communityBUILD launches the Social Venture Pipeline accelerator program for social entrepreneurs

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Innovation York announces that communityBUILD, an ongoing collaboration between York University, Seneca College, ventureLAB, United Way Toronto and York Region, has launched a new Social Venture Pipeline initiative to help budding social entrepreneurs in York Region build their social venture ideas into companies.

communityBUILD’s mission is to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem by addressing important social issues in York Region and beyond. The new Social Venture Pipeline initiative is now accepting applications to join the program beginning in May 2016.  The program consists of a four and one half month accelerator followed by a three month incubator for social ventures near to launching their solutions to market.

Robert Hache
Robert Hache

“communityBUILD finds ways to engage social entrepreneurs who are focused on addressing major social issues, whether on a local or global scale,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the Social Venture Pipeline program will benefit from research expertise and mentorship, as well as opportunities to learn more about social issues important to York Region.”

The Social Venture Pipeline initiative is a program that arose from York’s partnerships with United Way Toronto, York Region and ventureLAB, the York Region’s Regional Innovation Centre and Seneca College. communityBUILD’s unique collaboration connects the strengths of university and college research with entrepreneurship and the lived experiences of members of the York Region community.

David Phipps
David Phipps

“For more than 10 years, York University and the United Way have been working together to help to advance social innovation.  Our collaborative expertise in this area helps distinguish the Social Venture Pipeline initiative from other supports for social enterprises in Ontario,” said David Phipps, executive director of research & innovation services at York University.

The goal is for entrepreneurs to merge the social impacts with business acumen to turn their social venture ideas into growing and emerging businesses. The Social Venture Pipeline program builds on the programming offered through the communityBUILD Social Innovation Mash-Up competition in 2014.

Innovation York helps bring innovative research and discoveries to market by connecting industry partners and other entrepreneurs with researchers and students. The organization provides access to resources and information, and creating a vibrant and engaged research community for start-ups to be successful and enabling social innovation.

Applications for the Social Venture Pipeline are due on April 15. For more information or to register, visit: