communityBUILD Mash-Up seeks participants, apply by March 8

Mashup logo

CommunityBuildThe United Way York Region, York University and ventureLAB have launched communityBUILD Mash-Up – an intense two-day startup workshop and competition open to social mission driven entrepreneurs. The competition is open to non-profits and for-profits.  

The “communityBUILD Mash-Up” is seeking participants interested in taking part. Applicants must be focused on solutions that address food insecurity and youth unemployment in York Region. Those selected to participate have a chance to win a $5,000 consulting grant for their venture and to become a ventureLAB client.

“The communityBUILD Mash-Up will create a space for creative collisions between ideas and individuals who are approaching these big challenges from different perspectives. Combining skills from community, university and business, we hope to be able to identify new approaches that would not have arisen from any one perspective alone,” said David Phipps, executive director, research and innovation services at York University.

communityBUILD is an ongoing collaboration between United Way York Region, York University and ventureLAB, and this new mash-up initiative is another important step in the collaboration. communityBUILD’s mission is to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem addressing important social issues in York Region. It also will create opportunities for unique collaborations that, together, mobilize assets in communities across York Region.

ventureLAB is taking the lead on this unique initiative and is encouraged by this important opportunity to make a positive impact in community development through new collaborations. “communityBUILD is the result of a focused long-term strategy on the part of York University, United Way York Region and ventureLAB.  It makes a contribution to our region by mobilizing socially minded innovators to come together in the mash-up and create innovative solutions to our region’s most pressing social challenges. communityBUILD speaks to ventureLAB’s vision of creating entrepreneurial ecosystems that contribute to the health and economic prosperity of this inspiring part of Ontario,” says ventureLAB CEO Jeremy Laurin.

This collaborative’s first step is to address two of the region’s most pressing social issues and is a good example of how York University works with others to create a more just society. “York University is pleased to support this initiative as we work to address the issues of food insecurity and youth employment through a unique cross-sector collaboration between the academic, community and business sectors,” said Robert Haché, York University’s vice-president, research and innovation.

The deadline to submit applications is March 8. Those interested in participating are encouraged to apply online.