LaunchYU rebrands and launches new programs


LaunchYU has rebranded its entrepreneurship programming and added two new programs to complement the existing summer accelerator program, all designed to help York students and budding entrepreneurs on the journey to starting their own ventures.

IgniteUP is an initial touch point for students who have an entrepreneurial idea and don’t know where to begin, or have a venture and want advice on how to move it forward. IgniteUP gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage with LaunchYU mentors and industry professionals. Students can book an appointment through the LaunchYU website to sit down to discuss their opportunity and receive valuable feedback for improvement.

RevUP is a pre-accelerator workshop series designed to help entrepreneurs test their new venture idea and take that idea from concept to reality. This five-event workshop series begins with a Design Thinking and Ideation session on March 1 and 2 from 5 to 8pm, run by the Head of Design and Innovation at IBM, Eliane Tozman. Workshops run every Thursday in Kaneff Tower, 519, at York University until March 30. Other sessions include: Business Model Canvas; Customer Development; Implementation and Prototyping; and Power Pitching. Sessions are led by industry thought leaders who will guide participants through the key topics they need to consider when starting their own ventures.

AccelerateUP is the rebranded LaunchYU summer accelerator program. Now entering it’s third year, AcclerateUP has supported 40 high potential ventures to date. It is an intensive, four-month accelerator program that begins in early May and runs through late August. AccelerateUP is run by LaunchYU in partnership with ventureLAB and YEDInstitute, and is designed to support entrepreneurs as they build, launch and scale their ventures.

AccelerateUP entrepreneurs are provided with lectures, workshops, one-on-one mentorship, and other services that help early-stage ventures as they launch and grow their businesses. The program also provides participating ventures an opportunity to receive a maximum of $8,000 in cash awards, and access to resources such as collaborative working space, legal advice and services, access to maker spaces, investor meet-ups, industry connections, and more.

At the end of the program, ventures participate at the AccelerateUP Graduation and Demo Day, where they pitch to an audience consisting of investors, corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs and government officials.

LaunchYU is excited to offer these programs to entrepreneurs across campus and in the community. Over the past two years, LaunchYU has engaged with students from every faculty across campus in for-profit, non-profit or social enterprises in areas including, but not limited to, arts, business, engineering, or science. LaunchYU wants to engage with students and support their ideas and ventures.

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