York University launches LaunchYU: a campus-wide entrepreneurship program

On Monday, York University announced the creation of LaunchYU, a campus-wide initiative that supports early-stage entrepreneurship and helps to accelerate start-up companies within the University and the surrounding community.

The LaunchYU initiative will identify students and youth interested in exploring entrepreneurship as a viable career option, foster their entrepreneurial endeavours, and support the acceleration of high potential ventures. Innovation York, the University’s industry liaison and commercialization office, in collaboration with the Faculty of Health and the Lassonde School of Engineering, will facilitate LaunchYU.

Robert Hache

Robert Haché

“Building on existing entrepreneurship activities within Innovation York, the Schulich School of Business and the Bergeron Entrepreneurship Science & Technology program in the Lassonde School of Engineering, LaunchYU demonstrates the commitment that York University has made and will continue to make to entrepreneurship,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president Research & Innovation. “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.

In order to mobilize LaunchYU, York University partnered with a number of organizations, including Collide Hub Inc. a startup company that is commercializing a resource-sharing and collaboration platform for entrepreneurs, ventureLAB, one of Ontario’s Regional Innovation Centres, and York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) an organization focused on accelerating innovative small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

“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 will support hundreds of youth entrepreneurs over the next two years and aims to foster many new ventures.”

Funding for LaunchYU has been made possible by the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program supported by the Government of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, in addition to matching contributions made by York University and its project partners. The OCEA funding is managed by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs.

LaunchYU provides workshops and networking opportunities, as well as on-campus access to high quality start-up accelerator programs through our partners, ventureLAB and YEDInstitute. Workshops will begin in January 2015 and accelerator programs in summer 2015.

For students and faculty members interested in getting connected, meeting program staff and other entrepreneurs, and learning about on upcoming events, visit the LaunchYU website and join the LaunchYU community on Collide Hub.

York University is a member of:One logo representing the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs