Big Idea Labs comes to Hamilton
October 8, 2013 in Startup
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Sept. 30, 2013) – Science and technology workers and graduates in southern Ontario are getting training and support to help them launch new innovative businesses. Presented by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), the Big Idea Labs is a pilot initiative developed in partnership with Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the National Research Council of Canada – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). This initiative provides workshops, start-up financing and grants to help graduates and newly-unemployed workers between 18 and 39 with expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) start their own businesses.
The Big Idea Labs offers dynamic professional development workshops based on The Innographer’s DIY Innovation Toolkitâ„˘ and helps promote innovative, entrepreneurial thinking. Taking place in seven communities across southern Ontario this fall, the workshops will offer participants a methodology to design breakthrough business ideas. After attending the workshops, participants can apply to receive up to $45,000 in start-up financing as well as mentoring and business resources to help launch their businesses through CYBF’s Start-up Program. In addition, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario is offering up to twelve $30,000 seed funding grants to STEM workers that have been laid off within the last two years.
“This pilot program is designed to help new entrepreneurs link the value proposition of their innovative ideas directly to the needs of their target clients, increasing their likelihood of commercial success,” said Bogdan Ciobanu, Vice President of NRC-IRAP.
“With increasing competition for high-tech jobs and recent lay-offs in the industry, the Big Idea Labs helps participants differentiate their skill sets and access the tools they need to create new businesses,” said Julia Deans, CEO of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. “We are thrilled to be working with the Government of Canada and other partners through this initiative to foster innovation and support economic growth around southern Ontario.”
“Our investment helped make the Big Idea Labs a reality and stresses the importance of science and innovation-and the potential it holds-for brilliant young minds,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “By supporting these projects, the Government of Canada is helping to ensure our young people have the opportunity to become the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and problem-solvers.”
Workshops will be held in Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Markham, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor from October to December 2013. For more information, visit www.cybf.ca/thebigidealabs.
About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF’s co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF’s application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs.
Established in 1996, CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship. CYBF is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (being held November 18-24 in 2013).