In recent months, the HumberLaunch Campus Accelerator has sponsored a number of events that include a startup weekend, a skills mixer (bringing together technology skills with entrepreneurial need) and also the launch of its first Entrepreneur Awards.
These activities are just a few examples of the entrepreneurial energy that has taken hold since HumberLaunch kicked off its goal of expanding entrepreneurial resources and services to the Etobicoke ‐ West Toronto and Peel region communities. It has also been collaborating with community partners in providing resources, funding and events to support young entrepreneurs in the western GTA.
The HumberLaunch team has been learning about the types of start-ups in this region in collaboration with their OCEA partner, the Mississauga Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre.
Since January 2012, HumberLaunch has worked with 70 start-ups and more than 100 Humber students and/or alumni as they pursue their entrepreneurial goals. The Accelerator provides workshops, access to experts and opportunities for funding. HumberLaunch is supported by Humber Applied Research and Innovation, and the current expansion to community members is supported by Ontario’s On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program, managed by Ontario Centres of Excellence.
This spring, HumberLaunch hosted the third annual pitch competition for Humber students and alumni. This is a competition for local start-ups. During the HumberLaunch LaunchPad final pitch, the eight entrepreneur finalists pitched to a panel of experienced judges. The eight winners took home a total of $40,000 in grand prize winnings, with the top winner taking home $12,000.
“This year the competition was fierce. All finalists are extremely passionate about their businesses, making the decision process for the judges challenging. HumberLaunch is happy to help entrepreneurs develop and nurture their business ideas,” said Cheryl Mitchell, program manager.
Humber also launched and hosted the inaugural HumberLaunch Entrepreneur Awards in April. The Entrepreneur Awards recognize young and innovative local entrepreneurs and start-ups. The awards were designed to bring the Etobicoke and Humber College entrepreneurial communities together, while promoting economic development. The winning entrepreneurs received $2,000 and a mentor award was presented to two individuals who volunteered their time to help an entrepreneur or start-up.
The HumberLaunch Entrepreneur Awards were funded with a grant awarded by Ontario Centres of Excellence in 2014. The entrepreneur and start-up award recipients use the business development costs, such as prototype development, detailed market research, product testing, professional advertising materials, and major equipment or facilities rental.
Written with content provided by Humber College.