Ministry of Research and Innovation funds OCAD U's Imagination Catalyst Creative Entrepreneurship Incubator

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 4:00am

Speaking at OCAD University today, The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, announced a $950,000 grant to OCAD University as part of the Government of Ontario’s Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) program.

The investment will support the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization with the mission to support and develop emerging businesses among OCAD U faculty, student and alumni as well as among creative entrepreneurs across the GTA.

Campus-Linked Accelerators (CLA) is investing over $6.8 million to build on world-class innovation and entrepreneurial programs at GTA colleges and universities. On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) is providing more than $600,000 to support GTA academic institutions that are committed to entrepreneurship on their campuses.

“Creative industry and design entrepreneurs play a transformative role for cities and the larger economy, building new products and services and bringing vitality to neighbourhoods.  We appreciate the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s recognition of this significant Ontario growth sector,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. “This is the natural home for the incubation of startups in the maker, design, digital media and creative arts sectors. Creative and design entrepreneurs are distinct from other entrepreneurs in their needs, which include more workspace and specialized networking and professional development.”

CLA investments will help Ontario accelerate the commercialization of ideas and inventions out of its world-class research institutions, develop the business leaders of tomorrow, and harness the power of its support networks to build competitive regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems.

“Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is a key component of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, through programs that help transfer their ideas and skills to the marketplace while creating rewarding careers,” said Minister Moridi. “By partnering with colleges and universities to support entrepreneurship, we are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”

The investment will support the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization with the mission to support and develop emerging businesses among OCAD U faculty, student and alumni as well as among creative entrepreneurs across the GTA.

Under the guidance of OCAD University’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab), the Imagination Catalyst will work with Ontario’s Regional Centres of Excellence to design, develop and implement programming that would nurture creative entrepreneurs across the province.

To further strengthen the University’s CLA, it was announced that Relay Ventures is investing $1 million in the Imagination Catalyst Fund over four years. Relay Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in passionate entrepreneurs disrupting and creating new markets through mobile technologies. This investment fund would provide seed funding for emerging entrepreneurs in the program.

“Three years ago, I became involved with OCAD University and its ‘Imagination Catalyst’, a unique and innovative support system designed to increase student entrepreneurship. OCAD U is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets and produces world-class design professionals necessary to the success of any enterprises, large or small,” said John Albright, co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures. Albright is also an OCAD University Board of Governors member. “As OCAD U represents creativity and innovation, it brings a completely new dimension to technology-driven entrepreneurship. We are strong supporters of entrepreneurs emerging from Canadian universities, and our investment in the Imagination Catalyst Fund is a logical extension of our focus in that area.”

The Government of Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy to help 30,000 more young people from across the province connect with the tools, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment or start their own businesses. More than 20,000 job opportunities have already been created to date under the Youth Jobs Strategy.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s university of the imagination. The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University 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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Media Contact:
Christine Crosbie, Media Relations Officer
OCAD University
416-977-6000 x4890 Cell: 647-473-7778
ccrosbie@ocadu.ca

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 4:00am

Speaking at OCAD University today, The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, announced a $950,000 grant to OCAD University as part of the Government of Ontario’s Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) program.

The investment will support the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization with the mission to support and develop emerging businesses among OCAD U faculty, student and alumni as well as among creative entrepreneurs across the GTA.

Campus-Linked Accelerators (CLA) is investing over $6.8 million to build on world-class innovation and entrepreneurial programs at GTA colleges and universities. On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) is providing more than $600,000 to support GTA academic institutions that are committed to entrepreneurship on their campuses.

“Creative industry and design entrepreneurs play a transformative role for cities and the larger economy, building new products and services and bringing vitality to neighbourhoods.  We appreciate the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s recognition of this significant Ontario growth sector,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. “This is the natural home for the incubation of startups in the maker, design, digital media and creative arts sectors. Creative and design entrepreneurs are distinct from other entrepreneurs in their needs, which include more workspace and specialized networking and professional development.”

CLA investments will help Ontario accelerate the commercialization of ideas and inventions out of its world-class research institutions, develop the business leaders of tomorrow, and harness the power of its support networks to build competitive regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems.

“Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is a key component of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, through programs that help transfer their ideas and skills to the marketplace while creating rewarding careers,” said Minister Moridi. “By partnering with colleges and universities to support entrepreneurship, we are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”

The investment will support the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization with the mission to support and develop emerging businesses among OCAD U faculty, student and alumni as well as among creative entrepreneurs across the GTA.

Under the guidance of OCAD University’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab), the Imagination Catalyst will work with Ontario’s Regional Centres of Excellence to design, develop and implement programming that would nurture creative entrepreneurs across the province.

To further strengthen the University’s CLA, it was announced that Relay Ventures is investing $1 million in the Imagination Catalyst Fund over four years. Relay Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in passionate entrepreneurs disrupting and creating new markets through mobile technologies. This investment fund would provide seed funding for emerging entrepreneurs in the program.

“Three years ago, I became involved with OCAD University and its ‘Imagination Catalyst’, a unique and innovative support system designed to increase student entrepreneurship. OCAD U is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets and produces world-class design professionals necessary to the success of any enterprises, large or small,” said John Albright, co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures. Albright is also an OCAD University Board of Governors member. “As OCAD U represents creativity and innovation, it brings a completely new dimension to technology-driven entrepreneurship. We are strong supporters of entrepreneurs emerging from Canadian universities, and our investment in the Imagination Catalyst Fund is a logical extension of our focus in that area.”

The Government of Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy to help 30,000 more young people from across the province connect with the tools, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment or start their own businesses. More than 20,000 job opportunities have already been created to date under the Youth Jobs Strategy.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s university of the imagination. The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

-30-

Media Contact:
Christine Crosbie, Media Relations Officer
OCAD University
416-977-6000 x4890 Cell: 647-473-7778
ccrosbie@ocadu.ca