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Schudents’ Gateway to Entrepreneurism with LaunchYU

Hammad Motiwala, iBBA 2019

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For those of you who have that tendency to include entrepreneurship when envisioning any professional context, LaunchYU is the perfect start. Speaking of the perfect start, if you have an idea for a business and need assistance in getting started, then LaunchYU is where you should be heading for the October 24th workshop. The ‘Implementation & Prototype Development for your Startup’ workshop is the perfect opportunity for potential entrepreneurs that want support in growing their business.

LaunchYU was created on November 10th, 2014 as a campus-wide initiative that supports early-stage entrepreneurs and helps in the acceleration of start-up companies. “Our goal is to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship in our students and ensure that startup companies created at York University reach their maximum potential,” said Robert Haché, York’s Vice-President Research & Innovation. LaunchYU has partnered with organizations such as Collide Hub, ventureLAB and York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) in order to expand and provide their services in a well-resourced manner. “By partnering with these key organizations, we can leverage existing resources, bring them on campus and make them accessible to our student population and surrounding community,” says Sarah Howe, Director, Innovation York.

LaunchYU consists of several sub-divisions, each providing its unique function for prospective entrepreneurs to benefit from.

IgniteUP: Do you have a great business or social venture idea?
The IgniteUP assists the LaunchYU program by providing mentorship services throughout the year. IgniteUP mentors provide expert advice from their experience in their respective fields. The IgniteUP team involves Aïko Thurlow, Founder/CEO, InFounders; Chris Carder, Chief Commercialization Officer/Co-Founder, Kinetic Commerce; and Elliott Atkins, Co-Founder, Opilio Labs Inc. IgniteUP Forms can be filled here followed by scheduling of Mentor Meetings.

RevUP: Learn to take your idea from concept to reality with RevUP!
The RevUP workshop series is the best route to take for prospective entrepreneurs who want to be guided through the various key topics to be considered when starting their own venture. The upcoming workshops on various topics can be found here. Here is the opportunity for entrepreneurs in York University to step outside their college buildings and head over to the Kaneff Building just across the street and take advantage of all the lessons to be learned.

AccelerateUP: Supporting entrepreneurs as they Build, Launch, and Scale their ventures
The LaunchYU AccelerateUP program is a 4 month program, run through partnerships with ventureLAB and YEDInstitute. The intensive program provides lectures, workshops, one-on-one mentorship, and other services to assist ventures as they launch and grow. The program also provides an opportunity to receive a maximum of $8,000 in cash awards. The top startup will be awarded $12,500 and receive an equal amount of Aird & Berlis’s StartupSource legal services. Applications for AccelerateUP can be accessed here.

The program has supported more than 1,850 entrepreneurs and 90 ventures. The ventures supported by LaunchYU have raised more than $2 million in external funding. The aspiring team behind LaunchYU involves Sarah Howe, MBA, RTTP, who is a Director at Innovation York and Nilay Goyal, MBA, who is the Entrepreneurship Manager at York University. The success of the LaunchYU program is clear. It is also clear that entrepreneurs are not just made in the class room. Entrepreneurship is self-imposed! Face your entrepreneurial traits by taking part now and unleashing the ventures that lie ahead. So… What are you waiting for?

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