage is where the initial idea for the project is developed. This is where blue sky thinking is engaged - what is my ideal project?

- Advice and tools for idea generation

- Skills for efficient and effective brainstorming

- Guidance when assessing the current marketplace, such as trend forecasting and research methods

- Tips for finding a market and defining an audience

Workshop 2: Definition & Business Case - Thursday, January 31, 2013

At this stage, ideas are expanded to see if they are financially and technically feasible. This workshop will assist mobile professionals to better understand the marketplace.

- How to build a successful business plan

- Examples of alternate business models

- Advice and tools for attracting investors and grants

- Budget management

Workshop 3: Mobile Design & Development - Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is the phase where both creative and technical design takes place.

- Various design processes

- Scheduling

- Advice and tools for developing across multiple platforms

- Tips for building your team and network

Workshop 4: Testing - Thursday, February 28, 2013

Testing is vital for both the creative and technical aspects of a mobile project. This is how you make sure your product is hitting audiences in the right way.

- Recommendations for testing

- Possible outcomes

- How to make the most of user testing

Workshop 5: Market Deployment - Thursday, March 14, 2013

Market deployment refers to the launch, distribution, marketing, and any other public events that may be a part of the lauch of the project.

- Examples of marketing, distribution, event launches

- Tools and advice for being market ready

- Sales strategies

- Tools and advice for assessing success

Workshop 6: Maintenance - Thursday, March 28, 2013

The product lifecycle does not end at deployment. The project needs to be maintained technically as well as creatively.

- Upgrades, new versions, new features

- Routine maintenance

- Addressing technical glitches, bugs

Is MAP right for my business?

We're looking for the following types of companies:

  • Startup businesses building mobile applications whose products would be conceived, developed, and sold within one year—mostly for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry platforms.

  • Established businesses developing mobile applications for future networks, who could benefit from MEIC’s access to research infrastructure to test their product’s usability, market potential, and technology by linking them to a range of contributing stakeholders including prospective consumers.

  • Businesses exploring the collaborative development, distribution, and interactive play of mobile applications over the expanding capabilities of the mobile internet.

Program Participant Eligibility

Acceptance is on a first-come-first-served basis, and the program will accept a maximum of 40 companies. Participants are able to register on a per-workshop basis or purchase a MAP package including all 6 workshops.

For more information and to register, visit

MAP is made possible with support from


City of Toronto

Microsoft Canada

For information on MEIC membership and to register for the Mobile Accelerator Program, visit our website at or contact us or 416-977-6000 x4363.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 2:00pm

Mobile Developers and Designers of Toronto (MDOT) User Group

The Mobile Developers & Designers of Toronto (MDOT) User Group is dedicated to helping nurture the skills and competencies of mobile developers and designers in the Toronto area. 

MDOT gets mobile professionals together for two hours after work each month to talk tech and creative around mobile media content and platform development. The user group covers a wide range of topics and technologies.

For more information about MDOT and upcoming events, visit the website here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 2:00pm

Mobile App Devkit

A mobile enabled website designed to help users learn about mobile app development and to learn best practices for planning mobile app development projects.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 2:00pm

Mobile Forums

Need a large audience for your business/product launch? Mobile Forums offer two hours to present and network with up to 300 audience members. Full support is provided from social media marketing to event logistics.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 2:00pm

Mobile Advisory Network

Connecting people is the one thing that MEIC does best. As a member of the Mobile Advisory Network, your company will be presented with vetted opportunities to connect with prospective new clients on a timely basis.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - 2:00pm

How do we get Canadians talking about death and dying?

Image of Karen Oikonen sitting at desk.
Monday, June 8, 2015 - 4:00am

Only 30 per cent of Canadians have advanced care plans for themselves.  These plans help doctors and families know what patients want when it comes to end-of-life palliative care.

OCAD University student Karen Oikonen has tackled this problem as part of her Strategic Foresight and Innovation major research project.  Oikonen focused on the issue of making it easier for families who live far apart to communicate and get better info about their sick loved ones.

She experienced the problems with the system first-hand when she lost her dad to cancer.  Oikonen flew to Thunder Bay almost every other weekend, leaving her two-year old son at home and often arriving back in Toronto at 6 a.m. and going right to work.

“As we move away from where we’re born we still want to be connected to our parents and their well-being,” says Oikonen. There are some big problems with the current system. Medical practitioners are only allowed to give details and updates to the patient’s power of attorney over the phone – so if you’re living across the country and aren’t your parent’s POA, you’ll have to rely on someone else for info or get on a plane.

“When my dad died it changed everything,” says Oikonen. “The world didn’t look the same for me anymore.”  She was mid-career and looking for a masters degree.  When Oikonen heard about the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program, “I knew, this was it,” she says. 

You can learn more about Oikonen’s project and the exciting work of other innovative Strategic Foresight and Innovation students at their graduate exhibition, xFutures, on now until June 17th at 49 McCaul Street, Toronto.


A quipu. Photo by David Mcintosh.
Weavers in Peru. Photo by David McIntosh.

David McIntosh, an Associate Professor, Media Studies at OCAD U, is the recipient of a major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant for a major research and creation project he’s leading called QUIPUCAMAYOC. McIntosh's project is a transmedia, translocal digital game that will be played simultaneously within two Andean communities, one in Cusco, Peru and the other in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The grant will fund project development for three years and is valued at $278,690.

McIntosh and his team of researchers are beginning with historical and geographical research into pre-colombian texts and remote communities referenced in those texts. The game concept began with the historical, Andean notion of quipu, a form of record-keeping based on knots in strings that was used in Inca society until the Spanish Conquest in 1532. Like a decimal system, each knot position, colour and twist in the string has meaning. QUIPUCAMAYOC refers to the keeper of these string memories. These were the traditional storytellers of a community, and any quipu that survived the Spanish colonization are sophisticated narrative devices, rich with stories of the past.

The game prototype McIntosh’s team will develop centres around both historical storytelling and contemporary communication between communities in Cusco and a neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. “I spent a lot of time in Cusco and Buenos Aires over the past ten years, and became aware of a large expatriate Peruvian community of textile factory workers in an area in Buenos Aires,” says McIntosh, who describes this neighbourhood as similar to Spadina and Kensington Market in Toronto, insofar as the concentration of immigrants in it has shifted over the years. What interested McIntosh was the fact that the Peruvian expats developed their own communication system back and forth between Cusco and the neighbourhood in Buenos Aires to make it easier to send money back to their families in Peru.

“I thought about the movement back and forth of money and people, and developed the idea of a game structure — a publically performed mix of performance and gaming using wearable game controllers that are also musical instruments that reunites these two Andean communities based on their shared history,” says McIntosh.

In addition to sound, gameplay will also include dancers and performance artists, culminating in a public fiesta which the public will both observe and participate in. In development of gameplay, McIntosh and his team will be working with local Peruvian and Argentinian musicians, choreographers, performers and game specialists and anthropologists.

“A lot of commercial gaming centres around first-person shooting,” says McIntosh. “My goal is to deploy digital media research and creation to push the boundaries of technological innovation in specific contexts. Where we go in our research will be propelled by creative outcomes, historical documents, questions of post-colonial reinterpretation and provocative ways we can engage gaming as a contemporary idiom.”

About David McIntosh

In addition to teaching at OCAD U, McIntosh is a visual artist, film producer, scriptwriter and curator. His PhD from York University focused on the rise of decentralized media structures and distributed networks. His research regularly brings him to Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico and has multiple points of focus, including: globalization and the political economies of audiovisual spaces, network theories and practices, new media narrativity, mobile locative media, game theory, digital documents, Latin American media and queer media.

QUIPUCAMAYOC arose out of an earlier project McIntosh led, a new media documentary called Qosqo Llika, a mobile media documentary that invites participants to travel back in time to experience the cultural life Cusco, Peru in the 1930s.

McIntosh’s research team for QUIPUCAMAYOC includes:

Ricardo Dal Farra, Concordia University
Patricio Davila, OCAD U
Judith K. Doyle, OCAD U
Alan Durston, York University
Dot Tuer, OCAD U
Emma Westecott, OCAD U

The grant is one of two awarded to OCAD U (the other project funded is Richard Fung's RE:ORIENTATIONS).

Learn More

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 

Original Quosqo Llika project

David McIntosh

OCAD's Strategic Innovation Lab to lead major foresight project '2020 Media Futures'

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 8:00pm

(Toronto — February 16, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) today announced it will lead a multidisciplinary strategic foresight project called 2020 Media Futures: Strategic Foresight for Ontario’s Cultural Media Industries, designed to understand and envision what media may look like by the year 2020 – what kind of cross-platform internet environment may shape media and entertainment in the coming decade and how Ontario firms can take action today toward capturing and maintaining positions of national and international leadership.

2020 Media Futures is an ambitious, 14-month long foresight project bringing together researchers, creators, policymakers and other professionals representing the cultural and digital media industries. A significant grant of $132,500 has been provided by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) through the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund. Additional support will be provided by key industry partners and OCAD, bringing the total value of the project to $226,500.

2020 Media Futures builds on OCAD’s demonstrated capacity undertaking industry-driven research through consortia such as CONCERT and the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC),” explained OCAD President Sara Diamond. “OCAD’s sLab is uniquely positioned to lever our community’s strengths to support research, commercialization and economic development within the entertainment, screen-based and creative industries, including design, services, technology, infrastructure and policy.”

“sLab is delighted to have this opportunity to lead the development of a shared future vision for the media and entertainment industries in Ontario,” said Lenore Richards, Director of sLab. “In this unprecedented project, initiated and shaped through a close collaboration among Communitech, Nordicity and sLab, we will draw on distinct and diverse capabilities within our own communities and from across the Creative Cluster throughout the foresight scenario process. Unique to this project will be the active participation of graduate students in OCAD’s Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, a groundbreaking new program and the first of its kind in Canada.”

Strategic foresight is a systematic approach to gathering intelligence about possible futures, and building a high quality forward view aimed at guiding and enabling present-day decisions. 2020 Media Futures will investigate several key areas of inquiry, including media convergence, consumer choice, distribution channels, distinctions between producers and consumers, interactivity, and the integration of technologies.

“sLab develops design thinking, business insight, and strategic foresight through an open, informed, imaginative and disciplined process,” said Greg Van Alstyne, Director of Research at sLab, and project leader for 2020 Media Futures. “Our aim is to help Ontario’s creative companies and industries ‘future-proof’ themselves, preparing for rich opportunities and unexpected threats brought on by the rapid evolution of media.”

The project aims to build upon previous foresight programs undertaken around the world, but within an Ontario-specific context. The resulting research from 2020 Media Futures will be made available in an open, publicly accessible forum with the goal that the project’s findings will help significantly build capacity and provide early-stage recognition and support for innovative products, services, platforms, and business models.


2020 Media Futures Partners:
Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
Achilles Media
Corus Entertainment
Breakthrough Films and Television
GlassBOX Television
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
National Film Board of Canada
Nordicity Group
Ontario Centres of Excellence
Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
York University

About Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab)
Strategic Innovation Lab ( is a centre for research in design, strategic foresight and innovation at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD). sLab integrates academic investigation, professional engagement, education and skills development for private, public, and not-for-profit stakeholders. sLab is a growing community of researchers and practitioners, design and business professionals, teachers and students, who are passionate about envisioning possible futures.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design ( is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information and images please contact:


Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)


OCAD announces innovative research partnership

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 5:00am

(Toronto — March 4, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) announced an $11.5 million interdisciplinary research project designed to develop the next generation of data analysis and visualization tools. The collaborative project includes computer scientists, vision scientists, designers, artists and social scientists at York, OCAD and U of T, with 14 industry partners.

How do you look at millions of genomic patterns and see the diagnostic implications? How do you assimilate satellite data to better predict and visualize the effects of global warming, pollution, and weather patterns? How can you chart the global migration of millions of people under slavery? How do you assess the impact millions of blog entries have had on the print media economy? How do you sift global intelligence reports to identify the real threats? Each day, humanity poses thousands of similar questions as we produce massive data sets in every field − but as the data grows, the challenge becomes translating this data for the human senses and delivering the best analysis to solve real-world problems.

The Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data-Driven Design (CIV-DDD), led by York University in partnership with the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), promises to develop the next generation of data discovery, design, and visualization techniques by developing new computational tools, representational strategies, and interfaces.

The $11.5 million five-year project brings together a unique multidisciplinary team of over 50 researchers from York, OCAD, the University of Toronto, 14 industry partners, and significant international collaborators. John Tsotsos, Canada Research Chair in Computational Vision and professor of vision science at York, is the project’s principal investigator. Nick Cercone, professor of artificial intelligence and data mining, will co-lead York’s team of 14 researchers, who include Amir Asif, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, and Caitlin Fisher, Canada Research Chair in Digital Culture in the Department of Film. Sara Diamond, visualization design researcher and president of the Ontario College of Art & Design, will lead OCAD’s team of 12 researchers, who include Vladimir Spicanovic, dean of the Faculty of Art, and Greg van Alstyne, professor in the Faculty of Design and director of Research, Strategic Innovation Lab.

Ontario's Ministry of Research and Innovation has provided over $3.8 million in funding through the Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence Program; industry partners will contribute over $3.6 million, with the remaining $4.1 million coming from the project’s institutional partners.

“Humans’ capacity to interpret sensory stimuli is limited, which is why the human processing strategy is to attend to the relevant and ignore the irrelevant,” says Tsotsos. “Determining what’s relevant is a key task. Equally important is discovering how best to present such data in a form that is quickly and effectively understood. By combining our team’s expertise in computer science, design, digital media, visual perceptual science, fine arts, and the social sciences, CIV-DDD will discover and provide new visualizations for underlying patterns, processes, and relationships within data sets. These in turn will suggest new research directions and applications, laying the foundation for a new wave of knowledge creation and technological products.”

CIV-DDD formalizes many existing research collaborations, both within York University’s faculties and departments and among researchers at York, OCAD, and U of T. “In the new paradigm of data-driven discovery, art and design researchers have a profound role to play in partnership with scientists, making the invisible visible, heralding a new era of knowledge, cultural creation, and technological products,” said Diamond. “This preeminent research hub for the development of next-generation data visualization techniques is unique in its level of interdisciplinary fire power, strong collaboration with end-users and international links. It aggregates and extends much successful collaboration amongst the researchers, and between OCAD and York University.”

Many techniques and technologies developed by research groups associated with CIV-DDD will become resources for the entire team as they focus on new data-driven design and information visualization solutions in four thematic areas:

  • bioinformatics and medicine
  • fine and performing arts
  • engineering and physical sciences
  • humanities and social sciences

Collaboration between industry and academia is crucial to the project’s success. “Platform Computing is honoured to support the CIV-DDD project and provide the students and researchers at York and the OCAD with cutting-edge technologies to explore and create the next generation of visualization solutions and services and help them tackle scientific, social and human challenges,” said Jingwen Wang, vice-president, products, at Platform Computing. “Collaboration and information sharing are fundamental to academic research and Platform products enable researchers and students to easily collaborate and manage data and resources to capture, simulate and analyze their results.”

CIV-DDD’s industry partners highlight its wide applicability across sectors, including:

“CIV-DDD responds both to a dramatic paradigm shift in the health, social and economic challenges facing Canadians and the need for more research capacity and state-of-the-art infrastructure in this region,” said Stan Shapson, York’s vice-president Research & Innovation. “It also builds on the existing strengths of York’s Centre for Vision Research in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Institute for Research on Learning Technologies in the Faculty of Education, and Future Cinema Lab in the Faculty of Fine Arts, among others.

“By leading the Consortium on New Media, Creative, and Entertainment R&D in the Toronto Region (CONCERT), York and its partner universities and industries identified the preconditions necessary to develop a high-end visualization industry in Ontario. This unique collaboration will help fulfill one of CONCERT’s long-term objectives, which was to grow the region’s entertainment, screen-based and other innovation-driven creative industries into a globally competitive cluster.”

CIV-DDD will also support Ontario’s economy by producing innovative technology for commercialization, such as new:

  • data-mining algorithms
  • 3D-vision and 3D-modeling technologies
  • data-display tools and protocols
  • visualization-design methods and techniques
  • data-inquiry paradigms
  • user-friendly interfaces that can be scaled to a variety of screen displays
  • new aesthetics and research practices

“We’re proud of the cutting-edge work that our researchers do at York University and the wealth and jobs they create in York West and across Ontario,” said Mario Sergio, MPP for York West. “New discoveries will continue to be made and we want those people, those ideas and those jobs right here in our community.”

CIV-DDD is one of 21 projects funded by the Ontario Research Fund–Research Excellence program, which has provided almost $69.5 million to support more than 214 researchers in seven cities across Ontario. The Ontario Research Fund is a key part of the province’s Innovation Agenda, a $3.2 million strategy designed to move world-class research from the lab to the global marketplace in key areas such as life sciences, digital media, and green energy to ensure Ontario will be among the 21st Century’s winning economies. The Research Excellence program helps develop Ontario’s research talent while ensuring Ontario researchers have the operating funding they need to undertake world-leading projects.

For a full list of funded projects, visit MRI’s Web site.

About York University
York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 200,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 10 Faculties and 28 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design ( is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information and images please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

Elizabeth Monier-Williams, Research Communications, York University,
416 736 2100 x21069

Sean Billingsley, Faculty of Science and Engineering, York University,
416 736 2100 x22814

Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking

Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking
Friday, November 29, 2013

With visiting artist Aimee Lee

Korean papermaking has a history almost as long as papermaking itself. Korean paper, known as hanji, is made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree, renowned for its long and strong fibers. This makes hanji ideal for an array of applications, from uses in the home and studio to experiments in robotics, cuisine, and audio technology. Aimee Lee, the leading American scholar on Korean papermaking and author of award-winning Hanji Unfurled, will share her journey through the history, practice, and use of hanji. These stories will be accompanied by images and videos of her research that depict the current state of Korean papermaking and related arts, further illuminated by samples of hanji and artwork made of this lustrous and durable paper.

Aimee Lee is an artist who works in paper, book, and installation arts. She holds a BA in Visual Arts from Oberlin College and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. She researched Korean paper arts as a Fulbright fellow and built the first Korean papermaking studio in North America in 2010 at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland. In 2012, The Legacy Press published her book, Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking, honored by the Eric Hoffer Book Award in 2013. She travels widely to lecture, teach, exhibit, and serve as a resident artist. Visit for more information.




Venue & Address: 
Central Hall, Room 230 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario