Ontario’s young entrepreneurs will soon have more local resources and support for their business aspirations with the launch of a new initiative connecting them with post-secondary institutions and innovation networks including Ontario’s Regional Innovation Centres (RICS).
As part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program will invest $5 million over the next two years to ignite and kick-start entrepreneurial activities across Ontario. The OCEA program is being managed and administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Government of Ontario.
“Utilizing the combined expertise of Ontario’s universities and colleges, and our innovation network, is one of the best ways to support our young entrepreneurs,” says OCE President Dr. Tom Corr. “They already have a great deal of knowledge, expertise and experience when it comes to helping take young companies to the next level, and tapping into that will yield very positive results for a new generation of entrepreneurs.”
OCE will accept and review detailed applications into the OCEA program from post-secondary academic institutions throughout Ontario over the next two months, and award funding this spring. Applications must detail how they will support and enhance local entrepreneurship activities.
Although individual OCEA-funded projects will be primarily based out of a post-secondary institution, all young entrepreneurs will have access to their local program regardless of academic standing or affiliation with a university or college.
The post-secondary academic institutions that will receive OCEA program funding will collaborate with, but be independent of, local Campus Linked Accelerators, which are currently being established as part of the Ontario government’s Youth Jobs Strategy.
For applicants, full details of this program including general inquiries, eligibility, funding, timelines, application process, etc. are available here