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Innovation & Job News

OCAD U and CSI announce new partnership

Toronto has a growing number of accelerators, innovation hubs, and other organizations designed to help support young ventures launch and develop successfully.

Up next: many of those organizations, along with more traditional institutions, are starting to collaborate, forming partnerships that capitalize on their strengths and creating opportunities for people from various sectors to share their respective areas of expertise. A few months ago, for instance, Ryerson and St. Michael's Hospital announced a partnership to help the former's engineers and the latter's clinical scientists work together.

Another new partnership was announced recently between OCAD University and the Centre for Social Innovation. The goal is to develop a social enterprise-specific stream within OCAD's overall entrepreneurship hub, called The Imagination Catalyst. The Imagination Catalyst was created to help young enterprises with commercialization; this new partnership will do the same for social ventures in particular: enterprises that have some human, cultural, or environmental goal.

As part of this new collaboration, OCAD U will offer residencies to three CSI members at its Imagination Catalyst incubator, helping with access to funding, and providing other entrepreneurship support. CSI, meanwhile, will offer membership—including access to space, a vibrant community, and other funding sources—to all those incubated by Imagination Catalyst.

"Apart from start-up funding, introductions to venture /angel investors, etc., we believe any incubator experience is enhanced if you have a diverse set of start ups in the space," explains Petra Kassun-Mutch, executive director of Imagination Catalyst.

"Diversity in our case means legal form, scale, sector, and level of experience. We believe the social enterprise sector is an extremely important and growing part of the start up community space."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Petra Kassun-Mutch, executive director, Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University
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