Programs & Services

Programs & Services

We understand that operating a new company is no small task, so our companies are offered access to a variety of unique and exclusive services and mentorship to help them create thriving businesses. However, Idea Consultations and Founders Fundamentals are designed for the community at large as a starting point to engage with us.

Idea Consultations

Idea Consultations are free one-on-one consultation services available for 30 minutes to connect with our Entrepreneurship Manager, Nafis Ahmed to leverage his experiences and understand how the York Region ecosystem can help your idea come to life. The program is designed to connect you into the various partners and support organizations within the region. Start by filling out the form.

Food Accelerator

Our Food Accelerator program is a five-month accelerator program focused on scaling promising food and beverage ventures through customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles. We are engaging ventures that have gotten past their labelling and initial package design with approximately $1,500-$3,000 in monthly recurring revenue and 10+ points of sales to scale up with us.

To learn more about the program, see our Food Accelerator page. Please note that applications will open in early February, email for details. 

Founder Fundamentals

Founders Fundamental is a regional program designed to help you kick start your entrepreneurial career in York Region. Whether you are a professional services company, brick and mortar or technology startup, the program aims to equip you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Spanning across topics such as Business Plan 101, Grant Writing, and How to Grow a Team, this program provides a wide range of learning. In addition, the program connects you with local resources within your municipalities such as your local Small Business Centres in Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill and the Northern Six plus additional resources.

Lastly, if an individual 80% of the sessions, they will receive an Innovation York Certificate of Completion from YSpace. Please register on our events page for all the sessions.


#PitchItYork are grassroots events that provide York Region startups with a platform to market their product or service, drive brand awareness, and practice their funding pitch in front of potential investors. In facilitating this event, OPN and YSpace aim is to foster community support and help entrepreneurs secure investments, attract talent, and polish their presentation skills throughout York Region.

Join the community by registering here today!

Entrepreneurs in Residence & EiR For Hire

The Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) program is a program designed to connect serial entrepreneurs and industry experts to our ventures. Our EiRs have experience working with both startups and larger enterprises and they have "been there, done that". They have founded, grown, or sold their ventures and aim to give back to the community as a volunteer in our network by sharing their wealth of knowledge. Our EiRs are passionate about helping our members tackle their entrepreneurial challenges.

In addition, the advisory services and interactions are important, but we want to provide a new level of support for our entrepreneurs as they dive deeper into these specific challenges when needed. Therefore, we also created the “EiR for Hire” program, allowing our entrepreneurs to hire a fractional executive from our EiR pool for a short window to help overcome specific obstacles and have 90% of the cost covered by YSpace.

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Innovation York's Industry Engagement Unit

Innovation York’s industry engagement unit provides a single point of contact for researchers and trainees seeking industry partners and for companies seeking academic partners. The team assists with the development of these relationships, in order to facilitate the creation of innovative research projects. The potential benefits include:

  • Access World-class Researchers, Labs, Equipment
  • Reduce Research Costs up to 80%
  • Develop New Products & Processes
  • Solve Business / Technical Challenges
  • Enhance Hiring Process

To engage with our Industry Engagement team, click here.

Mitacs for Start-Ups

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that provides support and funding to foster collaboration and innovation across Canada and the globe. We have funding programs available for Canadian start-ups and entrepreneurs.

  • Mitacs Entrepreneur International aims at helping Canadian start-ups that are housed in a university-linked incubator or accelerator to connect them with host incubators abroad (at Mitacs partner countries) and explore new business development opportunities. The program can be used to explore an international market, seek international investment or scale up the start-up at the international level, with a soft-landing in an international incubator.
  • Mitacs Accelerate supports collaborative research between for-profit or approved non-profit organizations, interns, and faculty supervisors at Canadian postsecondary institutions. You get cost effective access to university researchers and resources and a consultative project plan. Under the Accelerate Entrepreneur stream, student entrepreneurs can get funding to further develop the research or technology at the core of their business when hosted by an incubator facility.

For more information on how to engage Mitacs as a YSpace member, please connect with the Entrepreneurship Manager, Nafis Ahmed.

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