Schulich partners with innovation firm to help students start businesses

Schulich school of business dean

The Schulich School of Business at York University has partnered with Kinetic Café Inc., an innovation consulting firm, to support students launching their own start-up companies.

The partnership will see the co-founders and senior executives at Kinetic Café, who include some of Canada’s most accomplished digital industry entrepreneurs and experts, working with Schulich’s Career Development Centre and the school’s Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise Program to help interested undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA students conceptualize and launch their own businesses.

Deszö Horváth
Deszö Horváth

Kinetic Café’s senior leadership includes Chris Carder, co-founder of ThinData, Canada’s largest e-mail services provider; David Dougherty, former principal of strategic innovation at Trapeze; Gary Fung, founder of PING! with nearly 13 million downloads worldwide; Derek Szeto, Founder of Red Flag Deals; and Saul Colt, first international employee of ZipCar and former Head of Magic at Freshbooks.

“Schulich is delighted to partner with one of the country’s leading innovation firms to help our students start their own businesses,” says Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth. “We welcome Chris Carder, who has a proven track record of business innovation and success, as our entrepreneur-in-residence.”

Carder, a frequent guest speaker in Schulich classrooms, will also serve as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Schulich. In his new role, he will attend student entrepreneurship events and coach and mentor select Schulich students on their startup initiatives. As co-founder of ThinData, Carder led its growth from inception to Canada’s largest e-mail solutions provider and an employer of 110 people. The company, which served many of the largest enterprises in the country, was acquired by Transcontinental in 2008.

Schulich’s partnership with Kinetic Café will also give students the opportunity to:

  • Compete in a Schulich Startup Day Competition in early 2014 – with the winning startup proposals receiving a free package of innovation, advisory and mentorship services from Kinetic Café; and
  • Gain VIP access to Kinetic Café’s Minds Beat Money entrepreneurship events, which feature some of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurs in Canada.

This announcement is the first in a series of partnership programs to come that will be designed to connect Schulich Career Development Centre and Entrepreneurship Program activities with Kinetic Café programs, projects and events throughout 2014.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me as well as for our whole team at Kinetic Café,” says Carder. “Schulich attracts many of the best young business minds from Canada and around the world with its globally oriented MBA program. I look forward to the chance to spend time connecting, innovating and sharing ideas with these amazing young people. This partnership is one of my personal career highlights and will benefit our firm, as well as the startups and enterprises we work with.”

Schulich offers an MBA specialization in Entrepreneurial Studies and has six endowed research chairs and/or professorships in the entrepreneurship field, including: Eileen Fischer, who holds the Anne & Max Tanenbaum Chair in Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise and is director of Schulich’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program; Geoff Kistruck, who holds the Ron Binns Chair in Entrepreneurship; Lorna Wright, who holds the EDC Professorship in International Business and is the inaugural director of Schulich’s new Centre for Global Enterprise; Charlene Zietsma, who holds the Ann Brown Chair of Organization Studies & Entrepreneurship; Douglas Cumming, who holds the Ontario Research Chair in Economics & Cross Cultural Studies; and Moren Lévesque, who holds the Certified General Accountants of Ontario Chair in International Entrepreneurship.

Launched in 2011, Kinetic Café is a Toronto-based innovation consulting firm focused on helping forward-thinking enterprises and disruptive startups challenge convention, imagine new possibilities. It helps them successfully bring meaningful products, services and experiences to the market that meet the needs of today’s connected consumer through world-class strategy and design capabilities.